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Many siliciclastic reservoirs contain millimetre-scale diagenetic and structural phenomena affecting fluid flow. We identified three major types of small-scale flow barriers in a clastic Rotliegend hydrocarbon reservoir: cataclastic deformation bands; dissolution seams; and bedding-parallel cementation. Deformation bands of various orientations were analysed on resistivity image logs and in core material. They are mainly conjugates, and can be used to validate seismically observable faults and infer subseismic faults. Bedding-parallel dissolution seams are related to compaction and post-date at least one set of deformation bands. Bedding-parallel cementation is accumulated in coarser-grained layers and depends on the amount of clay coatings.

Apparent permeability data related to petrographical image interpretation visualizes the impact of flow barriers on reservoir heterogeneity. Transmissibility multiplier calculations indicate the small efficiency of the studied deformation bands on flow properties in the reservoir. Deformation bands reduce the host-rock permeability by a maximum of two orders of magnitude. However, host-rock anisotropies are inferred to reduce the permeability by a maximum of four orders of magnitude. The relative timing of these flow barriers, as well as the assessment of reservoir heterogeneities, are the basis for state-of-the-art reservoir prediction modelling.

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