Wave-dominated, shoreface-shelf parasequences are commonly modeled as simple layer-cake reservoirs, yet analysis of modern and ancient analogs demonstrates that these intervals contain a more complex physical stratigraphy. We investigate the impact of depositional and diagenetic heterogeneity associated with gently dipping clinoform surfaces on fluid flow and recovery during water flooding, using a three-dimensional model reconstructed from a well-exposed outcrop analog. We demonstrate that the volume of oil in place is affected by variations in facies thickness associated with interfingering along clinoforms, whereas waterflood sweep efficiency is affected by barriers to flow along clinoform surfaces, such as calcite-cemented layers, mudstones, and siltstones.

Sweep efficiency is low when water flooding is down depositional dip because oil is bypassed at the toe of each clinothem as water flows preferentially through high-quality sandstone facies in the upper part of the parasequence. Sweep efficiency is higher when water flooding is up depositional dip because the gravity-driven, downward flow of water sweeps poorer-quality sandstone facies in the lower part of the parasequence. In both cases, injectors may offer limited pressure support to producers.

Water flooding along depositional strike yields good pressure support but poor sweep because the gravity-driven flow of water into the lower part of the parasequence is significantly reduced. This yields highly variable fluid saturations but a uniform pressure gradient, which is consistent with pressure and fluid saturation data from the mature Rannoch Formation reservoir, Brent field, United Kingdom North Sea. Simple layer-cake models fail to capture the range of flow behaviors described above and overpredict recovery by up to 20% as a result.

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