From basin-scale exploration to field-scale production: an innovative Forward stratigraphic Modelling approach coupled with response surface methodology
Nicolas Hawie , Jacob Covault , Emerson Marfisi
This paper was prepared for talk at International Meeting of Sedimentology 2017 held in Toulouse, France, 10 - 12 October 2017.
 University of Texas Austin
With the huge amount of multi-disciplinary and multi-scale datasets gathered along the past years by the Oil and Gas community, geoscientists face many challenges while trying to solve complex problems related to the E&P chain. Three of the main ones are (1) the integration of such important amounts of data, (2) difficulties in managing scaling while moving from large basin scale exploration to restricted field scale production and finally (3) ways of de-risking the petroleum systems elements through innovative approaches in order to localize leads, characterize reservoirs and later enhance production. In this communication we explore the forward stratigraphic modelling advances used to integrate wide multi-disciplinary and multi-scale datasets along source to sink profiles.
DionisosFlow forward stratigraphic model is a deterministic process based tool that allows reproducing the interaction between subsidence, eustatic variations and the sediment routing systems that represent the integrated behavior of “source to sink” geomorphologic processes comprising sediment erosion, transport and deposition from catchment areas towards the shelf, slope and basin floor. The use of geomorphological, geological and geophysical multi-scale constraints in Forward Stratigraphic Models has shed light on the various interactions between the local, regional and global scale driving mechanisms (e.g. tectonic versus thermal subsidence rates, accommodation, climate evolution, drainage systems activation, eustatic variations amongst others) that influence sediment transport and deposition along evolving landscapes.
The need for more efficient and faster ways of assessing the sensitivity of stratigraphic models with regards to all these driving mechanisms lead to the development of an integrated workflow applicable at basin and reservoir scale. The coupling of DionisosFlow with CougarFlow offshore Novascotia, the Gulf of Mexico and Trinidad allowed the generation of automated multi-realizations using a Latin-hypercube experimental design to measure the impact of varying uncertain environmental parameters on the reference-case geological model. The use of response surface methodologies permits a more robust sensitivity analysis assessment of environmental parameters on sediment texture/facies and thicknesses.
The coupling of multi-scale stratigraphic models with response surface methodolologies and multi-realization opens new opportunities to predict the lateral and vertical extent of sedimentary facies and thus de-risk petroleum systems elements of various geological systems at a global scale from an exploration to production perspective.