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An Attempt to Reduce and Quantify Uncertainties in Integrated Petroleum System Models At Regional Scale Exemplified In The Western Barents Sea

Daszinnies, Matthias C.1; Zieba, J. K.; Weiss, Hermann; Majewska-Bill, Monika; and Rinna, J.
1[email protected]

Petroleum system models are an integral component in hydrocarbon exploration strategies today. Even though key concepts of petroleum system plays are well mimicked by numerical models, uncertainties exist about model input parameters, particularly if default values are chosen due to e.g. lack of well data. These uncertainties propagate into the model results. This fact is even more significant for regional scale basin models which attempt to make petroleum system predictions over distances of several tens of kilometers with limited well data coverage.

We will present a workflow for petroleum systems modeling at regional scale that aims to reduce input parameter uncertainties and to quantify the migration model sensitivity with respect to input parameters. This concept combines the filtering of source-rock model solutions with Monte Carlo type migration models by using known discoveries as a reference.

In our approach we will demonstrate how forward modeling of source-rock properties is used to generate a set of source-rock model solutions. They are all in line with well observations but differ distinctly away from well control. These source-rock models are tested in various hydrocarbon migration simulations to evaluate their feasibility in explaining HC discoveries, select the best fitting source-rock model and exclude less reasonable solutions for the given HC play. Subsequently, the entire secondary migration run setup of the HC play is subjected to a Monte Carlo type simulation approach. Thereby, several input parameters (e.g. the source-rock thickness) are varied to evaluate the migration model's robustness towards them.

Our demonstration case is located in the Western Norwegian Barents Sea offshore Norway. There exploration is challenging because water depth ranges from 250m to more than 2000m. The target area comprises buried palaeo-highs and rift basins whose genesis and geological history affected the modeled petroleum system from Mesozoic times onward. The case results will show how the outlined workflow provided a very good match between predicted modeled HC flow and very recent findings.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90166©2013 AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, Cartagena, Colombia, 8-11 September 2013