Method Addresses Difficulty of Modeling Heterogeneous Carbonate Bimodal Rocks

Topics: Reservoir simulation

Because of their heterogeneity, carbonate reservoirs are more difficult to model than clastic reservoirs. The main difficulty comes from the number of different pore types, compared with the typical interparticle pore type in clastics. By using saturation-height models (SHMs) in combination with conventional permeability measurements, a new approach attempts to extract the fundamental properties of individual pore systems. The key idea centers on identifying the governing pore systems from capillary pressure curves and permeability measurements. The approach results in the ability to predict permeability continuously as a function of pore-system mixing ratios.


Because of the presence of multiple pore types, carbonate rocks are difficult to model. To account for their heterogeneity, carbonate rocks are often modeled using rock-typing schemes. Two particularly challenging properties are permeability and saturation. Although these properties have been recognized as being closely connected, little information is available on how to handle them consistently.

Even when permeability and SHMs satisfactorily describe the core measurements, it is not trivial to ensure their consistency in 3D models. One possible situation is building SHMs that impose consistency through the governing parameters. Throughout this work, a Brooks-Corey function is used because it was found to describe uni­modal ­mercury-injection capillary pressures (MICPs) satisfactorily.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper IPTC 18587, “Heterogeneous Carbonates: A Modeling Method Ensuring Consistency Between the Saturation-Height and Permeability Models for Bimodal Rocks,” by Iulian N. Hulea, Harm Dijk, SPE, Danila Karnaukh, and Mirano Spalburg, Shell, prepared for the 2016 International Petroleum Technology Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, 14–16 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2016 International Petroleum Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
This article is reserved for SPE members and JPT subscribers.
If you would like to continue reading,
please Sign In, JOIN SPE or Subscribe to JPT

Method Addresses Difficulty of Modeling Heterogeneous Carbonate Bimodal Rocks

01 July 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 7