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A primary goal of reservoir modeling is to construct a three-dimensional (3D), numerical representation, or computer model, of the reservoir’s rock and fluid properties. The process of modeling the 3D distributions of geologic facies, lithology, and other petrophysical properties (especially porosity and permeability) is sometimes referred to as geologic modeling. This distinguishes it from the simulation of fluid flow in the reservoir (i.e., reservoir simulation). Several 3D geologic-modeling methods and tools are used, depending on the complexity of the reservoir, the reservoir properties being modeled, the data available, the stage of field development, and the specific questions to be answered. Key questions that reservoir geoscientists and engineers ask soon after a petroleum discovery—as well as during appraisal and development of a reservoir—include:

  • How big is the container (reservoir)?

  • How much petroleum can be extracted?

  • How will this reservoir perform?

  • How widely must development wells be spaced in this geologic setting?

  • How should the reservoir be developed (should we use aquifer support, injectors, etc.)?

  • How should wells be drilled (should they be vertical, slanted, or horizontal wells)?

  • How can the reservoir’s development be expedited?

  • Why is reservoir productivity different from what was expected?

At discovery and during appraisal drilling, relatively few data are available; therefore, these questions are not easily answered. As development proceeds and additional wells and other data are acquired, these questions can be answered more completely through integrated reservoir

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