Abstract

Whilst sophisticated multiphase fluid flow models are routinely employed to understand behaviour of oil and gas reservoirs, high-resolution data describing the three-dimensional (3D) distribution of rock characteristics is rarely available to populate models. We present a new approach to developing a quantitative understanding of the effect of individual controls on the distribution of petrophysical properties and their impact on fluid flow. This involves simulating flow through high-detail permeability architectures generated by forward modelling of the coupled depositional–diagenetic evolution of isolated platforms using CARB3D+. This workflow is exemplified by an investigation of interactions between subsidence and climate, and their expression in spatial variations in reservoir quality in an isolated carbonate platform of similar size and subsidence history to the Triassic Latemar Platform.

Dissolutional lowering during subaerial exposure controls platform-top graininess via platform top hydrodynamics during the subsequent transgression. Dissolved carbonate is reprecipitated as cements by percolating meteoric waters. However, associated subsurface meteoric dissolution generates significant secondary porosity under a more humid climate. Slower subsidence enhances diagenetic overprinting during repeated exposure events. Single-phase streamline simulations show how early diagenesis develops more permeable fairways within the finer-grained condensed units that can act as thief zones for flow from the grainier but less diagenetically altered cyclic units.

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