3D stratigraphic forward modelling for analysis and prediction of carbonate platform stratigraphies in exploration and production. / Warrlich, Georg; Bosence, Daniel; Waltham, Dave; Wood, Charlie; Boylan, Amy; Badenas, Beatriz.

In: Marine and Petroleum Geology, Vol. 25, No. 1, 01.2008, p. 35-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Stratigraphic forward modelling (SFM) has been used to answer important questions in stratigraphic analysis. This has been demonstrated through generic modelling of synthetic data and numerous two-dimensional (2D) real data case studies, but the method has rarely been used to further our understanding of specific, real three-dimensional (3D) carbonate data sets by quantitative comparison. This paper applies CARBONATE-3D, a SFM program, to a hydrocarbon reservoir and outcropping carbonate platforms at both exploration and production scales. We show the value of SFM in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons through predicting facies distributions and stratigraphic geometries between wells, and by analysing and answering fundamental questions about the formation of specific carbonate strata. First, the model is tested using the 3D outcrops of a Miocene attached carbonate platform at Níjar, SE-Spain where 78% of mapped facies are matched in the simulations. Second, SFM of an 80,000 km2 Jurassic ramp in NE Spain (exploration scale), predicts new facies in areas without data, leads to an improved understanding of ramp evolution, modification of the interpreted sea-level curve and re-interpretation of the main sediment transport direction. Application to the isolated platform reservoir Judy Creek (Devonian, Canada) exemplifies the advantages of applying SFM at reservoir scale. The simulations yield information on platform geometries and facies distributions, an improved understanding of the factors that control platform evolution, and propose a revised sea-level history. Wider applications of SFM in exploration include assessment of the possibilities and probabilities of facies distributions and evaluation and ranking of different interpretations of platform evolution. At the reservoir scale facies probability distributions and layer-geometries derived from SFM can serve as input into static reservoir models to guide geostatistical simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-58
Number of pages24
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Issue number1
Early online date8 May 2007
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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