Application of Stratigraphic Forward Modelling to Carbonate Reservoir Characterization – A New Paradigm from the Albion R&D Project

Borgomano, Jean (Aix-Marseille University) | Massonnat, Gérard (TOTAL-EP) | Lanteaume, Cyprien (TOTAL-EP) | Danquigny, Charles (TOTAL-EP) | Samson, Philippe (TOTAL-EP) | Rolando, Jean-Paul (TOTAL-EP) | Rebelle, Michel (TOTAL-EP)



Improving carbonate reservoir prediction, field development and production forecasts, especially in zones lacking data, requires novel reservoir modelling approaches including process-based methods. Classical geostatistic modelling methods alone cannot match this challenge, in particular if subtle stratigraphic architectures or sedimentary and diagenetic geometries, not directly identified as properties with well data, control the reservoir heterogeneity. Stratigraphic forward modelling approaches can provide pertinent information to carbonate reservoir characterization. Integrating carbonate stratigraphic forward models in reservoir modelling workflows faces two sets of challenges: (1) the difficulty to establish high resolution and multi-scales continuous reservoir analogues from outcrops and (2) the development of forward modelling methods adapted to carbonate heterogeneity and calibrated to well data. The ALBION R&D Project dedicated to the Lower Cretaceous rudist-rich carbonate platform meets these two considerable scientific challenges. This workflow builds on previous modelling approaches at basin scale that integrates seismic inversion and forward modelling. This project delivers deterministic high-resolution static models that support the development of process-based modelling solutions. This multidisciplinary approach focuses on the characterization of primary sedimentary and diagenetic overprint that can impact drastically the flow behavior at inter-well scales in similar reservoir units such as the Kharaib and Shuaiba Formations. The SED-RES modelling package developed in house by Total R&D has been tested and calibrated with these high-resolution stratigraphic outcrop models. It allows valid prediction of carbonate facies associations mimicking the spatial distribution mapped along the Urgonian platform transects.

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