Fault seal mapping – incorporating geometric and property uncertainty
Published:January 01, 2008
S. R. Freeman, S. D. Harris, R. J. Knipe, 2008. "Fault seal mapping – incorporating geometric and property uncertainty", The Future of Geological Modelling in Hydrocarbon Development, A. Robinson, P. Griffiths, J. Price, J. Hegre, A. Muggeridge
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In this paper, we present workflows, key relationships and results of multiple stochastic fault seal analyses conducted on geocellular geological or (static) reservoir grids. Ranges of uncertainties are computed from new and published datasets for the different input relationships (e.g. throw, VShale to VClay, fault clay prediction, fault rock clay content to permeability); these are used as input into stochastic modelling processes and the impact of each is assessed. The power of stochastic modelling to focus interpretation and risking effort is reviewed. Reducing the uncertainty distributions from the published data ranges has a massive impact on the range of predicted fault seal properties. Halving the uncertainties associated with the computation of the transmissibility multiplier, for instance, reduces this range from 7 to 1–1.5 orders of magnitude of the base-case value (no uncertainty). Importantly, when combined together, the median predictions from each individual parameter do not lead to the median value for the final prediction; average relationships combined together will not therefore produce the average final prediction. This is a powerful result for two reasons: first, current geological modelling packages use global trends to define fault properties and so are likely to predict spurious results; and secondly, reducing the uncertainty on specific relationships by around 50% is an achievable goal. Locally calibrated datasets and relationships (field-specific) based on carefully characterized samples should allow for this improvement in prediction accuracy. This paper presents a review of fault seal techniques, published data and the potential pitfalls associated with the analyses.
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The Future of Geological Modelling in Hydrocarbon Development
The 3D geological model is still regarded as one of the newest and most innovative tools for reservoir management purposes. The computer modelling of structures, rock properties and fluid flow in hydrocarbon reservoirs has evolved from a specialist activity to part of the standard desktop toolkit. The application of these techniques has allowed all disciplines of the subsurface team to collaborate in a common workspace. In today’s asset teams, the role of the geological model in hydrocarbon development planning is key and will be for some time ahead.
The challenges that face the geologists and engineers will be to provide more seamless interaction between static and dynamic models. This interaction requires the development of conventional and unconventional modelling algorithms and methodologies in order to provide more risk-assessed scenarios, thus enabling geologists and engineers to better understand and capture inherent uncertainties at each aspect of the geological model’s life.