Building an integrated subsurface model is one of the main goals of major oil and gas operators to guide the field development plans. All field data acquisitions from seismic, well logging, production and geomechanical monitoring to enhanced oil recovery operations can be affected by the accurate details incorporated in the subsurface model. Therefore, building a realistic integrated subsurface model in advance of the field development and associated design and operations is essential for a successful implementation of such projects. Furthermore, utilizing a more reliable model can in-turn provide the basis in the decision making process for control and remediation of formation damage.
One of the key identifier of the subsurface model is accurately predicting the hydraulic flow units. There are several models currently used in the prediction of these units based on the type of the data available. The predictions using these models are differing significantly due to the assumptions made in the derivations. Most of these assumptions do not adequately reflect realistic subsurface conditions increasing the need for better models to enhance the predictions.
A new approach has been developed in this study for predicting the petrophysical properties improving the reservoir characterization. Poiseuille flow equation and Darcy equation were coupled taking into consideration the irreducible water saturation in the pore network. The porous media was introduced as a domain containing bundle of tortuous capillary tubes with irreducible water lining the pore wall. A series of routine and special core analysis were performed on 17 Berea sandstone samples and the petrophysical properties were measured and XRD analysis was conducted. In addition, core permeabilities were predicted using a new permeability model and the results were compared to the measured permeability data. In building the petrophysical model, it was initially necessary to assume an ideal reservoir with 17 different layers. Afterwards, by iteration and calibration of the laboratory data, the more realistic number of hydraulic flow units was
The same model was also implemented to a Cotton Valley tight gas reservoir in Northern Louisiana in order to determine the flow units. A comparative study shows that the new model provides a better distribution of hydraulic flow units and prediction of the petrophysical properties. Using the new model provides a better match with the experimental data collected than the models currently used in the prediction of such parameters. The good agreement observed for both the Berea sandstone and Cotton Valley tight gas sand experimental data and the model predictions using the new permeability model show the wider range of applicability for various reservoir conditions.