Quantification of Flow Unit and Bounding Element Properties and Geometries, Ferron Sandstone, Utah: Implications for Heterogeneity in Gulf Coast Tertiary Deltaic Reservoirs

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Outcrop exposures are being studied to quantify the internal permeability distribution of fluvial-deltaic sandstones, which results in reservoir compartments bounded by baffles or barriers to gas flow. This information will be used to develop reservoir models that can guide infill drilling to optimize incremental gas reserve growth from sandstone reservoirs. The objectives are being accomplished through integration of (1) outcrop characterization, (2) petrophysical measurements, and (3) pore-level modeling.

Projected long-term benefits of the study are two-fold. First, increased understanding of internal architecture and improved methods for quantification of heterogeneity will facilitate development of strategies to minimize risk in the extended development of fluvial-dominated deltaic gas reservoirs. Second, targeting of incremental gas resources in mature reservoirs will lead to extended recovery of a low-cost, low-risk resource.

Results of the first year of studies show that the architecture, geometry, and internal permeability distribution of fluvial-deltaic sandstones are generally predictable and that a four-order hierarchy of bounding surfaces exists. Initial tests have been completed, and reliable measurements of petrophysical properties of flow units, flow baffles, and flow barriers are being performed on outcrop samples. Development of a pore-level simulator has been essentially completed. Results, in general, indicate that the field approach is sound and that information gained on outcrop can be used to produce realistic reservoir models.


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