Abstract

Oil reservoirs hosted in deep-water slope channel deposits are a challenge to manage and model. A six-level hierarchical arrangement of depositional elements within slope channel deposits has been widely recognized, and dimensional (width and thickness) and stacking (amalgamation ratio and volume fraction) data have been acquired from published studies to establish parameters for a representative slope channel system. A new static modelling workflow has been developed for building models of channel complexes based on a simplified hierarchical scheme using industry-standard object-based modelling methods and a new plugin applying the compression algorithm. Object-based modelling using the compression algorithm allows for independent input of volume fractions and amalgamation ratios for channel and sheet objects within a hierarchical modelling workflow. A base-case channel complex model is built at the resolution of individual sandstone beds, conditioned to representative dimensional and stacking characteristics of natural systems. Inclusion of explicit channel axis and margin regions within the channels governs bed placement and controls inter-channel connectivity where channels are amalgamated. The distribution of porosity and permeability within these beds mimics grain-size trends of fining in the vertical and lateral directions. The influence of various geological parameters and modelling choices on reservoir performance have been assessed through water-flood flow simulation modelling. Omission of the compression method in the modelling workflow results in a three-fold increase in oil recovery at water-breakthrough, because the resultant unnaturally high amalgamation ratios result in overly-connected flow units at all hierarchical levels. Omission in the modelling of either the bed-scale hierarchical level, or of the axial and marginal constraints on the bed placement in models that do include this level, results in a two-fold increase in oil recovery at water-breakthrough relative to the base-case, because in these cases the channel-channel connections are too permissive.

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