3-D Analysis and Model Construction
The 3-D geologic model is built first in the mind. Computer hardware and software are simply tools that allow for integration and analysis of massive amounts of data, and provide a visualization product for analysis; they are not a substitute for human interpretation and experience.
The primary goal of 3-D geologic modeling is to capture the porosity, permeability, and saturation structure of the 3-D earth cube in order to derive a spatial understanding of the interwell heterogeneity. This requires an accurate stratigraphic framework, a reasonable method of data distribution, and a careful analysis of which stratal units actually control fluid flow. For example, a 1-foot thick shale, or a diagenetic carbonate cement barrier, may represent the most important feature to preserve in a 3-D model, but could easily be averaged out in the up-scaling process.