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Spargo, Adam1, David Meredith2, Graham Williams2, Jay E. Leonard3, Thomas A. Schutter3 
(1) University of Wales, Bangor, United Kingdom 
(2) Keele University, Keele, United Kingdom 
(3) Platte River Associates, Inc, Boulder, CO

ABSTRACT: Restoration Inversion – Coupling Structural Restoration with Finite Element Fluid Flow Modelling in Four Dimensions—Examples from the North Sea and Black Sea Basin

Successful modeling of the geological development of sedimentary basins, petroleum systems, and play fairways depends upon an understanding of the processes involved, such as the deformational history and dynamic change in the temperature and pressure regime. Accurate estimation of the evolution of subsurface geometry requires reconstruction of the regional to local scale tectonics and simulation of porosity reduction and preservation through compactional processes. Until now, two very different techniques have been used to tackle the problem of subsurface geometry, porosity and pressure prediction. The gross geometry is estimated using inverse models that range from large-scale tectonics to structural reconstruction (retro-deformation) with mechanical decompaction. However, a more detailed estimate of porosity and pressure are obtained through forward simulation in a coupled pressure-temperature model with a further reduction of porosity through diagenesis. 
This paper introduces a new four-dimensional numerical modeling approach (Restoration Inversion), that combines these forward and reverse modeling techniques. The numerical model is successively refined to provide a solution, which is a ‘composite’ model, combining structural evolution, compaction, and coupled temperature and pressure changes. The technique for integrating forward and reverse simulation methods into a single modeling approach provides, for the first time, a geologically realistic and mathematically rigorous estimator for the dynamic evolution of sedimentary basins, petroleum systems and play fairways. The model has been applied in the North Sea and to the Black Sea basin.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.