3-D Description and Reservoir Modeling of Channel-Levee and Lobe Sandstones in the Permian Bell Canyon Formation, West Texas

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1998

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The Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, has conducted an integrated outcrop characterization and reservoir modeling study on deep-water sandstones of the Permian Bell Canyon Formation, West Texas. The study was funded by Statoil.

The primary objective of this study was to construct a deterministic three-dimensional reservoir model of facies architecture within a submarine channel-levee and lobe system based on data collected from well-exposed outcrops.

The Permian-age Delaware Mountain Group (the Brushy Canyon, Cherry Canyon, and Bell Canyon Formations) was deposited in a deep-water setting by a system of submarine channel levees with attached lobes. Facies and stratigraphic relationships were described based on laterally continuous outcrops of the Bell Canyon Formation and were placed in a well-defined cyclical stratigraphic framework. Sequence-stratigraphic concepts were used to define depositional rock bodies that were mapped in three dimensions.

In the Willow Mountain case study, eight lithosomes were mapped, and facies distributions were documented within each lithosome using facies isopach or proportion maps. The mapped volume was 20 m thick, 2,000 m in length parallel to depositional strike, and 1,000 m in length perpendicular to depositional strike. The surface and facies maps were edited and reconciled using three-dimensional geocellular modeling software, and the resulting areal grids of rock body thickness were stacked to construct a reservoir model, using a corner-point geometry description that is compatible with current reservoir simulation software.

In addition to the text of this report, extensive data and figures are included on accompanying CD-ROM volumes.

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