Flow zonation and permeability estimation is a common task in reservoir characterization. Typically, integration of openhole log data with a conventional and special core analysis solves this problem. We present a Bayesian‐based method for identifying hydraulic flow units in uncored wells using the theory of hydraulic flow units (HFUs) and subsequently compute permeability using wireline log data.

We use a nonlinear optimization scheme on the basis of the probability plot to determine pertinent statistical parameters of each flow unit. Next, we couple these results with the F‐test and the Akaike's criteria with the purpose of establishing the optimal number of HFUs present in the core data set. Then, we allocate the core data into their respective HFUs using the Bayes’ theorem as clustering rule. Finally, we apply an inversion algorithm on the basis of Bayesian inference to predict permeability using only wireline data.

We illustrate the application of the procedure with a carbonate reservoir having extensive conventional core data. The results show that the Bayesian‐based clustering and inversion technique delivers permeability estimates that agree with the core data and with the results obtained from a pressure transient analysis.

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