Calculation of initial fluid saturations is a critical step in any 3D reservoir modeling studies. The initial water saturation (Swi) distribution will dictate the original oil in place (STOIP) estimation and will influence the subsequent steps in dynamic modeling (history match and predictions). Complex carbonate reservoirs always represent a quit a challenge to geologist and reservoir engineers to calculate the initial water saturation with limited or no SCAL data available. The proposed method in this study combines core data (permeability) from 32 cored wells with identifiable reservoir rock types (RRTs) and log data (porosity and Swi) to develop drainage log-derived capillary pressure (Pc) based on rock quality index (RQI) and then calculate J-function for each RRT which was used to calculate the initial water saturation in the reservoir.

The initialization results of the dynamic model indicate good Swi profile match between the calculated Swi and the log-Swi for 70 wells across the field. The calculation of STOIP indicates a good agreement (within 3% difference) between the geological 3D model (31 million cells fine scale) and the upscaled dynamic model (1 million cells). The proposed method can be used in any heterogeneous media to calculate initial fluid saturations.


Reservoir characterization is an essential part of building robust dynamic models for proper reservoir management and making reliable predictions. A good definition of reservoir rock types should relate somehow the geological facies to their petrophysical properties. However, this was not the case in this work there is an overlap of petrophysical properties between the different RRTs. It was difficult to differentiate between the Mercury injection capillary curves (MIPCs) for a given RRT based of porosity and/or permeability ranges. Besides, the Mercury displacing air in the MIPc measurements does not represent the correct displacement mechanism in the reservoir. The objectives of this study were:

  1. Develop log-derived Pcs or J-functions using the available data (log-porosity, log-Swi, core permeability, and log-derived RRTs) to calculate the initial water saturation distribution in the entire reservoir.

  2. Validate the results by comparing the log-derived Pc with measured-Pc by using porous-plate method (air/brine system) from selected plus with different RRTs.

  3. Most important is to match the calculated Swi with log-Swi profile from several wells across the field and calculate the original oil in place (STOIP).

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