(19)
(11)EP 2 912 582 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
01.03.2023 Bulletin 2023/09

(21)Application number: 12890033.9

(22)Date of filing:  13.12.2012
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
E21B 43/00(2006.01)
G01V 99/00(2009.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
E21B 43/00; E21B 2200/20; G01V 99/005
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2012/069559
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/092713 (19.06.2014 Gazette  2014/25)

(54)

SYSTEM, METHOD AND COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR EVALUATING AND RANKING GEOBODIES USING A EULER CHARACTERISTIC

SYSTEM, VERFAHREN UND COMPUTERPROGRAMMPRODUKT ZUR BEWERTUNG UND SORTIERUNG VON GEOMETRISCHEN KÖRPERN UNTER VERWENDUNG EINER EULER-CHARAKTERISTIK

SYSTÈME, PROCÉDÉ ET PRODUIT DE PROGRAMME INFORMATIQUE PERMETTANT D'ÉVALUER ET DE CLASSER DES CORPS GÉOLOGIQUES À L'AIDE D'UNE CARACTÉRISTIQUE D'EULER


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
02.09.2015 Bulletin 2015/36

(73)Proprietor: Landmark Graphics Corporation
Houston, Texas 77042 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • RAMSAY, Travis St. George
    Hockley, Texas 77447 (US)
  • YARUS, Jeffrey Marc
    Houston, Texas 77096 (US)

(74)Representative: Jennings, Michael John et al
AA Thornton IP LLP Octagon Point 5 Cheapside
London EC2V 6AA
London EC2V 6AA (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 113 796
US-A1- 2010 149 917
US-A1- 2012 150 501
US-A1- 2010 149 917
US-A1- 2010 274 543
  
  • PHILIPPE RENARD ET AL: "Connectivity metrics for subsurface flow and transport", ADVANCES IN WATER RESOURCES, vol. 51, 13 December 2011 (2011-12-13), pages 168-196, XP055258668, GB ISSN: 0309-1708, DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2011.12.001
  • RENARD ET AL.: 'Connectivity metrics for subsurface flow and transport' vol. 51, 01 January 2013, pages 168 - 196, XP055258668 DOI: 10.1016/J.ADVWATRES.2011.12.001 Retrieved from the Internet: <URL:http://members.unine.ch/philippe.renar d/articles/renard2012.pdf> [retrieved on 2013-01-29]
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

FIELD OF THE INVENTION



[0001] The present invention relates generally to hydrocarbon reservoir modeling and, more specifically, to a system which utilizes a modified Euler Characteristic to evaluate and rank the connectivity of cell volumes within a reservoir model in order to identify those portions of the modeled reservoir that are economically viable.

BACKGROUND



[0002] The economic viability of a conventional reservoir is determined by the abundance and spatial distribution of porosity, as well as permeability. Unconventional reservoirs, on the other hand, typically have poorer porosity and permeability as compared to conventional reservoirs. Such unconventional reservoirs comprise, for example, shale or tight gas sand, or may even possess highly permeable rock types, yet have an egregiously viscous hydrocarbon component that must be mined or aggressively heated to induce flow (i.e., viscosity reduction). In addition, both conventional and unconventional reservoirs are contained by seals (cap rock) of even further diminished petrophysical property.

[0003] Philippe Renard et al. (2013) "Connectivity metrics for subsurface flow and transport." Advances in Water Resources 51: pages 168-196, (1 January 2013) relates to a discussion of connectivity on flow and transport, and a detailed review of connectivity metrics and their use in groundwater hydrology. In this article, the value of the Euler Characteristic does not dependent on any further values, such as the values of the user-defined filters.

[0004] US 2010/149917 relates to a method of transforming geologic data relating to a subsurface region between a geophysical depth domain and a geologic age domain. In this document an age mapping and a depth mapping volume is generated., which are used to transform geophysical, geologic, or engineering data or interpretations between the depth domain and the age domain and vice versa.

[0005] In view of the foregoing, there is a need in the art for a methodology to distinguish between cells coincident with the interpretation of economic and non-economic reservoir properties. In order to ascertain viable connected reservoir cells over a range of petrophysical properties, user discretion of net reservoir constituents is necessary, which requires well log interpretation and rock physics-based property derivation. Accordingly, the present invention meets these and other needs as described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0006] 

FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram of a geobody evaluation system according to certain exemplary embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2A illustrates a method for ranking a plurality of geobodies according to certain exemplary methodologies of the present invention;

FIG. 2B is an exemplary cell contained within a geological grid of a reservoir model, for illustration purposes;

FIG. 2C is a series of stacked cells contained within a geological grid of a reservoir model, for illustration purposes;

FIG. 2D is an illustration of exemplary geometric cell connections, for illustration purposes;

FIG. 2E illustrates a connected subset pore scale (micro-meters) volume derived from segmentation of Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope images, for illustration purposes; and

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary method for producing geobodies according to prescribed filtering criteria and then subsequently ranked using certain exemplary methodologies of the present invention.


DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS



[0007] Illustrative embodiments and related methodologies of the present invention are described below as they might be employed in a system utilizing a Euler Characteristic to evaluate and rank geobody connectivity. In the interest of clarity, not all features of an actual implementation or methodology are described in this specification. It will of course be appreciated that in the development of any such actual embodiment, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, which will vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure. Further aspects and advantages of the various embodiments and related methodologies of the invention will become apparent from consideration of the following description and drawings.

[0008] As will be described below, exemplary embodiments of the present invention address geocellular connectivity in order to distinguish between the flowing and non-flowing conduits existing in saturated subsurface porous media. Flowing conduits consist of porosity and permeability within a range that, for given fluid properties, permit the transport of those fluids. Non-flowing conduits, as a corollary, act as barriers/inhibitors to fluid flow in the rock matrix, although it may possess trapped/immobile hydrocarbons. In this regard, exemplary embodiments of the present invention quantify the static connectivity for a specific petrophysical earth model having grid volumes of porosity and permeability, and use the Euler Characteristic as a ranking tool for connected geocellular bodies of multiple stochastic realizations. In addition, an inverse cumulative distribution function ("ICDF") may be utilized to interpret probabilities of occurrence.

[0009] In other words, the present invention topologically assesses the appropriateness of specific static model advancement to dynamic simulation. A modified Euler Characteristic is utilized to enhance the topological assessment by numerical quantifying the connectivity of cells within a static reservoir model over a range of porosity and permeability values. Based on this quantification, the connectedness of disparate earth modeling petrophysical realizations, or geobodies, may be ranked. Thereafter, static determination of optimally connected geobodies is allowed, whereby the resulting geobodies are subjected to fluid flow simulation for further analysis as desired. These and other advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.

[0010] FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of a geobody evaluation system 100 according to certain exemplary embodiments of the present invention. As will be described herein, geobody evaluation system 100 utilizes a connectivity algorithm to generate one or more geobodies (i.e., connected cell volumes) located within an earth model based upon one or more filters relating to rock physics or mechanical rock properties, minimum cell connectivity count, and cell connection geometry. A directional component to the definition of connectivity may be determined between defined pairs of wells (i.e., user-selected injection and production wells, for example), arbitrary geographic direction or orientation with an identified subsurface trend. Once the geobodies have been generated, a Euler Characteristic is utilized to numerically quantify the connectivity of each geobody, and assign a ranking to each geobody accordingly. A dilation and erosion technique may also be utilized to grow or shrink the geobodies, thus further refining the analysis to define not only the size, shape, and orientation, but also internal arrangement and composition. Ultimately, the determined geobodies are presented to a dynamic simulator to model a variety of reservoir operations.

[0011] To specify further, exemplary embodiments of the present invention utilize cell connectivity to distinguish net flow permitting pore space from isolated/occluded pore space. The reservoir, or bulk medium, is categorized as containing static conduits of flow and barriers to flow, each being distinguishable by a magnitude of porosity/permeability. Some pore spaces are effectively connected between each other, thus constituting a flow region whereby single and/or multiphase flow is permitted. Barriers may also be interconnected, potentially rendering total obfuscation of a floodable pore space. As such, geobody evaluation system 100 utilizes a connectivity algorithm as described herein to analyze connected cells possessing petrophysical properties in order to assess the net reservoir volume, thus producing one or more reservoir regions of connected bodies, or geobodies, in the context of a porosity or permeability range. Geobody evaluation system 100 then utilizes a modified Euler Characteristic to evaluate and numerically rank those geobodies based upon their cell connectivity, thus identifying a range of geological realizations that include, for example, optimistic, intermediate, and pessimistic geobodies. Accordingly, those geobodies may then be realized in an earth model to simulate various downhole operations.

[0012] Referring to FIG. 1, exemplary geobody evaluation system 100 includes at least one processor 102, a non-transitory, computer-readable storage 104, transceiver/network communication module 105, optional I/O devices 106, and an optional display 108 (e.g., user interface), all interconnected via a system bus 109. Software instructions executable by the processor 102 for implementing software instructions stored within geobody evaluation engine 110 in accordance with the exemplary embodiments described herein, may be stored in storage 104 or some other computer-readable medium. Although not explicitly shown in FIG. 1, it will be recognized that geobody evaluation system 100 may be connected to one or more public and/or private networks via one or more appropriate network connections. It will also be recognized that the software instructions comprising geobody evaluation engine 110 may also be loaded into storage 104 from a CD-ROM or other appropriate storage media via wired or wireless methods.

[0013] Moreover, those ordinarily skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention may be practiced with a variety of computer-system configurations, including hand-held devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based or programmable-consumer electronics, minicomputers, mainframe computers, and the like. Any number of computer-systems and computer networks are acceptable for use with the present invention. The invention may be practiced in distributed-computing environments where tasks are performed by remote-processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed-computing environment, program modules may be located in both local and remote computer-storage media including memory storage devices. The present invention may therefore, be implemented in connection with various hardware, software or a combination thereof in a computer system or other processing system.

[0014] Still referring to FIG. 1, in certain exemplary embodiments, geobody evaluation engine 110 comprises database module 112 and earth modeling module 114. Database module 112 provides robust data retrieval and integration of historical and real-time reservoir related data that spans across all aspects of the well planning, construction and completion processes such as, for example, drilling, cementing, wireline logging, well testing and stimulation. Moreover, such data may include, for example, logging data, well trajectories, petrophysical rock property data, mechanical rock property data, surface data, fault data, data from surrounding wells, data inferred from geostatistics, etc. The database (not shown) which stores this information may reside within database module 112 or at a remote location. An exemplary database platform is, for example, the INSITE® software suite, commercially offered through Halliburton Energy Services Inc. of Houston Texas. Those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure realize there are a variety of software platforms and associated systems to retrieve, store and integrate the well related data, as described herein.

[0015] Still referring to the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1, geobody evaluation engine 110 also includes earth modeling module 114 to integrate with the data contained within database module 112 in order to provide subsurface stratigraphic visualization including, for example, geo science interpretation, petroleum system modeling, geochemical analysis, stratigraphic gridding, facies, net cell volume, and petrophysical property modeling. In addition, earth modeling module 114 models well paths, as well as cross-sectional through the facies and porosity data. Exemplary earth modeling platforms include DecisionSpace®, which is commercially available through the Assignee of the present invention, Landmark Graphics Corporation of Houston, Texas. However, those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure realize a variety of other earth modeling platforms may also be utilized with the present invention.

[0016] Moreover, geobody evaluation engine 110 may also include multi-domain workflow automation capabilities that may connect any variety of desired technical applications. As such, the output from one application, or module, may become the input for another, thus providing the capability to analyze how various changes impact the well placement and/or fracture design. Those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure realize there are a variety of workflow platforms which may be utilized for this purpose.

[0017] Referring to FIGS. 2A-2E, exemplary methodologies of the present invention will now be described. At block 202, processor 102, via geobody evaluation engine 110 detects entry of one or more filters defined using a characteristic of a desired geobody. Such geobody characteristics may be, for example, related to petrophysical, mechanical, geometric, or volumetric properties. The filters may be entered, or defined, via a user interface (display 108 and I/O device 106, for example), as understood in the art. In an exemplary embodiment, the filters may define (1) a numerical range of porosity values that cells within the reservoir grid must meet to be eligible to form part of a geobody, (2) a numerical range of permeability values cells must meet in order to be eligible to form part of the geobody, (3) a minimum number or total pore volume of connected cells that a geobody must have, and (4) a required cell connection geometry for the geobodies.

[0018] Regarding exemplary filters (1) and (2), geobody evaluation system 100 utilizes the specification of respective porosity and permeability ranges for the interrogation of cell connectivity in an earth model in order to identify and isolate those geobodies having reservoir properties that are to be exploited. Exemplary porosity/permeability ranges may include, for example, porosity in the range of 0.25 pore units (or 25% ) to 0.35 pore units (or 35%), or permeability in range of 200 mD (milli-Darcy) to 1.5 D (Darcy), as will be readily understood by those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure. In other exemplary embodiments, geobody evaluation system 100 may also utilize specifications of other properties to determine connectivity, such as, for example, facies, TOC, brittleness, Poisson's ratio, or any individual or combination of indicator or continuous variable (e.g., mechanical, petrophysical, or lithotype), as would be understood by those same skilled persons.

[0019] As reflected in filter (3), another exemplary specification is that of the minimum connected cell count or total pore volume necessary to constitute a geobody. As previously described, as a result of the porosity/permeability filter, isolated sets of range inclusive geobodies may be created. In such embodiments, if those geobodies are separated by an impermeable barrier (remaining truly isolated), they would not contribute to fluid flow (or oil and gas production). In addition, such geobodies are likely to be very trivial in fluid volume. To remedy such erroneous creation of isolated reservoir geobodies, certain exemplary embodiments of geobody evaluation system 100 utilize a minimal connected cell count or total pore volume constraint as a filter to exclude small-isolated geobodies from the selection process and, thus, prevent them from hindering proper assessment of grid connectivity. For example, a 100 cell threshold may be utilized as the filter and, in such case, those connected cell volumes having less than 100 cells are discarded. In another example, a volume of 8.2 × 106 m3 (cubic meters) may be used as the geobody filter, in such case, those connected cells with total pore volume having less than 8.2 × 106 m3 are discarded. Accordingly, through entry of this filter, geobody evaluation system 100 analyzes the reservoir grid to determine those geobodies comprised of cells in the amount of the minimum connected cell constraint, by count or total pore volume. In those embodiments wherein the porosity/permeability filter is also entered, cells recognized by processor 102 as possessing porosity/permeability within the given range yet lacking sufficient cell connectivity as per the minimum cell constraint are considered non-net reservoir (i.e., will not be selected as geobodies).

[0020] Still referring to block 202, using a fourth exemplary filter, the connected cells may be defined in terms of their geometry. As understood in the art, conjoined cells in a reservoir model grid may be connected by vertices, edges and faces. The geometric grid is typically stacked in rectilinear/structured sets -i.e. in Cartesian or pseudo-Cartesian space, accounting for stratigraphy and displacement attributed to faulting. To illustrate this feature, FIG. 2B illustrates an exemplary cell 220 being comprised of six faces 222, twelve edges 224 and eight vertices 226 (or corner-point connections). The stacked cell connectivity to be utilized by geobody evaluation engine 110 is then determined by defining how or if adjacent faces 222, edges 224 and vertices 226 are connected to one another in the entire volume or specified three-dimensional zone of interest. For example, the defined filter may require that only edges and vertices be connected, thus those cells not so connected are discarded. However, in other embodiments, one or more geometrical connectivity filters may be utilized alone or in combination. The function and operation of such geometric connectivity algorithms will be understood by those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure. Once the cell geometry has been defined, processor 102 utilizes earth modeling module 114 to traverse the reservoir grid by incrementing along the X axis, then incrementing along the Y axis and then by incrementing along the Z axis cell by cell, establishing whether the necessary cell connections exist, as will be understood by those persons ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.

[0021] Therefore, subsurface cell connections may be manifested as face-to-face, edge-to-edge and vertex-to-vertex. To illustrate this feature, FIG. 2C demonstrates stacked cells 220 and their interconnectedness that would be assessed for a central cell (i,j,k) within a reservoir grid, as described in Deutsch, C.; Fortran Programs for Calculating Connectivity of Three-Dimensional Numerical Models and for Ranking Multiple Realizations; Computers & Geosciences, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 69-76, 1998). In certain examples of geobody evaluation system 100, connectivity may be determined from any permutation or exclusive implementation of face, edge or vertex based connectivity between cells 220 within a given volume of the reservoir grid. FIG. 2D illustrates three exemplary respective geometric connectivity methods for cells 220, A showing face-to-face, B showing edge-to-edge, and C showing vertices-to-vertices, as described in Zhang, M., Yonigjia, H., Ye, G., Lange, D. and van Breugel, K.; Computational investigation on mass diffusivity in Portland cement paste based on X-ray computed microtomography (µCT) image; Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 27, Issue 1, pp. 472-481, 2012). The connectivity algorithm and connection configurations utilized by processor 102 to achieve this functionality may be, for example, those as described in Deutsch, C.; Fortran Programs for Calculating Connectivity of Three-Dimensional Numerical Models and for Ranking Multiple Realizations; Computers & Geosciences, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 69-76, 1998. However, those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure realize there are a variety of other connectivity methodologies which may be utilized with the present invention.

[0022] Still referring to block 202 of FIG. 2A, once entry of one or more of the filters described herein are detected by geobody evaluation system 100, geobody evaluation engine 110 generates one or more first generation geobodies based upon the defined filters. To do so, geobody evaluation system 100 assigns a new index (a unique numerical value) to those cells comprising the characteristic properties expressed by the user (i.e., filters). After the index is assigned to the qualifying cells, geobody evaluation engine 110 makes each cell part of a connected net reservoir group (or, geobody). In those instances where two disparately indexed geobody groups are determined to be connected, geobody evaluation engine 110 re-indexes geobody groups to become a part of the same geobody numerical index. The end result is a collection of geobodies and remaining non-net reservoir cells. FIG. 2E illustrates an exemplary connected pore volume index for a membrane at micrometer scale (obtained through microCT segmentation, for example), with the non-connected field being omitted from the display, as described in Pölt, P.; In situ experiments in the ESEM (Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope); Austrian Centre for Election Microscopy and Nanoanalysis, Retrieved June 5, 2012). For a thoroughly homogeneous structure, it is expected that a solitary geobody would exist for the given earth model. However, earth models characterized by more heterogeneity are expected to contain multiple collections of potential net reservoir, as will be understood by those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.

[0023] At block 206, geobody evaluation engine 110 then calculates a connectivity score for each of the first generation geobodies. In one exemplary embodiment, a Euler Characteristic is utilized to assign a numerical quantification to each geobody correlating to a rock physics or mechanical rock property. As will be understood by those ordinarily skilled persons having the benefit of this disclosure, a Euler Characteristic is a non-dimensional number that may be negative or positive. It is defined as:

, where, in the classical terms of a well-defined porous medium G, V is defined as the number of connected components of G (pores), E is the number of tunnels in G (number of redundant connections within the pore space), and F is the number of enclosed cavities (occluded pore space), as described in Vogel, H. J.; Topological Characterization of Porous Media; in K.R. Mecke, D. Stoyan (Eds.), LNP 600, pp.75-92, 2002. Conventional application of Euler Characteristic takes place in binary porous media systems or pore network models, which are systems defined as either pore (with established pore throat connections) or solid, uncommon to that present in reservoir simulations whereby a given pore space may be intermediate in its porosity, thus not truly qualifying as a pore or solid, but somewhere possessing varying degrees of solid and void space.

[0024] Accordingly, to remedy this shortcoming of conventional approaches, certain exemplary embodiments of the present invention as described herein produces a quasi-binary reservoir system that is comprised of connected and non-connected pore spaces defined by petrophysical data cutoffs (filters, as previously described). To achieve this quasi-binary system, one or more exemplary embodiments of the present invention utilize a modified Euler Characteristic. To describe the modified Euler Characteristic, again note that the geobodies defined by the applied static connectivity filters (block 202) act as the connected pore space in the Euler equation. Thus, V is now expressed as:

, with ϕ defined as the porosity, K defined as the permeability, g and f are real porosity and permeability value ranges defined by the user in the static connectivity filter for the static grid S. The minimum count and total pore volume of connected cells defined in the filter is expressed as:

and

, where G is the static model, i is an individual cell in G and v(i) is the total pore volume of an individual cell in G. The cell connection constraint is governed by, for example, 6, 8, 12, 14, 18, 20 or 26 point geometrical cell connections established by permutations of face, edge and vertex connectivity in the volume. Geobody evaluation engine 110 assesses the redundant connections during the static connectivity process (block 204). Geobody evaluation engine 110 considers connections to be redundant when least one dependent connection exists that allows fluid entry and exit from a cell (i.e. mass is conserved and non-dependent connections are redundant). An abundance of redundant connections is therefore interpreted as healthy connectedness of the volume.

[0025] The final term in the Euler Characteristic (Eq. (1)) is the occluded non-solid reservoir space, represented as an F, which is the portion of porosity omitted by the petrophysical constraint of the static connectivity filter. The cell(s) found to be isolated are then included in the assessment of reservoir connectivity. However, in an alternative embodiment, the isolated cell(s) may also be treated as a solid rock matrix (i.e. omitted per the defined filter, thus indicating it does not participate in flow) - which is dependent on the defining capillary pressure and relative permeability that may be assigned to the cells during dynamic flow simulation in a numerical reservoir simulator.

[0026] Still referring to block 206 of FIG. 2A, utilizing the modified Euler Characteristic as defined above, geobody evaluation engine 110 calculates and assigns a numerical quantification indicating the connectivity for each geobody ("connectivity score"). In an example, largely connected geobodies are attributed with a more negative Euler Characteristic, while the opposite exists for less connected geobodies. For example, a largely connected geobody may be assigned a connectivity score of -2500, an intermediate connected geobody assigned a connectivity score of -0.45, and a poorly connected geobody assigned a connectivity score of 2500, depending on the volume of the initial reservoir grid and the determined geobodies, respectively.

[0027] As will be understood by those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure, when the modified Euler Characteristic is normalized by volume it yields the Euler Number -i.e. a numerically quantified connectivity without the effect of the volume. In such embodiments, the connected portions of porosity constitute the flow region while the solid matrix, or zones possessing an excessively high entry pressure, act as barriers to flow and thus connectivity. The same is analogous to porosity and permeability cutoffs in the reservoir which delineate the flow region of the reservoir. Thus, this feature of the present invention accounts for the understanding that, while petrophysical property realizations may be equiprobable in their gross spatial distribution of porosity and permeability, the actual flow region(s) constituted by rock type spatial distribution/placement and inter-connection should be analyzed in isolation with respect to a solitary grid.

[0028] Therefore, by quantifying static connectivity, it is possible to rank petrophysical property realizations in terms of that connectivity, which is described by porosity and permeability cutoffs in the net reservoir. Accordingly, at block 208, geobody evaluation engine 110 ranks the first generation geobodies in relation to one another based on their connectivity scores. The ranked geobodies may then be output at block 210 and/or presented to a dynamic simulator for modeling of a variety of reservoir applications such as, for example, as a target for well planning or well drilling. Geobody evaluation system 100 may output the geobodies in a variety of forms such as, for example, positioning each geobody within a 3D earth model or textual description.

[0029] In an alternative methodology, geobody evaluation system 100 may also utilize the ranked geobodies to determine the probability of locating a third geobody that is similar to one or more of the ranked geobodies. Here, for example, geobody evaluation engine 110 may utilize an ICDF to determine P10, P50 and P90 probabilistic realizations. It should be noted that the most likely realization defined by static connectivity may differ from that based on static volumetric calculations. Due to the petrophysical property realizations being equi-probable, large variations of in-place fluids are not expected in most examples. This leads to minor variations in the computed in-place fluids. In such exemplary methodologies, the modified Euler Characteristic is utilized to measure the effect of petrophysical property spatial distribution between specific wells and throughout the entire reservoir model, which varies more widely from realization to realization. Thus, through use of the present invention, the modified Euler Characteristic may be used in conjunction with traditional static volumetric ranking methods to further rank multiple stochastic realizations generated from traditional earth modeling processes.

[0030] FIG. 3 is flow chart illustrating yet another exemplary methodology perform using one or more embodiments of the present invention. Methodology 300 begins at block 208 of the methodology described in relation to FIG. 2A above. After ranking of the one or more first generation geobodies, geobody evaluation engine 110 prompts a user via the interface to enter one or more refined filters at block 302. The refined filters (as described previously) may loosen or restrict the connectivity requirements necessary for cells to form geobodies. In the alternative, however, geobody evaluation engine 110 may utilize an iterative loop to continuously monitor the system for entry of refined filters. In either embodiment, geobody evaluation engine 110 utilizes a dilation/erosion technique to refine any of the rock property, the minimum cell constraint and/or topology. Here, dilation/erosion would be used to determine potential agglomeration (e.g., expansion or shrinkage) of disparate geobodies through connectivity via cells lacking the pass criterion of the petrophysical filters. Thus, the present invention takes into account the assumption that, for spatially distinct geobodies, the uniqueness of distinct geobodies may be entirely trivial if the amount of cells separating them is very low (topological consideration) or if flow is expected to occur in the particular system due to effects of capillarity (dynamic consideration).

[0031] Upon specifying a refined petrophysical filter, geobody evaluation engine 110 uses the dilation/erosion technique to determine if cell volumes adjacent the geobodies are actually conjoined solitary volumes with petrophysical heterogeneity. As a result, the geobodies may be expanded or shrunk. To achieve this functionality, a volume of examination criterion, possessing dimensions defined by height, width and length, would be specified by a user of the system. Geobody evaluation engine 110 would then utilize the examination volume to search adjacent, but non-connected geobody(ies) or cells, residing proximal to a given geobody within the reservoir grid. Should a connection be established through the volume of examination, the geobody evaluation engine 110 determines that the respective geobodies are conjoined as a solitary geobody. Thereafter, at block 304, geobody evaluation engine 110 proceeds with the erosion process to reconfigure/re-index those geobodies determined to be connected as a solitary unique geobody (i.e. aggregating the net reservoir volume, and subsequently deleting the volume of examination), also referred to as the creation of second generation geobodies. Those ordinarily skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure will realize there are a variety of dilation/erosion techniques which may be employed herein.

[0032] At block 306, geobody evaluation engine 110 then re-analyzes the one or more second generation geobodies to determine if they still meet the requirements defined by the filters entered at block 202. However, in the alternative, geobody evaluation engine 110 may also utilize an iterative loop to continuously monitor the system for input of refined filter parameters. In such alternative embodiments, geobody evaluation engine 110 would determine if the second generation geobodies meet the definition of the newly inputted filters. Nevertheless, if at block 306 it is determined that one or more of the geobodies do not meet the filter criteria, the algorithm loops back to step 202. However, for those geobodies that do meet the filter criteria, the algorithm goes on to block 308 wherein the geobodies are output as previously described.

[0033] In one or more alternate examples of the present invention, geobody evaluation engine 110 may also evaluate and determine the inlet to outlet static connections between an injector/producer well pair that is connected through determined geobodies. Enforcing inlet/outlet conditions provide a process by which connectivity can be assessed with the a priori assumption of potential communication between wells. Such examples would permit the determination of dependent connectivity from a source to a sink, much like a streamline. Independent connectivity would remain as defined previously by the filtered petrophysical, volumetric and geometrical components. However, in this alternative example, the injector well would act as a start point and the producer as the end point. Geobody evaluation engine 110 would then initiate the previously described connectivity algorithms from the injection well, as opposed to simply following the increasing X, Y and Z coordinates in the grid. In addition, such an example would allow for the combined analysis of interpreted well test permeability and earth modeled interpreted flow regions based primarily on petrophysical analysis.

[0034] The foregoing methods and systems described herein are particularly useful in planning, altering and/or drilling wellbores. As described, the system utilizes a connectivity algorithm to generate geobodies within a static reservoir simulation based upon one or more defined filters. Those geobodies are then assigned a range of porosity and permeability related numerical scores and ranked using a modified Euler Characteristic. Accordingly, based upon the ranked geobodies output by the system, a wellbore location may be planned using a ranked geobody as the target, an existing wellbore may be deviated in real-time and/or further operations may be altered. In addition, well equipment may be identified and prepared based upon the well placement or stimulation plan, and the wellbore is drilled, stimulated, altered and/or completed in accordance to the well placement or stimulation plan.

[0035] The present invention provides a variety of advantages. First, time and money may be saved by gaining an understanding of reservoir flow regions earlier, through their petrophysical properties, and in conjunction with dynamic property modeling. Second, static models may be refined based upon determined communication between wells and sector/regional fluid displacement exclusively using static properties. Third, the static earth model may be adjusted to be consistent with production data. Fourth, fine tuning of the static model is encouraged before flow simulation, thus reducing the necessity to introduce porosity/permeability modifiers in the model during history match. Fifth, effective permeability may potentially be computed using flow simulation or the Kozeny-Carman equation as an estimation, and then comparing the results to formation permeability and fluid storage capacity. Sixth, history matching is more accurate, thus honoring geostatistics and production data. Lastly, connectivity quantification and ranking of earth models is provided.

[0036] An exemplary methodology of the present invention provides a computer-implemented method to evaluate a geobody, the method comprising detecting entry of one or more filters defined using one or more characteristics of a desired geobody; generating a plurality of first generation geobodies based upon at least one of the filters; calculating a connectivity score for each first generation geobody using a Euler Characteristic; and ranking the first generation geobodies in relation to one another based on their connectivity scores. In another exemplary method, the connectivity score calculated using the Euler Characteristic indicates numerical ranges of rock physics or mechanical rock properties. Yet another method further comprises determining an inlet to outlet connection between an injector/producer well pair that is connected through the first generation geobodies. In another method, the filters comprise at least one of a range of porosity for a cell forming part of the first generation geobodies; a range of permeability for a cell forming part of the first generation geobodies; a minimum number of connected cells for the first generation geobodies; or a cell connection geometry for the first generation geobodies.

[0037] Another exemplary method further comprises utilizing the first generation geobodies to determine a probability of locating a third geobody that is similar to one or more first generation geobodies. In another, the method further comprises detecting entry of one or more refined filters; and generating at least one second generation geobody based upon the refined filters. In another, generating the second generation geobody further comprises generating a first volume of cells based upon the refined filters; and performing a dilation/erosion technique to determine if the first volume of cells should be expanded or shrunk; and generating a second volume of cells based upon the determination of whether the cells should be expanded or shrunk, wherein the second volume of cells is the second generation geobody. In yet another, the first or second generation geobodies are utilized as a target for a wellbore drilling operation.

[0038] An alternative exemplary methodology of the present invention provides a computer-implemented method to evaluate a geobody, the method comprising detecting entry of a filter defined using a characteristic of a desired geobody; generating a first generation geobody based upon the filter; and calculating a connectivity score for the first generation geobody using a Euler Characteristic. In another, generating the first generation geobody further comprises generating a plurality of first generation geobodies, the method further comprising ranking the plurality of first generation geobodies in relation to one another based on their connectivity scores. In another, the connectivity score calculated using the Euler Characteristic comprises numerical ranges of rock physics or mechanical rock properties. Yet another method further comprises determining an inlet to outlet connection between an injector/producer well pair that is connected through a plurality of generation geobodies. Another method further comprises detecting entry of a refined filter and generating a second generation geobody based upon the refined filter. In yet another, the first or second generation geobody is utilized as a target for a wellbore drilling operation.

[0039] Furthermore, the exemplary methodologies described herein may be implemented by a system comprising processing circuitry or a computer program product comprising instructions which, when executed by at least one processor, causes the processor to perform any of the methodology described herein.


Claims

1. A computer-implemented method to evaluate the characteristics of a geobody in a hydrocarbon reservoir model, the method comprising:

detecting (202), via a geobody evaluation engine, entry of one or more model filters defined using one or more characteristics of a desired geobody, wherein the one or more model filters relate to rock physics or mechanical rock properties, minimum cell connectivity count, and cell connection geometry;

generating (204) a plurality of first generation geobodies based upon at least one of the filters;

calculating (206) a connectivity score for each first generation geobody using a modified Euler Characteristic, wherein the modified Euler characteristic expresses a number of connected components of a well-defined porous medium based on the detected one or more model filters;

ranking (208) the first generation geobodies in relation to one another based on their connectivity scores, wherein the value of the modified Euler Characteristic for each first generation geobody is dependent on at least one of the one or more filters; and

determining optimally connected geobodies based on the ranked first generation geobodies, wherein the optimal connection permits the transport of fluids within conduits existing in saturated subsurface porous media;

realizing the optimally connected geobodies in an earth model to simulate downhole operations.


 
2. A computer-implemented method as defined in claim 1, wherein the connectivity score calculated using the modified Euler Characteristic comprises numerical ranges of rock physics or mechanical rock properties.
 
3. A computer-implemented method as defined in claim 1, further comprising determining an inlet to outlet connection between an injector/producer well pair that is connected through a plurality of generation geobodies.
 
4. A computer-implemented method as defined in claim 1, further comprising:

detecting entry of a refined filter; and

generating a second generation geobody based upon the refined filter.


 
5. A computer-implemented method as defined in claim 4, wherein the first or second generation geobody is utilized as a target for a wellbore drilling operation.
 
6. A computer-implemented method as defined in claim 1, wherein the model filters comprise at least one of

a range of porosity for a cell forming part of the first generation geobodies;

a range of permeability for a cell forming part of the first generation geobodies;

a minimum count or total pore volume of connected cells for the first generation geobodies; or

a cell connection geometry for the first generation geobodies.


 
7. A computer-implemented method as defined in claim 1, further comprising:

detecting entry of one or more refined filters; and

generating at least one second generation geobody based upon the refined filters.


 
8. A computer-implemented method as defined in claim 7, wherein generating the second generation geobody further comprises:

generating a first volume of cells based upon the refined filters;

performing a dilation/erosion technique to determine if the first volume of cells should be expanded or shrunk; and

generating a second volume of cells based upon the determination of whether the cells should be expanded or shrunk, wherein the second volume of cells is the second generation geobody.


 
9. A computer-implemented method as defined in claim 7, wherein the first or second generation geobodies are utilized as a target for a wellbore drilling operation.
 
10. A computer-implemented method as defined in any preceding claim, wherein the computer outputs a set of ranked geobodies, the method further comprising:
deviating an existing wellbore in real-time based on the outputted ranked geobodies.
 
11. A system comprising processing circuitry to implement any of the methods in claims 1-10.
 
12. A computer program product comprising instructions which, when executed by at least one processor, causes the processor to perform any of the methods in claims 1-10.
 


Ansprüche

1. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren zum Bewerten der Eigenschaften eines Geokörpers in einem Kohlenwasserstofflagerstättenmodell, wobei das Verfahren Folgendes umfasst:

Erfassen (202) der Eingabe eines oder mehrerer Modellfilter, die unter Verwendung einer oder mehrerer Eigenschaften eines gewünschten Geokörpers definiert sind, über eine Geokörper-Evaluierungsmaschine, wobei sich der eine oder die mehreren Modellfilter auf Gesteinsphysik oder mechanische Gesteinseigenschaften, minimale Zellenkonnektivitätszahl und Zellenverbindungsgeometrie beziehen;

Erzeugen (204) einer Vielzahl von Geokörpern der ersten Generation basierend auf mindestens einem der Filter;

Berechnen (206) eines Konnektivitätswerts für jeden Geokörper der ersten Generation unter Verwendung einer modifizierten Euler-Charakteristik, wobei die modifizierte Euler-Charakteristik eine Anzahl verbundener Komponenten eines gut definierten porösen Mediums auf der Grundlage des einen oder der mehreren erfassten Modellfilter ausdrückt;

Einordnen (208) der Geokörper der ersten Generation in Bezug zueinander basierend auf ihren Konnektivitätswerten, wobei der Wert der modifizierten Euler-Charakteristik für jeden Geokörper der ersten Generation von mindestens einem des einen oder der mehreren Filter abhängt; und

Bestimmen optimal verbundener Geokörper basierend auf den eingeordneten Geokörpern der ersten Generation, wobei die optimale Verbindung den Transport von Fluiden innerhalb von Leitungen erlaubt, die in gesättigten porösen Medien unter der Oberfläche vorhanden sind;

Realisieren der optimal verbundenen Geokörper in einem Erdmodell zur Simulation des Bohrlochbetriebs.


 
2. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der unter Verwendung der modifizierten Euler-Charakteristik berechnete Konnektivitätswert numerische Bereiche von Gesteinsphysik oder mechanischen Gesteinseigenschaften umfasst.
 
3. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend das Bestimmen einer Einlass-zu-Auslass-Verbindung zwischen einem Injektor/Erzeuger-Bohrloch-Paar, das durch eine Vielzahl von Generations-Geokörpern verbunden ist.
 
4. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend:

Erfassen des Eintritts eines verfeinerten Filters; und

Erzeugen eines Geokörpers der zweiten Generation basierend auf dem verfeinerten Filter.


 
5. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren nach Anspruch 4, wobei der Geokörper der ersten oder zweiten Generation als Ziel für einen Bohrlochbohrvorgang verwendet wird.
 
6. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Modellfilter mindestens eines von folgenden umfassen:

ein Porositätsbereich für eine Zelle, die einen Teil der Geokörper der ersten Generation bildet;

ein Permeabilitätsbereich für eine Zelle, die Teil der Geokörper der ersten Generation ist;

eine Mindestanzahl oder ein Gesamtporenvolumen verbundener Zellen für die Geokörper der ersten Generation; oder

eine Zellverbindungsgeometrie für die Geokörper der ersten Generation.


 
7. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend:

Erfassen des Eintritts eines oder mehrerer verfeinerter Filter; und

Erzeugen mindestens eines Geokörpers der zweiten Generation basierend auf den verfeinerten Filtern.


 
8. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren nach Anspruch 7, wobei das Erzeugen des Geokörpers der zweiten Generation ferner Folgendes umfasst:

Erzeugen eines ersten Zellvolumens basierend auf den verfeinerten Filtern;

Durchführen einer Dilatations-/Erosionstechnik, um zu bestimmen, ob das erste Zellvolumen expandiert oder geschrumpft werden sollte; und

Erzeugen eines zweiten Zellvolumens basierend auf der Bestimmung, ob die Zellen expandiert oder geschrumpft werden sollten, wobei das zweite Zellvolumen der Geokörper der zweiten Generation ist.


 
9. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren nach Anspruch 7, wobei die Geokörper der ersten oder zweiten Generation als Ziel für einen Bohrlochbohrvorgang verwendet werden.
 
10. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Computer einen Satz von geordneten Geokörpern ausgibt, wobei das Verfahren ferner Folgendes umfasst:
Abweichen eines bestehenden Bohrlochs in Echtzeit basierend auf den ausgegebenen eingeordneten Geokörpern.
 
11. System, umfassend eine Verarbeitungsschaltung zum Implementieren eines der Verfahren in den Ansprüchen 1 bis 10.
 
12. Computerprogrammprodukt, das Anweisungen umfasst, die, wenn sie von mindestens einem Prozessor ausgeführt werden, den Prozessor veranlassen, eines der Verfahren in den Ansprüchen 1 bis 10 auszuführen.
 


Revendications

1. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur pour évaluer les caractéristiques d'un géocorps dans un modèle de réservoir d'hydrocarbures, le procédé comprenant :

la détection (202), via un moteur d'évaluation de géocorps, de l'entrée d'un ou plusieurs filtres modèles définis à l'aide d'une ou plusieurs caractéristiques d'un géocorps souhaité, dans lequel le un ou plusieurs filtres modèles concernent la physique de la roche ou les propriétés mécaniques de la roche, le nombre minimum de connectivité cellulaire, et la géométrie de connexion cellulaire ;

la génération (204) d'une pluralité de géocorps de première génération sur la base d'au moins l'un des filtres ;

le calcul (206) d'un score de connectivité pour chaque géocorps de première génération à l'aide d'une caractéristique d'Euler modifiée, dans lequel la caractéristique d'Euler modifiée exprime un certain nombre de composants connectés d'un milieu poreux bien défini sur la base des un ou plusieurs filtres modèles détectés ;

le classement (208) des géocorps de première génération les uns par rapport aux autres sur la base de leur scores de connectivité, dans lequel la valeur de la caractéristique d'Euler modifiée pour chaque géocorps de première génération dépend d'au moins l'un des un ou plusieurs filtres ; et

la détermination des géocorps connectés de manière optimale sur la base des géocorps de première génération classés, la connexion optimale permet le transport de fluides dans des conduits existant dans des milieux poreux souterrains saturés ;

la réalisation des géocorps connectés de manière optimale dans un modèle terrestre pour simuler les opérations de fond de puits.


 
2. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le score de connectivité calculé à l'aide de la caractéristique d'Euler modifiée comprend des plages numériques de physique de la roche ou de propriétés mécaniques de la roche.
 
3. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre la détermination d'une connexion d'entrée à sortie entre une paire de puits injecteur/producteur qui est connectée par l'intermédiaire d'une pluralité de géocorps de génération.
 
4. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :

la détection de l'entrée d'un filtre affiné ; et

la génération d'un géocorps de seconde génération sur la base du filtre affiné.


 
5. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur selon la revendication 4, dans lequel le géocorps de première ou de seconde génération est utilisé comme cible pour une opération de forage de puits de forage.
 
6. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les filtres modèles comprennent au moins l'un de :

une plage de porosité pour une cellule faisant partie des géocorps de première génération ;

une plage de perméabilité pour une cellule faisant partie des géocorps de première génération ;

un nombre minimum ou volume poreux total de cellules connectées pour les géocorps de première génération ; ou

une géométrie de connexion cellulaire pour les géocorps de première génération.


 
7. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :

la détection de l'entrée des un ou plusieurs filtres affinés ; et

la génération d'au moins un géocorps de seconde génération sur la base des filtres affinés.


 
8. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur selon la revendication 7, dans lequel la génération du géocorps de seconde génération comprend en outre :

la génération d'un premier volume de cellules sur la base des filtres affinés ;

la réalisation d'une technique de dilatation/érosion pour déterminer si le premier volume de cellules doit être dilaté ou rétréci ; et

la génération d'un second volume de cellules sur la base de la détermination du fait que les cellules doivent être dilatées ou rétrécies, dans lequel le second volume de cellules est le géocorps de seconde génération.


 
9. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur selon la revendication 7, dans lequel les géocorps de première ou seconde génération sont utilisés comme cible pour une opération de forage de puits de forage.
 
10. Procédé mis en œuvre par ordinateur selon une quelconque revendication précédente, dans lequel l'ordinateur sort un ensemble de géocorps classés, le procédé comprenant en outre :
la déviation d'un puits de forage existant en temps réel sur la base des géocorps classés sortis.
 
11. Système comprenant des circuits de traitement pour mettre en œuvre l'un quelconque des procédés selon les revendications 1 à 10.
 
12. Produit programme d'ordinateur comprenant des instructions qui, lorsqu'elles sont exécutées par au moins un processeur, amènent le processeur à mettre en œuvre l'un quelconque des procédés selon les revendications 1 à 10.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description