A Statistical Reservoir-Zonation Technique
- J.D. Testerman (Jersey Production Research Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1962
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 889 - 893
- 1962. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 5.6.2 Core Analysis, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.5.2 Core Analysis
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A statistical technique to identify and describe naturally occurring zones in a reservoir and to correlate these zones from well to well is described. The technique is particularly used in describing a reservoir where crossflow between adjacent strata is important in determining reservoir behavior. Although it has been used primarily for permeability zonation, the technique is general and can be used to correlate any reservoir property or related data, such as the information contained in well logs.
One of the first problems encountered by the reservoir engineer in predicting or interpreting fluid displacement behavior during seeondary recovery processes is that of organizing and using the large amount of data available from core analysis. Permeabilities pose particular problems in organization because they usually vary by more than an order of magnitude between different strata. Due to the sheer volume, it is almost always necessary to group data and to use an average value to represent a number of measurements. Perhaps the most common method now used to group permeability data is the capacity-fraction tehnique, which ranks permeabilities in order of magnitude, regardless of the physical location of the permeabilities within the reservoir. The cumulative per cent capacity is plotted against cumulative per cent thickness. This plot is divided into an arbitrary number of zones, generally of equal thickness. Five zones (or averaged groups of data) usually are obtained, each of which is treated as homogeneous in subsequent calculations. The division so obtained has no physical meaning; strata in the same zone, calculation-wise, are usually not adjacent in the reservoir.
Reservoir engineering techniques being developed will handle crossflow that occurs between adjacent communicating reservoir strata because of imbibition and gravity segregation. Since crossflow occurs between physically adjacent layers within the reservoir, a new zonation technique recognizing the actual location of strata within the reservoir is necessary. Similarly, the recognition of natural zones is important for predictions of oil recovery by processes involving diffusion. One such process is miscible displacement, where predictions of lateral diffusion within the reservoir must recognize the actual location of the invaded zones in relation to the rest of the formation. Natural zones must also be adequately recognized to account for heat transfer within the reservoir during the thermal exploitation.
Because of the complexity of the problem, statistics appear to offer the only practical hope of dividing a reservoir into physically-meaningful natural zones. This paper presents a statistical technique for identifying these natural zones and for ascertaining which ones are likely to be continuous between adjacent wells. The zones defined have minimum variation of permeability internally and a maximum variation between zones. The technique is general and can thus be applied to reservoir properties other than permeability.
The method will guide the reservoir engineer in estimating which zones are likely to be continuous between wells. However, a statistical correlation based on permeabilities in two different well5 is no guarantee that the zones so defined are, in fact, continuous. Rather, the assumption of continuity must be cosistent with geological data concerning the depositional environment, as well as justified on the basis of engineering judgment in combination with statistics, just as judgment is required with conventional zonation methods.
The reservoir zonation technique is a two-step operation. The steps are individually described, and a sample calculation is presented in the Appendix.
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