The Role of Sequence Stratigraphy in 3-D Characterization of Carbonate Reservoirs
Scott W. Tinker, Michael D. Brondos, and Lise Brinton
The product of 3-D reservoir characterization is a 3-D reservoir model. The integrity of the 3-D reservoir model is largely a function of the stratigraphic framework. Interpreting the correct stratigraphic framework for a subsurface reservoir is the most difficult and creative part of the 3-D modeling process. Sequence- and seismic-stratigraphic interpretation provide the best stratigraphic framework for 3-D reservoir modeling.
Depositional sequences are comprised of many petrophysically-distinct lithofacies regions. If each lithofacies region was uniform and homogeneous, it would be reasonable to use a lithofacies ("layer-cake") framework interpretation to distribute data in a 3-D model. However, lithofacies are typically time-transgressive, and often internally heterogeneous because geologic processes such as siliciclastic sediment deposition, sediment bypass, hardground formation, variable diagenesis, and facies shifts occur along depositional time surfaces on carbonate platforms. Therefore, a sequence stratigraphic framework interpretation, in which stratal geometries are honored, is better for controlling the distribution of petrophysical data in 3-D.
The role that sequence stratigraphy plays in the 3-D characterization of carbonate reservoirs will be presented using two outcrop and four subsurface studies from the Paleozoic. The outcrop examples illustrate the important distinction between lithostratigraphic and sequence stratigraphic correlation, and the subsurface examples illustrate the process of quantification, integration, reduction, and analysis of geological, petrophysical, seismic, and engineering data. The concepts and techniques can be applied to carbonate reservoirs of any age.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California