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ABSTRACT: Hybrid 3D Petroleum Migration Modeling - Status and Perspectives

Wygrala, Bjorn P1, Thomas Hantschel1, and Dan Carruthers2
(1) IES Integrated Exploration Systems, Juelich, Germany 
(2) Permedia Research, Ottawa

Various methods are used to simulate multi-dimensional petroleum migration on a basin scale. The dominant approaches are Full-2D/3D (Darcy-type, full physics) simulators, Flowpath or raytrace modeling and - as a relatively new entry - Invasion Percolation based (IP) modeling. Full-3D provides a well-integrated technical solution, Flowpath is efficient and can be used on higher resolution data, while IP promises to be even faster with even better (seismic and sub-seismic scale) resolution.

The first full-3D simulator was commercially released in late 1998 but it became apparent that long processing times for realistic models were a limiting factor in exploration applications.

Hybrid simulators enable different techniques to be used during a single simulation run and were first realised in early 1999. They provide high-level, multi-phase simulation capabilities without sacrificing resolution or processing speed and are rapidly gaining widespread acceptance. The first successful realisation integrates Full-3D which provides the dynamic framework with Flowpath functions performing rapid migration calculations in efficient carriers.

Current development projects are extending the technology to include IP and even reservoir modeling, with each tool providing additional specific benefits. An Open Petroleum Systems Modeling approach is emerging and the implications for exploration are clear: hybrid technologies will enable high resolution, large scale 3D basin models to be processed on commonly available hardware platforms, within reasonable timescales. The processing speed of these hybrid simulators allows decisions to be based on the evaluation and risking of multiple scenarios - a critical tool for explorationists. This is a significant step for 3D petroleum systems modeling with applications ranging from early basin reviews and pressure prediction modeling, to full product prediction studies.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia