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Turbidite Forward Modelling for Improved Reservoir Models


The project is developing software to enhance understanding of turbidite hydrocarbon-reservoirs such as those found in mature areas of the North Sea (e.g. the Outer Moray Firth) and frontier areas of the UKCS (e.g. West of Shetland). Turbidity currents recur at any particular location on timescales of years to centuries and hence, over geological time, build up substantial thicknesses of sand bodies which may be connected to form high quality, large-volume, potential oil reservoirs. The quality of the resultant turbidite reservoirs is strongly controlled by the vertical connectivity and horizontal extent of the bodies deposited by successive flow events. Unfortunately, 3D seismic techniques are rarely able to image individual sand-bodies in sufficient detail to provide an input for modelling of hydrocarbon flow during extraction and so, until now, assumptions must be made concerning sand-body distributions based upon 1D sampling via wells. Computer forward modelling of the geological processes which formed the reservoir is an innovative approach to this wide-spread problem.

Figure 1. Existing single flow software from this consortium. Image shows a reconstructed, Jurassic age sea floor (grey) with a superimposed turbidity current (blue to red = 0 - 100 m thick) 800 seconds after initiation.
Figure 2. Coarse fraction of sand-body deposit after flow completion. Red is high sand fraction and blue is low sand fraction. Circles show well data colour coded identically to flow model.


Funding: Technology Strategy Board/Midland Valley Exploration Ltd

Links: www.mve.com/software/sediment-modelling


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