Abstract

The McMurray Formation is one of the most significant bitumen deposits in Canadian oil sands. Bitumen bearing sand intervals deposited and reworked in fluvial, tidal or estuarine environments result in heterogeneous sediment distributions comprising clean sands and low permeability muddy laminae or mud drapes. These interlayers increase the difficulty of estimating reservoir permeability, which is a critical geological parameter to predict the performance of in-situ thermal processes of the oil sands projects. In this paper, we describe a bedding-scale geomodeling and simulation workflow using core images, core-plug and Vshale logs to estimate the effective permeability (Kh, Kv) in the Upper McMurray Formation. Details of five steps of this workflow are presented. To show the general applicability of this workflow, 3 pay zone facies from tidal channel infilled deposits of Mackay River Project, CNPC, were selected to demonstrate this sedimentary process mimic bedding-scale geomodeling strategy. The results of effective permeability estimation have the potential to improve history matching in flow simulations and performance forecasting.

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