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Use of Outcrop Analog Data in Integrated Reservoir Modeling of Deepwater Depositional Systems

Ciaran O'Byrne, Mark Barton, Carlos Pirmez, Brad Prather, Gary Steffens, Frans Van der Vlugt, Zoltan Sylvester, Mark Deptuck, and Deirdre Commins
Shell International Exploration and Production Company, Houston, TX

Industry has had a long history of quantitative outcrop work in deepwater depositional systems with the particular goal of building robust, internally consistent databases as a key element in an integrated approach to reservoir modeling. The methodology presented here can be distinguished by: (a) systematic observation and measurement of outcrop geometries with a focus on the reservoir heterogeneities; (b) rigorous quantification of bedding architecture at a high-level of detail utilizing a hierarchical methodology, and (c) development of a quantitative database with a direct link to an integrated reservoir modeling methodology. The outcrop measurements are complemented by internally consistent quantitative databases on shallow sub-surface analogs and experimental (flume) and numerical simulation data, combining to form a very powerful and unique resource for our sub-surface reservoir modelers. Importantly, the types of data being collected are all quantifiable in the field or sub-surface, with precise recognition criteria, and are intimately linked to evolved conceptual models of deepwater depositional processes and slope evolution. The impact of measured reservoir architecture characteristics on connectivity, sweep efficiency and reservoir performance is directly quantified by simulation of thousands of static models and in history matches to extensive deepwater production records. This poster illustrates part of the integrated reservoir modeling approach used in Shell and more specifically the role that outcrop analog data plays in refining input of key heterogeneities in sub-surface reservoir models.