This study is conducted to test and evaluate the use of current methods of reservoir characterization, namely the permeability-porosity correlation, the J-function, and the Reservoir Quality Index (RQI) concepts, for reservoir description of heterogeneous carbonate formations. These approaches were compared with a new technique developed in this paper for improved reservoir description of carbonate reservoirs. This technique is called the Characterization Number (CN) technique and it is based upon considering fluid, rock, rock-fluid properties and flow mechanics of oil reservoirs.

To compare these reservoir characterization techniques, measurements of porosity, absolute permeability, oil and water relative permeability and irreducible water saturation for 83 actual core samples extracted from eight different wells for a new oil reservoir in the U.A.E. are obtained. These experimental data are used first to develop a permeability-porosity correlation. Then, the J-function and the RQI concepts along with the newly developed CN approach are applied and evaluated for reservoir description of the UAE carbonate reservoir under investigation. The results show that the Reservoir Quality Index concept is capable of identifying the flow units while the J-function concept is quiet poor. Also, a more refined identification of flow units is obtained by using the newly-developed Characterization Number. This improved description for the Characterization Number approach may be attributed to the consideration of rock/fluid properties of flowing fluid(s) and flow dynamic conditions of its containing formation.

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