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Coupling Stratigraphic and Petroleum Systems Modeling: Implications For Hydrocarbon Exploration

Luiz Felipe Carvalho Coutinho¹, José Eduardo Faccion¹, Guilherme Ceschiatti B. Moreira¹, Pedro de A. M. das Neves Miranda¹, José Alberto de Araújo¹, Marco Antônio Schreiner Moraes¹, Stefane Rodrigues Xavier Lopes², Alexandre Antônio de Oliveira Lopes³, and Wagner Nahas Ribeiro³
¹Petrobras Research Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
²Fundação Gorceix, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
³Petrosoft, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The three-dimensional numerical simulation of sedimentary processes based on sequence stratigraphy concepts (i.e. stratigraphic modeling) has been used in sedimentary basin analysis to understand and represent the interplay between space accommodation generation and filling, along with the action of sedimentary processes that control facies distribution. Two of the main products of stratigraphic modeling are (1) the breaking of the basin-filling packages into stratigraphic sequences of different orders and (2) the detailed representation of lithofacies distribution within each sequence.

Petroleum systems modeling, on the other hand, allows the reproduction of the geological history of the basins including the processes of compaction, heat flow and fluid flow, along with generation, migration and accumulation of petroleum. The technique involves the dynamic calculation of essential parameters such as porosity, pore pressure, temperature and maturation of source rocks. The method is based on the mass conservation of components, and solves numerically the governing equations for mass balance, and also the equations for energy and momentum conservation. Even though the petroleum systems models are highly sophisticated, their representation of the stratigraphic framework and lithofacies distribution is commonly poor. As a consequence, one can say that although the independent application of these techniques by the oil industry and the scientific community is quite widespread their integration, assessing the potential impact of incorporating detailed stratigraphic framework and lithofacies distribution into the modeling of petroleum migration and accumulation, remains not fully explored. The goal of this work is to establish a method to integrate stratigraphic and petroleum systems modeling using Petrobras proprietary software in order to apply such workflow in frontier areas of exploration.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #120098©2013 AAPG Hedberg Conference Petroleum Systems: Modeling the Past, Planning the Future, Nice, France, October 1-5, 2012