Improving the Estimation of Porosity and Permeability Distribution by Linking Basin Modelling to Diagenetic Evolution of Carbonate Reservoirs

Mangione, Alessandro (Heriot-Watt University) | Lewis, Helen (Heriot-Watt University) | Geiger, Sebastian (Heriot-Watt University) | van der Land, Cees (University of Edinburgh)

OnePetro 

Carbonate reservoirs have petrophysical property distributions largely controlled by a combination of the depositional, diagenetic, and structural (burial/uplift) histories of the reservoir itself and also of the basins that contain them. Carbonates are very prone to diagenetic alteration; porosity and permeability can be strongly affected by the thermal state, fluid-pressure and pore fluid chemistry through their geological history. We use a novel workflow, adapted from basin modelling, to investigate how the burial/uplift history of an offshore carbonate reservoir and its basin, taken as a system, can have controlled the fluid and heat movement within, into and out of the reservoir. The reservoir rock properties and diagenetic history are assessed, as is the local and regional geological evolution for potential contributory factors to the diagenesis. A model of the potential basin system is developed, observed reservoir diagenetic history being added to the normal basin modelling constraints. This model provides good estimates of geometry and property evolution, and of fluid transport, through geological time. Since fluid and heat fluxes are important in the diagenetic evolution of the carbonate pore system, these results are complemented by simulating the movement of heat and brine in the reservoir using finite element-finite volume simulations. These simulations capture the complex geological structures, especially fault-fracture systems, and better represent the flow physics and chemistry that control reservoir diagenesis. Results from these simulations will later be returned to the basin model to improve the calibration of the timing, depth, and rates of diagenetic events.

This new workflow is applied to a Lower Eocene offshore carbonate reservoir with a complex diagenetic history which seems to have a strong basin evolution influence. Importantly this workflow is generic and can be applied to any carbonate reservoir to enhance the link between geological models at the basin scale and reservoir scale models.