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AAPG GEO 2010 Middle East
Geoscience Conference & Exhibition
Innovative Geoscience Solutions – Meeting Hydrocarbon Demand in Changing Times
March 7-10, 2010 – Manama, Bahrain

3D Geological Modeling in Saudi Aramco - Current Practices and Field Examples

Mohammad A. Al-Khalifa1; Abdulaziz Al-Gaoud1; Nazih F. Najjar1

(1) Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Current practices of advanced 3D geological modeling will be discussed and selected field examples will be presented, where advanced 3D geological modeling technology was utilized. They include object-based modeling, seismic data integration, fracture modeling, and engineering dynamic data integration.

3D geological modeling is the science of creating 3D numerical representation of the subsurface and quantitatively predicting reservoir properties. It plays a vital role in the modern oil and gas industry with applications that span a wide spectrum, ranging from well planning and reserves assessment to reservoir simulation and future production predictions. Input data for geological models come from direct information, i.e., measurements of reservoir rock and fluid properties, and indirect information such as interpretations and conceptual models. It is very challenging to integrate geological, geophysical, petrophysical, and engineering data that are recorded at different scales, both vertically and horizontally - from small scale core measurements to medium scale log data to large scale seismic interpretations.

At Saudi Aramco, 3D geological models are actively used by reservoir geologists for horizontal and high-slant well placement and geosteering. The models are updated frequently as new data and interpretations from newly drilled wells become available. In addition, reservoir engineers use geological models in their simulation studies to predict the flow and behavior of oil, gas, and water in the reservoir to optimize production. Knowledge learned from fluid flow simulation is integrated back into the static model to improve the distribution of reservoir properties. This iterative loop between geological modeling and dynamic flow simulation is essential to generating the most accurate static and dynamic models.