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School of Petroleum Engineering
,
University of New South Wales
PTRL 6021 Reservoir Characterisation
Stephen Tyson
Commonwealth of Australia
Copyright Regulations 1969
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Copyright © Stephen Tyson 2007.
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Acknowledgements
I would like to thank Associate Professor Sheik Rahman of the School of Petroleum and the University of
New South Wales for giving me the opportunity to write this book.
Stephen Tyson, Jakarta, August 2006.
This manual is designed, for educational purposes, to assist students with the course
"PTRL6021  Reservoir Characterisation".
The main source of information comes from the book acknowledged below:
1. Fundamentals Of Reservoir Characterisation, Tyson S, Begg S and Kassan J, Course
Notes, Jakarta 2006
Chapter 1: Introduction ........................................................... 7
What we are trying to achieve......................................................................... 7
Exercises......................................................................................................... 7
Chapter 2: Input Data.............................................................. 9
Reservoir Model .............................................................................................. 9
Why Build Reservoir Models? ......................................................................... 9
Why Use Geology? ......................................................................................... 9
Terminology..................................................................................................... 9
Model ..................................................................................................................... 9
Scenario............................................................................................................... 10
Realisation ........................................................................................................... 10
Modelling Time And Effort ............................................................................. 10
Reservoir Simulation ..................................................................................... 11
Sedimentology Inputs.................................................................................... 11
Geological Modelling Steps ................................................................................. 11
Identify depositional setting and environments............................................................ 11
Walther’s Law.............................................................................................................. 14
Sedimentology Inputs .................................................................................................. 15
Seismic Data ................................................................................................. 15
Horizons or Surfaces ........................................................................................... 15
Faults and Fractures............................................................................................ 16
Amplitude Data .................................................................................................... 16
Sources of Error................................................................................................... 16
Wireline and Borehole Image data................................................................ 16
Wireline Logs ....................................................................................................... 16
Image Log............................................................................................................ 16
Sources of Error................................................................................................... 16
Exercises....................................................................................................... 16
Chapter 3: Grid Design ......................................................... 17
Grid Building.................................................................................................. 17
Why Do We Need to Build Grids?................................................................. 17
What Are The Alternatives? .......................................................................... 17
Pure Object Models ............................................................................................. 17
Data Point Set...................................................................................................... 18
Network Models ................................................................................................... 19
Coordinate Systems ...................................................................................... 19
Types Of Grid................................................................................................ 20
Regular Orthogonal Grid...................................................................................... 20
Regular In Plan, Shifted In Depth ........................................................................ 20
Regular In Plan, Stretched In Depth .................................................................... 21
BlockCentred Grid .............................................................................................. 21
Radial Grid........................................................................................................... 22
CornerPoint Grids............................................................................................... 22
Construction of CornerPoint Grids ............................................................................. 23
Perpendicular Bisector (PEBI) Grids.................................................................... 23
Constructing the PEBI mesh........................................................................................ 25
PEBI Grids  Advantages............................................................................................. 25
What we are aiming for.................................................................................. 26
Some terminology................................................................................................ 27
Zone............................................................................................................................. 27
Grid.............................................................................................................................. 27
Property ....................................................................................................................... 27
Conventional Grid Design.............................................................................. 27
LargeScale Heterogeneities............................................................................... 27
Preferred flow directions.............................................................................................. 27
Faults and fractures..................................................................................................... 27
Lithology specific geometries....................................................................................... 27
Large scale lateral barriers to flow............................................................................... 27
Grid Orientation ................................................................................................... 27
Grid Resolution.................................................................................................... 28
Surface Resolution .............................................................................................. 29
Is Flow Important In The Design Of The Grid?.................................................... 31
Is Stratigraphy Important In The Design Of The Grid?........................................ 31
Importing Horizons .............................................................................................. 31
Generating Secondary Surfaces ......................................................................... 31
Geological Layering: CrossSection .................................................................... 32
Other Practical Considerations...................................................................... 33
What is the aim of the modelling experiment?..................................................... 34
Grid size and computational efficiency................................................................ 34
Do we want to, or need to, rescale for simulation?.............................................. 34
Upscaling And Refinement ............................................................................ 34
Local Grid Refinement......................................................................................... 35
Local Grid Coarsening......................................................................................... 35
Typical Modelling Strategies.......................................................................... 36
Strategy 1  Create a fine, high resolution geological model ............................... 36
Strategy 2  Capture heterogeneity implicitly....................................................... 37
Strategy 3  Conduct small trials on upscaling. Use these as analogues............ 38
Exercises....................................................................................................... 39
Chapter 4: Fault Modelling.................................................... 41
What Are Faults?........................................................................................... 41
Rock Fractures .................................................................................................... 41
Faults................................................................................................................... 41
Why are Faults and fractures important? ...................................................... 41
Fault Metrics.................................................................................................. 41
Faults as defined by Geophysicist................................................................. 42
Faults as they should be defined by geophysicists ....................................... 44
How many faults can we measure?............................................................... 44
How many faults are really there?................................................................. 45
How many faults should we model?.............................................................. 45
Large faults.......................................................................................................... 46
Subseismic faults ............................................................................................... 46
How are faults defined in modelling software?.............................................. 46
Stochastic modelling of faults
and fractures ................................................................................................. 47
Expected Number Of Faults Intersected By Deviated Wells................................ 47
Effect Of Small Faults On Permeability................................................................ 47
Probability Of Conductive Pathways.................................................................... 47
Model Parameters................................................................................................ 47
How do modelled faults affect our rescaling?................................................ 47
Fault Modelling Conclusion ........................................................................... 48
Exercises....................................................................................................... 48
Chapter 5: Property Modelling .............................................. 49
Types of Properties ....................................................................................... 49
Real...................................................................................................................... 49
Integer.................................................................................................................. 49
Classified ............................................................................................................. 49
Dependent ........................................................................................................... 49
Functions ............................................................................................................. 49
Sampled Properties....................................................................................... 49
Well alignment ..................................................................................................... 49
Blocking of wells .................................................................................................. 50
Computed Properties .................................................................................... 51
Geometric Properties........................................................................................... 51
Petrophysical Properties...................................................................................... 51
Special Properties................................................................................................ 51
Water saturation .......................................................................................................... 51
Transmissibility Modifiers ............................................................................................ 51
Conclusions................................................................................................... 51
Exercises....................................................................................................... 51
Chapter 6: Basic Statistics .................................................... 53
Univariate statistics ....................................................................................... 53
Population............................................................................................................ 53
Sample................................................................................................................. 53
Bias...................................................................................................................... 53
Measures of Location........................................................................................... 53
Minimum...................................................................................................................... 53
Maximum..................................................................................................................... 53
Quantiles ..................................................................................................................... 53
Quartiles ...................................................................................................................... 54
Arithmetic Mean........................................................................................................... 54
Harmonic Mean ........................................................................................................... 54
Geometric Mean.......................................................................................................... 54
Power Mean ................................................................................................................ 55
Median......................................................................................................................... 55
Mode............................................................................................................................ 55
Measures of Dispersion ....................................................................................... 55
Range.......................................................................................................................... 55
Variance ...................................................................................................................... 55
Standard Deviation...................................................................................................... 56
Interquartile Range...................................................................................................... 56
Measures of Shape ............................................................................................. 56
Modality ....................................................................................................................... 56
Skewness .................................................................................................................... 57
Coefficient of Variation................................................................................................. 57
Kurtosis........................................................................................................................ 57
Visualisation of Univariate Data........................................................................... 58
Frequency Tables........................................................................................................ 58
Histogram.................................................................................................................... 60
Cumulative Histogram................................................................................................. 61
Box Plot ....................................................................................................................... 61
Frequency Density............................................................................................... 62
Uniform Distribution ..................................................................................................... 63
Normal Distribution ...................................................................................................... 63
Lognormal Distribution................................................................................................. 64
Advantages of Univariate Statistics..................................................................... 65
Limitations of Univariate Statistics....................................................................... 65
Bivariate Statistics ......................................................................................... 65
Visualisation ........................................................................................................ 65
QQ Plots..................................................................................................................... 65
Scatter Plots ................................................................................................................ 66
Partial Dependency ....................................................................................... 67
Common Variables that are related..................................................................... 67
Bivariate Histogram for Porosity & Log10 Permeability................................. 68
Bivariate Frequency (Probability) Distribution ............................................... 69
Covariance .......................................................................................................... 69
Correlation Coefficient ......................................................................................... 69
What does the correlation coefficient mean?............................................................... 70
Interpreting Correlation Coefficients.................................................................... 70
Nonlinear Correlation ......................................................................................... 71
Rank Correlation.......................................................................................................... 71
Interpreting Rank Correlation....................................................................................... 71
Problems of Sparse Data .................................................................................... 72
Bivariate Regression ........................................................................................... 72
Classical Regression ................................................................................................... 72
Multivariate Statistics..................................................................................... 75
Multiple Regression............................................................................................. 76
Canonical analysis............................................................................................... 76
Principal Components Analysis........................................................................... 77
Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors ............................................................................ 77
Discriminant Analysis .......................................................................................... 78
Cluster Analysis................................................................................................... 79
Auto correlation ............................................................................................. 80
Autocovariogram or autocovariance function ...................................................... 81
Autocorrelogram.................................................................................................. 81
Properties of the correlogram.............................................................................. 82
Typical Correlograms .......................................................................................... 82
Conditional Expectations............................................................................... 82
Conditional Expectation Curve ...................................................................... 83
Exercises....................................................................................................... 85
Chapter 7: Estimation: Mapping & Contouring...................... 89
Use and Abuse of Statistics and Geostatistics.............................................. 90
Techniques.................................................................................................... 91
Triangulation ........................................................................................................ 92
Gridding ............................................................................................................... 93
Contouring Gridded Points................................................................................... 94
General interpolation procedure.................................................................... 94
Search Radius ..................................................................................................... 95
Search Radius: Octants & Quadrants ......................................................................... 95
Structural or Stratigraphic Distance............................................................................. 96
Nearest Neighbour............................................................................................... 97
Local Mean or Moving Window............................................................................ 97
Inverse Distance Weighting ................................................................................. 98
Weighting functions ..................................................................................................... 99
Contouring ........................................................................................................... 99
Hand Contouring................................................................................................ 100
Errors........................................................................................................... 100
Crossvalidation ................................................................................................. 101
Best Estimation Criteria ..................................................................................... 101
Graphical Techniques........................................................................................ 101
Exercises..................................................................................................... 102
Chapter 8: Interpolation and Spatial Modelling................... 107
True Data .................................................................................................... 107
Spatial Model............................................................................................... 108
How does the Spatial Model Differ from the Geological Model?................. 108
Measuring Spatial Variability ....................................................................... 108
Spatial Analysis and Modelling.................................................................... 109
Spatial Data Sets......................................................................................... 109
Dealing with sampling problems.................................................................. 109
Biassed Sampling .............................................................................................. 109
Unrepresentative Sampling................................................................................ 109
Local Variability of Data ..................................................................................... 109
Other Considerations......................................................................................... 110
Scatter Plots ................................................................................................ 110
HScatter plots ................................................................................................... 110
Spatial statistics........................................................................................... 111
Correlogram....................................................................................................... 112
Stationarity .................................................................................................. 112
Causes of NonStationarity................................................................................ 113
Trend ......................................................................................................................... 113
Mixed Populations ..................................................................................................... 114
Variograms......................................................................................................... 115
Variogram Construction ..................................................................................... 115
Sill .............................................................................................................................. 115
Range........................................................................................................................ 116
Nugget ....................................................................................................................... 116
Characteristics of Variogram.............................................................................. 116
Geometric Anisotropy........................................................................................ 116
Zonal Anisotropy................................................................................................ 116
Cyclicity or holeeffect ....................................................................................... 117
Trend ................................................................................................................. 117
Spatial Models............................................................................................. 117
Nested Structures.............................................................................................. 118
Variogram Cloud.......................................................................................... 119
Data Cleanup ................................................................................................... 120
Mixed Populations ............................................................................................. 121
Trend ................................................................................................................. 122
Data Transformation.................................................................................... 122
Log transform.................................................................................................... 123
Normal Scores Transform................................................................................. 123
Calculating Variograms ............................................................................... 123
Assumptions................................................................................................ 124
Sparse Data................................................................................................. 124
Practical Considerations.............................................................................. 124
Directional Variograms ................................................................................ 125
Exercises..................................................................................................... 125
Computation ...................................................................................................... 125
HScatter plots................................................................................................... 126
Chapter 9: Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation...................... 129
Kriging ......................................................................................................... 129
Some basic geostatistical definitions........................................................... 129
Regionalised variable ........................................................................................ 129
Random variable ............................................................................................... 129
Random function ............................................................................................... 129
Realisation......................................................................................................... 129
Example............................................................................................................. 129
Components of a regionalised variable ....................................................... 130
Simple Kriging ............................................................................................. 131
Ordinary Kriging........................................................................................... 132
Example............................................................................................................. 133
Change Covariance to Variogram..................................................................... 134
Change of Sill .................................................................................................... 134
Error Minimisation.............................................................................................. 134
Kriging Variance ................................................................................................ 135
Influence of Variogram Parameters................................................................... 135
Sensitivity of Kriging Estimate to Errors in the Variogram................................. 135
Sensitivity of Kriging Variance to Errors in the Variogram................................. 135
Practical Aspects of Ordinary Kriging................................................................ 135
Assumptions .............................................................................................................. 135
Warnings.................................................................................................................... 136
Validation................................................................................................................... 136
CrossValidation ........................................................................................................ 136
Exercises..................................................................................................... 137
Simple Mapping................................................................................................. 137
Ordinary Kriging Of Example 1 .......................................................................... 137
Ordinary Kriging of Example 2........................................................................... 138
Chapter 10: Stochastic Simulation...................................... 141
Multiple realisations..................................................................................... 141
Sequential Gaussian Simulation (SGS) ...................................................... 142
MultiGaussian data .................................................................................... 143
How many realisations? .............................................................................. 143
Changing the sill .......................................................................................... 143
Indicator Variables....................................................................................... 144
Indicator Simulation..................................................................................... 144
Sequential Indicator Simulation (SIS).......................................................... 144
Procedure .......................................................................................................... 145
Variogram model for each class ........................................................................ 146
Order Relation Problems ................................................................................... 147
Truncated Gaussian Simulation .................................................................. 147
Exercises..................................................................................................... 148
Sequential SImulation........................................................................................ 148
Random Path..................................................................................................... 149
Determination of Mean....................................................................................... 149
Determination of Standard Deviation................................................................. 149
Construction of Gaussian Distribution................................................................ 149
Simulation Value................................................................................................ 149
Chapter 11: Dependent Variables....................................... 151
Are the variables independent?................................................................... 151
Kriging With External Drift (KED) ................................................................ 151
Assumptions ...................................................................................................... 152
Data Treatment Required .................................................................................. 152
Warnings............................................................................................................ 152
Collocated Cokriging ................................................................................... 152
Assumptions ...................................................................................................... 153
Data Treatment Required .................................................................................. 153
Warnings............................................................................................................ 154
Variograms and CrossCovariance ............................................................. 154
Conclusion................................................................................................... 154
Exercises..................................................................................................... 155
Chapter 12: Upscaling ........................................................ 157
The Fundamental Problem of Scale............................................................ 157
Heterogeneity and the problem of scale ............................................................ 157
Why Do we Upscale?.................................................................................. 158
Upscaling for layer properties ............................................................................ 159
Upscaling For Reservoir Simulation............................................................ 159
Effective Properties ..................................................................................... 159
Upscaling myths .......................................................................................... 160
Which came first – upscaling or finescale geological modelling?..................... 161
Upscaling throws away information................................................................... 161
More Powerful Computers Will Make Upscaling Obsolete................................ 161
Reservoir Simulation Models....................................................................... 161
Upscaling General Principles ...................................................................... 162
Grid Coordinate Systems ............................................................................ 162
well Locations.............................................................................................. 162
Exercises..................................................................................................... 162
Chapter 13: Change of Grid Scales.................................... 163
Definitions.................................................................................................... 163
Upgridding ......................................................................................................... 163
Refining or Downgridding .................................................................................. 163
Upscaling........................................................................................................... 163
Resampling........................................................................................................ 163
Grid Correspondence ........................................................................................ 163
Grid Manipulation ........................................................................................ 163
Types of Grid Correspondence ................................................................... 163
Conforming Grid Correspondence..................................................................... 164
Unconforming Grid Correspondence................................................................. 164
Volume Intersection................................................................................................... 165
Centre Point Enclosure.............................................................................................. 165
Centre Point Resampling........................................................................................... 165
Layered Correspondence.................................................................................. 165
Plan Intersection........................................................................................................ 165
Centre Point Plan Enclosure...................................................................................... 166
Centre Point Plan Resampling................................................................................... 166
Chapter 14: Scalar Upscaling ............................................. 169
Specific Upscaling Methods ........................................................................ 169
Pore Volume Upscaling..................................................................................... 169
Depth Upscaling ................................................................................................ 170
NettoGross Upscaling ..................................................................................... 170
Net Volume Preserved, Volume Weighted Average * recommenced........................ 170
Volume Weighted Average........................................................................................ 171
Set Coarse NettoGross to 1 .................................................................................... 171
Horizontal Continuity of NonNet Rock...................................................................... 171
Porosity Upscaling............................................................................................. 172
Pore Volume Preservation * recommended .............................................................. 172
Net Volume Weighted Average ................................................................................. 172
Saturation Upscaling ......................................................................................... 172
Fluid Volume Preservation......................................................................................... 172
Pore Volume Weighted Average * recommended..................................................... 172
Generic Upscaling Methods, Location......................................................... 173
Arithmetic Mean................................................................................................. 173
Geometric Mean................................................................................................ 173
Harmonic Mean ................................................................................................. 174
Power Average.................................................................................................. 174
Sum................................................................................................................... 174
Mode.................................................................................................................. 174
Generic Upscaling Methods, Dispersion ..................................................... 175
Variance............................................................................................................. 175
Standard Deviation ............................................................................................ 175
Coefficient Of Variation...................................................................................... 175
Number Of Values ............................................................................................. 175
Percentage Of Mode Values.............................................................................. 175
Percentage Of A Given Value............................................................................ 176
Resampling ................................................................................................. 176
Resampling to central cell ........................................................................... 176
Resampling to all cells................................................................................. 176
Exercises..................................................................................................... 177
Chapter 15: Permeability Upscaling.................................... 179
Effective Permeabilities ............................................................................... 179
Average Permeabilities...................................................................................... 180
Permeability Upscaling................................................................................ 181
The Dynamic Nature of Permeability........................................................... 181
Averaging Methods ..................................................................................... 182
Arithmetic Mean................................................................................................. 182
Harmonic Mean.................................................................................................. 183
Geometric Mean ................................................................................................ 184
Effective Permeabilities ............................................................................... 184
horizontally layered system................................................................................ 185
Effective Vertical Permeability ................................................................................... 186
Horizontally Layered System: Summary............................................................ 188
Reservoir Simulation and nonpay Rock ..................................................... 188
Random system .......................................................................................... 189
neither layered nor random......................................................................... 189
Successive arithmetic and harmonic means in 2D............................................ 190
Successive arithmetic and harmonic means in 3D............................................ 190
Power Average Approximation.................................................................... 190
Productivity Index Preservation (BRV Weighted) * recommended ............. 191
Pressure Solver ........................................................................................... 192
The impact of spatial continuity ................................................................... 193
Effects of spatial correlation ........................................................................ 194
Perfect Layering................................................................................................. 194
Random System ................................................................................................ 194
Real Systems..................................................................................................... 194
Effects of Averaging Volume....................................................................... 195
Impact of Boundary Conditions ................................................................... 196
Boundary Conditions And Gridding.................................................................... 196
Summary ................................................................................................................... 197
Transmissibility Multipliers........................................................................... 197
Shifted Grid Pressure Solver *recommended.................................................... 197
Exercises..................................................................................................... 198
Chapter 16: Upscaling Quality Control................................ 199
Statistical Techniques.................................................................................. 199
Generic Methods for Dispersion........................................................................ 199
Skewness and Kurtosis ..................................................................................... 200
Visualisation ................................................................................................ 200
Volumetrics.................................................................................................. 201
Regional Statistical Techniques .................................................................. 201
Exercises..................................................................................................... 202
FIGURE 1. Modelling time and effort ................................................................................................... 10
FIGURE 2. Sediment Transport ........................................................................................................... 12
FIGURE 3. Bedload structures............................................................................................................. 13
FIGURE 4. Depositional process and typical rock section................................................................... 13
FIGURE 5. Facies assemblage and typical rock section ..................................................................... 13
FIGURE 6. Facies assemblage and aerial photo of fluvial environment.............................................. 14
FIGURE 7. Geologist sketch of the conceptual model of the reservoir................................................ 15
FIGURE 8. Object model with two types of object ............................................................................... 18
FIGURE 9. Point model........................................................................................................................ 18
FIGURE 10. Network model with points and connections ..................................................................... 19
FIGURE 11. Axis orientations for left and righthanded coordinate systems........................................ 19
FIGURE 12. Regular grid....................................................................................................................... 20
FIGURE 13. Regular in plan, shifted in depth........................................................................................ 20
FIGURE 14. Regular in plan, stretched in depth.................................................................................... 21
FIGURE 15. Blockcentred grid.............................................................................................................. 21
FIGURE 16. Radial grid ......................................................................................................................... 22
FIGURE 17. Eclipse grid cell definition .................................................................................................. 22
FIGURE 18. Grid plan view  construction mesh ................................................................................... 23
FIGURE 19. Grid construction  layering................................................................................................ 23
FIGURE 20. Perpendicular Bisector Grid  plan view with min and max radius..................................... 24
FIGURE 21. Perpendicular Bisector Grid Construction ......................................................................... 24
FIGURE 22. PEBI mesh construction  perpendicular bisectors............................................................ 25
FIGURE 23. PEBI mesh construction  trimmed bisectors make cell edges.......................................... 25
FIGURE 24. Fault imaged on cornerpoint and PEBI grid ..................................................................... 26
FIGURE 25. Horizontal well in PEBI grid ............................................................................................... 26
FIGURE 26. Incorrect grid orientation.................................................................................................... 28
FIGURE 27. Correct grid orientation...................................................................................................... 28
FIGURE 28. Is this grid the correct resolution for this system? ............................................................. 29
FIGURE 29. Real data  what grid resolution should you use?.............................................................. 29
FIGURE 30. Wireframe surfaces in 3D and in plan view....................................................................... 30
FIGURE 31. Sampling errors caused by a difference in spatial resolution ............................................ 30
FIGURE 32. Effect of varying grid cell size on spatial sampling ............................................................ 30
FIGURE 33. Imported primary surfaces................................................................................................. 31
FIGURE 34. Incorrect isochoring ........................................................................................................... 31
FIGURE 35. Isochore between primary surfaces multiplied by contoured factor value......................... 32
FIGURE 36. Determination of cell thickness from core and wireline logs.............................................. 32
FIGURE 37. Grid layering: Conformable, onlap and truncation............................................................ 33
FIGURE 38. Different types of zone layering......................................................................................... 33
FIGURE 39. Two type of local grid refinement....................................................................................... 35
FIGURE 40. Local grid coarsening ........................................................................................................ 35
FIGURE 41. Strategy 1  Construction of detailed geological model ..................................................... 36
FIGURE 42. Strategy 2  Construction of a simulation scale model....................................................... 37
FIGURE 43. Strategy 3  Experimental rescaling................................................................................... 38
FIGURE 44. Fault metrics...................................................................................................................... 42
FIGURE 45. Faults interpreted on a horizon  plan view........................................................................ 42
FIGURE 46. Faults interpreted on a horizon  3D view.......................................................................... 43
FIGURE 47. Two horizons and possible faults in crosssection............................................................. 43
FIGURE 48. Complete horizon and fault definition ................................................................................ 44
FIGURE 49. Fault map analysis............................................................................................................. 44
FIGURE 50. Relationship between fault frequency and fault length ...................................................... 45
FIGURE 51. Fault modelling on a grid ................................................................................................... 45
FIGURE 52. Column or pillar gridding.................................................................................................... 46
FIGURE 53. Additional nodes defined for intermediate horizons........................................................... 46
FIGURE 54. Computer generated stochastic fault. ................................................................................ 47
FIGURE 55. Well alignment errors......................................................................................................... 50
FIGURE 56. Blocking of well properties................................................................................................. 50
FIGURE 57. Histogram of Bimodal Data................................................................................................ 57
FIGURE 58. Skewed Distribution. .......................................................................................................... 57
FIGURE 59. Distribution with Different Kurtosis. .................................................................................... 58
FIGURE 60. A Histogram of Porosity Data ............................................................................................ 61
FIGURE 61. Cumulative Histogram of Porosity Data............................................................................. 61
FIGURE 62. A Typical Box Plot.............................................................................................................. 62
FIGURE 63. Example Box Plots of Deep Resistivity for Six Different Facies. ....................................... 62
FIGURE 64. Uniform Distribution. ......................................................................................................... 63
FIGURE 65. Gaussian Model Fitted to the Porosity Histograms............................................................ 64
FIGURE 66. QQ Plots........................................................................................................................... 66
FIGURE 67. Scatter plot showing independent variables (top) and dependent variables (bottom) ....... 66
FIGURE 68. Partially dependent variables ............................................................................................ 67
FIGURE 69. Porosity Scatter Plot with and without jitter ....................................................................... 67
FIGURE 70. Bivariate Histogram........................................................................................................... 68
FIGURE 71. Porositypermeability scatter plot ...................................................................................... 68
FIGURE 72. Bivariate frequency distribution ......................................................................................... 69
FIGURE 73. Correlation problems  always look at the scatter plot ....................................................... 70
FIGURE 74. Porositypermeability scatter plot showing nonlinear relationship.................................... 71
FIGURE 75. Correlation Coefficients for different xy Relationships. ..................................................... 72
FIGURE 76. Error Definition in Classical Linear Regression. ................................................................ 74
FIGURE 77. PorosityVelocity Scatter plot. ............................................................................................ 75
FIGURE 78. Residual and QQ plots for the PorosityVelocity Model.................................................... 75
FIGURE 79. Geometric Representation of a Discriminant Function in 2D Space. ................................. 78
FIGURE 80. The Movement of Centroids and Decision Boundary. ....................................................... 80
FIGURE 81. Autocorrelation procedure ................................................................................................. 81
FIGURE 82. Correlogram....................................................................................................................... 82
FIGURE 83. Various signals and their correlograms.............................................................................. 82
FIGURE 84. Conditional distribution of permeability.............................................................................. 83
FIGURE 85. Conditional expectation curve............................................................................................ 83
FIGURE 86. Moving average conditional expectation curve.................................................................. 84
FIGURE 87. Equal number of points in each bin ................................................................................... 84
FIGURE 88. Samples from a Digital Photograph and the Original Photograph..................................... 90
FIGURE 89. Smooth Representations of the Image .............................................................................. 90
FIGURE 90. Reconstructed Image ........................................................................................................ 90
FIGURE 91. The general problem of estimation .................................................................................... 92
FIGURE 92. Dataset estimated using triangulation................................................................................ 93
FIGURE 93. Different choices of triangles will give different estimations............................................... 93
FIGURE 94. Regular grid and original sample locations........................................................................ 93
FIGURE 95. Contouring a regular grid of points .................................................................................... 94
FIGURE 96. Estimation as a weighted linear combination .................................................................... 95
FIGURE 97. Search radius and search ellipse ...................................................................................... 95
FIGURE 98. Data clustering may give unexpected results .................................................................... 96
FIGURE 99. Different data points will be used with quadrant and octant searches............................... 96
FIGURE 100. Stratigraphic and structural distance ................................................................................. 97
FIGURE 101. Nearest neighbour estimation............................................................................................ 97
FIGURE 102. Local mean or moving window estimation......................................................................... 98
FIGURE 103. Closer points have greater weights ................................................................................... 99
FIGURE 104. Weighting function normalisation....................................................................................... 99
FIGURE 105. Inverse distance estimation............................................................................................... 99
FIGURE 106. Contour visualisation ....................................................................................................... 100
FIGURE 107. Error map for a known dataset ........................................................................................ 100
FIGURE 108. Histograms of input data, sampled data and estimated data........................................... 102
FIGURE 109. Contour Data Points ........................................................................................................ 106
FIGURE 110. Nearest Neighbour Data Points....................................................................................... 106
FIGURE 111. Triangulation Data Points ................................................................................................ 106
FIGURE 112. Inverse Distance Data Points .......................................................................................... 106
FIGURE 113. Sample scatter plot.......................................................................................................... 107
FIGURE 114. Predictor determined using linear regression.................................................................. 107
FIGURE 115. True data  which is periodic............................................................................................ 108
FIGURE 116. Scatter plot of porosity at locations separated by small distance .................................... 110
FIGURE 117. Scatter plot of porosity at locations separated by large distance ..................................... 111
FIGURE 118. Permeability log for two different wells ............................................................................. 111
FIGURE 119. 2D example of different spatial variability ........................................................................ 112
FIGURE 120. Example correlogram...................................................................................................... 112
FIGURE 121. Stationarity....................................................................................................................... 113
FIGURE 122. Original dataset (top) and trend of original dataset (bottom) ........................................... 113
FIGURE 123. Dataset with trend removed............................................................................................. 114
FIGURE 124. Dataset with two populations........................................................................................... 114
FIGURE 125. Variogram and covariance comparison ........................................................................... 115
FIGURE 126. Geometric anisotropy  variograms in different directions ............................................... 116
FIGURE 127. Zonal anisotropy.............................................................................................................. 117
FIGURE 128. Cyclicity or holeeffect ..................................................................................................... 117
FIGURE 129. Dataset with trend............................................................................................................ 117
FIGURE 130. Spatial models with a sill.................................................................................................. 118
FIGURE 131. Spatial models without a sill............................................................................................. 118
FIGURE 132. Nesting of spatial models ................................................................................................ 119
FIGURE 133. Removal of outliers and extreme values ......................................................................... 120
FIGURE 134. Separation of multiple populations .................................................................................. 121
FIGURE 135. Removal of trend ............................................................................................................. 122
FIGURE 136. Application of data transform to variogram data.............................................................. 123
FIGURE 137. Stratigraphic coordinates................................................................................................. 124
FIGURE 138. Lag and Angle Tolerances............................................................................................... 125
FIGURE 139. The general estimation problem...................................................................................... 129
FIGURE 140. Geostatistical definitions  example ................................................................................. 130
FIGURE 141. Regionalised variables with different trends .................................................................... 130
FIGURE 142. Relationship between covariance and variogram............................................................ 131
FIGURE 143. Equilateral dataset ........................................................................................................... 133
FIGURE 144. Example correlogram for equilateral dataset ................................................................... 133
FIGURE 145. Example Covariance Model............................................................................................. 138
FIGURE 146. Multiple realisations, their mean and standard deviation................................................. 141
FIGURE 147. SGS procedure  1........................................................................................................... 142
FIGURE 148. SGS procedure  2........................................................................................................... 142
FIGURE 149. Normal scores transform................................................................................................. 143
FIGURE 150. SIS multiple realisations .................................................................................................. 145
FIGURE 151. SIS procedure  1 ............................................................................................................ 145
FIGURE 152. Drawing a simulated indicator value................................................................................ 146
FIGURE 153. SIS procedure  2 ............................................................................................................ 146
FIGURE 154. Thresholds on a gaussian distribution............................................................................. 147
FIGURE 155. Example Covariance Model............................................................................................. 148
FIGURE 156. Input Gridded Data .......................................................................................................... 149
FIGURE 157. Collocated Cokriging ....................................................................................................... 153
FIGURE 158. Variograms required for cokriging.................................................................................... 154
FIGURE 159. Measurement and modelling scales ................................................................................ 157
FIGURE 160. Heterogeneous and homogenous measurement scales ................................................. 158
FIGURE 161. Outcrop with superimposed reservoir simulation layers .................................................. 159
FIGURE 162. Outcrop with superimposed reservoir simulation grid cells.............................................. 159
FIGURE 163. Replacement of detailed geology with a single effective value........................................ 160
FIGURE 164. Different geological descriptions with the same univariate statistics ............................... 160
FIGURE 165. Simulator visual and internal representation.................................................................... 161
FIGURE 166. Fine cells corresponding to a coarse cell in conforming grids. Their geometries need not
occupy the same physical space..................................................................................... 164
FIGURE 167. An unconforming grid correspondence............................................................................ 164
FIGURE 168. Plan intersection layered correspondence ...................................................................... 166
FIGURE 169. Centre Point Plan Enclosure Layered Correspondence.................................................. 166
FIGURE 170. Centre Point Plan Resampling Layered Correspondence............................................... 167
FIGURE 171. Only the top fine layer is accessible but the pore volume upscaling methods include the
inaccessible pore volume ................................................................................................ 169
FIGURE 172. Resampling to the central cell ......................................................................................... 176
FIGURE 173. Resampling to all cells..................................................................................................... 177
FIGURE 174. Upscaling Porosity, Depth, Pore Volume  CrossSection ............................................... 177
FIGURE 175. Upscaling from variable sized fine cells  Cross Section ................................................. 178
FIGURE 176. Upscaling indicator values and well location  Plan View................................................ 178
FIGURE 177. Effective Kh depends more heavily on the top 2 fine layers due to greater pressure
differential ........................................................................................................................ 179
FIGURE 178. Input distribution and effective permeability..................................................................... 180
FIGURE 179. Two different arrangements with different effective permeabilities .................................. 180
FIGURE 180. Five different spatial arrangements with different effective permeabilities....................... 181
FIGURE 181. Relationship between arithmetic, geometric and harmonic means ................................. 184
FIGURE 182. Horizontally layered system............................................................................................. 185
FIGURE 183. Equivalent homogenous system...................................................................................... 186
FIGURE 184. Effective vertical permeability of horizontally layered system.......................................... 187
FIGURE 185. Equivalent homogenous system...................................................................................... 187
FIGURE 186. Simulator treatment of nonpay rock ............................................................................... 189
FIGURE 187. Random system............................................................................................................... 189
FIGURE 188. Successive arithmetic and harmonic means in 2D.......................................................... 190
FIGURE 189. Successive arithmetic and harmonic means in 2D.......................................................... 190
FIGURE 190. Pressure solver method................................................................................................... 193
FIGURE 191. Different spatial arrangements......................................................................................... 193
FIGURE 192. Relationship between degree of randomness and effective permeability ....................... 194
FIGURE 193. The effect of increasing the averaging volume................................................................ 195
FIGURE 194. Same heterogeneity but different boundary conditions ................................................... 196
FIGURE 195. Boundary conditions due to gridding ............................................................................... 196
FIGURE 196. Shifted Grid Pressure Solver ........................................................................................... 197
FIGURE 197. Analysis of the grid at different scales ............................................................................. 199
FIGURE 198. Skewed distribution (magenta) ........................................................................................ 200
FIGURE 199. Different kurtosis values for the same mean and variance.............................................. 200
FIGURE 200. Spatial aliasing between two grids................................................................................... 201
FIGURE 201. Statistics at different scales ............................................................................................. 202
Introduction
Introduction 7
Chapter 1  Introduction
WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE
This book attempts to introduce and develop the concepts of reservoir characterisation and their application
to the petroleum industry. Reservoir characterisation is ubiquitous, almost endemic. Many, many models
have been built attempting to characterise reservoirs and most have been forgotten, because they never
came close to characterising the reservoir and in many cases didn’t even describe the reservoir.
This book aims to highlight good reservoir characterisation practices and encourage the use of these prac
tices to improve both the quality and the relevance of the reservoir models that are being constructed.
There are particular difficulties in characterising reservoirs for petroleum exploration or development and
we question whether the industry is acknowledging the problems associated with extraordinarily sparse
data, nonstationarity that is almost impossible to confirm, and a contrast in resolution between vertical and
horizontal measurements that is, at best, around two orders of magnitude, but more typically four orders of
magnitude.
In spite of the difficulties we believe that the use of characterisation in petroleum exploration and develop
ment does offer significant benefits to fastidious practitioners.
This book examines the process of reservoir characterisation from a practical perspective. It identifies
those situations in which the application of particular techniques is recommended, advised, discouraged or
inappropriate.
EXERCISES
1. What do you expect a reservoir characterisation project to tell you about your reservoir?
2. Explain the difference between reservoir characterisation and reservoir description.
3. Explain why you would want to construct a model of a petroleum reservoir.
Introduction
8 Reservoir Characterisation
Input Data
Input Data 9
Chapter 2  Input Data
The process of characterising a reservoir will involve building some sort of model of the reservoir. That
model can be conceptual, existing only in your imagination but more usually nowadays will involve the con
struction of a computer model of the reservoir.
Please bear in mind that many questions relating to the performance of a reservoir can be answered with
out the construction of a detail geological model on a computer. So many times unnecessary and inaccu
rate models are constructed by eager and enthusiastic geoscientists because they feel that in building a
model they are doing something, when thinking about the problem conceptually may lead to a similar (or
better) answer with significantly less effort.
So, imagine that the task we have been set is to construct a geological model on a computer. This must
give a realistic representation of the way that oil, gas and water move through the rocks. The time scale for
this fluid movement is of the same order of magnitude as the production life of the field which varies
between years and tens of years.
RESERVOIR MODEL
Although a reservoir model is a representation of the earth’s crust, in practice it should be defined in engi
neering terms;
IT IS A PRODUCT FOR A CERTAIN PURPOSE, WHICH HAS TO BE DELIVERED ON TIME AND WITHIN A GIVEN BUDGET.
WHY BUILD RESERVOIR MODELS?
Reservoir models are useful in determining reservoir uncertainty, the estimation of fluid volumes and may
be used in some form to simulate the flow of fluids through the reservoir.
With the current range of modelling software it is also possible to visualise all the existing data about the
reservoir. However, it should be bourn in mind that the eye is very susceptible to optical illusion and visuali
sation without rigorous quality control can be very misleading. Nevertheless in many situations the visuali
sation is a communications and corporate relations tool that may be used to impress clients, bankers and
politicians. This aspect of reservoir characterisation should not be ignored.
WHY USE GEOLOGY?
It would be possible to construct a model using only the petrophysical properties extracted from the wells
and interpolate these across the reservoir volume. Is it necessary to look at the core logs and the wireline
logs and consider the depositional environment of the reservoir?
In some situations this may work but often there is not enough well data to allow meaningful interpolation.
Geologists know that the distribution of porosity and permeability will have a strong correlation with the dis
tribution of depositional sediment bodies or facies so these facies models will help to make informed esti
mates of properties away from the wells and at distances smaller than the minimum well spacing.
TERMINOLOGY
Some basic terminology will help at this point. A more comprehensive list is found in “Glossary” on
page 243
MODEL
The term is confusing as the usage is common for a variety of different things;
1. 3D representation of a reservoir “The Gorgon Field Model, static reservoir model”, i.e. the whole thing…
2. 3D representation of a component part of the reservoir, e.g.:
Input Data
10 Reservoir Characterisation
• The Fault Model
• The Porosity Model
• The Facies Model
SCENARIO
To deal with significant uncertainties it is often desirable to have two or more reservoir models, which differ
substantially in one or more aspects such as different structure maps or different correlations or even differ
ent depositional environments.
REALISATION
Many stochastic methods used to populate grid cells with property values allow for multiple, equally proba
ble values. Each set of values constitutes one realisation.
So, a reservoir model may comprise several grids, each with 3 porosity models, each of those with 200
realisations, and it might be necessary to construct 3 models to cover independent scenarios.
MODELLING TIME AND EFFORT
So that we are under no illusions as to the complexity of the task in hand, Figure 1, shows the time and
effort involved in the construction of a reservoir model.
FIGURE 1. Modelling time and effort
Issues with input data are the most common causes of delays in the design and construction of geological
reservoir models. Do not underestimate this. The most experienced modellers expect that data collec
tion, quality control and data input will take up to 60% of the total project time and resources. This actually
makes sense. If they data were more available wouldn’t the model already have been constructed?
Having now resigned yourself to spending at least half of your project time grinding through old data, con
verting formats, converting units, digitising paper logs instead of using the fancy modelling software that
you’ve just been trained to use, you have to be fastidious in your quality control of the input data.
Data gathering, core logging, facies analysis,
biostratigraphy, well correlation, seismic mapping,
depth conversion – velocity model, analogues,
sequence stratigraphy, petrophysics, core analysis,
SCAL, data conversions, coordinate conversions, etc.
Grid design, fault model,
pillar grid, zones, layers
Facies Modeling,
Attributes at wells
(blocking)
Data
Analysis
Modeling
poro,perm,saturation
Data
Grid
Facies
Analysis
Modeling
t
i
m
e
effort
Data gathering, core logging, facies analysis,
biostratigraphy, well correlation, seismic mapping,
depth conversion – velocity model, analogues,
sequence stratigraphy, petrophysics, core analysis,
SCAL, data conversions, coordinate conversions, etc.
Grid design, fault model,
pillar grid, zones, layers
Facies Modeling,
Attributes at wells
(blocking)
Data
Analysis
Modeling
poro,perm,saturation
Data
Grid
Facies
Analysis
Modeling
t
i
m
e
effort
Input Data
Input Data 11
Ensure that:
ALL logs are interpreted and that the deviation records are correct
ALL cores have been logged
ALL biostratigraphy is up to date
ALL correlations are finalised
ALL surfaces depth converted and tied to the FINAL picks
ALL data is integrated, on the same geodetic datum and available in readable digital formats
before building grids.
RESERVOIR SIMULATION
Flow through the reservoir is modelled using a fluid dynamic simulation program. The pressures and satu
rations of fluids in each cell in the reservoir simulation model are recomputed for a number of time steps.
The simulation model is calibrated by matching past pressure and flow histories of the wells in the field.
Once a match is obtained the program has been calibrated and may be run forward to predict future behav
iour.
In the past the simulation model was created by reservoir engineers but nowadays it is more likely that the
reservoir simulation model will be constructed from the geological model. This process is discussed more
fully in “Upscaling” on page 157
The reservoir simulator performs many complex calculations and there are real limits on the number of
active cells in these models. In 2006 these were typically around 2300,000 cells.
It is important that you are aware of these limitations before constructing the geological model so that you
don’t construct something that will be lost in the upscaling process or is unusable by the simulator.
Good communication with the reservoir engineers throughout model design and building is essential
SEDIMENTOLOGY INPUTS
From a geological perspective the modeller needs to consider the depositional environment of the system
and the geologist must have a conceptual model based upon the reservoir architecture, sequence stratigra
phy, the observed and inferred reservoir heterogeneity analysis of the facies and facies analogues before
proceeding with the design of the geological model. If an object modelling approach is to be used then addi
tional information defining object parameter distributions such as width/thickness ratios, bifurcation angles.
This may be based on detailed facies analysis either of the system being studied, if there is sufficient data,
or of suitable analogues if they exist.
GEOLOGICAL MODELLING STEPS
Identify depositional setting and environments
The way that the reservoir was formed influences the present geometry of the reservoir. This geometry can
be inferred from close examination of the core and wireline data from the reservoir and a knowledge of the
processes involved in the deposition of the reservoir will then allow you to make estimates of sediment
body geometry, the reservoir heterogeneity and this will assist in the determination of an appropriate cell
size in x,y for gridded systems. For object modelling this type of analysis is used to determine object size
Input Data
12 Reservoir Characterisation
and orientation parameters.
FIGURE 2. Sediment Transport
For a sandstone or clastic reservoir the primary porosity exists in the spaces or pores between the grains of
sand so a knowledge of the size of the grains and their spatial distribution will assist in determining the
regions of good and poor porosity. The sand has been transported and deposited by water flowing in rivers
towards the sea. Fast flowing rivers can carry bigger grains of sand and slow flowing rivers carry fine sands
and muds. When the velocity of the water slows, where a river meets the sea for example, the water can no
longer transport the heavier or larger grains and these fall to the bottom of the sea. As the water velocity
continues to slow finer and finer grains are deposited.
At the interface between the moving water and the stationary river bed the velocity of the water will deter
mine the way that the grains are deposited. In “Bedload structures” on page 13 there is no bedload move
ment at low velocities and varying degrees of disturbance at higher velocities.
i
n
c
r
e
a
s
i
n
g
v
e
l
o
c
i
t
y
V
V
V
V
V
V critical
upper flow regime
lower flow regime
no bed movement
ripples
megaripples
(dunes)
plane bed
antidunes
Input Data
Input Data 13
FIGURE 3. Bedload structures
For each depositional process there will be a representative and distinctive suite of sediment types called
lithofacies. Geologists are able to identify these lithofacies in the core that is cut from the well and from this
they will be able to build a conceptual model of the depositional environment of the reservoir.
They will compare the observed data with analogous present day river systems to get some idea for the
size of the system and its components.
FIGURE 4. Depositional process and typical rock section
For each depositional environment there will be a representative and distinctive suite of lithofacies called a
facies assemblage. Analysis of the core and wireline logs from a reservoir will assist in the determination of
the facies assemblage and help to identify the location and orientation of the different pieces of the facies
assemblage in the reservoir.
FIGURE 5. Facies assemblage and typical rock section
German geologist Johannes Walter observed that, over time, rivers meander, sea levels rise and fall, and
• traction current
• unidirectional
• medium sand
• no bioturbation
• migrating straight
crested dunes
crossbedded
sandstone lithofacies
process
• traction current
• unidirectional
• medium sand
• no bioturbation
• migrating straight
crested dunes
crossbedded
sandstone lithofacies
process
Channel bar assemblage
• crossbedded sst.
• pebbly sst.
• ripple crosslam sst.
Input Data
14 Reservoir Characterisation
there is lateral movement in the depositional systems. As sea levels rise the shore moves landwards. This
lateral movement can be inferred from analysing the vertical profile of the core.
Walther’s Law
“The various deposits of the same facies area were formed beside each other in space, but in a crustal pro
file we see them lying on top of each other….only those facies and facies areas can be superimposed with
out a break, that can observed beside each other at the present time”
Johannes Walther 1894
So the effect of lateral migration of depositional environments plus subsidence and/or sealevel rise gives
us the vertical stacking of facies assemblages.
FIGURE 6. Facies assemblage and aerial photo of fluvial environment
From the core and wireline logs it is possible for a geologist to sketch some idea of the depositional envi
ronment for the reservoir. Geological modelling software tries to improve on this conceptual modelling.
Peat Mire
Channel
Crevasse Delta
Peat Mire
Channel
Lake
bioturbated
Input Data
Input Data 15
FIGURE 7. Geologist sketch of the conceptual model of the reservoir
Sedimentology Inputs
Care must be taken to reduce the uncertainty associated with interpretation of the depositional environ
ment. The geologist must be meticulous in his study of the core. Although core is expensive to cut you
should remember that it is the only hard data from the reservoir that is available so make sure that sufficient
core is taken to be representative of the reservoir.
In addition to looking at the grain size and the layering in the core. Investigate all the other things that you
may find in the core; fossils, plants. These may be correlatable across the reservoir. Approach the task like
a forensic investigation and try to work out what happened and how the pieces of the reservoir ended up
where they are. You can compare your conceptual model with the seismic images particularly if the you
have good quality seismic with amplitude data. And remember all the time to consider your knowledge of
the greater region so that your interpretation of the depositional environment of your reservoir is believable
for the entire basin.
SEISMIC DATA
The interpreted seismic data provides surfaces which represent the major structural elements in the reser
voir. 3D seismic can provide an areally detailed image of the reservoir and the major structural components
of the subsurface should be readily identifiable with good quality seismic.
You must remember however that the vertical resolution of seismic is around 10m so thin units and small
faults and fractures won’t be imaged. Unfortunately much of the characteristic behaviour of the reservoir is
likely to be associated with heterogeneities at these smaller scales.
HORIZONS OR SURFACES
These are the interfaces between the different facies assemblages that can be seen on seismic and picked
Input Data
16 Reservoir Characterisation
by the geophysicist.
FAULTS AND FRACTURES
Large faults and fractures are also visible on seismic and would be picked by the geophysicist.
AMPLITUDE DATA
Advanced processing of the seismic data can create alternative images of the subsurface which allow the
user to visualise different properties of the seismic data that can be correlated to petrophysical properties.
Seismic amplitude often has a strong correlation with porosity. So the construction of a 3D cube represent
ing amplitude would be useful in modelling the reservoir.
Care should be taken of course to validate the relationship between amplitude and porosity and determine
the correlation or rank correlation coefficient between the two parameters.
SOURCES OF ERROR
Apart from resolution issues with seismic the main source of problem is really with combining seismic sur
veys that were done at different time. Whilst this is really in the domain of the geophysicist there is a possi
bility that you may receive different maps that were interpreted from different seismic vintages, particularly if
you are working within a consultancy on an old field.
WIRELINE AND BOREHOLE IMAGE DATA
The primary source of reservoir data with a high vertical resolution is that obtained from wireline logging.
The vertical resolution is typically around 10cm.
WIRELINE LOGS
Petrophysical analysis of the different wireline logs can lead to the computation of logs that represent the
porosity or permeability which can be used in the geological modelling of the reservoir.
IMAGE LOG
Whilst wireline logs give an array of values one for each depth down the well image logs create pictures of
the inside of the well bore itself. These images can be very high resolution and enable the geologist to vis
ualise the deposition of the sediment. This makes them almost as useful as having the core itself. Sadly this
quality of data comes at a price and image logs are very expensive to acquire and process.
SOURCES OF ERROR
Each log must have a number of corrections made to it before it can be used for interpretation. You will
need to check that these environmental corrections have been applied. Sometimes different logs are
recorded using different depth or value scale. You really need to check everything very carefully.
EXERCISES
1. List 10 data inputs and define their horizontal and vertical resolution
2. Estimate the volume of cored data for a reservoir that is approximately 20km by 30km and about 100m
thick. 200 wells have been drilled and 30% have been cored over the entire reservoir interval.
3. Rank the 10 data input sources in order of confidence with 10 being the hardest data and 0 being the
softest.
4. Sketch a plan view of;
• a braided stream system
• a wave dominated delta
Explain what differences in flow behaviour you might expect between these two systems
Grid Design
Grid Design 17
Chapter 3  Grid Design
GRID BUILDING
The construction of 3D grids as containers to hold information about the reservoir is a complex process.
The design of the grid is rarely taken seriously enough to avoid scale related problems later in the model
ling workflow. Indeed the only constraints that appear to influence the design of the grid in most situations
are related to computer performance and that itself is a function primarily of the total number of grid cells.
WHY DO WE NEED TO BUILD GRIDS?
The reservoir may be modelled in many ways to achieve the same outcome. We want some system that
allows us to determine the properties of the reservoir at any point within the reservoir. In the same way that
a topographic contour map allows us to instantly determine the height above sea level at any 2D location,
we need to construct a 3D equivalent map. Maps are usually constructed from a regular mesh of points in
2D and so it seems to make sense to construct a 3D grid as the framework for 3D interpolation of reservoir
properties.
Grids are efficient mechanisms for storing spatial data and they allow easy interrogation of this spatial infor
mation. They also provide a simple and intuitive visualisation of spatial data. Unfortunately the use of grids
to visualise the spatial data actually creates a number of fundamental problems because the construction of
a regular grid around irregular features is computationally difficult and prone to errors which are difficult to
identify in a large grid.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
Before discussing the different types of grids that are used to model reservoirs it may be useful to pause
and consider some of the alternatives. 3D grid construction is painful, timeconsuming and restrictive so
alternatives that are more flexible may have some value. Some of these alternatives may already have
been discarded long ago for performance problems that now no longer exist.
PURE OBJECT MODELS
The reservoir may be viewed as a collection of objects of different shapes. Each shape has a given value
for any property such as porosity and permeability. The shapes can be very complex.
Object modelling techniques were quite popular in the late 1980’s but were limited by the computational
resources available and largely abandoned at that time. In the last 20 years computer performance has
increased dramatically and there have been massive improvements in the efficient handling of 3D models
in CAD and movie and gaming industries. This technology could be revisited and adopted by the petroleum
industry.
Object modelling is excellent for faults, fractures, shales, stylolites and other heterogeneities where the
internal properties have little variation and the shape and orientation of the object can be easily defined.
Object models are currently poor at representing variations within the object though this constraint could be
overcome relatively easily with the design of the appropriate data structures.
Grid Design
18 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 8. Object model with two types of object
DATA POINT SET
A data point set consists of data at particular points in Ndimensional space. This is how many spatial data
sets in other industries are handled, more particularly in 2D datasets. In petroleum and mining, aeromag
netic data is typically treated as point data.
Each point is associated with a a number of different properties such as porosity, permeability, water satu
ration. The scale is arbitrary and points are computed or stored as they are needed.
This representation is quite suitable for dense point data with one or two properties but the computational
cost of computing distances between points is high and the computation of some properties, such as vol
ume, is difficult
FIGURE 9. Point model
Grid Design
Grid Design 19
NETWORK MODELS
Internally reservoir simulators are network models. They consist of a number of points and links between
them. In an efficient network model the point data is fairly dense and evenly spaced.
FIGURE 10. Network model with points and connections
COORDINATE SYSTEMS
Unfortunately different pieces of software use different coordinate systems. This appears at first to be a
rather trivial problem but it is very easy to get confused, particularly when looking at text files. The origins
are often different. Some software has the positive z direction going up and some have it going down.
In addition there is another coordinate system which is orthogonal and is used to define the location of the
cells within the grid. This model space is usually given the indices IJK to differentiate it from the XYZ real
space. Of course different pieces of software have different orientations to their IJK axes and their XYZ
axes.
FIGURE 11. Axis orientations for left and righthanded coordinate systems
Y
X
Z
Right Handed Right Handed Right Handed Right Handed
Z
Y
X
Left Handed Left Handed Left Handed Left Handed
Y
X
Z
Right Handed Right Handed Right Handed Right Handed
Z
Y
X
Left Handed Left Handed Left Handed Left Handed
Grid Design
20 Reservoir Characterisation
TYPES OF GRID
REGULAR ORTHOGONAL GRID
In a regular grid the axes are orthogonal and all the cells are the same size. The location of any cell can
easily be computed from the origin, the cell size and the orientation of the grid.
FIGURE 12. Regular grid
REGULAR IN PLAN, SHIFTED IN DEPTH
The axes are orthogonal and all the cells are the same size in plan view. The cells are shifted in depth and
the number of cells in each column of cells may be different. The thickness (dz) of all cells in the grid is the
same.
In the construction of this grid the cells may be stacked from a top surface, a bottom surface or an inde
pendent reference surface.
FIGURE 13. Regular in plan, shifted in depth
K
J
I
13.12 mm
10.23 mm
5.16 mm
dx
dy
dz
Regul ar Grid: {ni, nj,nk,dx, dy,dz}
K
J
I
Regular Shift ed Grid: {ni,nj,nk(),dx,dy,dz,t ops()}
dx
dy
to ps(1, 1)
dz
Grid Design
Grid Design 21
REGULAR IN PLAN, STRETCHED IN DEPTH
The axes are orthogonal, all the cells are the same size in plan view and the cell columns are stretched or
squashed in depth. The thickness of each cell in a column is the same but the number of cells in each col
umn can vary.
FIGURE 14. Regular in plan, stretched in depth
BLOCKCENTRED GRID
The axes are orthogonal. The cell sizes are defined by an array for each of the axes directions dx,dy,dz.
These arrays have dimensions;
1. dx(ni)
2. dy(nj)
3. dz(ni*nj*nk)
4. tops(ni*nj*nk)
FIGURE 15. Blockcentred grid
K
J
I
Regul ar StretchSquash Grid: {ni, nj,nk,dx, dy,dz(),tops()}
dx
dy
tops(1, 1)
dz(1,1)
K
J
I
BlockCentre Grid: {ni,nj,nk,dx( ),dy( ),dz(),tops()}
Grid Design
22 Reservoir Characterisation
RADIAL GRID
The axes are polar in plan and linear in depth. Like the blockcentre grid the cells sizes are defined by
arrays;
1. R(NoOfRadii)
2. θ(NoOfAngles)
3. Depth(nk)
Radial grids are useful for investigations around a single well.
FIGURE 16. Radial grid
CORNERPOINT GRIDS
In cornerpoint grids the vertices of each of the cells are stored. This can be a lot of data. Unless vertices
are shared then a 10 million cell grid will have 8 million vertices. If these are stored as x,y,z values that
would be 96Mbytes. The Eclipse simulator reduces the storage requirement by defining cells using an array
of straight lines, which are not necessarily vertical, and depths along lines.
FIGURE 17. Eclipse grid cell definition
K
R
θ
( x 1 , y 1 , z 1 )
( x 2 , y 2 ,z 2 )
Z c 1
Z c 2
( x 1 , y 1 , z 1 )
( x 2 , y 2 ,z 2 )
Z c 1
Z c 2
Grid Design
Grid Design 23
Construction of CornerPoint Grids
First a plan view of the grid is defined. Often this may be called a mesh.
FIGURE 18. Grid plan view  construction mesh
Then the mesh is draped on the top surface of the model. A second mesh is defined on the base of the
model and each node on the top mesh is connected to its corresponding node on the bottom mesh. The
layering of the model is defined along each of the connecting lines.
FIGURE 19. Grid construction  layering
PERPENDICULAR BISECTOR (PEBI) GRIDS
Perpendicular bisector grids were designed to reduce the number of cells and also to improve the model
ling of flow since the flow is assumed to be through faces between cells. The reduction in the total number
of cells is because the polygonal cells can be smaller and more dense where there is greater heterogeneity
in the reservoir and larger outside areas of immediate interest.
The cells are polygonal in plan and linear in depth. Often a minimum and maximum number of edges are
Grid Design
24 Reservoir Characterisation
specified as well as a minimum and maximum radius for the cells
FIGURE 20. Perpendicular Bisector Grid  plan view with min and max radius
To construct a 3D PEBI grid a PEBI mesh is fitted to top surface and second PEBI mesh is fitted to bottom
surface. The cell construction is then similar to that for corner point grids.
FIGURE 21. Perpendicular Bisector Grid Construction
Grid Design
Grid Design 25
Constructing the PEBI mesh
First the centre point of a cell is connected to surrounding points and then perpendicular lines are drawn
which bisect the lines between the points.
FIGURE 22. PEBI mesh construction  perpendicular bisectors
The bisectors are then trimmed to give the edges of the cell.
FIGURE 23. PEBI mesh construction  trimmed bisectors make cell edges
PEBI Grids  Advantages
PEBI grids allow accurate representation of faults which would be very difficult with cornerpoint grids.
Grid Design
26 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 24. Fault imaged on cornerpoint and PEBI grid
PEBI grids allow accurate representation of horizontal wells. The wells are assumed, in Eclipse but not VIP,
to act in the centre of the cells.
FIGURE 25. Horizontal well in PEBI grid
WHAT WE ARE AIMING FOR
Now that we know how we can grid a reservoir we are in a position to analyse the process leading the to
construction of the best possible grid for a given reservoir.
We are trying to construct a 3D geocellular grid composed of;
1. Zones defined at the top and base by imported surfaces or horizons.
2. The internal layering in these zones should represent the geological layering and be fine enough to cap
ture heterogeneity
3. The spatial resolution of the fine grid should be fine enough to capture all the significant heterogeneity
present in the reservoir itself.
4. Each grid cell should contain a value to represent the facies.
5. Each grid cell should contain values for porosity, permeability, water saturation.
Grid Design
Grid Design 27
SOME TERMINOLOGY
Zone
A zone is the volume between two surfaces or horizons.
Grid
A grid is a 3D cellular framework with a fairly regular network of nodes in x and y.
Property
An attribute or property is the value of a parameter assigned to a cell such as porosity, permeability, water
saturation and facies. There should be one value per cell, though multiple realisations are possible, and the
variable can be either continuous or discrete
CONVENTIONAL GRID DESIGN
The conventional steps to grid design are;
1. Analyse the large scale heterogeneities.
2. Design the grid in plan view
3. Design the layering strategies for each lithofacies or flow unit.
4. Investigate lithofacies scale heterogeneities.
5. Redesign lithofacies layering if required.
LARGESCALE HETEROGENEITIES
The grid needs to be aligned so that it can image the reservoir accurately. If the reservoir is homogenous
then the grid alignment is not important. However, if the grid is not homogenous, then the heterogeneities
that affect the flow need to be considered.
Examples of large scale heterogeneities are
Preferred flow directions
Reservoir engineers are likely to have some idea of preferred flow directions based on the reservoir struc
ture, the location primary drive mechanisms and the location of injection wells. If the geological grid is not
aligned with the flow directions then you will encounter problems and errors if the grid is to be rescaled for
simulation.
Faults and fractures
Faults also affect flow, whether they are sealing or not sealing and the grid should ideally honour the faults
so that the faults lie along the boundaries of grid cells. Fault modelling is a complex part of the reservoir
characterisation process and is covered more fully in “Fault Modelling” on page 41.
Lithology specific geometries
Different geometries have different shapes and these can affect the interpolation of petrophysical parame
ters and possibly flow through the reservoir. It is important to be able to capture the behaviour of these fea
tures.
Large scale lateral barriers to flow
Laterally extensive shales and stylolites can have a big impact on vertical flow. These need to be incorpo
rated in the model in some way. They can be explicitly modelled in the grid or their effect on the flow behav
iour may be modelled in some other way and used to modify the petrophysical properties of the cells
affected
GRID ORIENTATION
In a reservoir simulator the flow between cells goes through the faces of the cells so the grid should be
Grid Design
28 Reservoir Characterisation
aligned with the axes along known flow directions
FIGURE 26. Incorrect grid orientation
The simulator will perform much better when the grid orientation is correct. Of course, sometimes the flow
directions are much more complex than these examples and it may not be possible to honour the preferred
flow direction for all parts of the grid. In that case the grid should be oriented correctly for the region of inter
est, or you should consider using a PEBI grid.
FIGURE 27. Correct grid orientation
GRID RESOLUTION
The grid should be fine enough to capture all the significant heterogeneity in the reservoir. For this it is
important to know the geometry of the rocks and the depositional environment. In a fluvial environment you
need to know how wide the channels, splays, mouthbars and shale barriers are. Sometimes you can use
Grid Design
Grid Design 29
3D seismic attribute data if the quality is good enough, but remember the vertical resolution of seismic is
quite poor.
Most of the time you will have to rely on studying analogues, or data collected from similar environments in
different parts of the world.
In the vertical direction the grid resolution can be determined by analysing wireline logs. The vertical resolu
tion can vary between zones.
FIGURE 28. Is this grid the correct resolution for this system?
FIGURE 29. Real data  what grid resolution should you use?
Remember that the actual data is likely to be much more complex than your grid and somehow you will
have to account for that complexity implicitly in your modelling.
SURFACE RESOLUTION
The imported surfaces or horizons are usually constructed on a regular 2D mesh, though some programs
can imported triangulated surfaces of arbitrary resolution. If you do have a regular surface then it is impor
1 k m 1 k m
Grid Design
30 Reservoir Characterisation
tant that you realise that this can impact on the resolution for the 3D grid.
FIGURE 30. Wireframe surfaces in 3D and in plan view
Sampling errors can be introduced when the grid nodes are computed from the horizons. These errors are
largest for thin units and laterally large cells particularly in steeply dipping strata.
FIGURE 31. Sampling errors caused by a difference in spatial resolution
As the grid cell size increases the error increases and the shape of the grid departs further and further away
from the fitted horizons.
FIGURE 32. Effect of varying grid cell size on spatial sampling
surface nodes surface nodes
Grid Resolution Grid Resolution Grid Resolution
Surface Resolution Surface Resolution
fitted surfaces
Grid Design
Grid Design 31
IS FLOW IMPORTANT IN THE DESIGN OF THE GRID?
If there are no plans to model the flow in the reservoir then there is obviously no need to consider flow in the
design of the geological model. Be aware, however, that a geological model constructed today with no
plans to be used in reservoir simulation, may be resurrected later on to be upscaled for flow simulation. It is
important, therefore that any decision not to consider flow in the design of the geological model is clearly
documented.
IS STRATIGRAPHY IMPORTANT IN THE DESIGN OF THE GRID?
Stratigraphy is always important but there are situations where the stratigraphy may be so complex that it
has to be approximated. This does not mean ignoring stratigraphy but quantifying its effects at larger strati
graphic scales.
IMPORTING HORIZONS
The primary surfaces come from seismic mapping and are readily imported into a geological modelling pro
gram. Additional surfaces can be constructed from well picks if they are needed. The horizon construction
process should be checked by calculating volume between surfaces
FIGURE 33. Imported primary surfaces
GENERATING SECONDARY SURFACES
Secondary surfaces are often constructed by isochoring from a top surface.
FIGURE 34. Incorrect isochoring
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32 Reservoir Characterisation
This can lead to intersecting surfaces which may be checked by constructing a thickness map between the
two surfaces. If this is creating intersecting surfaces then isochore between primary surfaces multiplied by
contoured factor value.
FIGURE 35. Isochore between primary surfaces multiplied by contoured factor value
GEOLOGICAL LAYERING: CROSSSECTION
Vertically the resolution of the cells is determined by analysis of the wireline logs or investigation of core.
The vertical resolution can be different for different zones.
FIGURE 36. Determination of cell thickness from core and wireline logs
90%
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Grid Design
Grid Design 33
In Figure 36 on page 32 the orange boxes represent the grid cells that have been defined for this unit by
analysing the core log and the porosity and permeability logs for a well. You should bear in mind that the
vertical resolution may need to be changed if the overall number of cells is thought too great.
Within each zone the layering can be either onlap (parallel to top), truncation (parallel to base), or conform
able (proportional)
FIGURE 37. Grid layering: Conformable, onlap and truncation
Defining the layering of each zone will impact on the way that the interpolation of properties is performed for
the grid as well as the way that fluids will flow through the system. So, regardless of whether the grid is to
be used for simulation it is important to get the layering right.
FIGURE 38. Different types of zone layering
OTHER PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Before embarking on a modelling project there are a few other things that need to be considered.
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Grid Design
34 Reservoir Characterisation
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE MODELLING EXPERIMENT?
Why are we building a geological model anyway? It may seem like an odd question, but often geological
models appear to have been built with no clear aim, but rather because the technology exists to build a
model.
Some companies have built geological models to show to banks to convince them to lend money for drilling
programs. The emphasis for these models are that it has to look good. There is no requirement for numeri
cal simulation or even accuracy!
In other situations you should ask yourself if there is any point in building a very detailed model when a very
simple model will answer the questions that you are being asked?
Some companies own a small number of fields and build and constantly revise detailed strategic models of
these fields, hoping that, with each revision the model becomes more accurate. Of course, this is reasona
bly likely to happen, but often there is a paradigm shift in the understanding of the reservoir resulting from
some new information which completely changes the way that the reservoir is understood. The geologists
may revise their analysis of the depositional environment and this is likely to change the whole model.
Other companies have lots of small fields and don’t have the resources to build or maintain detailed models
of their fields. They tend to construct simpler tactical models of their fields in response to specific opera
tional requirements.
GRID SIZE AND COMPUTATIONAL EFFICIENCY
Whether we like it or not, ultimately the grid size is determined in some way by the computational resources
available to us. In today’s (2006) terms this means around about 10 million cells for a geological model and
300,000 cells for a simulation model. More cells are certainly possible by using clusters of computers in
parallel but most geologists seem to want to be able to run the modelling software on a laptop because it is
more convenient.
This is rather significant because this limitation will directly affect the resolution of the grid, and the grid res
olution affects the quality of modelling and the quality of modelling affects confidence in the results. And the
single most limiting factor is determined not by any geological constraints but by convenience.
DO WE WANT TO, OR NEED TO, RESCALE FOR SIMULATION?
Is it possible to quantify the effect of scale in our grid design? If we construct a grid at one resolution and
then, during the course of our modelling, realise that the grid has be built at the wrong resolution, how easy
is it to change the scale?
We already may anticipate that we will need to change the scale of the model during the upscaling process
so that we can use the model in numerical flow simulation. But we may also realise that our original choice
of scale has failed to capture some of the inherent heterogeneity in the reservoir. Is it easy to change the
scale?
When it comes to upscaling there are important mathematical reasons why the combination of 10 million
cells in the geological model and 300,000 cells in the simulation is almost certainly going to give the wrong
result in the upscaling process. This is related to confidence limits and sample size for static properties and
flow pathways for permeability rescaling. So we have a choice; increase the number of cells in the geologi
cal model or decrease the number of cells in the simulation model.
UPSCALING AND REFINEMENT
Techniques exist to rescale all or part of a grid to make the modelling process more efficient. In regions
where the heterogeneities are small or the flow is complex you may want more detail. Away from the
regions of interest or in homogenous units you may want larger cells and less detail.
Grid Design
Grid Design 35
The process of coarsening a grid is often called upgridding and the process of making a grid finer is called
refining. Once the grid geometry has been changed by upgridding or refining the computation of grid prop
erties in the new rescaled cells may not be trivial. But, the analysis of a gridded representation of a reser
voir at a range of different scales should improve our understanding of the behaviour of reservoir as a
whole.
A suite of grids at different scales that honour the reservoir’s static and dynamic data would indicate a good
consistent representation of the data.
LOCAL GRID REFINEMENT
Refined regions are typically around wells or along fluid contacts where there is a lot of small scale change
in the flow. Some software supports dynamic refinement schemes where the grid is refined for different
timesteps in a flow simulation.
FIGURE 39. Two type of local grid refinement
LOCAL GRID COARSENING
To improve the efficiency of numerical simulation it is also possible to replace fine cells with coarser cells in
regions where the flow parameters do not change greatly.
FIGURE 40. Local grid coarsening
Grid Design
36 Reservoir Characterisation
TYPICAL MODELLING STRATEGIES
A number of typical modelling strategies are presented as examples of possible ways to proceed in a mod
elling project.
STRATEGY 1  Create a fine, high resolution geological model
This is the most common method of modelling. Geologists feel comfortable constructing detailed models.
The method is statistically sound. It creates a defendable audit trail and allows the construction of a netto
gross model.
FIGURE 41. Strategy 1  Construction of detailed geological model
The disadvantage of this strategy is that it is very time consuming. Very large and detailed models may be
produced that may not really be required to answer the questions that are being asked about the reservoir.
Upscaling may be errorprone and the resulting simulation grid may be have no better predictive capability
than the reservoir engineer’s existing coarse model.
Grid Design
Grid Design 37
STRATEGY 2  Capture heterogeneity implicitly
This method involves estimating the effect of small heterogeneities on cells of simulation scale and then
creating a model at simulation scale. This is really what engineers were doing before geological modelling
was available, and in fact, what older, experienced simulation engineers still do.
The determination of the effect of small heterogeneities can be done by analysis of analogues or previous
modelling experience.
It is a useful technique where the data resolution may not warrant the construction of a fine geological
model.
FIGURE 42. Strategy 2  Construction of a simulation scale model
The disadvantages of this approach are that the audit trail is poor and it is susceptible to operator bias.
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38 Reservoir Characterisation
STRATEGY 3  Conduct small trials on upscaling. Use these as analogues.
An experimental approach to the determination of the effect of small heterogeneities defined in strategy 2.
Perform experiments on small regions of the reservoir where there is good data density or construct syn
thetic systems that you believe have the same characteristics as the reservoir to be modelled.
FIGURE 43. Strategy 3  Experimental rescaling
Once a database of facies and their upscaled properties exists this method is very quick. It is based on
sound statistical methods. It has a clear audit trail and it is capable of generating a nettogross model.
If no database exists then the experimental part of the workflow can be time consuming. It also relies on the
definition or selection of appropriate experimental analogues, which is susceptible to operator bias.
Grid Design
Grid Design 39
EXERCISES
1. For each of the following pictures draw a grid that you believe will best image the architecture.
Grid Design
40 Reservoir Characterisation
Fault Modelling
Fault Modelling 41
Chapter 4  Fault Modelling
WHAT ARE FAULTS?
Faults are a specific type of fracture or mechanical failure of the rock.
ROCK FRACTURES
Fracture is a general term for a mechanical discontinuity that represents a surface or zone of mechanical
failure.
FAULTS
Faults are rock fractures which show evidence of relative movement. Since faults usually do not consist of
a single, clean fracture, the term fault zone is used when referring to the zone of deformation associated
with the fault plane.
WHY ARE FAULTS AND FRACTURES IMPORTANT?
Fractures are important when they provide significantly higher permeability than the surrounding rock
matrix. Reservoirs with extensive fracturing of this type are called naturally fractured reservoirs and are an
important class of reservoir. The conductivity of these fractures can change as the stresses change in the
reservoir rock during the development of the field, particularly during waterflood.
Vertical fractures are more likely to be intersected by high angle and horizontal wells and this can impact on
the productivity of these wells.
The productivity benefit of a highangle well is very dependent upon the effective ratio of vertical to horizon
tal permeability which is often related to the number and density of fractures intersected by the well.
Conductive fractures may provide pathways for extraneous water production from underlying aquifers or
gas production from a gas cap.
The juxtaposition of different lithologies across faults can either cause interruption or enhancement in conti
nuity.
FAULT METRICS
The fault is measured in a number of different ways as show in Figure 44 on page 42.
The slip is defined by the relative movements of geological features present on either side of the fault plane
and is a vector. It defines the type of fault.
The throw of the fault is the vertical offset.
Heave is the measured horizontal offset of the fault.
The two sides of a fault are called the hanging wall and footwall. The hanging wall is above the fault and the
footwall is below the fault.
Fault Modelling
42 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 44. Fault metrics
FAULTS AS DEFINED BY GEOPHYSICIST
Geophysicists define faults in a number of different ways based upon their interpretation of the seismic.
FIGURE 45. Faults interpreted on a horizon  plan view
Dip Slip
Throw
Verti cal Separation
Heave
Dip/Slip Throw
Vertical Separation Heave
Fault Modelling
Fault Modelling 43
They may be defined on each surface or horizon as either fault lines, if the fault is vertical, or fault polygons
if the fault is not vertical. Often the fault is defined as just a set of 2D points and the depth of each point has
to be sampled from the horizon.
If we look at this type of interpretation is a 3D view (Figure 46 on page 43) the you can see that the fault has
been interpreted with the surface. This defines the fault on the surface but not the fault itself away from the
surface. If the fault intersects many surfaces then this approach will not define the fault between the sur
face.
FIGURE 46. Faults interpreted on a horizon  3D view
Looking at the situation in crosssection we can immediately see the uncertainty in the modelling of the
fault.
FIGURE 47. Two horizons and possible faults in crosssection
Fault Modelling
44 Reservoir Characterisation
FAULTS AS THEY SHOULD BE DEFINED BY GEOPHYSICISTS
The faults must be interpreted with all horizons in order for the fault surface to be completely defined. The
joins between fault and horizon should be defined accurately and there can be no gaps between the fault
surface and the horizon surface.
FIGURE 48. Complete horizon and fault definition
HOW MANY FAULTS CAN WE MEASURE?
If we investigate the fault population for a 3km square in Figure 49 on page 44 we can measure faults of dif
ferent lengths and different angles.
FIGURE 49. Fault map analysis
Are there any preferred directions and is there any pattern to the population? If there are pattern then these
will help in the design of the 3D grid for the geological model.
Fault Modelling
Fault Modelling 45
HOW MANY FAULTS ARE REALLY THERE?
An analysis of the fault map can be performed to determine a relationship between fault frequency and fault
length.
FIGURE 50. Relationship between fault frequency and fault length
There is a good fit to this data using regression. Since both axes are logarithmic the regression fit suggests
fractal behaviour. The departure from predicted behaviour for short faults is due to the difficulty of imaging
small faults and so their cumulative frequency is underestimated.
This relationship is usually true not just for the total population of faults but for all angular subpopulations.
It gives us a method for determining the number of faults at different scales and orientations which will be
useful to plan the fault modelling strategy.
HOW MANY FAULTS SHOULD WE MODEL?
All the faults that are seen in the model and all the faults are have not been explicitly imaged must be mod
elled in some way.
FIGURE 51. Fault modelling on a grid
Fault Modelling
46 Reservoir Characterisation
LARGE FAULTS
If they are significant, the large faults should be modelled explicitly.
SUBSEISMIC FAULTS
The smaller faults should be modelled by determining the effect of the faults and fractures on the system
experimentally as described in “Stochastic modelling of faults and fractures” on page 47
HOW ARE FAULTS DEFINED IN MODELLING SOFTWARE?
To model a fault in geological modelling software the user will first define a series of columns or pillars. The
top and base nodes of these columns can be moved in 3D to change the shape of the fault and additional
columns can be added to model the fault as accurately as required.
FIGURE 52. Column or pillar gridding
Once the columns have been defined then a 3D surface is built between the columns and the columns can
be adjusted so that the fault joins the horizons exactly.
Additional nodes may be defined on the columns to accurately model intermediate horizons.
FIGURE 53. Additional nodes defined for intermediate horizons
Fault Modelling
Fault Modelling 47
Some reservoir simulators require that the columns be straight lines so introducing additional points to
bend the columns to model listeric faults may cause problems. You should check the geometry of the fault
in the simulator model before proceeding.
STOCHASTIC MODELLING OF FAULTS
AND FRACTURES
Faults and fractures may be modelled stochastically as part of a series of experiments to determine various
characteristics of the reservoir. This should be carried out to compute the effect on the system of the
smaller faults that are known to exist but not imaged by seismic. Once some parameters have been
obtained experimentally for their behaviour then this can be used in the geological model to implicitly model
the faults and fractures.
EXPECTED NUMBER OF FAULTS INTERSECTED BY DEVIATED WELLS
Knowing the expected density of large faults at different orientations and dips allows us to make predictions
about the number of smaller faults, see Figure 50, “Relationship between fault frequency and fault length”
above. These can then be modelled stochastically to determine the expected number and orientation of
small faults that would be intersected by wells at different orientations and deviations.
EFFECT OF SMALL FAULTS ON PERMEABILITY
Large numbers of small faults can have a big effect on permeability. How can this be determined? Stochas
tic modelling of small faults and computing the effective horizontal and vertical permeability for different
densities and orientations can assist in determining the possible and probable effects of smaller faults on
flow. This can then be fed into the geological model to modify the permeability.
PROBABILITY OF CONDUCTIVE PATHWAYS
If the faults or fractures are conductive then stochastic modelling of these faults and fractures can assist in
determining the probability of conductive pathways to aquifers or between wells.
MODEL PARAMETERS
The input parameters for any stochastic modelling of faults will be distributions for fault length and throw,
orientation, hanging wall to foot wall ratio. There may be relationships between fault length and throw that
should be preserved.
FIGURE 54. Computer generated stochastic fault.
HOW DO MODELLED FAULTS AFFECT OUR RESCALING?
Before modelling faults in the geological model it is essential to consider what will happen to these faults
when the fine grid is rescaled. Will the fault be accurately represented in the coarse grid? If it is not going to
be accurately represented then should it be modelled in the geological model?
Fault Modelling
48 Reservoir Characterisation
What will happen to the fault in the plan view of the grid? How does the stepping of the fault change? What
happens to the fault when the vertical resolution is changed and how does this affect any juxtaposition?
FAULT MODELLING CONCLUSION
Before deciding to model faults you should check;
• How many faults are there?
• Will these faults have an impact on flow or juxtaposition?
• What are the fault orientations?
• What plans do you have for dealing with subseismic faults?
But most importantly.
• How much time do you have?
EXERCISES
1. In Figure 49, “Fault map analysis” imagine the size of the rectangle is 3km. How many faults shorter
than 200 m long?
2. How many faults shorter than 100 m long?
3. Estimate the throw of the faults that are 100m long?
4. The reservoir is made up of 10m layers of sand and 5m layers of shale. There is a single vertical fault
intersecting the system. Draw diagrams of the system for fault throws of 5m, 10m and 20m.
5. Design an experiment to determine the probability of intersecting a fault for different angles of a horizon
tal well.
Property Modelling
Property Modelling 49
Chapter 5  Property Modelling
Once we have constructed the 3D grid over the reservoir we have an empty container which honours the
major structural elements of the reservoir. The process of property modelling puts values into this container.
The grid itself can be thought of as a 3D orthogonal spreadsheet. Imagine a spreadsheet where the rows
and columns represent the i and j cell indices of a 3D grid. Each sheet of the spreadsheet represents a
layer in the 3D grid.
Some software goes even further and adds a fourth dimension to the spreadsheet where each index in the
4th dimension represents a timestep in the case of reservoir simulation, or another realisation of the prop
erty for stochastic modelling.
TYPES OF PROPERTIES
Just like a spreadsheet each cell in the 3D grid can contain different types of data. Depending on the
sophistication of the modelling software the following data types should be supported.
REAL
Continuous variables such as porosity, permeability
INTEGER
Usually this will be such as a zone number, fault block number, flow unit identifier or a class based on a
continuous variable.
CLASSIFIED
This is also an integer but it is related to a particular class such as a lithofacies name
DEPENDENT
Some software can track dependencies in properties so that changes in one property will trigger flags to
notify that dependent properties need to be recomputed.
FUNCTIONS
In the same way as spreadsheets can store functions the storage requirements for properties in large grids
can be reduced by storing the function for the property rather than the value in each individual cell. Exam
ples are cell volume and cell depth.
SAMPLED PROPERTIES
To transfer data from the wells into the 3D grid two things have to happen. Firstly the location of the well
data has to be matched or aligned to the grid cell and secondly some vertical averaging or blocking of the
well data has to be performed.
If the grid has been well designed and the layering of the grid in particular is representative of the reservoir
then the errors introduce by the alignment and blocking processes will be small and quantifiable.
WELL ALIGNMENT
At the intersection between the well and the grid there is likely to be a misalignment. It is important to real
ise how this can happen and ensure that the data from the correct part of the well is used for each grid cell.
In Figure 55 on page 50 the top grid cell is clearly intersecting a different part of the well than it should be.
Property Modelling
50 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 55. Well alignment errors
BLOCKING OF WELLS
Figure 56 shows the way that the data from the well is blocked onto the grid cells. Where the data is sam
pled from the well, the cell is much thicker than the resolution of the well log. So, the well data such as
porosity and permeability needs to be averaged in some way. Great care needs to be taken in the determi
nation of the single value for each property in these grid cells. The difficulty in computing this effective value
is discussed in more detail in “Upscaling” on page 157
FIGURE 56. Blocking of well properties
Where is the
data for this grid
cell?
Property Modelling
Property Modelling 51
COMPUTED PROPERTIES
There are a number of properties which are computed rather than interpolated or estimated.
GEOMETRIC PROPERTIES
These include cell volume, depth and centre. The thickness and effective dimensions in the x and y direc
tion. These are all computed from the geometry of the 3D grid itself and stored in the property spreadsheet.
PETROPHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Relationships exist between water saturation, oil saturation and gas saturation so these parameters will be
computed rather than interpolated.
SPECIAL PROPERTIES
Water saturation
Water saturation is a function of permeability, height above the free water level and a number of fluid prop
erties so it must be computed not interpolated.
Transmissibility Modifiers
Transmissibility modifiers are computed on the interfaces between cells and are assumed to act at the cen
tre of the shared face between adjacent cells.
CONCLUSIONS
Not all properties are the same and some depend on others. It is possible to create hundreds of properties
in a geological modelling project and it can be very difficult to keep track of them.
You should be aware of the different types of properties, how they are able to interact and how they are pro
hibited from interacting.
The following chapters will explain the different processes available for populating the properties of each
cell in the grid.
EXERCISES
1. List 12 properties that you think would be useful to have in your final geological model.
2. List any dependencies between the properties that you listed above.
3. For each property say whether it would be interpolated, computed from the grid geometry or computed
from other properties.
Property Modelling
52 Reservoir Characterisation
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 53
Chapter 6  Basic Statistics
UNIVARIATE STATISTICS
Statistics is the science of collecting, processing and interpreting data. When we make geological measure
ments and calculate statistical parameters, we are not primarily interested in the properties of core plugs
that we have measured. We are interested in making inferences about the properties of the large volume of
rock. For example, the permeability of a few core plugs in the laboratory is not in itself important. What is
important is the permeability characteristic of the whole reservoir from which the cores were collected.
Univariate data are measurements of a single quantitative variable. Univariate methods allow the derivation
of descriptive parameters or statistics for summarising a set of observed data. They are useful for screen
ing data before the data are presented to more sophisticated statistical analysis. A few basic definitions in
statistics are described below.
POPULATION
Population is the total set of measurements taken from the entire object being studied. In geology, the
entire object is the target formation of an oil field, which is defined by the spatial limits (contacts and bound
aries). Due to the lack of well data, it is impossible to obtain the population information. The primary objec
tive of statistics is to infer such information from the available measurements or samples.
SAMPLE
There are two quite distinct uses of “sample” in the geological literature. In descriptive geology, a “sample”
is synonymous with a small piece of rock, which is a single basic unit of study, such as a core plug from a
wellbore, on which variables can be measured. In mathematical geology, a “sample” is the collection of
rocks or measurements, which are a subset of the population of interest and are taken to represent that
population for example a collection of permeability measurements.
BIAS
For any analytical investigation to be valid, it is essential that the sample is an unbiased subset of the pop
ulation. This is virtually impossible to be achieved in petroleum exploration because wells are often drilled
in potential locations and hence the sampling scheme is always biased towards good quality rocks. The
problem could be further complicated in wells, such as rejecting loose and crumbly cores for a permeability
study. However, due to the complexity of the reservoirs, many wells are dry or unprofitable. These unfortu
nate results provide geoscientists a better understanding of the population statistics and thus improve the
reliability of the next reservoir decision.
MEASURES OF LOCATION
Minimum
The minimum value is simply the lowest observed value. It is included in this discussion as it is frequently
overlooked in input data analysis, often with the result that values are estimated which erroneously lie
below the minimum value. For example, negative porosities.
Maximum
The maximum value is simply the highest observed value. It is included in this discussion as it is frequently
overlooked in input data analysis, often with the result that values are estimated which erroneously lie
above the maximum value. For example, water saturations greater than 1.
Quantiles
Basic Statistics
54 Reservoir Characterisation
The f quantile q(f) of a set of data is a value along the measurement scale of the data with the property that
approximately a fraction f of the data are less than or equal to q(f). The property must be approximate
because there may not be a value with exactly the fraction f of the data less than or equal to it.
Quartiles
Quartiles are special cases of quantiles. The 0.25 quantile is the lower quartile, the 0.75 quantile is the
upper quartile.
Arithmetic Mean
The arithmetic mean is the simplest form of averages in data analysis. It is obtained by adding the values
for all individuals x and then dividing by the total number of samples n:
(EQ 1)
If the variable is permeability, it is easy to show that the arithmetic mean is a representative average for a
linear flow parallel to a stratified porous medium.
Harmonic Mean
Harmonic mean is the arithmetic mean of the reciprocal of the variable. If the variable is permeability, it is
easy to show that the harmonic mean is a representative average for a linear flow orthogonal to a stratified
porous medium.
(EQ 2)
Geometric Mean
Many geological variables do not follow a symmetrical distribution. Examples are oil field size and reservoir
permeability. Their histograms are often “skewed” to the right (i.e. having a large proportion of small val
ues), but are close to symmetrical shape when the logarithm of the values are used. In such cases, the
arithmetic mean is typically too high and it is usual to compute the arithmetic mean of the logarithm of the
values and take the antilogarithm of the result. This effectively reduces the influence of the large values.
The resulting mean is called a geometric mean:
(EQ 3)
It can be shown that same result is obtained by multiplying all the values together and taking the n
th
root of
the product:
(EQ 4)
m
a
1
n
  x
i
i 1 =
n
∑
=
m
h
1
n
 
1
x
i

i 1 =
n
∑
\ ¹

 
1 –
=
m
g
log
1
n
  x
i
log
i 1 =
n
∑
=
m
g
x
i
i 1 =
n
∏
\ ¹

 
1
n
 
=
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 55
Note that both harmonic and geometric means are undefined if x
i
<= 0.
Power Mean
Power mean is a generalisation of the arithmetic, harmonic and geometric means. It uses a transformed
variable x
*
:
(EQ 5)
where p is the power of the variable. The power mean is the arithmetic mean of the transformed variable
raised to the 1/p power:
(EQ 6)
(EQ 7)
Note also that;
(EQ 8)
We must keep in mind that, when transformation is used, the statistical analysis is testing a different
hypothesis which pertains to the characteristics of the transformed variable and not necessarily the original
variable. Also, we should be careful not to befuddle ourselves with transformations so exotic that we lose
sight of the original nature of the geological properties we are attempting to understand.
Median
Median is the middle value of the cumulative relative frequency plot, or the 0.5 quantile. It represents the
top 50% of the values. If the 50% value lies between two bars, a simple interpolation formula is used to
obtain the value at 50% cumulative relative frequency.
Mode
Mode is the most frequently occurring value. In terms of the (relative) frequency plots, it is the value with
the tallest bar. For any perfectly symmetrical distribution, the arithmetic mean, median and mode are identi
cal.
MEASURES OF DISPERSION
Range
Range (R) is the difference between the maximum value x
max
and the minimum value x
min
in the data set:
(EQ 9)
The range often has limited practical application as it usually includes unrepresentative samples, such as
the extreme values.
Variance
x
∗
x
p
p 0 ≠
x log p 0 = ¹
´
¦
=
m
p
1
n
  x
i
p
i 1 =
n
∑
\ ¹

 
1
p
 
=
p 1 = m
p
m
a
=
p 0 = m
p
m
g
=
p 1 – = m
p
m
h
=
m
h
m
g
m
a
≤ ≤ x 0 > ∀
R x
max
x
mi n
– =
Basic Statistics
56 Reservoir Characterisation
The variance is the mean of the squared deviations of the values from the mean m.
(EQ 10)
Standard Deviation
Standard deviation is the positive square root of the variance.
(EQ 11)
Interquartile Range
Interquartile range (IQR) is sometimes a better statistic than the range because it ignores the top 25% and
bottom 25% of the values. It is the difference between the third quartile (Q
3
, the top 75% percentile) and the
first quartile (Q
1
, the top 25% percentile):
(EQ 12)
The median is the same as the second quartile (Q
2
), that is, the 50% percentile.
MEASURES OF SHAPE
It describes the symmetry and pattern of the frequency distribution. As discussed previously, distributions
with the sample position and dispersion may still be different in shape. Inevitably, shape is a more subtle
property and typically has more subtle geological explanations. Examples of shape are modality, skewness
and kurtosis.
Modality
Modality is the number of modes (See “Mode” on page 55). The term unimodal is used to describe distribu
tion with one peak and one consistent declines in frequency on each side. If there are two “humps”, the dis
tribution is called bimodal, and if more, polymodal is used.
Varx
1
n
  x
i
m – ( )
2
i 1 =
n
∑
=
σ
1
n
  x
i
m – ( )
2
i 1 =
n
∑
=
IQR Q
3
Q
1
– =
B i m o d a l D a t a
0
2 0
4 0
6 0
8 0
1 0 0
1 2 0
1 4 0
1 6 0
1 8 0

2
5
0
0

1
5
0
0

5
0
0
5
0
0
1
5
0
0
2
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
4
5
0
0
5
5
0
0
6
5
0
0
7
5
0
0
8
5
0
0
9
5
0
0
M
o
r
e
B i n
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
. 0 0 %
1 0 . 0 0 %
2 0 . 0 0 %
3 0 . 0 0 %
4 0 . 0 0 %
5 0 . 0 0 %
6 0 . 0 0 %
7 0 . 0 0 %
8 0 . 0 0 %
9 0 . 0 0 %
1 0 0 . 0 0 %
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 57
FIGURE 57. Histogram of Bimodal Data
Skewness
Frequency distribution may be symmetrical or skew. Skewness(ϕ) characterises the degree of asymmetry
of a distribution around its mean. It is defined as:
(EQ 13)
Data distribution can be positively skewed or negatively skewed (see Figure 58, “Skewed Distribution.”).
Positive skewness (ϕ>0) indicates a distribution with an asymmetric tail extending towards larger values.
Negative skewness (ϕ<0) indicates a distribution with an asymmetric tail extending towards smaller values.
For symmetrical distribution, ϕ=0.
FIGURE 58. Skewed Distribution.
In practice, only the skewness sign is of interest. A simpler measure of skewness (ϕ´) would be the differ
ence between the (arithmetic) mean (m) and median (Q
2
) of the data set. From the figure, it is clear that
(Q
2
<m) for positively skewed distribution. The reverse is true when the distribution is negatively skewed.
Coefficient of Variation
The coefficient of variation is the standard deviation divided by the arithmetic mean.
(EQ 14)
Kurtosis
Kurtosis characterises the relative peakedness (or flatness) of a distribution compared to the normal distri
bution (see Figure 59, “Distribution with Different Kurtosis.” and “Normal Distribution” on page 63). It is
defined as:
(EQ 15)
ϕ
1
n
 
x
i
m – ( )
3
σ
3

i 1 =
n
∑
=
Positive Skewness Negative Skewness
Variable
V
σ
m
a
 =
κ
1
n
 
x
i
m – ( )
4
σ
4
 3 –
i 1 =
n
∑
=
Basic Statistics
58 Reservoir Characterisation
For a discrete population this is replaced with
(EQ 16)
For a normal distribution, κ=0. The following terms are useful to describe the shape of the distribution using
kurtosis:
κ≈0 Mesokurtic: nearly bellshaped
κ>0 Leptokurtic: more “peaked” than the normal distribution, or less values than the normal distribu
tion around the centre
κ<0 Platykurtic: less “peaked” than the normal distribution, or more values than the normal distribu
tion around the centre.
FIGURE 59. Distribution with Different Kurtosis.
VISUALISATION OF UNIVARIATE DATA
The calculation of statistics is an important part of both describing the sample data and making inferences
about the population, but their use may be misleading when the data include erroneous values or are mix
tures from more than one population. Such features are often detected easily by tables and graphical repre
sentations.
Frequency Tables
The properties of the data can be conveyed in terms of the changing density of points along the scale. This
can be assessed by dividing the scale into a number of equal intervals or bins and counting the number of
data in each bin. The count in each bin is the frequency and the series of counts gives a frequency table.
Relative frequency or proportion can also be calculated by dividing the frequency by the total number of
data. All the relative frequencies add up to one.
Table 1 shows a table of porosity values. It is difficult to get any idea of any trends or variability when data is
Table 1: Porosity Values
0.06 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.09 0.09 0.1 0.1 0.11 0.1 0.1
0.13 0.13 0.14 0.14 0.14 0.14 0.14 0.13 0.13 0.12 0.11 0.09 0.08
0.06 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.1 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.12
0.11 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.13 0.14 0.14 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.15
0.13 0.12 0.11 0.11 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.13 0.14 0.15 0.14 0.14 0.13
κ
n n 1 + ( )
n 1 – ( ) n 2 – ( ) n 3 – ( )

x
i
m –
σ
4

\ ¹
 
i 1 =
n
∑
¹ )
´ `
¦ ¹
=
3 n 1 – ( )
2'
n 2 – ( ) n 3 – ( )
 –
Variable
Leptokurtic
Platykurtic
Normal
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 59
presented in this form. It is even quite difficult to determine maximum and minimum values. Reordering the
data and computing a frequency table will assist in understanding the nature of the data.
Table 2 shows the corresponding frequency table. The first column is the porosity bin. The second column
is the cumulative count and the third column is the count in each range.
0.12 0.11 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.11 0.11 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
0.1 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11
0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.13 0.13
0.13 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.12
0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.11 0.11 0.1 0.1 0.1
0.1 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.1 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.12 0.11
0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.13 0.13 0.13
0.14 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.16 0.16 0.16 0.16 0.17 0.16 0.17 0.16
0.18 0.18 0.18 0.18 0.17 0.17 0.15 0.12 0.1 0.09 0.08 0.06 0.06
0.07 0.07 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.09 0.09 0.09 0.09 0.09 0.08 0.08 0.07
0.08 0.09 0.11 0.13 0.14 0.13 0.09 0.08 0.08 0.07 0.06 0.06 0.07
0.07 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.07 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.04 0.04 0.03 0.02
0.02 0.03 0.03 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.03
0.04 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.06 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.06 0.06 0.05 0.05
0.05 0.05 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.06 0.06 0.07 0.07 0.07
0.05 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.03 0.03 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.06
0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.09 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.11 0.11 0.11
0.08 0.08 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.06 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.04 0.04 0.03 0.02
0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.07 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08
0.06 0.06 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.04 0.05 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.07
0.06 0.06 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.11 0.12 0.13
0.15 0.16 0.16 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.16 0.15 0.15 0.14 0.13 0.12
0.1 0.09 0.09 0.09 0.11 0.12 0.12 0.13 0.14 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.15
0.16 0.16 0.16 0.16 0.16 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.16 0.15 0.15 0.15
0.15 0.16 0.16 0.16 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.17
0.17 0.16 0.16 0.17 0.18 0.18 0.17 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.16 0.15 0.14
0.14 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.14 0.14 0.14 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.14 0.14
Table 2: Porosity Data
Frequency Table
Range Cumulative
Frequency
Count
<0.01 0 0
<0.02 0 0
<0.03 63 63
<0.04 104 41
<0.05 181 77
<0.06 284 103
<0.07 375 91
<0.08 447 72
<0.09 510 63
<0.10 565 55
<0.11 681 116
Table 1: Porosity Values
Basic Statistics
60 Reservoir Characterisation
Histogram
A graphical representation is often given by a histogram, a diagram in which area of each bar represents
the (relative) frequencies in each bin. However, if the bin widths are constant, the height of each bar should
be proportional to the frequency.
For a given set of data, there are an infinite number of possible histograms: the bin width, and hence the
number of bins, and the bin boundary positions can be changed. Although all combinations are, in principle,
valid, there are strongly recommended rules of thumbs which should be followed. The number of bins must
be large enough to bring out the shape of the distribution but not so large that empty bins are scattered
through it.
A common method of choosing the number is to use one which is approximately equal to the square root of
the number of data points. For the bin boundaries, it must be impossible for a data point to coincide with a
boundary. For example, if the data values are given to one decimal place, we can have specified bounda
ries to two places.
<0.12 770 89
<0.13 869 99
<0.14 935 66
<0.15 1030 95
<0.16 1133 103
<0.17 1267 134
<0.18 1333 66
<0.19 1381 48
<0.20 1388 7
<0.21 1396 8
<0.22 1399 3
<0.23 1399 0
<0.24 1399 0
<0.25 1399 0
Table 2: Porosity Data
Frequency Table
Row
123456789
1
0
1
1
1
2
1
3
1
4
1
5
1
6
1
7
1
8
1
9
2
0
2
1
2
2
2
3
2
4
2
5
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Porosity
Porosity
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
%
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 61
FIGURE 60. A Histogram of Porosity Data
Cumulative Histogram
The cumulative histogram is similar to the histogram except that the height of each column is the cumula
tive percentage of values, or the percentage of values less than the value of the bin maximum.
FIGURE 61. Cumulative Histogram of Porosity Data
Box Plot
These are useful for indicating suspicious values and for comparing sets of data in a visually effective way.
Using a horizontal (or vertical) scaled axis, we mark the positions of important descriptors: the main body of
the data is marked by a box, the tails of the distribution are indicated by lines known as “whiskers”, and the
anomalous (or outliers) and extreme values are represented by point symbols. Figure 62, “A Typical Box
Plot.” shows an example showing the key statistics of the data distribution.
The ends of the box correspond to statistics called “hinges”, which represent the 25% (Q
1
) and 75% (Q
3
)
percentiles. The whiskers extend from the ends of the hinges to the fences, which lie 1.5 times the inter
quartile range (IQR=Q
3
Q
1
) beyond the hinges. If the maximum (minimum) value in the data set is less
(larger) than the upper (lower) whisker, the whisker will end at the maximum (minimum) value. The median
(Q
2
) is indicated by a line inside the box.
Outliers and extreme values beyond the whiskers are labelled by point symbols, such as “o” for the outliers
and “x” for the extreme values. Outliers and extremes are often defined as values between 1.5 to 3.0 box
length (IQR) and larger than 3.0 box length, respectively.
P
o
r
o
s
it
y
23456789
1
0
1
1
1
2
1
3
1
4
1
5
1
6
1
7
1
8
1
9
2
0
2
1
2
2
2
3
2
4
2
5
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Porosity
Porosity
C
u
m
u
l
a
t
i
v
e
%
Basic Statistics
62 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 62. A Typical Box Plot.
Comparison of different boxplots for various groups of data is often useful in reservoir characterisation. For
example, Figure 63, “Example Box Plots of Deep Resistivity for Six Different Facies.” shows a group of box
plots of certain deep resistivity values for six different facies. The plots show different statistical distribution
patterns of resistivity for each facies.
FIGURE 63. Example Box Plots of Deep Resistivity for Six Different Facies.
FREQUENCY DENSITY
Like most statistical applications, it is useful to check if the cumulative histogram can be represented by a
x
o o o x x
Q
2
Q
1
Q
3
1.5 x IQR
IQR
Upper
whisker
Lower
whisker
Lower
hinge
Upper
hinge
3 x IQR
o o o o x x
E
x
t
r
e
m
e
s
O
u
t
l
i
e
r
s
18 25 23 82 67 16 N =
F acies
F E D C B A
D
e
e
p
R
e
s
i
s
i
t
i
v
i
t
y
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 63
smooth and welldefined curve expressing the frequency density of the variable. If the samples are taken
from a given population, and each sample has an equal opportunity of being selected, then that sampling is
said to be a random sampling. In probability theory, the variable x becomes a random variable, which is a
variable over a sample space that can be described by a probability density function (pdf). Moreover, if the
sample size is large, the relative frequency of the histogram can be taken as the probability of the event. In
this case, the smooth curve becomes a pdf. Similarly, the cumulative pdf (or cpdf) can be used to model the
cumulative frequency plot.
Uniform Distribution
Uniform distribution is the simplest form of pdf or cpdf. This distribution shows that the data is purely ran
dom (i.e. equal chance of selection) within a certain range of values. Figure 64, “Uniform Distribution.”
shows the pdf and the cpdf for a uniform distribution. The expressions for the pdf (f) and cpdf (F) are:
(EQ 17)
and
(EQ 18)
FIGURE 64. Uniform Distribution.
Normal Distribution
The most popular curve is the normal or Gaussian distribution. It has properties that favour its use in theo
retical approaches to prediction. The normal distribution is characterised by a mean m and a variance σ
2
:
f x ( )
0 x a <
1
b a –
  a x b ≤ ≤
0 x b >
¹
¦
´
¦
¦
=
F x ( )
0 x a <
x a –
b a –
  a x b ≤ ≤
1 x b >
¹
¦
´
¦
¦
=
x
a b
f(x)
100%
0%
F(x)
1
(ba)
Basic Statistics
64 Reservoir Characterisation
(EQ 19)
and
(EQ 20)
Figure 65, “Gaussian Model Fitted to the Porosity Histograms.” shows the fitting of a Gaussian model to
histograms of porosity data.
FIGURE 65. Gaussian Model Fitted to the Porosity Histograms.
If we use the standardised random variable, z=(xm)/σ, we may rewrite the normal pdf and cpdf as:
(EQ 21)
and
(EQ 22)
Normal distribution is an important model in statistics. According to the Central Limit Theorem, the distribu
tion of any statistics (e.g. means) derived from any probability density functions tends to be normally distrib
uted as the sample size increases. Many of the statistical applications require normally distributed random
variables.
Lognormal Distribution
In geological sciences, some distributions are positively skewed (i.e. most values are low with relatively few
f x ( )
1
σ 2π

1
2
  –
x m –
σ
 
\ ¹
 
2
\ ¹
 
exp =
F x ( )
1
σ 2π

1
2
  –
t m –
σ
 
\ ¹
 
2
\ ¹
 
exp t d
∞ –
x
∫
=
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Porosity (%)
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e
f
r
e
q
e
n
c
y
o
r
p
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Porosity (%)
C
u
m
u
l
a
t
i
v
e
f
r
e
q
e
n
c
y
o
r
p
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
f z ( )
1
2π

1
2
  – z
2
\ ¹
 
exp =
F z ( )
1
2π

1
2
  – t
2
\ ¹
 
exp t d
∞ –
z
∫
=
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 65
high values). One typical example is reservoir permeability. In many cases, the logarithmic transformation
of the variable follows a normal distribution. This is the log normal distribution and is a straightforward vari
ant of the normal distribution described by the following equations:
(EQ 23)
and
(EQ 24)
In this case, the mean and standard deviation are calculated based on the logarithmic transformed varia
ble, not on the original variable. Since all x>0, hence the integration starts from 0, rather than ∞.
ADVANTAGES OF UNIVARIATE STATISTICS
Univariate statistics can be calculated simply and provided important basic information about the sample in
a very condensed form. The mean can be directly used in many geological cases as an approximation to
the effective value. The univariate statistics may be used as parameters for a distribution model which can
in turn be used in experiments to determine the behaviour of an analogous system.
LIMITATIONS OF UNIVARIATE STATISTICS
Univariate statistics are very condensed. In the absence of any visualisation of the data they can lead to
misleading conclusions. Some of the statistics are extremely sensitive to extreme values and often the data
should be examined to remove or explain any unusual values.
BIVARIATE STATISTICS
Bivariate methods are the data analytical methods used when we need to consider relationships between
two variables. The relationships between, say, porosity and permeability in hydrocarbon reservoir appraisal
and simulation, are of prime importance.
In univariate methods, the graphical concept of data is a series of points along a scaled line. With one vari
able, the array of points is onedimensional; with two variables, we can produce a scatter of points in a two
dimensional space, with the data pair (x
i
, y
i
) giving the coordinates with respect to two perpendicular scaled
axes. Relationships between the variables are studied with the aid of techniques such as correlation and
regression analysis.
VISUALISATION
QQ Plots
In the analysis of bivariate data sets, it is useful to compare the distributions. The comparison of the poros
ity and velocity data distributions can be shown various graphical forms. QQ plot is a graph on which the
quantiles from two data distributions are plotted versus one another. If the distributions are identical, the
quantile data will form a 1:1 straight line. The departure from the 1:1 line reveals the dissimilarity between
the two distributions. Note that the units (scales) of the both data types must be identical in order to use the
1:1 line as the basis of comparison. We may use the standardised variables if the units are different,. The
QQ plot can also be used to compare the quantiles of a data distribution to the quantiles of a normal distri
bution. Figure 66, “QQ Plots” shows the porosity and velocity QQ plots compared to its normal distribution
model (using its mean and standard deviation), and the porosityvelocity QQ plot in standardised form.
From these plots, we can conclude that the porosity and velocity data are approximately normal, and their
f x ( )
1
xσ
x log
2π

1
2
  –
x log m
x log
–
σ
x log

\ ¹
 
2
\ ¹
 
exp =
F x ( )
1
σ
x log
2π

1
2
  –
t log m
x log
–
σ
x log

\ ¹
 
2
\ ¹
 
exp t d
0
x
∫
=
Basic Statistics
66 Reservoir Characterisation
distributions are similar.
FIGURE 66. QQ Plots
Scatter Plots
A scatter plot is the most common display of bivariate data showing the values on a xy graph. In well log
ging, for example, we can plot sonic versus density logs, sonic versus neutron logs and density versus neu
tron logs. These plots can indicate what kind of relationship, if any, exists between the variables.
FIGURE 67. Scatter plot showing independent variables (top) and dependent variables (bottom)
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
12 14 16 18 20 22 24
Porosity(Data)
P
o
r
o
s
i
t
y
(
N
o
r
m
a
l
)
3.0
3.2
3.4
3.6
3.8
4.0
3.0 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.8 4.0
Velocity(Data)
V
e
l
o
c
i
t
y
(
N
o
r
m
a
l
)
2
1
0
1
2
2 1 0 1 2
Velocity(Data)
P
o
r
o
s
i
t
y
(
D
a
t
a
)
0
5 0
1 0 0
1 5 0
2 0 0
2 5 0
3 0 0
0 4 8 1 2 1 6
V a r i a b l e C
V
a
r
i
a
b
l
e
D
0
0 . 2
0 . 4
0 . 6
0 . 8
1
0 5 1 0 1 5 2 0 2 5 3 0 3 5 V a r i a b l e A
V
a
r
i
a
b
l
e
B
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 67
PARTIAL DEPENDENCY
In most real world situations we have something between independence and complete dependence.
FIGURE 68. Partially dependent variables
FIGURE 69. Porosity Scatter Plot with and without jitter
If there is likely to be any discretisation of the data it may helpful to add a very small amount of random
noise to the data. This process is called jittering. With discretisation points may be coincident and the jitter
ing process will turn what appears to be a single point into a small cloud of points.
Scatter plots are useful for error checking before the use of any data analysis tools. They can reveal obvi
ous outliers and unusual pairs. It is often worthwhile to carry out further investigations of such data. They
may be associated with equipment failure or belong to another population.
COMMON VARIABLES THAT ARE RELATED
• Porosity and permeability
• Porosity and water saturation
• Porosity and seismic amplitude
• Density and molecular weight
• Oil density and viscosity
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
0 5 10 15 20 25 Variable E
V
a
r
i
a
b
l
e
F
0 0 . 0 3 0 . 0 5 0 . 0 8 0 . 1 0 . 1 3 0 . 1 5 0 . 1 8 0 . 2
0
0 . 0 2
0 . 0 4
0 . 0 6
0 . 0 8
0 . 1
0 . 1 2
0 . 1 4
0 . 1 6
0 . 1 8
0 . 2
P o r o s i t y S c a t t e r
P ( X + H )
P ( X )
P
(
X
+
H
)
0 0 . 0 3 0 . 0 5 0 . 0 8 0 . 1 0 . 1 3 0 . 1 5 0 . 1 8 0 . 2
0
0 . 0 2
0 . 0 4
0 . 0 6
0 . 0 8
0 . 1
0 . 1 2
0 . 1 4
0 . 1 6
0 . 1 8
0 . 2
P o r o s it y S c a t t e r w i t h J i t t e r
P ( X + H )
P ( X )
P
(
X
+
H
)
Basic Statistics
68 Reservoir Characterisation
• Formation thickness and productivity
• Sandbody width and thickness
BIVARIATE HISTOGRAM FOR POROSITY & LOG10 PERMEABILITY
A scatter plot can be enhanced by showing histograms for each of the variables on their respective axes. In
Figure 70 below the bimodal nature of both porosity and permeability is easy to see from the histograms.
FIGURE 70. Bivariate Histogram
This shows much more information than the traditional scatter plot shown in Figure 71
FIGURE 71. Porositypermeability scatter plot
Porosity
L
o
g
1
0
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
Marginal
Histogram of
Permeability
Marginal
Histogram of
Porosity
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
0 10 20 30 40 50
Porosity, %
L
o
g
1
0
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 69
BIVARIATE FREQUENCY (PROBABILITY) DISTRIBUTION
For any interval of either variable a histogram can be computed. In Figure 72 the red and blue solid lines
surround the marginal distributions shown in Figure 70 on page 68. The red and blue dashed lines sur
round the conditional distributions for different intervals of porosity and permeability.
This type of analysis is useful for improving the characterisation of complex relationships between varia
bles.
FIGURE 72. Bivariate frequency distribution
COVARIANCE
There are generally three types of correlation patterns one can observe on a scatter plot: positively corre
lated; negatively correlated; and uncorrelated. Two variables are positively correlated if the larger values of
one variable tend to be associated with larger values of the other variable. A typical example is the porosity
permeability relationship. For negative correlation, the variables are inversely related to each other, which
is the case in the porosityvelocity relationship. When the relationship is uncorrelated, the increase or
decrease in one variable has no apparent effect on the other one.
The correlation may be measured using the covariance, Cxy
:
(EQ 25)
(EQ 26)
The covariance of the same variable is identical to its variance, i.e., Cxx = σ.
CORRELATION COEFFICIENT
The covariance is of limited use in most application domains, especially in cases where the two variables
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 Total
5 0 3 16 3 0 0 0 0 22
10 0 2 24 21 0 0 0 0 47
15 0 2 32 39 4 1 0 0 78
20 0 0 19 56 21 1 0 0 97
25 0 0 5 42 45 6 1 0 99
30 0 0 0 16 37 20 4 0 77
35 0 0 0 5 18 20 4 0 47
40 0 0 0 0 6 8 8 0 22
45 0 0 0 0 1 4 3 0 8
50 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 3
Total 0 7 96 182 132 61 22 0 500
Log10 Permeability
P
o
r
o
s
i
t
y
Log10 Perm. Marginal Distribution Log10 Perm. Marginal Distribution
Log10 Perm. Conditional Distribution for 30<Porosity<=35 Log10 Perm. Conditional Distribution for 30<Porosity<=35
Marginal
Distribution
of Porosity
Marginal
Distribution
of Porosity
Cxy
1
n
  x
i
m
x
– ( ) y
i
m
y
– ( )
i 1 =
n
∑
=
Cxy
1
n
  x
i
y
i
m
x
m
y
–
i 1 =
n
∑
=
Basic Statistics
70 Reservoir Characterisation
are measured in different units. This problem, however, can be simply removed by standardising the both
data types, that is, by dividing the data by its own standard deviation. The result is a dimensionless meas
ure, the Pearson’s productmoment correlation coefficient (r) or simply as the correlation coefficient:
(EQ 27)
The correlation coefficient ranges from 1 to 1. These two extremes indicate equally strong relationships
between variables, but with different implications for interpretation. The data are positively correlated when
r>0, and negatively correlated when r<0. When r is close to zero, it indicates the lack of a linear trend, but
could not be considered as uncorrelated. An example is the symmetrical relationships, where r=0 but the
data is correlated. Note that r becomes undefined if one of the two standard variations is zero (vertical or
horizontal line). Figure 75, “Correlation Coefficients for different xy Relationships.” shows the r values for
different situations.
It is important to note that r is only a measure of straightline relationship (), not a general measure of rela
tionship, between two variables. Also, caution must be taken when r is used as a performance indicator in
prediction models. A good prediction model, that is y ≈ x (m0,c=0), will give a high r value. However, a high
r value does not imply that the model is good, since r is also high when m≠0, c≠0. Also, the presence of
outliers may dramatically increase or reduce the correlation coefficient.
What does the correlation coefficient mean?
If the value of the correlation coefficient, r, is 0.55 that indicates that variable A and variable B are partially
correlated. It means that 30.25%, or 0.55
2
of the variation in variable B is associated with the variability in
variable A.
The correlation coefficient is a measure of how close the points come to falling on a straight line.
INTERPRETING CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS
It is important to always look at a scatter plot of the data when interpreting a correlation coefficient since r is
very susceptible to data clustering and outliers.
FIGURE 73. Correlation problems  always look at the scatter plot
r
Cxy
σ
x
σ
y
 =
r = undefined
Outliers significantly reduce
correlation coefficient
Single point induces high
correlation coefficient
r = 0
No linear correlation, but clearly
NOT independent
r low
r high
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 71
If r is a measure of how close the points come to falling on a straight line it is an indicator of how successful
we might be in predicting one variable from another provided that the dependency is linear.
If r is high then for a given value of one variable, then we know that the other variable is restricted to only a
small range of values.
If r is low then knowing the value of one variable does not give us much information on the other.
NONLINEAR CORRELATION
Sometimes there is a clear relationship between two variables which is not linear. How can this be quanti
fied?
FIGURE 74. Porositypermeability scatter plot showing nonlinear relationship
Rank Correlation
When the linear correlation is a poor measure, we can correlate the ranks of the values instead. The rank is
the position of a data value when sorted in ascending order. The smallest value has rank=1 and the largest
has rank=N. Each column of data is sorted independently i.e. sort all the porosity values in ascending order
and then all the permeability values in ascending order. This may seem strange since the porosity and per
meability values no longer refer to the same point.
(EQ 28)
Interpreting Rank Correlation
The relationship between the correlation coefficient and the rank correlation coefficient can tell us a great
deal about the quality of the relationship between the two variables.
1. if r
rank
>r then a few outliers are spoiling an otherwise good correlation.
2. If r
rank
<r then a few outliers are enhancing an otherwise poor correlation.
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
0 10 20 30 40 50
Porosity, %
P
e
r
m
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
,
m
d
r = 0.564
r
rank
= 0.816
r
R
Cov
R
x
R
y
σ
R
x
σ
R
y

R
xi
R
x
– ( ) R
yi
R
y
– ( ) ×
∑
n σ
R
x
σ
R
y
⋅
 = =
Basic Statistics
72 Reservoir Characterisation
3. If r
rank
=1 then the relationship is monotonic, but not necessarily linear. For example for y=x2 the correla
tion coefficient r is almost 0 but the rank correlation coefficient is 1. In these cases a nonlinear trans
form of one variable can make the correlation coefficient r =1.
FIGURE 75. Correlation Coefficients for different xy Relationships.
PROBLEMS OF SPARSE DATA
With sparse data there is a good chance of having a very good or very bad correlation coefficient as the
coefficient is very sensitive to points that lie away from the main body of points.
BIVARIATE REGRESSION
Regression allows the fitting of a line or a curve with an equation which best describes that relationship.
The derived equation can be used to describe and aid understanding of the geological process. Predictions
can also be done by applying the equation to new situations where unknown values of one variable are
needed from the known values of another. It is inherent to the subject of geology that most data are literally
buried and difficult to assess, so prediction on the basis of partial information is of great importance. One
example is the prediction of porosity from a given velocity value.
In regression, the bestfit line is fitted in such a way as to minimise the deviation of the data points from the
line. Although the process of regression always results in the error being minimised, there are a variety of
ways in which the error can be defined. Three are discussed in this section: classical, structural and
weighted least squares.
Classical Regression
In classical regression, the error is regarded as residing in only one of the two variables. There are gener
ally two types of classical regression: linear and curvilinear. In order to demonstrate the theory, we will
assume that the error resides in the variable y. A similar procedure can be done for error residing in the var
0
1
2
3
4
5
0 1 2 3 4 5
r = 1 . 0
0
1
2
3
4
5
0 1 2 3 4 5
r =  1 . 0
0
1
2
3
4
5
0 1 2 3 4 5
r = 0 .8
0
1
2
3
4
5
0 1 2 3 4 5
r = 0 . 0
0
1
2
3
4
5
0 1 2 3 4 5
r = und e fine d
0
1
2
3
4
5
0 1 2 3 4 5
r = und e fine d
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 73
iable x.
Linear regression
In classical linear regression, a bestfit straight line is sought. The general equation of the regression line is:
(EQ 29)
where y is the dependent or regressed variable (unknown with significant error associated with the meas
urements), x is the independent or regressor variable (known with insignificant error associated with the
measurements), b
0
and b
1
are the coefficients of the equation, where b
0
gives the intercept of the line on
the y axis (where x = 0) and b
1
gives the slope of the line. We may call this line as the “YonX” line since
the error resides in the variable y. If the error resides in the variable x, we may call it as the “XonY” line.
The objective of regression is to find the coefficients so that the total error is minimised. The error measure
to be minimised is called the sum of squares due to deviation (SSD):
(EQ 30)
where y
*
is the estimate of y (or the value of y where a vertical line through the point hits the regression
line). Figure 76, “Error Definition in Classical Linear Regression.”shows a schematic diagram for classical
linear regression.
Setting
resolves into solution of simultaneous equations:
(EQ 31)
and
(EQ 32)
Rearranging the equations gives:
(EQ 33)
and
y b
0
b
1
x + =
SSD y
i
y
∗
i
– ( )
2
i 1 =
n
∑
=
b
0
∂
∂
SSD
b
1
∂
∂
SSD 0 = =
y
i
i 1 =
n
∑
b
0
n b
1
x
i
i 1 =
n
∑
+ =
x
i
y
i
i 1 =
n
∑
b
0
x
i
i 1 =
n
∑
b
1
x
i
2
i 1 =
n
∑
+ =
b
1
n x
i
y
i
x
i
y
i
i 1 =
n
∑
i 1 =
n
∑
–
i 1 =
n
∑
n x
i
2
i 1 =
n
∑
x
i
i 1 =
n
∑
\ ¹

 
2
–
 =
Basic Statistics
74 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 76. Error Definition in Classical Linear Regression.
This is a problem which is readily solved using standard computer software. It is important to note that the
coefficients could be calculated for any scatter of points, even a totally random scatter with no linear trend.
Hence, we need to know whether or not the data scatter has a trend which is significantly different from
what could be expected in a random scatter, or, in statistical terms, whether or not the line is horizontal (b
1
= 0).
The goodnessoffit statistic R
2
is often used to convey the quality of the regression line. It is effectively the
same as the square of the Pearson correlation coefficient, r
2
. We may define R
2
in terms of variances from
two sources: variation due to the regression line (SSR) and the variation due to error (SSD):
(EQ 34)
and
(EQ 35)
where m
y
is the average value of y. The ranges from 0 to 1 (or 0% to 100%). It indicates the proportion of
total variance which is explained by the regression line. The significance of the regression line is greater
with higher SSR and lower SSD. Note that the SSR can be regarded as due to the causative geological
process and the SSD as due to randomness. These two values could change significantly if outliers are not
removed from the raw data set.
Regardless of how significant the regression, care should be taken in using the resulting equation for pre
diction. In particular, extrapolation beyond the given data range is not advisable, unless the equation is
b
0
1
n
  y
i
i 1 =
n
∑
b
1
n
 x
i
i 1 =
n
∑
– =
x
y
y*
error = yy*
b
0
b
1
0
SSR y
i
∗
m
y
– ( )
2
i 1 =
n
∑
=
R
2 SSR
SSR SSD +

y
i
∗
m
y
– ( )
2
i 1 =
n
∑
y
i
∗
m
y
– ( )
2
i 1 =
n
∑
y
i
y
i
–
∗
( )
2
i 1 =
n
∑
+
 = =
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 75
inherent in the causative geological process.
FIGURE 77. PorosityVelocity Scatter plot.
In regression analysis, it is often important to examine the errors or residuals (y
i
y
i
*
) of the predictions. The
regression line is statistically valid only if the residuals are normally distributed with zero mean, uncorrected
(i.e. no increasing, decreasing or periodic trend) and homoscedastic (i.e. the variance of the residuals are
uncorrelated). Figure 78, “Residual and QQ plots for the PorosityVelocity Model.” displays the residual
plot together with the residual QQ plot for the porosityvelocity regression model. For these plots, we can
see that the porosity residuals are normally distributed (with mean 0.00 and variance 1.64), uncorrelated
and homoscedastic.
FIGURE 78. Residual and QQ plots for the PorosityVelocity Model.
MULTIVARIATE STATISTICS
Multivariate methods are important for understanding complex geological data because virtually all geolog
ical data are inherently, naturally, multivariate. They allow simultaneous analysis of a large number of
measurements or variables made on the same object. In fact, most bivariate methods are special cases of
the multivariate methods. Typical multivariate geological problems include description of a sedimentary
rock by percentage of various clast types and grain size frequencies, petrophysical predictions from a
y = 8 . 38 x + 4 6 . 8 5
R
2
= 0 . 5 2 7
1 0
1 5
2 0
2 5
3 . 0 3 . 2 3 . 4 3 . 6 3 . 8 4 . 0
V e l o c i t y ( k m / s )
P
o
r
o
s
i
t
y
4
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
4
3.0 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.8 4.0
Velocity (km/s)
R
e
s
i
d
u
a
l
(
D
a
t
a
)
4
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
4
4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4
Residual (Data)
R
e
s
i
d
u
a
l
(
N
o
r
m
a
l
)
Basic Statistics
76 Reservoir Characterisation
diversity of well logs, and petrophysical interpretation from multiple seismic attributes.
Multivariate methods are useful for maximising the use of all available measurements. However, we should
bear in mind that the relationships of the variables used should follow some physical principles. Moreover
multivariate methods require a larger number of observations or points compared to the bivariate methods.
For example, an equation of a straight line, which has two unknowns, requires only two data points to
define the slope and the intercept, but an equation with n unknowns can only be solved with at least n
points. Thus, multivariate analysis with few points on many variables will give misleading results. Also, most
of the techniques are highly sensitive to outliers.
Most multivariate techniques require the use of a variancecovariance matrix which is a square symmetrical
data matrix expressing the relationships between different variables with the variances on the diagonal and
the covariances off the diagonal. More information on the mathematics behind these techniques can be
found in standard statistical textbooks.
Multivariate methods can be used for three major tasks: prediction, dimensionality reduction and classifica
tion. Prediction is used for estimating a value of a dependent variable from a number of independent varia
bles, i.e. If n=1, it becomes the bivariate regression model. Dimensionality reduction is used to reduce
multivariate data into fewer (usually two) variables. This is particularly useful for visualising multivariate
data on a XY scatter plot and the derived variables can also be used for other analyses. Classification
aims to identify clusters based on the similarity of data in a multivariate space. A typical example is the clas
sification of well log responses into different categories (or electrofacies).
In practice, the three tasks are complimentary and can be used to obtain better reservoir predictions. For
example, given a number of well logs for the development of corelog permeability relationships. We may
first perform clustering of the well logs. We may then reduce the number of well logs to a fewer dimensions
and subsequently use them as independent variables to develop clusterspecific permeability transforms.
MULTIPLE REGRESSION
In bivariate regression, the dependent variable is a function of one and only one independent variable. Mul
tiple regression deals with the derivation of a bestfit equation relating a single dependent variable to any
number of (usually) independent variables. For example, we can find an equation relating core porosity (or
permeability) to a number of well logs (e.g. sonic, density and neutron logs) for use in prediction.
A general multiple (linear) regression model is:
(EQ 36)
where x
i
...x
n
can be related and/or unrelated variables. In polynomial regression discussed in “Bivariate
Statistics” on page 65, x
i
can be of any form of the variable x, such as x
2
=x
1
2
, x
3
=x
1
x
2
and x
4
=logx
1
. As in
the bivariate linear regression, the coefficients can be derived by minimising the sum of squares of the
residuals. The computations are straightforward but tedious, and thus are often done using conventional
spreadsheet programs and statistical packages.
If more than one dependent variable is used, i.e. (y
1
...y
m
)=f(x
1
...x
n
), the system becomes more complex.
An example is to relate core porosity and permeability to a number of well logs (e.g. sonic, density and neu
tron logs) for use in prediction.
CANONICAL ANALYSIS
Canonical analysis extends the multiple regression analysis to identify relationships between two sets of
y b
0
b
i
x
i
i 1 =
n
∑
+ =
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 77
variables. This is done by finding the linear combinations of the variables in the first set that are most highly
correlated with the linear combinations of the variables in the second set. Two new variables known as
canonical variables are used:
(EQ 37)
where x
*
, y
*
are the canonical variables. The two sets of coefficients can be found by maximising the corre
lation between the canonical variables.
PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS ANALYSIS
One of the problems inherent in multivariate analysis is graphical representation. If we have more than
three variables to analyse, it is impossible to draw or imagine, except in an abstract way, and herein lies in
the problem. One of the multivariate methods known as principal components analysis (PCA) aims to
reduce high dimensional data to fewer dimensions for viewing and analysis without any loss of total vari
ance observed in the data set.
PCA transforms an original set of n variables into a new set of n principal components (PCs) which are the
new coordinate axes at right angles to each other (orthogonal). Very often, the first two principal compo
nents almost invariably account for a large proportion of the total variance of the original variables. Thus we
can conveniently draw and view n dimensional data on flat paper. PCA is general, makes no statistical
assumptions and tests no hypothesis and has no underlying model. It is merely another form of linear data
transformation with the following form:
(EQ 38)
where z
j
is the j
th
principal component of the original variables x
i
...x
n
and a
1j
...a
nj
are the corresponding
coefficients. These coefficients are determined by extracting the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the vari
ancecovariance matrix of X.
EIGENVALUES AND EIGENVECTORS
For any square matrix S, a scalar λ and a non zero vector A can be found such that:
(EQ 39)
where λ is an eigenvalue of S and A is an eigenvector. To find λ and A, we write:
(EQ 40)
If SλΙ,≠0, then (SλΙ) has an inverse and A = 0 is the only solution. Hence, in order to obtain nontrivial
solutions, we set SλΙ,=0 which is called the characteristic equation. If S is n X n, the equation will have n
roots, that is, S will have n eigenvalues λ
1
...λ
n
and n corresponding eigenvectors A
1
...A
n
.
Two important properties of the analysis are:
• The sum of the eigenvalues equals the sum of the diagonal elements of S.
y
∗
a
i
y
i
i 1 =
m
∑
=
x
∗
b
i
x
i
i 1 =
n
∑
=
z
j
a
i j
x
i
i 1 =
n
∑
= j 1…n =
SA λ λλ λA =
S λ λλ λI – ( )A 0 =
Basic Statistics
78 Reservoir Characterisation
• Eigenvalues are the variances of the principal components.
DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS
Discriminant analysis is used to assign multivariate data to one of two or more established categories or
clusters. For example, we may want to know if the rock section at a particular reservoir depth should be
classified as sandstone, limestone or mudstone based on multiple well log responses. This technique is
one of the most popular techniques in formation evaluation.
Discriminant analysis is an example of the supervised classification techniques. This approach is to impose
different a priori categories onto the data. Hence it requires a set of training patterns which are known mul
tivariate measurements for each desired cluster. It is therefore inappropriate to use supervised techniques
if we do not have the characteristics of each cluster on hand. Unsupervised techniques use a variety of
mathematical algorithms to assist in the determination of the characteristics of the clusters.
The process of discriminant analysis is to find linear discriminant functions which are linear combinations of
the variables:
(EQ 41)
where a
i
are the discriminant coefficients and the value of z is the discriminant score. The function aims to
transform the data into a discriminant space. The coefficients are derived based upon maximising the
betweencluster (or betweengroup) variance while minimising the withincluster (or withingroup) variance.
FIGURE 79. Geometric Representation of a Discriminant Function in 2D Space.
Figure 79, “Geometric Representation of a Discriminant Function in 2D Space.” shows a geometrical inter
pretation of two variables (x
1
,y
2
) on two clusters (A,B). As shown, either one of the two variables is able to
separate the clusters separately (i.e. highly overlap). When the two variables are combined to form the dis
criminant function (z), the separation between the two clusters becomes optimal.
The number of discriminant functions is the number of known classes minus one. Thus there is only one
function for two clusters. For higher number of classes, more functions can be calculated. Statistical tests
are available to rank the discriminating power of each function. In practice, only the first two or three most
relevant functions are sufficient for effective separation of the clusters. Graphical representations (e.g. z
1
z a
i
x
i
i 1 =
n
∑
=
x
2
x
1
A B
A
B
A
B
A
B
z
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 79
versus z
2
) can be used to display their differences in the discriminant space.
Unlike multiple regression, the performance indicator of the classification algorithms is the classification
accuracy:
(EQ 42)
where I
j
is the correct classification indicator, n
p
is the number of training patterns and A is the classification
accuracy (ranging from 0% to 100%).
Once the discriminant functions are derived, given a new data, we can compute its discriminant score and
assign it to the cluster with the maximum probability of occurrence.
The underlying assumptions of discriminant analysis are:
• the multivariate normal distribution of all the variables used.
• each training pattern in the initial classification is correctly classified.
• the training patterns are random samples.
• the variables are multivariate normally distributed.
• the variance and covariance matrix for each cluster is the identical.
In reservoir data analysis, it is important to establish the relationships between the clusters derived from the
data and their geological meanings. For example, the clusters from well log responses are often known as
electrofacies which are indirectly related to lithofacies. Therefore it is important to check the results with
core descriptive data, if available.
CLUSTER ANALYSIS
The objective of cluster analysis aims to classify measurements into clusters. It is perhaps the longest
established multivariate technique for petrophysical evaluation. Unlike discriminant analysis, it doe not
require the known characteristics of each cluster and hence it is more objective. Moreover no statistical
assumptions (non parametric) are used for the variables. The basic logic is to derive firstly a matrix of simi
larities between pairs of multivariate data points. This is followed by the use of a clustering method to define
the clusters according to its criteria.
The typical measure of similarities between two n dimensional data points is:
(EQ 43)
For m=1, it is known as the Manhattan distance; for m=2, it is the Euclidean distance. Clearly, if two points
are close, d
AB
becomes small and hence the points are similar.
Among all the clustering algorithms, kmeans clustering is a popular one. In kmeans clustering, it requires
to the user to specify the number of clusters (k) that should be used. The method starts with k randomised
centroids (or centres of gravity) and uses an iterative method to optimise the centroid location for each clus
ter. The variance of the data within each cluster is minimised. It results in exactly k clusters from the data
I
j
1 if correct
0 otherwise
¹
´
¦
=
A
1
n
p
 I
j
j 1 =
n
p
∑
100 • % =
d
AB
x
A
i
x
B
i
–
m
i 1 =
n
∑
\ ¹

 
1
m

=
Basic Statistics
80 Reservoir Characterisation
set which are distinctly different from each other.
Figure 80, “The Movement of Centroids and Decision Boundary.” shows a schematic diagram of how the
centroids are “evolved.” Four iterations are required to separate the data into two clusters. For any new
data, the distance from each of the centroids is calculated. The algorithm then assigns the data to the near
est cluster with the maximum similarity (shortest distance).
FIGURE 80. The Movement of Centroids and Decision Boundary.
AUTO CORRELATION
Auto correlation is the process of quantifying the selfsimilarity of a series of points. Consider the signal in
Figure 81 on page 81; the covariance is computed for each point in the signal against the points in a copy
of the signal separated by a lag increment, h. For a lag increment of 0 the signals are perfectly correlated
and the covariance is 1 at all locations.
C
1
C
2
a) Centroids at step 1.
C
1
C
2
b) Centroids at step 2.
C
1
C
2
c) Centroids at step 3.
C
1
C
2
d) Centroids at step 4.
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 81
FIGURE 81. Autocorrelation procedure
AUTOCOVARIOGRAM OR AUTOCOVARIANCE FUNCTION
The covariance calculation is repeated for different lags, usually from 0 to N/4 where N is the number of
samples in the signal. A plot of covariance against lag is called the autocovariogram or autocovariance
function. Covariance is in data units squared.
AUTOCORRELOGRAM
The autocorrelogram or correlogram is also known as a 2point correlation function. It is similar to the auto
covariogram but instead of computing the covariance at each lag the correlation coefficient is used instead.
This just normalises the covariance between 1 and 1.
(EQ 44)
V
a
r
i
a
b
l
e
(
e
g
p
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
)
Location (eg time, depth)
Lag =1 Lag =1
Lag =2 Lag =2
C
o
v
a
r
i
a
n
c
e
Lag, h
0
0
500
500
r
Cxy
σ
x
σ
y
 =
Basic Statistics
82 Reservoir Characterisation
PROPERTIES OF THE CORRELOGRAM
At zero lag the value of the correlogram is 1 unless there is any measurement error. As the lag increases
we expect the values to become completely unrelated or independent and the value will tend to 0.
FIGURE 82. Correlogram
TYPICAL CORRELOGRAMS
Here are some signals and there correlograms.
FIGURE 83. Various signals and their correlograms
CONDITIONAL EXPECTATIONS
Not only do we want to estimate a true value of one variable from another, it would be extremely useful if we
could predict the uncertainty or variability. The relationship may not be linear, particularly when the varia
bles are the same attribute at different locations. The prediction of these conditional distributions is at the
heart of all geostatistical algorithms.
+1
0
1
+1
0
1
+1
0
1
Data Series Correlogram
Why?
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 83
FIGURE 84. Conditional distribution of permeability
CONDITIONAL EXPECTATION CURVE
It is possible to construct a curve called the conditional expectation curve by computing the average value
of permeability is calculated for different porosity intervals.
FIGURE 85. Conditional expectation curve
This is obviously quite a different approach to the estimation of dependent variables than the regression
approach but it is equally valid as a predictor. Moreover it has the advantage of giving distributions about
the estimated value so that you can visualise the confidence in the prediction.
A smoother curve can be fitted by using a moving window for the averaging.
The construction is straightforward;
1. Sort the N data pairs in ascending order of x
2. Choose a window of M (10 < M < n/10)
3. Calculate average x and y for first M pairs
4. Move window forward 1 step and repeat
Known primary value
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
(
m
d
)
Porosity, %
Known primary value
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
(
m
d
)
Porosity, %
Known primary value Known primary value
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
(
m
d
)
Porosity, %
Distribution of
possible
permeability
values at a
known porosity
value
Distribution of
possible
permeability
values at a
known porosity
value
0
100
200
300
400
500
0 10 20 30 40 50
0
100
200
300
400
500
0 10 20 30 40 50
Basic Statistics
84 Reservoir Characterisation
5. Plot the (NM) paired averages
FIGURE 86. Moving average conditional expectation curve
Ideally, the probability intervals should be chosen to have an equal number of data points, rather than using
equal porosity or permeability intervals.
FIGURE 87. Equal number of points in each bin
0
1 0 0
2 0 0
3 0 0
4 0 0
5 0 0
0 1 0 2 0 3 0 4 0 5 0
0
1 0 0
2 0 0
3 0 0
4 0 0
5 0 0
0 1 0 2 0 3 0 4 0 5 0
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 85
EXERCISES
Use the following table and the graph paper following to complete the exercises.
1. Value of Data
On the first log plot 50 samples taken at random from the dataset and draw a curve to connect the points.
Select another 20 points and draw a line connecting all 70 points. Does the addition of these points improve
your understanding of the nature of the variation of DT with depth? What if you added another 50 points
selected at random?
Depth DT Depth DT Depth DT Depth DT Depth DT
5613 89.33 5645 74.78 5677 76.85 5709 86.2 5741 87.47
5613.5 90.33 5645.5 76.04 5677.5 76.91 5709.5 83.55 5741.5 89.12
5614 92.82 5646 76.9 5678 76.51 5710 82.75 5742 91.24
5614.5 93.84 5646.5 76.63 5678.5 76.91 5710.5 83.95 5742.5 92.57
5615 94.43 5647 76.37 5679 76.98 5711 85.93 5743 93.23
5615.5 94.63 5647.5 75.84 5679.5 76.89 5711.5 87.92 5743.5 93.5
5616 94.7 5648 76.15 5680 76.58 5712 88.18 5744 94.89
5616.5 94.7 5648.5 76.24 5680.5 77.11 5712.5 87.39 5744.5 95.15
5617 94.57 5649 76.17 5681 77.24 5713 85.34 5745 93.83
5617.5 93.84 5649.5 75.91 5681.5 77.31 5713.5 83.09 5745.5 92.17
5618 91.59 5650 75.38 5682 77.38 5714 82.09 5746 91.18
5618.5 88.87 5650.5 75.31 5682.5 77.58 5714.5 82.03 5746.5 90.32
5619 86.49 5651 75.18 5683 77.84 5715 83.75 5747 90.19
5619.5 84.5 5651.5 74.78 5683.5 78.17 5715.5 85.47 5747.5 89.46
5620 82.32 5652 74.38 5684 78.04 5716 85.41 5748 90.32
5620.5 80.46 5652.5 73.33 5684.5 77.91 5716.5 88.05 5748.5 92.24
5621 79.4 5653 72.86 5685 77.84 5717 90.04 5749 91.45
5621.5 79.21 5653.5 72.53 5685.5 77.18 5717.5 90.04 5749.5 88.66
5622 79.54 5654 72.4 5686 77.25 5718 89.38 5750 85.55
5622.5 79.07 5654.5 72 5686.5 77.98 5718.5 89.98 5750.5 85.29
5623 77.48 5655 72.2 5687 79.83 5719 92.76 5751 85.62
5623.5 76.49 5655.5 72.73 5687.5 81.82 5719.5 93.95 5751.5 86.41
5624 77.09 5656 73.13 5688 83.14 5720 92.29 5752 86.28
5624.5 77.15 5656.5 73.13 5688.5 84.33 5720.5 92.63 5752.5 88.33
5625 75.43 5657 72.8 5689 85.06 5721 93.16 5753 90.06
5625.5 74.26 5657.5 73.06 5689.5 84.27 5721.5 92.1 5753.5 90.19
5626 73.64 5658 74.25 5690 81.82 5722 88.03 5754 89.66
5626.5 72.59 5658.5 74.98 5690.5 79.57 5722.5 82.69 5754.5 86.88
5627 72.25 5659 76.04 5691 78.37 5723 79.51 5755 87.28
5627.5 72.32 5659.5 75.45 5691.5 76.98 5723.5 77.13 5755.5 86.42
5628 73.12 5660 74.98 5692 77.05 5724 74.68 5756 85.09
5628.5 74.04 5660.5 74.45 5692.5 78.04 5724.5 73.29 5756.5 83.04
5629 75.17 5661 74.79 5693 79.44 5725 74.55 5757 81.1
5629.5 76.83 5661.5 74.39 5693.5 79.97 5725.5 76.14 5757.5 80.19
5630 77.42 5662 73.06 5694 80.23 5726 76.34 5758 79.26
5630.5 77.49 5662.5 74.39 5694.5 79.9 5726.5 76.07 5758.5 78.87
5631 77.09 5663 74.72 5695 79.5 5727 76.07 5759 79.73
5631.5 77.16 5663.5 74.92 5695.5 79.7 5727.5 74.81 5759.5 82.91
5632 76.76 5664 74.92 5696 80.16 5728 74.09 5760 83.83
5632.5 76.1 5664.5 75.05 5696.5 81.56 5728.5 72.96 5760.5 84.83
5633 74.91 5665 75.45 5697 83.41 5729 72.3 5761 85.69
5633.5 87.45 5665.5 75.91 5697.5 85.13 5729.5 72.23 5761.5 86.48
5634 74.58 5666 76.24 5698 86.59 5730 71.31 5762 86.82
5634.5 74.49 5666.5 76.38 5698.5 87.65 5730.5 71.5 5762.5 85.56
5635 74.05 5667 76.51 5699 87.91 5731 71.9 5763 86.48
5635.5 72.99 5667.5 76.44 5699.5 88.27 5731.5 71.37 5763.5 86.02
5636 71.99 5668 75.38 5700 88.64 5732 69.98 5764 86.09
5636.5 70.34 5668.5 74.52 5700.5 88.84 5732.5 67.11 5764.5 86.88
5637 69.35 5669 75.58 5701 89.24 5733 66.27 5765 86.88
5637.5 67.82 5669.5 75.58 5701.5 88.31 5733.5 65.94 5765.5 87.28
5638 67.49 5670 73.8 5702 86.66 5734 65.68 5766 87.35
5638.5 69.15 5670.5 73.82 5702.5 85.13 5734.5 66.34 5766.5 87.15
5639 70.54 5671 75.78 5703 83.37 5735 68.92 5767 86.16
5639.5 72.06 5671.5 75.72 5703.5 82.15 5735.5 71.71 5767.5 84.83
5640 74.38 5672 74.72 5704 83.41 5736 73.69 5768 83.84
5640.5 75.37 5672.5 72.41 5704.5 85.33 5736.5 74.82 5768.5 83.37
5641 76.04 5673 75.85 5705 89.04 5737 76.34 5769 83.57
5641.5 76.23 5673.5 75.45 5705.5 90.63 5737.5 78.39 5769.5 83.51
5642 75.11 5674 74.59 5706 92.29 5738 78.79 5770 84.24
5642.5 73.72 5674.5 75.06 5706.5 94.87 5738.5 78.73 5770.5 84.96
5643 72.53 5675 75.59 5707 95.27 5739 78.79 5771 84.7
5643.5 72.92 5675.5 75.92 5707.5 91.43 5739.5 80.51 5771.5 83.04
5644 73.26 5676 76.38 5708 88.91 5740 82.97 5772 81.65
5644.5 74.05 5676.5 76.71 5708.5 86.53 5740.5 85.08 5772.5 79.27
Basic Statistics
86 Reservoir Characterisation
2. Plotting
Plot all the values of DT against depth on the second log plot.
3. Resampling
On the same log plot every 10th sample and draw a line connecting these points.
4. Averaging
On the same log plot the average of each 10 depths and draw another line connecting these points.
5. Characterising
Using your skill and judgement draw a line that characterises the DT data without plotting every point.
6. Statistics
Estimate the mean value of DT for these samples.
Basic Statistics
Basic Statistics 87
DT
50
5600 5600
5610
5620
5630
5640
5650
5660
5670
5680
5690
5700
5710
5720
5730
5740
5750
5760
5770
5780
5790
5800
5810
5820
100
DT
50
5600 5600
5610
5620
5630
5640
5650
5660
5670
5680
5690
5700
5710
5720
5730
5740
5750
5760
5770
5780
5790
5800
5810
5820
100
Basic Statistics
88 Reservoir Characterisation
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring 89
Chapter 7  Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
The most significant problem facing petroleum geoscientists is the mapping of properties away from the
limited measured data that has been observed in wells. These properties may be geometrical, such as the
depths of horizons, geological, such as lithofacies or petrophysical such as porosity and permebility.
In a typical hydrocarbon reservoir there may be only 10 or 20 wells in an area covering a hundred square
kilometres. It is often difficult to appreciate the sparseness of the data and hence the magnitude of the prob
lem.
As an example, we could consider a medium resolution digital photograph with 1600 by 1200 pixels (or
about 2 megapixels) as being representative of a 2D map of a reservoir 16km by 12km. Our problem would
then be to reconstruct the photograph from only 20 of those pixels.
If we look at the photograph of Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi shown in Figure 88, “Samples from a Digital
Photograph and the Original Photograph” the photograph is about 500 by 600 pixels and we have taken 20
pixels from this picture and displayed them on the left. The chance of reconstructing this image from the
data available alone would be remote.
So how do geoscientists do it? There are several reasons why the chance of reconstructing the image is
improved. The number of possible images is limited by our current knowledge of depositional environments
and this can be further restricted by careful analysis of the small number of data samples that are available.
The horizontal resolution that is required for the development of a hydrocarbon resource is significantly less
than that required for photographic image reconstruction. We are primarily concerned with an understand
ing of the behaviour of fluids in the system rather than the detail of the actual system itself. There is also a
great deal of less precise data that can be used in the analysis of the reservoir architecture. For example,
we can often take advantage of seismic data to assist in the image reconstruction. The seismic data has
less resolution vertically than the well data but is laterally more extensive. Figure 89 shows some manipula
tions of the original image which show approximations of a seismic image. Is it possible to use these
images, with the original point data to improve our chances of reconstructing the original?
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
90 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 88. Samples from a Digital Photograph and the Original Photograph
FIGURE 89. Smooth Representations of the Image
FIGURE 90. Reconstructed Image
For the reconstruction to be useful in characterising the reservoir there needs to be more detail in those
regions where there are wells or barriers to flow or close to the water or gas contacts. So we can see from
Figure 90, “Reconstructed Image” that the resolution requirements vary over the image. It is important to
remember that this example is a 2D image and the resolution required vertically in a real 3D reservoir is sig
nificantly higher than the horizontal resolution.
USE AND ABUSE OF STATISTICS AND GEOSTATISTICS
Statistical and geostatistical techniques improve the economics of oil and gas exploration and development
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring 91
through integration of seismic, petrophysical and geological techniques. However these techniques can
only supplement and not replace the correct practice of geophysics, geology and reservoir engineering.
As we will see, numerical techniques are helpful in a variety of ways. They provide a general framework for
integrating various types of reservoir data. These methods give us not only an estimate of the reservoir
property, but also an estimate of the uncertainty or variance. Stochastic simulation can produce a large
number of reservoir models which are consistent with the observed or desired information. If the models
are highly variable, our confidence will be low; if they are markedly similar, then the reservoir model has
been reasonably well constrained. These techniques can be used to create probabilistic reserves estimates
and riskweighted drilling prognoses.
In practice, limited well control and biased sampling of well information makes it difficult to assess whether
the statistical characteristics of the field are consistent with the assumptions of the statistical and geostatis
tical techniques. If the data quality is low and the basic assumptions are violated, the resulting models can
lead to false conclusions from spurious results. Seismic and geological interpretation techniques and reser
voir performance information (e.g. fluid contacts, interference tests, aquifer support, etc.) must be used to
ensure that the statistical interpretation of the reservoir is meaningful and the basic assumptions are not
violated.
Stationarity is one of the important assumptions in geostatistics. It is a requirement that two populations of
data sampled at different locations have the same overall statistics. They should have the same mean and
variance. Intuitively this assumption seems unreasonable. If we took 100 data samples over a particular
area and then another 100 samples over an adjacent area we would not expect to find the same mean,
though possibly we could expect to find a similar variance.
Usually we would attribute this to the existence of a trend across of the field. Regional dip is a common
example. This type of non stationarity can be easily diagnosed by calculating the mean value of the reser
voir property in different areas or by cross plotting the reservoir property against the spatial coordinates.
These trends should be estimated and removed from the data prior to mapping and added back afterward.
Changes in facies and fluid types are other common causes of non stationarity. These variations often lead
to distinct statistical populations in the reservoir. It is necessary to subdivide the data into separate popula
tions before the analysis begins. This type of non stationarity can be difficult to recognise, especially when
few wells are available.
Uncertainties in the seismic and geological interpretation are often not considered within the scope of a
conventional geostatistical project. This can result in a poor estimate of the total uncertainty. This uncer
tainty should be explored to some degree by testing alternative geological scenarios or using a range of
seismic interpretations.
TECHNIQUES
The general problem of estimation is to accurately determine the value of a variable at any location based
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
92 Reservoir Characterisation
on a set of known values for that variable at a number of locations.
FIGURE 91. The general problem of estimation
There are many different techniques to perform this estimation. When the number of data points is large
and densely spaced the value at unknown locations van be estimated quite accurately but more often in the
petroleum industry, the number of data points is small and they are sparse so confidence in the estimated is
generally lower.
TRIANGULATION
Estimation by triangulation involves connecting all the sample points together to form triangles. The value
at any location within each triangle can then be computed using the equation of the plane of the triangle.
This technique cannot be used for extrapolation, that is provide any information outside the convex polygon
that encloses the sample points. Triangulation also gives discontinuities along the edges of the triangles.
C o n t r o l P o i n t s . P l a n V i e w
?
?
U n k n o w n v a l u e
2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000 20000
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
7000
8000
9000
10000
11000
12000
13000
14000
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring 93
FIGURE 92. Dataset estimated using triangulation
The triangulation process is also not unique and can be problematic if the triangulation algorithm creates
lots of long thin triangles. It works best with more equilateral triangles. The Delaunay triangulation algorithm
attempts to ensure that the set of triangles are as equilateral as possible
FIGURE 93. Different choices of triangles will give different estimations
GRIDDING
Most computer estimation programs use some sort of gridding approach. The data is interpolated onto
series of regular grid nodes which is then visualised by contouring the regular grid or assigning colours to
the grid nodes.
The following techniques all use a gridding algorithm;
1. Nearest Neighbour
2. Moving Average
3. Inverse Distance
4. Kriging
FIGURE 94. Regular grid and original sample locations
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + +
W e l l ( d a t a ) l o c a t i o n s . P l a n V i e w
+ U n k n o w n v a l u e a t g r i d n o d e
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
94 Reservoir Characterisation
CONTOURING GRIDDED POINTS
The grid is contoured by investigating the data values on each of the grid nodes and determining the inter
sections between the contour lines and the lines joining the grid nodes. These contour lines can the be
smoothed either by line smoothing algorithms or by using a finer grid.
FIGURE 95. Contouring a regular grid of points
GENERAL INTERPOLATION PROCEDURE
The general estimation process is that, given a set of data points, the value at any unknown data point is
some weighted linear combination of the surrounding data. The problem then becomes the determination
of appropriate values for the weights.
(EQ 45)
This can be seen more graphically in the diagram below.
+ + +
+ + +
+ + +
+ + +
+ + +
+ + +
100
30
60
40
60
40 90
120
150
70 70
70 70
70 70
70 70
z
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Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring 95
FIGURE 96. Estimation as a weighted linear combination
Before looking at the different estimation algorithms it is helpful to understanding some of the practical
problems that are presented by the estimation process.
SEARCH RADIUS
Data values a long way from the estimation location have very little effect on the estimated value so we can
limit the amount of computation by reducing the number of points that are used in the estimation using a
search radius. The search radius, which can be elliptical (or ellipsoidal for 3D estimation) should be chosen
based upon any known geological anisotropy in the spatial continuity of the dataset. Regrettably the search
radius is often chosen by accepting the default value in whatever software is being used for the estimation.
This can give very misleading results as the estimation process is very sensitive to the value of the search
radius.
FIGURE 97. Search radius and search ellipse
Search Radius: Octants & Quadrants
To avoid and bias due to clustering or sparsity of data many estimation algorithms enforce the concept of
quadrants or octants in the search process. If there are too many points in one quadrant then other points in
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
96 Reservoir Characterisation
a different quadrant may be used instead even though they may be further away.
FIGURE 98. Data clustering may give unexpected results
FIGURE 99. Different data points will be used with quadrant and octant searches
Structural or Stratigraphic Distance
For subsurface estimation it is important to use appropriate measure of distance in 3D and 2D mapping.
The cartesian distance between two points may be quite different from the stratigraphic or horizontal dis
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring 97
tance. This will have a big impact on which data points are used for estimation.
FIGURE 100. Stratigraphic and structural distance
NEAREST NEIGHBOUR
For nearest neighbour estimation the value at the estimation location is the same as closest data point. In
other words the weight given to the nearest data point is 1 and all the other weights are 0.
Nearest neighbour estimation may be meaningful for integer or classified datasets. It creates discontinui
ties, which are acceptable for integer data.
FIGURE 101. Nearest neighbour estimation
LOCAL MEAN OR MOVING WINDOW
The value of the estimation location is the arithmetic average of the values at the surrounding data points.
In other words, the weight of all points in search region is 1/n
s
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Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
98 Reservoir Characterisation
fairly regularly sampled it provides a very quick and reasonably accurate mapping technique.
FIGURE 102. Local mean or moving window estimation
INVERSE DISTANCE WEIGHTING
Inverse distance weighting is a modification of the local sample mean method. It accounts for spatial conti
nuity by giving greater weight to closer points, since the closer points are, the more similar they are likely to
be.
The computed weights for each data point depend on some inverse power, P, of the distance to the point to
be estimated. Different powers of the distance may be used to give different estimation maps. A typical dis
tance exponent is 2.
(EQ 46)
if P is 0 then Equation 46 is equivalent to the local sample mean and if P is ∞ then it is equivalent to the
nearest neighbour.
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Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring 99
FIGURE 103. Closer points have greater weights
Weighting functions
How is the value of P the power associated with the weighting function chosen? Figure 104 shows the var
iation of the weighting function with distance of different values of P. The chosen function is then normalised
to some maximum distance D
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FIGURE 104. Weighting function normalisation
The inverse distance algorithm is very popular because it is easy to understand. It has flexibility in the
choice of parameters which enables it to be used in a variety of different mapping problems. But, like all the
other estimation methods presented so far, it is sensitive to data clustering.
FIGURE 105. Inverse distance estimation
CONTOURING
To visualise the results of the estimation in 2D lines of constant zvalue are drawn on the grid. The resulting
D maximum
Chosen function
normalized to D max
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Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
100 Reservoir Characterisation
image may then be coloured according to the z value.
FIGURE 106. Contour visualisation
HAND CONTOURING
Of course, it is possible for a geologist to just draw contour lines on a map around the known data points
without using a computer to do any of the estimation.
Will this give a better or worse result than the computer? Well, the contouring will be subjective and differ
ent geologists will undoubtedly draw different contour maps, but the map that are drawn are very likely to
include some geological knowledge of the reservoir. The incorporation of geological knowledge and exper
tise is something that is very hard to do mathematically and so handdrawn contour maps are very valuable
as a check on the believability of the computer estimation. Regrettably most of the time, the $10,000 esti
mation software is assumed to give a better answer than a geologist with 20 years experience.
ERRORS
Once the data has been mapped and the contours have been drawn does anyone ever consider how to
determine the magnitude of the error in estimation? What tools are available to determine the accuracy of
estimation?
You would expect that this would be a very useful process since an error analysis could be used to improve
the selection of estimation parameters. The best estimate will depend on the actual value of the property at
each location to be estimated, which is unknown and is therefore impossible to measure in a given map
ping exercise.
FIGURE 107. Error map for a known dataset
Control Points Contour Lines
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Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring 101
However some techniques do exist to assist in the determination of error in mapping.
CROSSVALIDATION
Crossvalidation is one of a number of techniques that attempt to calibrate mapping algorithms. Data points
are deliberately left out of the dataset and the mapping is performed using the remaining points. The differ
ence between the estimated and true value at the omitted locations is examined to determine the most
appropriate parameters for the mapping algorithms.
More sophisticated statistical techniques are also available which use different subpopulations of the data
set. So an exhaustive method of error modelling is available for the mapping process.
BEST ESTIMATION CRITERIA
To create the best possible map, the mapping should be accurate. That means that the error between the
estimated values and the true values should be minimised.
The mapping should be unbiased and there should be no where the estimates are consistently too high or
too low.
The mapping should be robust so that small changes in input parameters do not give large differences in
the estimated values. This will make the mapping algorithm easier to use.
The mapping should be able to handle different data configurations so that there is no reliance on regularly
sampled data.
In the petroleum industry it is important that the mapping should be able to deal effectively with sparse and
often highly clustered data.
GRAPHICAL TECHNIQUES
Sometimes it is easier to look at images than tables of numbers so a number of graphical techniques can
be used.
Construct univariate distributions or histograms of estimates and compare this against distributions of true
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
102 Reservoir Characterisation
values.
FIGURE 108. Histograms of input data, sampled data and estimated data
In Figure 108 on page 102 the main problem appears to be that the sampled data (centre) does not capture
the range of the true data (top). In most cases the true data would not be available so we wouldn’t be able
to verify that this was happening. However, it is very unlikely that your sampled data has just sampled the
maximum value of your variable so the chances are that your sampled data does not capture the range of
the true data. It may be prudent when analysing the sampled data to consider whether this does reflect the
range of the underlying population.
EXERCISES
1. Contouring
Using the data in below draw contour lines at 10m intervals.
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring 103
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Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
104 Reservoir Characterisation
2. Nearest Neighbour
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Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
Estimation: Mapping & Contouring 105
3. Triangulation
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Estimation: Mapping & Contouring
106 Reservoir Characterisation
4. Inverse Distance
Using the equation
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Compute the value of Z at a random location on the figure below.
Will this change if you only consider data points close to the random location to be estimated?
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Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 107
Chapter 8  Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Consider the scatter plot in Figure 113. What is the relationship between x and y?
FIGURE 113. Sample scatter plot
From what we have already read in “Bivariate Statistics” on page 65 about dependent variables we could
approach this problem by using linear regression to determine the relationship between x and y. If we were
going to be really professional we would even determine the errors from the linear regression by plotting
the residuals and trying to ensure that the estimation is unbiased.
FIGURE 114. Predictor determined using linear regression
TRUE DATA
In truth we know absolutely nothing about the relationship between x and y and we are only using regres
sion to guess an estimator that is reasonably accurate as a predictor. The underlying true data could be
very different to that predicted using the regression.
In estimating values away from the sampled data points we may have to consider many things, sample
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Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
108 Reservoir Characterisation
bias, sample locations, measurement error, the phase of the moon and the underlying nature of the physi
cal model which the data represents. In this example the true data is periodic, because it does really
depend on the phase of the moon.
FIGURE 115. True data  which is periodic
Any attempts to estimate or map the data away from the sampled locations which ignore the under
lying physical phenomena are likely to fail.
A common example is an input dataset being used with an inverse distance mapping algorithm with the
user accepting all the default parameters whilst failing to notice that the input dataset consists only of inte
ger values.
SPATIAL MODEL
So we need to have some vague idea in our head of the spatial nature of the data before we can estimate
with confidence. If we can somehow quantify the spatial nature of the data and incorporate this into our esti
mation algorithm this would, we hope, improve the quality of our estimator.
So we need to determine how our dataset varies spatially and construct a spatial model of the dataset.
HOW DOES THE SPATIAL MODEL DIFFER FROM THE GEOLOGICAL MODEL?
At this point some geologists get confused between the spatial model and their conceptual geological
model of the reservoir, so here is the difference.
The spatial model is constructed mathematically from the available spatial data. It measures the spatial var
iability of the data
The geological model is an interpretation of the geology and depositional environment that is built by geo
logical analysis of the available data. The geological model, or interpretation should be developed first.
In the spatial modelling of continuous properties such as porosity, different populations of data correspond
ing to different lithofacies, or different rock types, should be identified and treated separately.
MEASURING SPATIAL VARIABILITY
If we are given the value of a spatially distributed variable at a particular location what can we say about
points that are close to that location? What about points that are further away? Imagine that we are meas
uring the height above sea level for two different datasets.
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Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 109
The first dataset is in Holland. If we are given the height above sea level at one location what can we say
about the height above sea level 500m away or 3km away? Holland is very flat so we can say with reason
able confidence that the height above sea level 500m away is likely to be the same as it is where we are
standing, and it is also likely to be the same 3km away.
The second dataset is in the Himalayas. The region is very mountainous. Certainly the height above sea
level 3km could be very different from the height where we are standing and even 500m away it could be
very different. It may be much higher or much lower, but it is certain to be different.
To complete our spatial modelling of the data we will also need to know if there is a difference in different
directions, or any anisotropy in the spatial model.
SPATIAL ANALYSIS AND MODELLING
In geological modelling we are interested in the structure, isopach thickness, true vertical thickness, poros
ity, permeability, fluid saturations, sand and shale volumes and so on. These are the products of complex
physical and chemical properties which superimpose a spatial pattern on the rock properties.
It is important to be able to understand and quantify the spatial scales and directional aspects of these
properties so that we can improve our modelling. However, classical statistics tools do not handle the spa
tial aspects associated with the behaviour of these attributes so we need to develop new statistical tools or
adapt existing classical tools to do this.
SPATIAL DATA SETS
There are three main problems with spatial data sets collected within the oil and gas industry;
1. The data is rarely collected to represent the underlying population. The sampling is not random but it is
biassed based on sequentially drilling a reservoir and continually adding information.
2. They are not representative of the whole reservoir because the wells are drilled in the thickest, most pro
ductive areas of the reservoir. The core is usually cut from the good quality reservoir rock. All this usu
ally results in an optimistic picture of the reservoir.
3. There may be local variability of statistical properties in the reservoir where there are changes in the
facies, the depositional environment and the diagenesis
These data collection practices should not be changed because they lead to the best economics and the
greatest number of data in portions of the study area that are the most important. But there is a need to
adjust the histograms and summary statistics so that they are more representative of the entire volume of
interest.
DEALING WITH SAMPLING PROBLEMS
Each of the three problems defined above has a different solution.
BIASSED SAMPLING
Biassed samples must be accounted for by declustering the data.
UNREPRESENTATIVE SAMPLING
The unrepresentative and optimistic sampling of the population should be calibrated with secondary data
that has been representatively sampled.
LOCAL VARIABILITY OF DATA
Local variability can be taken into account by sampling the data within moving windows.
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
110 Reservoir Characterisation
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Ideally we want to go beyond a limited sample to determine the characteristics of the entire population.
There is no single correct application, protocol or recipe that will lead us to the right conclusion. Fastidious
data analysis will be timeconsuming and boring but will ultimately lead to better prediction.
SCATTER PLOTS
If we want to determine the relationship between two variables we would normally construct a scatter plot
since it will instantly visualise the dependence of y on x. We can also check the correlation coefficient and
the rank correlation coefficient to quantify, albeit in a single number, this dependency.
To model our spatial data we need to know the relationship between the value of our spatial variable at two
locations for given separation distances and angle.
HSCATTER PLOTS
So we could construct a scatter plot of the value of a spatial variable v at a location x against the value of
the same spatial variable v at a location close to x, separated by a distance h.
FIGURE 116. Scatter plot of porosity at locations separated by small distance
If the separation distance is zero then the scatter plot will show y=x with a correlation coefficient of 1. As the
separation distance increases the deviation of the data points from the line y=x will increase and as the
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 111
separation distance increases the correlation coefficient will tend to zero.
FIGURE 117. Scatter plot of porosity at locations separated by large distance
SPATIAL STATISTICS
in Figure 118 there are two different permeability logs. They both have the same histogram, because in this
artificial example they are just the same values reordered. There are obviously very different spatial pat
terns in these two wells and this probably reflects different geological environments. To estimated each of
these wells accurately we need to measure and model spatial continuity of each well.
FIGURE 118. Permeability log for two different wells
The 2D example in Figure 119 on page 112 shows two very different images. They both have the histo
grams and therefore the same means and variances. But, the continuity of the images is quite different, and
problems such as interpolation from samples of the data shown as circles should take this continuity into
account.
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Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
112 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 119. 2D example of different spatial variability
CORRELOGRAM
If we plot the correlation coefficient as a function of separation distance we have a correlogram. When the
separation is 0 the correlation coefficient is 1. When the separation is greater than the range the correlation
coefficient is 0.
The shape of the curve between these two points will determine the spatial variability of the system within
the correlation range.
FIGURE 120. Example correlogram
STATIONARITY
Most geostatistics algorithms assume that the underlying dataset is stationary. In practical terms this means
that the distribution of values sampled at a number of random locations will not change if the samples were
taken from a new set of locations separated from the original locations by a constant vector.
In Figure 121 on page 113 the histogram of values sampled at the red locations should be the same as the
histogram of values sampled at the blue locations. Of course, the histograms won’t be exactly the same,
particularly if the number of samples is small, but the characteristics of the distributions, their mean and
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 113
variance should be similar.
FIGURE 121. Stationarity
CAUSES OF NONSTATIONARITY
There are two main causes of stationarity which are relatively easy to identify and remove.
Trend
The presence of a trend in the data will obviously alter the histogram of the data in different areas and
should therefore be removed.
FIGURE 122. Original dataset (top) and trend of original dataset (bottom)
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Once the trend has been removed the dataset may be spatially analysed with more confidence.
FIGURE 123. Dataset with trend removed
Mixed Populations
If the dataset consists of two or more different populations then these should be handled separately. In
Figure 124 we have a channel sand shown in red and a splay shown in blue. These will have different
porosity distributions and so should be treated individually.
FIGURE 124. Dataset with two populations
Data from the blue region should not be used in the estimation of properties within the red region.
Whilst this is intuitive to most geoscientists when investigating different lithofacies, many mapping pro
grams, using both traditional and geostatistical techniques, do not make the separation of multiple popula
tions easy.
2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
14000
6000
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
7000
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 115
VARIOGRAMS
We have seen how a scatter plot of the correlation coefficient against separation distance may be used to
visualise the spatial variability of the data. However there is a problem in the use of the covariance or corre
lation coefficient model in that its computation requires knowledge of the mean, m, of the distribution.
(EQ 48)
(EQ 49)
For sparse datasets the mean of the sampled data is not necessarily the same as the mean of the popula
tion, and this would be particularly true if the dataset is not stationary. To avoid this problem an alternative
measure called the variogram is used.
(EQ 50)
The variogram is one of the basic tools used for visualising, modelling and exploring the spatial continuity of
a spatial dataset. It describes how a property can vary in space as a function of distance between two
measurement locations. The data values between nearby locations are similar and thus the similarity is
high, or equivalently the dissimilarity is low.
In Figure 125 on page 115 the magenta line represents the covariance varying with separation distance
and the blue line shows the variogram.
FIGURE 125. Variogram and covariance comparison
VARIOGRAM CONSTRUCTION
There are a number of different parts to the variogram that help to define it.
Sill
The sill of variogram is a constant value which is reached at a certain distance call the range or correlation
r
C
xy
σ
x
σ
y
 =
C
xy
1
n
  x
i
m
x
– ( ) y
i
m
y
– ( )
i 1 =
n
∑
=
γ h ( )
1
2
 E Z u ( ) Z u h + ( ) –  
2
{ } =
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
116 Reservoir Characterisation
length. In theory, the sill is equal to the population variance.
Range
The range is the distance beyond which the values are no longer correlatable.
Nugget
The variogram should be zero at zero lag distance but in practice a discontinuity near the origin of the vari
ogram may be present due to measurement errors, short scale variability at distances smaller than the
shortest sampling interval or a lag tolerance effect for which the samples that are binned with together with
the zero separation samples combine to give a nonzero average value.
Because of the parabolic nature of the gaussian model a small nugget effect must be added in order to
avoid a matrix instability that is often encountered during computation using the variogram.
CHARACTERISTICS OF VARIOGRAM
GEOMETRIC ANISOTROPY
It is quite likely that the correlation range will be different in different directions.
FIGURE 126. Geometric anisotropy  variograms in different directions
The variograms in different directions reach the same sill value, but at different ranges. The nature of the
continuity or the shape of the variogram is often the same in both directions. This is geologically justified by
Walther’s Law: geological variations in a vertical direction are similar to those in the horizontal, but on a dif
ferent scale.
ZONAL ANISOTROPY
In Figure 127 compare the vertical sill with horizontal sill.
γ γγ γ
Distance(h)
Sill
Horizontal
3.0
0.0
3.0
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
Vertical Variogram
Horizontal Variogram
γ γγ γ
Distance(h)
Sill
Horizontal
3.0
0.0
3.0
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
Vertical Variogram Vertical Variogram
Horizontal Variogram Horizontal Variogram
γ γγ γ
Horizontal Variogram
Distance(h)
Sill Vertical Variogram
Apparent Sill
Horizontal
3.0
0.0
3.0
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
γ γγ γ
Horizontal Variogram
Distance(h)
Sill Vertical Variogram
Apparent Sill
Horizontal
3.0
0.0
3.0
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 117
FIGURE 127. Zonal anisotropy
If the vertical variogram reaches a higher sill this is likely to be due to additional variance from stratification
or layering. If the vertical variogram reaches a lower sill this is likely to be due to a significant difference in
the average value in each well. The horizontal variogram has additional variation between wells.
CYCLICITY OR HOLEEFFECT
Cyclicity may be linked to some underlying geological periodicity though it could also be due to limited data.
In this case focus on the nugget effect and some reasonable estimate of the range. If the sill is hard to inter
pret use the data variance.
FIGURE 128. Cyclicity or holeeffect
TREND
If there is a trend in the dataset such as that in Figure 129 then you should either model a theoretical sill or
remove the trend. If a theoretical sill is used then the data will, to some extent, preserve the trend in the
final modelling.
FIGURE 129. Dataset with trend
SPATIAL MODELS
The variograms calculated from a given data set are called experimental variograms. They are not used for
determining weights. A theoretical variogram model is required to fit the experimental variograms because
this is a mathematical model which defines the value of the variogram at all locations and directions.
The process of model fitting is known as structural analysis and it depends not only on the distribution of
γ γγ γ
Vertical Variogram
Distance
Sill
Horizontal
3.0
0.0
3.0
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
Example Cyclic Data Set
γ γγ γ
Vertical Variogram
Distance
Sill
Horizontal
3.0
0.0
3.0
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
Example Cyclic Data Set
γ γγ γ
Vertical Variogram
Distance
Sill
Horizontal
3.0
0.0
3.0
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
Example Trend Data Set
γ γγ γ
Vertical Variogram
Distance
Sill
Horizontal
3.0
0.0
3.0
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
Example Trend Data Set
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
118 Reservoir Characterisation
the experimental variograms, but also knowledge of the geology of the region.
FIGURE 130. Spatial models with a sill
Only a small number of mathematical functions have the required mathematical characteristics to be used
for a spatial model. There are two categories; spatial models with a sill shown in Figure 130 and spatial
models without a sill shown in Figure 131 on page 118.
FIGURE 131. Spatial models without a sill
NESTED STRUCTURES
One of the properties of these spatial models is that they can be combined linearly to model more complex
Sill = 1, Range = 75
0
0. 2
0. 4
0. 6
0. 8
1
1. 2
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
h
g
(
h
)
Exponent ial
Spherical
Gaussian
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 119
experimental variograms.
FIGURE 132. Nesting of spatial models
In Figure 132 an exponential model (blue) and a spherical model (magenta) are added together to give a
nested structure (yellow).
VARIOGRAM CLOUD
It is useful to see the individual values that are averaged for each of the separation distances because this
will help in interpreting the variogram. A number of common variogram problems are shown below.
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
120 Reservoir Characterisation
DATA CLEANUP
If there are a number of outliers or extreme values then the variogram may be difficult to interpret.
FIGURE 133. Removal of outliers and extreme values
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 121
MIXED POPULATIONS
If the variogram has more than one population the interpretation may be misleading.
FIGURE 134. Separation of multiple populations
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
122 Reservoir Characterisation
TREND
The presence of a trend can also cause the variogram to be misinterpretted.
FIGURE 135. Removal of trend
DATA TRANSFORMATION
Some attributes, such as permeability, with highly skewed data distributions present problems in variogram
calculation and the extreme values have a significant impact on the variogram.
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 123
LOG TRANSFORM
One common transform is to take the logarithms,
y = log
10
( z )
NORMAL SCORES TRANSFORM
Many geostatistical techniques require the data to be transformed to a Gaussian or normal distribution. The
Gaussian Random Field model is unique in statistics for its extreme analytical simplicity and for being the
limit distribution of many analytical theorems globally known as “central limit theorems”.
The transform to any the Gaussian or any other known distribution and back is easily accomplished by the
quantile transform.
If you are going to transform the data you must perform all statistical analyses on the transformed data, and
back transform at the end.
FIGURE 136. Application of data transform to variogram data
CALCULATING VARIOGRAMS
it is important to choose the correct variables. For the property variables check if you need to transform the
data with either a log transform or a normal scores transform. You should also check how you plan to use
the geopmetry. Usually you should use stratigraphic coordinates rather than cartesian coordinates to
account for dip and stratigraphic thickness.
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
124 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 137. Stratigraphic coordinates
ASSUMPTIONS
Remember;
1. The variogram and covariance models are measures of linear spatial variation and as such they may
not be appropriate for nonlinear processes.
2. Spatial modelling requires the data to be stationary and must be corrected if this assumption is invalid
SPARSE DATA
Often you will be asked to derive a spatial model in a region where data is sparse. This can be done indi
rectly from geological analogues, outcrops or seismic data. It may be possible to use data from horizontal
wells to assist in the direct inference of a spatial model but you need to be aware that the data from horizon
tal wells is clustered and may provide information that masks any trend in the data.
If you are to use indirect data such as seismic amplitude then it is wise to determine that the relationship
between the secondary data, amplitude, and the primary, sparse, data such as porosity, is reliable at all lag
increments. You should expect to see similar behaviour in the hscatter plots for the amplitude and the h
scatter plots for porosity at the same value of h. Additionally you may need to transform either the direct or
indirect variable to assist in comparing them.
PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS
When constructing experimental variograms it is important to consider the sample data and its separation
when determining the values of the lag increment. There will always be a tradeoff between the resolution
of the variogram and its accuracy.
Unless a given lag value has a large enough number of pairs contributing to that value it will be
unreliable.
The computation of the standard variogram is very sensitive to extreme values and these should be identi
fied and checked prior to the computation of the variogram.
If the data is clustered then the samples may be biased
If the variogram appears serrated then this is due to a poor choice of the lag increment and represents and
spatial aliasing problem. You should recompute with a different lag.
Consider whether it makes more sense to use cartesian distance or a stratigraphic distance in the compu
T
r
u
e
D
e
p
t
h
h
H
h
H
cosθ
θ h
H
h
V
h
V
/ cosθ
True Horizontal
Stratigraphic distance is h
H
cosθ
T
r
u
e
D
e
p
t
h
h
H
h
H
cosθ
θ h
H
h
V
h
V
/ cosθ
True Horizontal
Stratigraphic distance is h
H
cosθ
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 125
tation of the lag between points.
If the data is highly skewed then you may get a better understanding of the spatial variation if the data is
transformed using a log transform or a normal scores transform.
Is the data stationary? If it is not then you may have to remove the trend.
Remember most of these issues can be identified by viewing the variogram cloud.
DIRECTIONAL VARIOGRAMS
If there is an interpretable structure in the omnidirectional variogram then directional variograms may be
used to investigate geometric anisotropy
The directions and angular tolerance of the directional variograms should be chosen to highlight expected
geological behaviour
If no understanding of the underlying geometric anisotropy is available plot a simple contour map of the
sample values using an estimation technique that does not require a spatial model, such as inverse dis
tance, to provide some indications of the spatial variability of the data
FIGURE 138. Lag and Angle Tolerances
EXERCISES
The variogram is computed using Equation 51
(EQ 51)
An alternative that is simpler to compute is the madogram
(EQ 52)
COMPUTATION
3. Pick 20 pairs of data that are separated by a distance 0.5ft in depth at random.
4. Compute the difference between the two values in each pair of data.
γ h ( )
1
2n h ( )
 z u
i
h + ( ) z u
i
( ) –
2
i 1 =
n h ( )
∑
=
γ
M
h ( )
1
2n h ( )
 z u
i
( ) z u
i
h + ( ) –
i 1 =
n h ( )
∑
=
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
126 Reservoir Characterisation
5. Plot the average difference against the separation distance (0.5ft)
Repeat steps 13 for separations up to 20ft.
HSCATTER PLOTS
1. Pick 20 pairs of data that are separated by a distance 0.5ft in depth at random.
2. Draw a scatter plot with the first value in each pair against the other value.
Repeat steps 12 for separations up to 20ft.
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling 127
Depth DT Depth DT Depth DT Depth DT Depth DT
5613 89.33 5645 74.78 5677 76.85 5709 86.2 5741 87.47
5613.5 90.33 5645.5 76.04 5677.5 76.91 5709.5 83.55 5741.5 89.12
5614 92.82 5646 76.9 5678 76.51 5710 82.75 5742 91.24
5614.5 93.84 5646.5 76.63 5678.5 76.91 5710.5 83.95 5742.5 92.57
5615 94.43 5647 76.37 5679 76.98 5711 85.93 5743 93.23
5615.5 94.63 5647.5 75.84 5679.5 76.89 5711.5 87.92 5743.5 93.5
5616 94.7 5648 76.15 5680 76.58 5712 88.18 5744 94.89
5616.5 94.7 5648.5 76.24 5680.5 77.11 5712.5 87.39 5744.5 95.15
5617 94.57 5649 76.17 5681 77.24 5713 85.34 5745 93.83
5617.5 93.84 5649.5 75.91 5681.5 77.31 5713.5 83.09 5745.5 92.17
5618 91.59 5650 75.38 5682 77.38 5714 82.09 5746 91.18
5618.5 88.87 5650.5 75.31 5682.5 77.58 5714.5 82.03 5746.5 90.32
5619 86.49 5651 75.18 5683 77.84 5715 83.75 5747 90.19
5619.5 84.5 5651.5 74.78 5683.5 78.17 5715.5 85.47 5747.5 89.46
5620 82.32 5652 74.38 5684 78.04 5716 85.41 5748 90.32
5620.5 80.46 5652.5 73.33 5684.5 77.91 5716.5 88.05 5748.5 92.24
5621 79.4 5653 72.86 5685 77.84 5717 90.04 5749 91.45
5621.5 79.21 5653.5 72.53 5685.5 77.18 5717.5 90.04 5749.5 88.66
5622 79.54 5654 72.4 5686 77.25 5718 89.38 5750 85.55
5622.5 79.07 5654.5 72 5686.5 77.98 5718.5 89.98 5750.5 85.29
5623 77.48 5655 72.2 5687 79.83 5719 92.76 5751 85.62
5623.5 76.49 5655.5 72.73 5687.5 81.82 5719.5 93.95 5751.5 86.41
5624 77.09 5656 73.13 5688 83.14 5720 92.29 5752 86.28
5624.5 77.15 5656.5 73.13 5688.5 84.33 5720.5 92.63 5752.5 88.33
5625 75.43 5657 72.8 5689 85.06 5721 93.16 5753 90.06
5625.5 74.26 5657.5 73.06 5689.5 84.27 5721.5 92.1 5753.5 90.19
5626 73.64 5658 74.25 5690 81.82 5722 88.03 5754 89.66
5626.5 72.59 5658.5 74.98 5690.5 79.57 5722.5 82.69 5754.5 86.88
5627 72.25 5659 76.04 5691 78.37 5723 79.51 5755 87.28
5627.5 72.32 5659.5 75.45 5691.5 76.98 5723.5 77.13 5755.5 86.42
5628 73.12 5660 74.98 5692 77.05 5724 74.68 5756 85.09
5628.5 74.04 5660.5 74.45 5692.5 78.04 5724.5 73.29 5756.5 83.04
5629 75.17 5661 74.79 5693 79.44 5725 74.55 5757 81.1
5629.5 76.83 5661.5 74.39 5693.5 79.97 5725.5 76.14 5757.5 80.19
5630 77.42 5662 73.06 5694 80.23 5726 76.34 5758 79.26
5630.5 77.49 5662.5 74.39 5694.5 79.9 5726.5 76.07 5758.5 78.87
5631 77.09 5663 74.72 5695 79.5 5727 76.07 5759 79.73
5631.5 77.16 5663.5 74.92 5695.5 79.7 5727.5 74.81 5759.5 82.91
5632 76.76 5664 74.92 5696 80.16 5728 74.09 5760 83.83
5632.5 76.1 5664.5 75.05 5696.5 81.56 5728.5 72.96 5760.5 84.83
5633 74.91 5665 75.45 5697 83.41 5729 72.3 5761 85.69
5633.5 87.45 5665.5 75.91 5697.5 85.13 5729.5 72.23 5761.5 86.48
5634 74.58 5666 76.24 5698 86.59 5730 71.31 5762 86.82
5634.5 74.49 5666.5 76.38 5698.5 87.65 5730.5 71.5 5762.5 85.56
5635 74.05 5667 76.51 5699 87.91 5731 71.9 5763 86.48
5635.5 72.99 5667.5 76.44 5699.5 88.27 5731.5 71.37 5763.5 86.02
5636 71.99 5668 75.38 5700 88.64 5732 69.98 5764 86.09
5636.5 70.34 5668.5 74.52 5700.5 88.84 5732.5 67.11 5764.5 86.88
5637 69.35 5669 75.58 5701 89.24 5733 66.27 5765 86.88
5637.5 67.82 5669.5 75.58 5701.5 88.31 5733.5 65.94 5765.5 87.28
5638 67.49 5670 73.8 5702 86.66 5734 65.68 5766 87.35
5638.5 69.15 5670.5 73.82 5702.5 85.13 5734.5 66.34 5766.5 87.15
5639 70.54 5671 75.78 5703 83.37 5735 68.92 5767 86.16
5639.5 72.06 5671.5 75.72 5703.5 82.15 5735.5 71.71 5767.5 84.83
5640 74.38 5672 74.72 5704 83.41 5736 73.69 5768 83.84
5640.5 75.37 5672.5 72.41 5704.5 85.33 5736.5 74.82 5768.5 83.37
5641 76.04 5673 75.85 5705 89.04 5737 76.34 5769 83.57
5641.5 76.23 5673.5 75.45 5705.5 90.63 5737.5 78.39 5769.5 83.51
5642 75.11 5674 74.59 5706 92.29 5738 78.79 5770 84.24
5642.5 73.72 5674.5 75.06 5706.5 94.87 5738.5 78.73 5770.5 84.96
5643 72.53 5675 75.59 5707 95.27 5739 78.79 5771 84.7
5643.5 72.92 5675.5 75.92 5707.5 91.43 5739.5 80.51 5771.5 83.04
5644 73.26 5676 76.38 5708 88.91 5740 82.97 5772 81.65
5644.5 74.05 5676.5 76.71 5708.5 86.53 5740.5 85.08 5772.5 79.27
Interpolation and Spatial Modelling
128 Reservoir Characterisation
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation 129
Chapter 9  Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
We already know that, for a good estimator or predictor, we need to minimise the overall error and remove
any bias. In “General interpolation procedure” on page 94 above we reduced the problem to the determina
tion of weights in a weighted linear combination of known data values.
FIGURE 139. The general estimation problem
We have also investigated the spatial nature of the underlying data and wonder if we are able to make use
of this in our estimating algorithms.
KRIGING
Kriging is a geostatistical technique that was developed by Professor DG Krige. It is a linear combination of
the neighbouring known values that minimises the error variance and is also unbiased.
SOME BASIC GEOSTATISTICAL DEFINITIONS
REGIONALISED VARIABLE
A variable distributed through space and/or time such as formation thickness, average velocity, porosity,
permeability, sea level.
RANDOM VARIABLE
A variable located at a given position which takes on values that follow a particular distribution.
RANDOM FUNCTION
The set of random variables distributed throughout space or time.
REALISATION
A particular value of a random variable, or a particular set of values of a random function.
EXAMPLE
For example, in Figure 140 on page 130, consider the depth to a formation along a line of profile, z(x). This
is a regionalised variable.
So Z(x
i
) is the random variable associated with location x
i
which represents the distribution of possible val
λ
1
λ 2 z
2
z
1
λ 3
z
3
λ
4
z
4
?
λ
i
z
i
Σ
? =
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
130 Reservoir Characterisation
ues of depth at x
i
.
Z(x) is the random function composed of the set of random variables distributed at all points along the
profile.
The observed depth z(x
i
) at location x
i
can be considered to be one possible realisation of the random var
iable Z(x
i
).
Similarly, a profile of observed or simulated depths z(x) is one possible realisation of the random function
Z(x).
FIGURE 140. Geostatistical definitions  example
COMPONENTS OF A REGIONALISED VARIABLE
A regionalised variable is made up of several components:
1. A smooth, usually polynomial, trend m(x)
2. A residual random function R(x) which has some degree of spatial autocorrelation (i.e. nearby points
tend to have similar values)
3. And usually some random measurement noise n(x)
(EQ 53)
FIGURE 141. Regionalised variables with different trends
x
1
R
a
n
d
o
m
F
u
n
c
t
i
o
n
,
Z
(
x
)
z(x
1
)
Z(x
1
)
Unknown, except at
data points
xi
z(x
i
)
Z(x
i
)
xn
z(x
n
)
Z(x
N
)
x
D1
z(x
D1
)
Z(x
D1
)
Z x ( ) m x ( ) R x ( ) n x ( ) { } + + =
m(x) =c
m(x) =ax
2
+bx+c
m(x) =c
m(x) =ax
2
+bx+c
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation 131
SIMPLE KRIGING
If we consider the residual data values about the mean
(EQ 54)
where m(u) could be constant, locally varying, or considered constant but unknown.
The variogram is defined as
(EQ 55)
The covariance is defined as
(EQ 56)
The relationship between the variogram and covariance is, as before:
(EQ 57)
So
(EQ 58)
FIGURE 142. Relationship between covariance and variogram
Consider a linear estimator:
(EQ 59)
where Y(ui) are the residual data (data values minus the mean) and Y*(u) is the estimate (add the mean
back in)
The error variance is
Y u
i
( ) Z u
i
( ) m u
i
( ) i , – 1 …n , = =
2γ h ( ) E Y u ( ) Y u h + ( ) –  
2
{ } =
C h ( ) E Y u ( ) Y u h + ( ) • { } =
2γ h ( ) E Y
2
u ( ) E Y
2
u h + ( ) { } 2 E Y u ( ) Y u h + ( ) • { } • – + { }   =
Var Y u ( ) { } Var Y u h + ( ) { } 2 C h ( ) • – + =
2 C 0 ( ) C h ( ) –   =
C h ( ) C 0 ( ) γ h ( ) – =
Y
∗
u ( ) λ
i
Y u
i
( ) ⋅
i 1 =
n
∑
=
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
132 Reservoir Characterisation
(EQ 60)
which may be rearranged as
(EQ 61)
The optimal weights may be determined by taking partial derivatives of the error variance with respect to
the weights.
(EQ 62)
and setting them to zero
(EQ 63)
This gives a system of n equations with n unknown weights, which is the simple kriging (SK) system.
(EQ 64)
ORDINARY KRIGING
Ordinary kriging is similar to kriging but has the additional constraint that the sum of the weights is 1.
The estimator is
(EQ 65)
and the weights matrix is
(EQ 66)
E Y
∗
u ( ) Y u ( ) –  
2
{ }
E Y
∗
u ( ) Y u ( ) –  
2
{ } E Y
∗
u ( )  
2
{ } 2 E Y
∗
u ( ) Y u ( ) ⋅ { } ⋅ ( ) – E Y u ( )  
2
{ } + =
λ
i
λ
j
E Y u
i
( ) Y u
j
( ) ⋅ { } 2 λ
i
E Y u ( ) Y u
i
( ) ⋅ { }
i 1 =
n
∑
⋅
\ ¹

 
– C 0 ( ) +
j 1 =
n
∑
i 1 =
n
∑
=
λ
i
λ
j
C u
i
u
j
, ( ) 2 λ
i
C u u
i
, ( )
i 1 =
n
∑
⋅
\ ¹

 
– C 0 ( ) +
j 1 =
n
∑
i 1 =
n
∑
=
λ
i
∂
∂
2 λ
j
C u
i
u
j
, ( ) 2 C u u
i
, ( ) ⋅ ( ) i , –
j 1 =
n
∑
⋅ 1 … n , , = =
λ
j
C u
i
u
j
, ( )
j 1 =
n
∑
C u u
i
, ( ) i , 1 … n , , = =
C 1 1 , ( ) C 1 2 , ( ) C 1 3 , ( )
C 2 1 , ( ) C 2 2 , ( ) C 2 3 , ( )
C 3 1 , ( ) C 3 2 , ( ) C 3 3 , ( )
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
C 0 1 , ( )
C 0 2 , ( )
C 0 3 , ( )
=
Z
∗
u ( ) λ
i
Z u
i
( ) ⋅
i 1 =
n
∑
=
C 1 1 , ( ) C 1 2 , ( ) C 1 3 , ( ) 1
C 2 1 , ( ) C 2 2 , ( ) C 2 3 , ( ) 1
C 3 1 , ( ) C 3 2 , ( ) C 3 3 , ( ) 1
1 1 1 0
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
µ
C 0 1 , ( )
C 0 2 , ( )
C 0 3 , ( )
1
=
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation 133
EXAMPLE
Consider an equilateral triangle with known values at the vertices and an unknown value to be estimated at
the centre
FIGURE 143. Equilateral dataset
If we are to use kriging to solve this estimation problem we need to have a spatial model. A typical correlo
gram is given in Figure 144.
FIGURE 144. Example correlogram for equilateral dataset
Using this graph of C against distance we can simply read the values of C for the distances between the
data points such as C(1,2) where points 1 and 2 are separated by 17.32 m the covariance is about 0.3. So
we can populate the weights matrix Equation 66 on page 132.
(EQ 67)
rearranging the equation by inverting the matrix we get
(EQ 68)
so the weights are all equal to 0.333 and the expected value of Z in the centre of the triangle is 13.333.
1 0.3 0.3 1
0.3 1 0.3 1
0.3 0.3 1 1
1 1 1 0
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
µ
0.5
0.5
0.5
1
=
0.952 0.476 – 0.476 – 0.333
0.476 – 0.952 0.476 – 0.333
0.476 – 0.476 – 0.952 0.333
0.333 0.333 0.333 0.5333 –
0.5
0.5
0.5
1
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
µ
=
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
134 Reservoir Characterisation
CHANGE COVARIANCE TO VARIOGRAM
If we use the variogram instead of the covariance the matrix changes but the result will be the same. The
weights matrix becomes
(EQ 69)
but when the equation is rearranged the inverse is the same.
(EQ 70)
and the weights are still all equal to 0.333. So the expected value of Z in the centre of the triangle remains
13.333
CHANGE OF SILL
If we increase the sill of the variogram by a factor of 10 the result will still be the same. The weights matrix
becomes
(EQ 71)
and when the equation is rearranged
(EQ 72)
and the weights are still all equal to 0.333. So the expected value of Z in the centre of the triangle remains
13.333
ERROR MINIMISATION
Treating the estimated value at any location as a random variable allows the definition of an expected value
at each location.
This allows us to determine an error at each location which is the difference between the expected value
and the value estimated by the kriging process.
The kriging algorithm optimises the estimation by minimising the overall error and ensuring that the overall
estimates are unbiased
0 0.7 0.7 1
0.7 0 0.7 1
0.7 0.7 0 1
1 1 1 0
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
µ
0.5
0.5
0.5
1
=
0.952 0.476 – 0.476 – 0.333
0.476 – 0.952 0.476 – 0.333
0.476 – 0.476 – 0.952 0.333
0.333 0.333 0.333 0.5333 –
0.5
0.5
0.5
1
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
µ
=
0 7 7 1
7 0 7 1
7 7 0 1
1 1 1 0
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
µ
5
5
5
1
=
0.0952 0.0476 – 0.0476 – 0.333
0.0476 – 0.0952 0.0476 – 0.333
0.0476 – 0.0476 – 0.0952 0.333
0.333 0.333 0.333 0.5333 –
5
5
5
1
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
µ
=
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation 135
KRIGING VARIANCE
In the computation of the kriging estimator, error minimisation leads to the determination of a variance at
each location, called the kriging variance. This term is misleading because this does not represent the vari
ance of the data at each location but only the variance in the estimation of the data.
(EQ 73)
The kriging variance does not contain a term in Z and therefore is only dependent on the geometry of the
data points and the spatial model, not the actual data values themselves. The true value could be very
different from the estimated value
INFLUENCE OF VARIOGRAM PARAMETERS
The slope of the variogram at the origin has a great influence on the continuity of the interpolation process.
The gentler the slope, the smoother the interpolation.
The estimation is very sensitive to the size of the nugget. Increasing the nugget component tends to make
the data weights more similar and gives smoother maps which do not honour the data points.
A pure nugget variogram will produce purely random spatial variations.
Rescaling the variogram by changing the sill has no effect on the kriging estimate but changes the kriging
variance. This will then lead to increased variability in stochastic simulations using sgs.
Increasing the range of the variogram will increase the influence of more distant data points and giving
smoother maps
SENSITIVITY OF KRIGING ESTIMATE TO ERRORS IN THE VARIOGRAM
Numerous experiments have been performed to determine the effect of a crudely specified variogram on
the quality of the kriging estimate.
The most important factor in the quality of estimation is the variogram behaviour near the origin
It is important to know that the behaviour may be linear but the slope itself will have no influence on the krig
ing weights
It takes a gross misspecification of the variogram to have a significant impact on the kriging estimates.
At this point it is worth noting again that the gaussian covariance model has an inherent numerical instabil
ity which is overcome by the use of a small nugget
SENSITIVITY OF KRIGING VARIANCE TO ERRORS IN THE VARIOGRAM
The kriging variance represents an uncertainty which is dependent solely on the geometry of the system
and the variogram model.
Variogram model is derived from an experimental variogram the kriging variance does not represent the
total uncertainty
PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF ORDINARY KRIGING
Assumptions
The data is stationary within the search neighbourhood.
σ
OK
2
u ( ) C 0 ( ) λ
i
u ( )C u
i
u – ( ) µ u ( ) –
i 1 =
n
∑
– =
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
136 Reservoir Characterisation
Data Treatment Required
If a significant trend exists within the search neighbourhood, it should be removed. Spatial analysis and
modelling of the residuals should then be performed.
This spatial model may then be used with ordinary kriging on the residuals and the trend can be added to
the resulting mapped residuals.
If mixed populations exist they should be separated. Spatial modelling should be carried out on each popu
lation and ordinary kriging may then be performed on each population independently.
Warnings
If a very small number of data points are available within the search neighbourhood, Ordinary Kriging may
produce strange weights because the weights must sum to 1.
If there is a known biased sampling of the data it may be better to use an estimated mean with simple krig
ing rather than use ordinary kriging.
Kriging produces smooth reconstructions of reality and underestimates extremes
Kriging requires a spatial correlation model which may be difficult to determine from sparse data.
Validation
How can we check the accuracy of the mapping?
Kriging requires a number of model decisions such as; kriging procedures, variogram models and search
strategy
The best set of decisions can be made by comparing the estimations with the true values
In practice however, we do not have access to the true values at the estimation locations
CrossValidation
Sample value at a particular location is temporarily removed from the original data set. The n1 remaining
samples are used to make an estimation at that location.
This experiment pretends that the true value is not available and all the modelling decisions based on the
remaining samples. But, since the actual value is available, an error value can be calculated. The proce
dure is repeated for all the available samples resulting in n error values. The modelling decisions are then
modified until the total error is minimised.
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation 137
EXERCISES
SIMPLE MAPPING
Determine the value at the blue location in example 1 using any interpolation technique. Determine the
value at the blue location in example 2 using any interpolation technique. Discuss your results.
ORDINARY KRIGING OF EXAMPLE 1
Ordinary kriging is a mapping technique that uses a spatial model to incorporate some knowledge of the
spatial distribution of a property into the mapping process.
In example 1 the blue location is separated from the red data locations by 10 and the red data locations lie
on an equilateral triangle of side 17.32. Figure 145, “Example Covariance Model” shows a spatial covari
10
10 20
Example 1
10
10
20
Example 2
1
7
.
3
2
1
0
.
0
19.0
10.0
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
138 Reservoir Characterisation
ance model. This gives the covariance, C, at a distance 10 to be 0.5 and at a distance 17.32 is 0.3.
FIGURE 145. Example Covariance Model
The estimated value at a given location in ordinary kriging is simply the sum of the values at known loca
tions each multiplied by a weight and is given by the following equation.
(EQ 74)
The only additional constraint is that the weights add up to one.
They can be computed using the following matrix equation, where C
12
is the covariance between sample 1
and sample 2 and C
01
is the covariance between the location to be estimated (location 0) and sample 1.
(EQ 75)
Determine the weights for example 1 using Equation 75and then use these to solve Equation 74to give the
estimated value at the blue location.
ORDINARY KRIGING OF EXAMPLE 2
The distance between the estimated location and the data points remains the same. However the distance
between the data values has now altered. the two points on the left are separated by 0.1 and the distance
between the right and left data points is now 19. This changes the covariance values in the left side of our
Example Covariance
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Separation
C
o
v
a
r
i
a
n
c
e
Z
∗
OK
u ( ) λ
i
OK
u ( )Z u
i
( )
i 1 =
n u ( )
∑
=
C
11
C
12
C
13
1
C
21
C
22
C
23
1
C
31
C
32
C
33
1
1 1 1 0
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
µ
C
01
C
02
C
03
1
=
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation 139
matrix equation.
Determine the weights for example 2 using Equation 75and then use these to solve Equation 74to give the
estimated value at the blue location.
Discuss your results.
Kriging: Geostatistical Estimation
140 Reservoir Characterisation
Stochastic Simulation
Stochastic Simulation 141
Chapter 10  Stochastic Simulation
In the estimation of data values using kriging or in fact any estimation algorithm the output is a single
smoothed image. The univariate and bivariate statistics of the output data will not reproduce that of the
input data. So the astrologers of the input and output will be different.
An alternative approach to estimation is some sort of random simulation which will give a range of possible
values at each location.
MULTIPLE REALISATIONS
In the maps below, each realisation is equally probable and they all honour the input data. The mean map
is identical to the kriged map.
FIGURE 146. Multiple realisations, their mean and standard deviation
An estimation using the nearest neighbour algorithm is shown for comparision.
Stochastic Simulation
142 Reservoir Characterisation
SEQUENTIAL GAUSSIAN SIMULATION (SGS)
One of the most widely used stochastic simulation techniques is sequential gaussian simulation. The
mechanics of the algorithm as quite straightforward. In Figure 147 the known data locations are shown as
coloured squares.
FIGURE 147. SGS procedure  1
A new location to be simulated is chosen at random and shown by a circle. At this point the mean and the
variance of a gaussian distribution can be computed from the nearby data samples using the kriging algo
rithm to give the mean value (i.e. the kriging expected value) and the variance (i.e. the kriging variance). A
value is drawn at random from this gaussian distribution and this then is treated as a hard data value.
In Figure 148 the first estimated location is now shown as a square since it has already been simulated and
is now a hard data location.
FIGURE 148. SGS procedure  2
Another new location is then chosen at random. The mean and variance of a gaussian distribution is again
computed using the kriging algorithm. Another new value is drawn at random from this gaussian distribution
Stochastic Simulation
Stochastic Simulation 143
and the process continues until all locations have been simulated.
MULTIGAUSSIAN DATA
SGS requires that the input distribution is multigaussian. If it is clearly not gaussian then the input data
must be transformed using a Normal Scores Transform before simulation and then transformed back after
the simulation.
FIGURE 149. Normal scores transform
HOW MANY REALISATIONS?
Most often we see geoscientists performing 10 realisations of SGS. Is this enough? Well you could com
pute how many realisations would be sufficient by determining the confidence interval. As a general rule 50
to 100 realisations would be appropriate to calculate probability margins but more would be required if the
input data is sparse.
This may appear to be counterintuitive. If you have so little data is there any point in computing large num
bers of realisations?
It is important to determine the broadest limits of the mapping. All the extreme cases should then be ana
lysed to ensure that they fall within the bounds of geological believability and may then be incorporated in
the probability mapping.
A representative subset of the realisations should then be selected for further analysis, such as flow simu
lation or risk analysis.
CHANGING THE SILL
We know that modifying the sill has no effect in kriging, which represents the mean of the SGS realisations.
However, changing the sill in SGS will result in a change of the variance that is computed at each new loca
tion. When a value is drawn at random from this distribution there will be more variation if the sill is larger
and therefore more variability between realisations. Of course, this variability is greatest away from the
known data points and zero where we have data.
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
C
u
m
u
l
a
t
i
v
e
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
Por os it y Norma l Sc or es
Cumu lat i ve Distr ibut i on Cumulat i ve Distr ibut i on
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
C
u
m
u
l
a
t
i
v
e
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
Por os it y Norma l Sc or es
Cumu lat i ve Distr ibut i on Cumulat i ve Distr ibut i on
Stochastic Simulation
144 Reservoir Characterisation
INDICATOR VARIABLES
Not all reservoir data are continuous like porosity or permeability. Some data types are discrete or categor
ical variables such as lithofacies or rock types. We can generate categorical maps by analysing the spatial
variability of the categorical variables using of binary indicators.
Indicators for category 1 have a value of one, or true, if the variable has a value of 1. This is sometimes
called the indicator transform of the original variable belonging to class 1.
Once the categorical variable has been transformed into a number of indicator variables, one for each
class, then each of the indicator variables may be modelled spatially using any of the variogram or covari
ance functions.
Remember that each indicator must be modelled. If there are 8 classes or 8 lithotypes then there must be 8
different spatial models.
INDICATOR SIMULATION
We can define an indicator transform:
(EQ 76)
The expected value or average of an indicator is the global proportion
(EQ 77)
So for each indicator variable we construct its spatial variability using an indicator variogram.
(EQ 78)
SEQUENTIAL INDICATOR SIMULATION (SIS)
The sequential indicator simulation algorithm is very similar to the SGS algorithm but instead of using a
gaussian distribution to model the conditional distribution of the continuous variable at each location a con
ditional probability histogram is computed.
Given n nearby data values k(u
i
),i=1,...,n the conditional probabilities of each rock type p
k
*
(u), k=1,...,K are
computed by a linear combination of the nearby data.
(EQ 79)
The weights, λ
α
(u), α=1,...,n may be determined using the kriging matrix which account for the clustering of
the data locations and the proximity of the data to the location being considered.
i u
α
k ; ( )
1 if lithofacies k is present at location u
α
,
0 if not , ¹ )
´ `
¦ ¹
=
E I u
α
k ; ( ) { } =
w
α
i u
α k ;
( ) ⋅
α 1 =
n
∑
n
  =
γ
I
h ( )
1
2
 E I u k ; ( ) I u h k ; + ( ) –  
2
{ } =
p
∗
k
u ( ) λ
α
u ( ) I u
α
k ; ( ) ⋅
α 1 =
n
∑
1 λ
α
u ( )
α 1 =
n
∑
– m
k
⋅ + =
Stochastic Simulation
Stochastic Simulation 145
SIS computes multiple realisations, each of which is equally probable.
FIGURE 150. SIS multiple realisations
PROCEDURE
The known data locations are shown as coloured squares.
FIGURE 151. SIS procedure  1
A new location is chosen at random. Using an indicator kriging algorithm the relative probabilities of the dif
Stochastic Simulation
146 Reservoir Characterisation
ferent indicators can be computed from the nearby data samples. A new value is drawn at random using
these probabilities and this then is treated as a hard data value.
FIGURE 152. Drawing a simulated indicator value
The first estimated location now shown as a coloured square as it is now a hard data location.
FIGURE 153. SIS procedure  2
Another new location is chosen at random. The relative probabilities of the different indicators are again
computed using the indicator kriging algorithm which uses the spatial model to determine the weights of
each of the samples.
Another new value is drawn at random using these probabilities and the process continues until all loca
tions have been simulated.
VARIOGRAM MODEL FOR EACH CLASS
For each lithofacies need a different variogram model. This means that different lithofacies can have differ
ent ranges and different anisotropies. This technique can also be used very effectively for different classes
of continuous variables.
0
1 1
1
2 3
0
1 1
1
2 3
Stochastic Simulation
Stochastic Simulation 147
ORDER RELATION PROBLEMS
The SIS algorithm has no geological knowledge. However, there are many geological systems where facies
A (Indicator 1) is found adjacent to facies B (Indicator 2) but never next to facies C (Indicator 3). Indicator
kriging will not honour this and the resulting maps will look wrong, even to inexperienced geologists.
TRUNCATED GAUSSIAN SIMULATION
A solution to order relation problems in Indicator simulation is given with truncated sequential Gaussian
simulation. The system is modelled using a standard gaussian distribution which has a number of thresh
olds defined to separate the distribution into the relative proportions of each of the input lithofacies indica
tors.
The locations are estimated using an SGS technique and the indicator values are then computed by a
transformation of the gaussian distribution using the threshold values.
Modifications to this technique allow the relative proportions to vary across the mapping region to account
for local geological variations.
FIGURE 154. Thresholds on a gaussian distribution
One drawback to truncated gaussian simulation is that, whilst solving the order relation problem, it will not
then only allow facies B to be surrounded by facies A and facies C. This is essentially the opposite of the
order relation problem. A combination of truncated gaussian simulation and indicator simulation may be
used to construct combinations that honour all the geological rules.
l
1
l
2
l
3
l
4
l
5
l
1
l
2
l
3
l
4
l
5
Stochastic Simulation
148 Reservoir Characterisation
EXERCISES
SEQUENTIAL SIMULATION
Figure 155, “Example Covariance Model” shows a spatial covariance model. This gives the covariance, C,
at a distance 10 to be 0.5 and at a distance 17.32 is 0.3.
FIGURE 155. Example Covariance Model
The estimated value at a given location in ordinary kriging is simply the sum of the values at known loca
tions each multiplied by a weight and is given by the following equation.
(EQ 80)
The only additional constraint is that the weights add up to one.
They can be computed using the following matrix equation, where C
12
is the covariance between sample 1
and sample 2 and C
01
is the covariance between the location to be estimated (location 0) and sample 1.
(EQ 81)
Example Covariance
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Separation
C
o
v
a
r
i
a
n
c
e
Z
∗
OK
u ( ) λ
i
OK
u ( )Z u
i
( )
i 1 =
n u ( )
∑
=
C
11
C
12
C
13
1
C
21
C
22
C
23
1
C
31
C
32
C
33
1
1 1 1 0
λ
1
λ
2
λ
3
µ
C
01
C
02
C
03
1
=
Stochastic Simulation
Stochastic Simulation 149
RANDOM PATH
FIGURE 156. Input Gridded Data
Figure 156, “Input Gridded Data” shows a regular grid with dx=dy=5. Data is known in the cells containing
values.
Select a new location at random.
DETERMINATION OF MEAN
Determine the weights for the new location from an appropriate subset of the available data using
Equation 81 and then use these to solve Equation 80 to give the estimated value at the new location.
This estimation is the mean of a gaussian distribution for the new location.
DETERMINATION OF STANDARD DEVIATION
Using Equation 82 compute the standard deviation at this location
(EQ 82)
CONSTRUCTION OF GAUSSIAN DISTRIBUTION
Using the NORMDIST function in Excel. Construct a new normal distribution with the computed mean and
standard deviation at this location.
SIMULATION VALUE
Using the RAND and NORMINV functions compute 10 possible new values at this location.
Write one of these values in the new location and repeat the process at a second random location.
0.5 0.1
0.1
0.4
0.3
0.2
σ
OK
2
u ( ) C 0 ( ) λ
i
OK
u ( )C u
i
u – ( ) µ
OK
u ( ) –
i 1 =
n u ( )
∑
– =
Stochastic Simulation
150 Reservoir Characterisation
Dependent Variables
Dependent Variables 151
Chapter 11  Dependent Variables
In geological modelling it is very important to understand the nature of the relationships between variables.
Once a geocellular model has been constructed each cell will be populated with a number of different prop
erties or variables. If one variable has been estimated spatially then it is important when estimating the val
ues in that cell for other properties that any dependencies are considered. A situation that is seen far too
often is the stochastic modelling of porosity and then the independent stochastic modelling of permeability
when these two properties are related.
The dependencies can also be used to improve the estimation away from the wells. If porosity has a strong
correlation with seismic amplitude then the greater areal coverage of seismic can be used to constrain the
estimation of porosity and therefore reduce the uncertainty in the porosity mapping.
ARE THE VARIABLES INDEPENDENT?
As always the key step in modelling is the fastidious analysis of the data. How good is the correlation
between the two properties? Is the relationship any clearer if the populations are subdivided into different
lithofacies or zone.
Too often a weak correlation for all the data is used when much stronger correlations exist in the subpopu
lations.
KRIGING WITH EXTERNAL DRIFT (KED)
Kriging with External Drift (KED) is one of the simplest technique that use secondary data. It is a modifica
tion of the Kriging with a Trend Model algorithm but considers the trend function to be defined at each loca
tion by some secondary variable.
The kriging estimator still has the same general form
(EQ 83)
but the weights now have a term representing the local mean as in ordinary kriging and a third term which
represents the local value of the external drift variable y;
(EQ 84)
Where C
R
is the residual covariance rather than the covariance of the original variable.
The kriging variance will also depend on the value of the external drift variable y (but not the primary varia
Z
KED
∗
u ( ) λ
i
KED
u ( )Z u
i
( )
i 1 =
n u ( )
∑
=
λ
j
KED
u ( )C
R
u
i
u
j
– ( ) µ
0
KED
u ( ) µ
1
KED
u ( )y u
i
( ) + +
j 1 =
n u ( )
∑
C
R
u
i
u – ( ) = i 1…n u ( ) =
λ
j
KED
u ( )
j 1 =
n u ( )
∑
1 =
λ
j
KED
u ( )y u
i
( )
j 1 =
n u ( )
∑
y u ( ) =
Dependent Variables
152 Reservoir Characterisation
ble z)
(EQ 85)
The weights matrix shows the additional rows and columns with the last row representing the external drift
variable and the penultimate row representing the ordinary kriging requirement that the sum of the weights
is 1.
(EQ 86)
ASSUMPTIONS
Kriging with external drift assumes that the drift is defined at each location from a secondary variable which
must be available at all locations; the locations of the primary variable and the locations to be mapped. Typ
ically, software will treat the drift as a linear function of the secondary variable for ease of use. The
expected value of the residuals, or the deviations from the drift, is assumed to be zero.
The residual is assumed to be stationary, at least within the search neighbourhood.
DATA TREATMENT REQUIRED
The spatial model required by kriging with external drift is the model of the primary data residuals, not the
spatial model of the primary data.
WARNINGS
Kriging with external drift should only be considered if the correlation between the primary and drift varia
bles has an explainable physical justification.
The drift variable must not have any discontinuities otherwise the kriging system may become unstable.
It may be difficult to estimate the covariance of the residuals
No mechanism exists to control or verify the relationship between the drift variable and the primary variable.
In extrapolation, away from known data values, the KED estimator becomes a linear regression of the sec
ondary variable.
The weights and estimation variance depend on the data values of the drift variable. This is different from
univariate kriging where the kriging variance depends only on the geometry of the sample data points and
the spatial model, but not on the actual data values.
COLLOCATED COKRIGING
By extending the weights matrix to include terms for the variance between the primary and secondary vari
able we can develop a method for cokriging.
This simple cokriging technique requires a knowledge of;
σ
KED
2
u ( ) C 0 ( ) λ
i
KED
u ( )C
R
u
i
u – ( ) µ
0
– µ
1
y
0
–
i 1 =
n u ( )
∑
– =
C 0 ( ) … C u
1
u
n u ( )
– ( ) 1 y
1
… … … … …
C u
n u ( )
u
1
– ( ) … C 0 ( ) 1 y
n
1 … 1 0 0
y
1
… y
1n
0 0
λ
1
OK
u ( )
…
λ
n u ( )
OK
u ( )
µ
0
u ( )
µ
1
u ( )
C u
1
u – ( )
…
C u
n u ( )
u – ( )
1
y
0
=
Dependent Variables
Dependent Variables 153
1. The spatial or variogram model of the primary variable, which we would have to compute for any type of
kriging. This is the sparse data.
2. The variogram model of the secondary variable. This is the previously determine data which is available
at all primary locations.
3. The crossvariogram model of the primary and secondary variable.
It is the last point that is difficult to determine. We already know that the determination of a variogram model
for sparse data itself is difficult. We are now faced with the problem of determining a relationship between a
variable A at a given location and a variable B at a different location, when we find it difficult to determine
the correlation coefficient between A and B at the same location.
A simplification of the full cokriging system called collocated cokriging only requires;
1. The variogram model of the primary variable
2. The crossvariogram model of the primary and secondary variable
But, the crossvariogram model may also be simplified, if the distribution of the data is Gaussian with a
known mean.
(EQ 87)
So the crossvariogram model is replaced by a function that depends on covariance between the primary
and secondary variable ρ
UV
(0).
(EQ 88)
FIGURE 157. Collocated Cokriging
ASSUMPTIONS
The secondary variable must be available at all locations to be mapped and values of the secondary varia
ble that are not collocated with mapped locations will be ignored.
DATA TREATMENT REQUIRED
If the relation between the primary and secondary variables is not linear then the data should be trans
formed to ensure that it is linear prior to cross continuity analysis. The collocated cokriging should then be
performed on the transformed variables and transformed back once the estimation is complete.
C
UV
h ( )
C
UV
0 ( )
C
UU
0 ( )
 C
UU
h ( ) ⋅ ≈ ρ
UV
0 ( )
C
VV
0 ( )
C
UU
0 ( )
C
UU
h ( ) =
Z
0
λ
α
Z
α
∑
β
α
T
α
∑
ψ
0
T
0
+ + =
Z
0
, T
0
Z
1
, T
1
Z
2
,T
2
Z
3
, T
3
λ
1,
β
1
λ
2,
β
2
λ
3,
β
3
ψ ψψ ψ
0 00 0
Z
0
, T
0
Z
1
, T
1
Z
2
,T
2
Z
3
, T
3
λ
1,
β
1
λ
2,
β
2
λ
3,
β
3
ψ ψψ ψ
0 00 0
Dependent Variables
154 Reservoir Characterisation
WARNINGS
Collocated cokriging ignores the influence of noncollocated secondary data points. In a gridded or geocel
lular system this is rarely a problem.
VARIOGRAMS AND CROSSCOVARIANCE
These inputs are required for the cokriging system.
FIGURE 158. Variograms required for cokriging
CONCLUSION
The two most common techniques for incorporating a secondary variable have been presented. There are
many other ways to use secondary variables and most use some form of decomposition of the variable into
trend and residual. Regrettably these techniques remain in the domain of expert users as the commercially
available software generally restricts the users to the two techniques described above.
Finally, there are some variables with a clear dependency that should not be estimated at all. Water satura
tion, S
w
, is definitely dependent on permeability so you may be tempted to use KED or collocated cokriging
to model S
w
. However, it is computed from, amongst other variables, permeability, height above the water
contact, and some fluid variables.
Therefore it must be computed from the values of these properties in each of the cells in the geocellular
model.
V a r i o g r a m o n I m p e d a n c e
V a r i o g r a m o n P o r o s i t y
C r o s s  v a r i o g r a m o n P o r o s i t y & I m p e d a n c e
V a r i o g r a m o n I m p e d a n c e
V a r i o g r a m o n P o r o s i t y
C r o s s  v a r i o g r a m o n P o r o s i t y & I m p e d a n c e
Dependent Variables
Dependent Variables 155
EXERCISES
1. For the following list of variables pick 4 pairs that may be related in some way. Explain their relationship,
suggest a range of values for the expected correlation coefficient and describe how you would model
them.
Horizontal permeability
Porosity
Water saturation
Height above free water level
Seismic amplitude
Vertical permeability
2. Explain, in your own words, what a correlation coefficient of 0.7 of variable B with respect to variable A
means.
Dependent Variables
156 Reservoir Characterisation
Upscaling
Upscaling 157
Chapter 12  Upscaling
So far, we have described the techniques available for the construction of a reservoir model. In general
these reservoir models are likely to be reasonably detailed geological models that aim to describe the res
ervoir. Reservoir characterisation in contrast is more concerned with understanding the behaviour of the
system which, rather contrarily, may be analysed better by a significantly less detailed model.
To this end there is often a necessity to transform the geological description into a fitforpurpose model at
a different scale.
The typical input data to our reservoir description consists of well core, wireline logs, conceptual geological
models and analogues, seismic data, well test data and production data.
The most important properties for the effective characterisation of the behaviour of the system are, porosity,
directional permeabilities, nettogross, fluid saturations, stresses, pressures and temperatures.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM OF SCALE
When we consider the data measured by geologists for input into the model, we realise that their measure
ments are all made at a very small scale. And when we look at the data used by reservoir engineers for
input into their conceptual fluid models we see that their measurements are all made at a very large scale.
Between these two measurement scales lies the scale at which the geological and simulation models are
constructed. Does this make sense? If we were building a house would we define the measurements in
microns or kilometres? Sadly in reservoir modelling we have very little choice in the measurement scales 
but we can choose the model scales.
FIGURE 159. Measurement and modelling scales
HETEROGENEITY AND THE PROBLEM OF SCALE
Within the reservoir the values of each property, and its variability due to the presence of heterogeneities,
are a function of the measurement or calculation scale. The key to successful and efficient characterisation
is to exploit natural scales where the reservoir can be considered homogeneous, or statistically homogene
Simulation
Geological
10
6
10
8
1
10
4
10
10
Core
Well Test
Log
Reservoir
10
13
Measure
Measure
Model
Simulation
Geological
10
6
10
8
Simulation
Geological
10
6
10
6
10
8
10
8
10
8
1
10
4
10
10
Core
Well Test
Log
Reservoir
10
13
1
10
4
10
10
Core
Well Test
Log
Reservoir
10
13
Measure
Measure
Model
Upscaling
158 Reservoir Characterisation
ous.
FIGURE 160. Heterogeneous and homogenous measurement scales
Figure 160 shows the variation of the measurement of porosity with the scale over which the porosity is
measured. For very small samples the porosity is either 0, because the sample is in a grain, or 1 because
the sample is in a pore space. As the sample volume increases the porosity will go through phases where it
fluctuates widely as a function of sample volume and phases where it is relatively stable with respect to the
measurement scale.
Any change of scale between models should exploit this scale dependence and ensure that the output
model scale is in a homogenous scale range.
WHY DO WE UPSCALE?
Our measurements are usually at a smaller scale than our model. Those measurements at a coarser scale,
such as flow simulation and well test, tend to be used to check or constrain models.
We really need to model at the measurement scale model to get the right coarse scale values from the
upscaling process. Upscaling does not mean throwing away information
To investigate uncertainty we usually need coarser reservoir performance models because they are more
computationally efficient. But, the need to upscale will NOT go away with the advent or larger, faster models
1
0
physical size of sample or model
p
o
r
o
s
i
t
y
1st region of
(statistical)
homogeneity
2nd region
of homogeneity
1
0
physical size of sample or model
p
o
r
o
s
i
t
y
1st region of
(statistical)
homogeneity
2nd region
of homogeneity
Upscaling
Upscaling 159
UPSCALING FOR LAYER PROPERTIES
Figure 161 shows an outcrop and some typical reservoir simulation layers have been drawn on this out
crop. Within each layer of the reservoir the properties are assumed to be from the same lithofacies.
FIGURE 161. Outcrop with superimposed reservoir simulation layers
UPSCALING FOR RESERVOIR SIMULATION
Figure 162 shows the same outcrop with typical reservoir simulation cells drawn on the outcrop. Within
each cell all the properties of the rocks will have a single value i.e. a single value for porosity, a single value
for permeability and a single value for fluid saturations.
FIGURE 162. Outcrop with superimposed reservoir simulation grid cells
EFFECTIVE PROPERTIES
The problem of upscaling is then to somehow compute or estimate a single value which could be used to
represent the real heterogeneous system within each grid cell.
Upscaling
160 Reservoir Characterisation
This single value is often called an effective value where effective means that it preserves some static or
dynamic characteristic of the real heterogeneous medium that is of interest such as pore volume or perme
ability or flow rate.
Ideally you would the get the same result when using the finescale description as input to a model or using
the coarse scale single effective value as an input.
FIGURE 163. Replacement of detailed geology with a single effective value
Of course, the underlying geological description could have very different characteristics. Figure 164 shows
two very different geological descriptions that have the same univariate statistics. So they would have the
same average values, the same range and the same frequency distributions, but if this represented perme
ability they would have very different flow characteristics.
FIGURE 164. Different geological descriptions with the same univariate statistics
UPSCALING MYTHS
There are a number of misconceptions about upscaling which persist and inhibit a comprehensive under
standing of the process.
Upscaling
Upscaling 161
WHICH CAME FIRST – UPSCALING OR FINESCALE GEOLOGICAL MODELLING?
Upscaling came first. All the finescale modelling has been driven by the ability to rescale the models to a
scale usable in reservoir simulation and the recognition that the correct permeability to use at any scale
depended on the permeability at finer scales. Without upscaling there would be no point in constructing the
fine models.
UPSCALING THROWS AWAY INFORMATION
Upscaling does not discard information, if it is done correctly. In the fine model there is additional detail that
is utilised in the upscaling process to generate the correct flow properties at any given scale.
MORE POWERFUL COMPUTERS WILL MAKE UPSCALING OBSOLETE
The idea that upscaling will not be required if you have powerful computers is based on the belief that you
can run a numerical simulation on the complete fine geological model. Given the known inaccuracies in
numerical simulation and particularly the nonuniqueness of the solution, running a simulation on the fine
geological model is likely to be less accurate than properly controlled and audited upscaling to a coarse
simulation model.
RESERVOIR SIMULATION MODELS
It is important to understand the capabilities and deficiencies of numerical simulators so that the upscaling
can be optimised to honour the data required by the simulator.
Although finitedifference simulation models are visualised as the array of 2D or 3D grid blocks that are
used to compute their input parameters and display their outputs, the simulator works on block centre prop
erties and knows nothing of their actual geometries.
FIGURE 165. Simulator visual and internal representation
The simulator has a volume associated with a centre point but knows nothing of its shape. Pressures, satu
rations, porosities are computed at the points and permeabilities are turned into transmissibility between
points.
When upscaling for simulation models you need to bear in mind what properties the simulator actually
uses;
Porevolume
Saturation
Depth
Pressures
Absolute and relative transmissibility
Distances between centre points
internal representation visual representation
Upscaling
162 Reservoir Characterisation
These are generally computed from the properties we measure, model and upscale;
Porosity, nettogross and permeability are used to compute the above quantities, but are not directly
used themselves.
Any upscaling should avoid introducing errors in the properties the simulator uses.
UPSCALING GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Many different methods or algorithms exist for upscaling properties. These methods fall into two categories;
A generic method treats attributes in a totally abstract way such as summing, weightedaveraging, sum
ming and dividing
A propertyspecific method the recognizes and accounts for the nature of the physical property like pore
volume, porosity, depth, nettogross, fluid saturation, permeability, transmissibility modifiers.
The method you chose should be consistent with all the properties that you upscale and the order in which
you perform a series of upscaling operations is also important.
GRID COORDINATE SYSTEMS
All software products use different coordinate systems. Some use depth and some use height. The origin is
likely to be different. Some use a local coordinate system and others use a global system. Some are left
handed and others are righthanded
You need to know what combination of scale, rotation and stretch you will have to perform to map one grid
onto another. This may sound trivial but is actually the cause of much confusion and error.
WELL LOCATIONS
In a some simulators such as Eclipse the wells are assumed to be in the centre of the cells. Does the geo
logical modelling software treat wells in the same way? If it doesn’t where will the well move to when you
construct the simulation model by upgridding? Will the well move across a fault?
You need to be aware of what could happen to the location of your well at different grid scales, particularly
if some of your wells are horizontal.
The VIP simulator preserves the well’s true location.
EXERCISES
1. There are many scale changes in reservoir characterisation. There is a change of scale when well logs
are recorded since different well logs represent different ranges of investigation. There is a change of
scale when well logs are blocked into the geological model and there is a change of scale the geological
model to the simulator model. For each of these three scale changes discuss your thoughts on the
nature of the change in information in the transitition from one scale to the next.
2. Discuss whether it is better to upscale by a little or a lot. For example, is it better to create a single sim
ulation cell from 8 fine cells (ie 2 by 2 by 2) or by 1000 fine cells (10 by 10 by 10).
3. Will upscaling be required if more powerful computers exist? Discuss your reasons.
4. Given that physical measurements change depending on the scale at which they are measured discuss
the advantages and disadvantages of a ‘shared earth’ model. ie a single model which is used or shared
between different disciplines such as geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers.
Change of Grid Scales
Change of Grid Scales 163
Chapter 13  Change of Grid Scales
In the overall process of upscaling there are two separate functions. The design of the coarse grid and the
population of the coarse grid.
Separating the process of computing the effective value from the determination of the grid geometries and
their correspondence has significant computing optimisation benefits.
DEFINITIONS
Before continuing it is useful to provide some definitions to avoid confusion due to vague terminology.
UPGRIDDING
Upgridding is the process of coarsening a grid. Generally the nodes of the cells in the coarse grid are also
nodes of cells in the fine grid and there is said to be a correspondence between the grid. Some reservoir
simulation programs support a local grid coarsening which has optimisation benefits.
REFINING OR DOWNGRIDDING
Refining is the opposite of upgridding. A fine grid is created from a coarse grid. Generally nodes in the new
fine grid will lie on the edges of cells in the coarse grid. This is not necessarily consistent with the reservoir
geometry.
UPSCALING
Upscaling is the process of populating cells in the coarse grid with a value that represents the behaviour of
the fine cells.
RESAMPLING
Resampling defines the techniques for transferring values from the coarse grid into the fine grid.
GRID CORRESPONDENCE
Correspondence defines the cells in the fine that are used by the coarse grid in the upscaling process. This
allows integration with existing or legacy simulation grids.
GRID MANIPULATION
Sometimes when upscaling or resampling, both the source grid and target grid geometries exist in advance
and only the property values need to be generated.
At other times, only one of the grids exists in advance and it is necessary to derive the other grid geometry
from it. A grid can be coarsened or refined to create a new grid geometry. Such grid geometry manipulation
may be done prior to upscaling or resampling attributes but it may also be carried out in isolation, for exam
ple to generate a grid geometry for an LGR to be used for modelling work in other software products.
TYPES OF GRID CORRESPONDENCE
A grid correspondence is the relationship between two grid geometries. It states which cells in one grid rep
resent the same part of a model as each cell in the other grid.
Three types of grid correspondence are discussed:
1. Conforming grid correspondence or logical correspondence.
2. Unconforming grid correspondence or spatial correspondence.
Change of Grid Scales
164 Reservoir Characterisation
3. Layered correspondence which is logical for the k dimension and spatial for i and j dimensions.
The correspondence between a pair of grids must be determined before any upscaling or resampling of
properties can be carried out.
CONFORMING GRID CORRESPONDENCE
A correspondence between conforming grids is defined by cell numbers rather than a search of the physi
cal space represented by cells.
FIGURE 166. Fine cells corresponding to a coarse cell in conforming grids. Their geometries need
not occupy the same physical space
This is the type of correspondence which is generated when refining or coarsening grids See “Upgridding”
on page 163, See “Refining or Downgridding” on page 163 A conforming grid correspondence can also be
defined explicitly in an ASCII file.
UPSCALING METHODS BASED ON THE PRESSURE SOLVER REQUIRE A CONFORMING GRID CORRESPONDENCE. THIS MAY
NECESSITATE A RESAMPLING TASK PRIOR TO UPSCALING.
UNCONFORMING GRID CORRESPONDENCE
When the source and target grid geometries are independent of one another, an irregular correspondence
must be constructed.
FIGURE 167. An unconforming grid correspondence
Fine cells corresponding to a coarse cell
in conforming grids: their geometries
need not occupy the same physical space.
An unconforming grid
correspondencecaters for
arbitrarygridgeometries.
Change of Grid Scales
Change of Grid Scales 165
There are three ways of constructing a correspondence between unconforming grids
1. Volume intersection
2. Centre point enclosure
3. Centre point resampling
Volume Intersection
This method of construction links any pair of cells in the source and target grids whose volumes intersect in
3D space.
Note that this results in a manytomany correspondence with a source cell potentially relating to many tar
get cells.
FOR THIS REASON, UPSCALING METHODS WHICH INVOLVE SUMMATION RATHER THAN AVERAGING (PORE VOLUME UPSCALING,
GENERIC UPSCALING: SUM) SHOULD NOT BE USED WITH A GRID CORRESPONDENCE CONSTRUCTED IN THIS WAY.
Centre Point Enclosure
This method of constructing a correspondence between unconforming grids links each cell in the source
grid with the target grid cell whose volume encloses the source grid cell centre point. This results in a many
toone relationship which is suitable for upscaling methods involving summation. Such a correspondence is
also suitable for upscaling methods which compute an average but there are generally fewer source cells
involved than if the volume intersection method is used to construct the correspondence.
Centre Point Resampling
When moving from a coarser grid to a finer grid, several target cells correspond to each source cell. The
centre point resampling method finds the source cell whose volume encloses the centre point of each tar
get cell. The resulting correspondence is suitable for use with the attribute resampling method.
LAYERED CORRESPONDENCE
If there is a known relationship between the layers in the two grids then a layered correspondence should
be used. This is a hybrid of the conforming and unconforming correspondence types. The layer corre
spondence is defined explicitly, for example layers 1 to 5 in the source grid correspond to layer 1 in the tar
get grid. The I and J dimension correspondence is determined spatially. This spatial relationship is
constructed by a 2D search in the XY plane.
As with unconforming grid correspondences, there are three ways of constructing a layered correspond
ence:
1. Plan intersection
2. Centre point plan enclosure
3. Centre point plan resampling
With all three methods, the layer correspondence must be established first. This is usually achieved by
reading the layer correspondence from an ASCII file.
Plan Intersection
This construction method links any pair of cells whose plan view projections overlap. A plan view projection
for each cell is made by taking a plane midway down the thickness of the cell and disregarding the Z co
Change of Grid Scales
166 Reservoir Characterisation
ordinates for the four corners.
As with the volume intersection method (for unconforming grids), this way of constructing a correspond
ence results in a manytomany relationship and is therefore inappropriate for upscaling methods involving
summation rather than averaging.
FIGURE 168. Plan intersection layered correspondence
Centre Point Plan Enclosure
This is similar to the centre point enclosure method but here the search is carried out in the 2D plan view.
As for the plan intersection, a plan view projection of the target cell is constructed from the plan midway
down the cell. Any source cells whose centre points lie within the area of this plan view projection, in the X
Y plane, are deemed to correspond with the target cell. The search is, of course, restricted to source layers
which have been specified as corresponding to the layer of the target cell.
FIGURE 169. Centre Point Plan Enclosure Layered Correspondence
Centre Point Plan Resampling
As with centre point resampling, this method is used when moving from a coarser grid to a finer grid. Like
the other plan based methods, the layer correspondence is explicitly defined and the search is carried out
in the 2D XY plane. In this case, a 2D plan view projection is constructed for a source cell, from the plane
midway down the cell. Any target cells whose centre points lie within the area of this plan view projection
are linked to the source cell. The resulting correspondence is suitable for use with the attribute resampling
method.
Source
Target
Plan Intersection
Source
Target
Centre Point Plan Enclosure
Change of Grid Scales
Change of Grid Scales 167
FIGURE 170. Centre Point Plan Resampling Layered Correspondence
EXERCISES
1. Describe the constraints that need to be considered when designing a coarser simulation grid from a
geological grid.
2. Describe the problems that need to be considered when comparing a coarse simulation grid and a fine
geological grid that were constructed independently and do not correspond.
Centre Point Plan Resampling
Source
Target
Change of Grid Scales
168 Reservoir Characterisation
Scalar Upscaling
Scalar Upscaling 169
Chapter 14  Scalar Upscaling
There are many different methods or algorithms for upscaling attributes. The methods fall into two catego
ries:
An attributespecific method is applicable to a particular type of simulation attribute such as porosity or
group of attribute types.
A generic method treats attributes in a totally abstract way.
SPECIFIC UPSCALING METHODS
We will discuss specific methods for generating the following upscaled simulation attributes: pore volume;
cell centre depth; top face depth; nettogross; porosity; initial saturations; directional permeabilities (I, J
and K directions); directional transmissibility multipliers.
For most of these attribute types, there are more than one method available. The recommended method for
each attribute type is marked with an asterisk.
The methods require input attributes to be identified from the available source attributes. Some of the meth
ods also require other upscaled (target) attributes as input. A comprehensive table of requirements is given
in “Appendix A  Upscaling Requirements” on page 24
PORE VOLUME UPSCALING
Most simulators allow the pore volumes (computed from the cell geometry, nettogross and porosity) to be
overwritten with values supplied explicitly. The advantage of doing this is that errors introduced by, for
example, the coarser cell geometry can be eradicated. Note that the following method aims to preserve
pore volume and does not take into consideration whether the pore volume is accessible to flow or not.
FIGURE 171. Only the top fine layer is accessible but the pore volume upscaling methods include
the inaccessible pore volume
The same consideration will also apply to the porosity upscaling methods. The resulting error in simulation
behaviour can be partially corrected by the use of effective relative permeability (pseudo functions).
The pore volume upscaling method merely computes the sum of the fine cell pore volumes:
(EQ 89)
Coarse Grid
Fine Grid
Impermeable Shale
pv pv
i
·
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { }
i
∑
=
Scalar Upscaling
170 Reservoir Characterisation
If the fine cell pore volume does not exist as an attribute, the upscaled pore volume can be computed from
bulk rock volume, nettogross and porosity instead:
(EQ 90)
Several of the upscaling methods for other attributes require fine cell pore volume as a weighting factor. In
all such cases, the fine pore volume may be given as an attribute in its own right or as bulk rock volume,
nettogross and porosity.
The use of a nettogross term implies that the porosity values are applicable to the net rock only. If netto
gross does not exist as an attribute, or if the porosity values have been averaged so as to be applicable to
the bulk rock, then a value of 1 should be used for nettogross. This is the case wherever nettogross is an
input attribute for an upscaling method.
DEPTH UPSCALING
As with pore volumes, most simulators allow cell centre depth values (computed from cell geometry) to be
over written with values supplied explicitly.
Depth values effect the gravity term when the simulator computes phase potential differences between
cells. For this reason, the best upscaling of depth is on a pore volume weighted basis:
(EQ 91)
The fine cell depth can be derived from the grid geometry or imported like any other attribute.
The fine cell pore volume may alternatively be derived from porosity, nettogross and bulk rock volume:
{ (EQ 92)
NETTOGROSS UPSCALING
Simulators treat nettogross as an optional attribute with a default value of 1. When present, nettogross is
used as a factor in computing pore volume, horizontal transmissibility and well connection factors. As the
derivation of these values also depends on porosity (for pore volume) and permeability (for transmissibility
and well connection factors), it is important to ensure that the upscaling of these parameters is consistent
with the upscaling of nettogross.
Net Volume Preserved, Volume Weighted Average *
recommenced
This method preserves the net volume, assuming that the simulator computes bulk rock volume from grid
geometry in a way which is consistent with the geological modelling program:
pv brv
i
ntg
i
φ
i
• • fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { }
i
∑
=
depth
depth
i
pv •
i
i
∑
pv
i
i
∑
 fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { } =
depth
depth
i
b • rv
i
ntg
i
φ
i
• •
i
∑
brv
i
ntg
i
φ
i
• •
i
∑
 fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { } =
Scalar Upscaling
Scalar Upscaling 171
(EQ 93)
Volume Weighted Average
Assuming that the coarsening of the grid has preserved bulk rock volume (which is not necessarily pre
cisely true), the upscaled nettogross can be computed as a simple bulk rock volume weighted mean:
(EQ 94)
Set Coarse NettoGross to 1
Even if nettogross exists as an attribute in the geological model, the upscaled nettogross can be set to 1.
The impact of the fine nettogross can then be accounted for in the upscaling of porosity and horizontal
permeabilities:
(EQ 95)
This method generates an upscaled attribute with a constant value of 1. As such, it is not strictly necessary
to perform it. The method is included for completeness and as a reminder that nettogross in the coarse
model need not reflect that in the fine model.
Horizontal Continuity of NonNet Rock
The interpretation of nettogross by the simulator is implicitly based on nonpay rock existing in laterally
extensive sheets. This fact can be used to derive a more meaningful upscaled nettogross for cases where
there is a logical correspondence between the layering in the fine and coarse grids. This method involves
finding a nettogross value for each fine layer (in a coarse cell) which represents the concept of laterally
continuous nonpay rock. The maximum nettogross value in each fine layer satisfies this requirement.
The bulk rock volume of each fine layer can then be used as a weighting to find an average upscaled net
togross value:
(EQ 96)
where:
(EQ 97)
(EQ 98)
ntg
brv
i
ntg
i
•
i
∑
brv
 fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { } =
ntg
brv
i
ntg
i
•
i
∑
brv
i
i
∑
 fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { } =
ntg 1 =
ntg
brv
k
ntg
k
•
k
∑
brv
k
k
∑
 fine layers k in coarse cell ∀ { } =
ntg
k
max ntg
i
( ) fine cells i in fine layer k ∀ { } =
brv
k
brv
i
i
∑
fine cells i in fine layer k ∀ { } =
Scalar Upscaling
172 Reservoir Characterisation
POROSITY UPSCALING
The aim when upscaling porosity is invariably to preserve the pore volume within each coarse cell. As the
simulator computes pore volume as the product of bulk rock volume, nettogross and porosity, the upscal
ing of these attributes must be done in a consistent manner.
Pore Volume Preservation *
recommended
This method preserves pore volume most accurately assuming that the simulator computes bulk rock vol
ume from grid geometry in a consistent way.
(EQ 99)
Note that if the upscaled nettogross has not preserved net rock volume then the error will be compen
sated for in the porosity values generated by this method.
Net Volume Weighted Average
If the pore volume is being upscaled in its own right then the upscaling of porosity is of no consequence to
the simulation (although the simulator might deactivate cells with zero porosity, even if a nonzero pore vol
ume is supplied). The upscaling of porosity can then be an average such as the net volume weighted
mean:
(EQ 100)
SATURATION UPSCALING
Fluid Volume Preservation
This method preserves the volume of a fluid in place:
(EQ 101)
Note that if the coarse pore volume is not equal to the sum of the fine pore volumes then the upscaled sat
urations will compensate for the error. In such a case, the upscaled saturations for all phases present will
not sum to one.
Pore Volume Weighted Average * recommended
This method produces upscaled saturations which are consistent with the fine cell saturations:
Φ ΦΦ Φ
pv
i
i
∑
brv ntg • •• • ( )
 fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { } =
Φ ΦΦ Φ
brv
i
ntg
i
φ
i
• •
i
∑
brv
i
ntg
i
•
i
∑
 fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { } =
s
pv
i
s
i
•
i
∑
pv
 fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { } =
Scalar Upscaling
Scalar Upscaling 173
(EQ 102)
Note that any error in pore volume upscaling will result in a proportional error in volume of fluids in place
when using this saturation upscaling method.
GENERIC UPSCALING METHODS, LOCATION
In addition to the specific upscaling methods described above there are a number of generic techniques
which may be used to give quick approximations to the effective property of a number of fine cells. In all of
these techniques the input data may be weighted using an appropriate set of weights.
ARITHMETIC MEAN
(EQ 103)
GEOMETRIC MEAN
(EQ 104)
s
pv
i
s
i
•
i
∑
pv
i
i
∑
 fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { } =
ArithmeticMean
x
i
w
i
•
i
∑
w
i
i
∑

··
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
GeometricMean x
i
w
i
• ( )
i
∏
w
i
i
∑
e
x
i
w
i
• ( ) ln
i
∑
w
i
i
∑

\ ¹





 
=
··
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
Scalar Upscaling
174 Reservoir Characterisation
HARMONIC MEAN
(EQ 105)
POWER AVERAGE
Given that the range of possible effective values is bounded by the harmonic and arithmetic mean;
(EQ 106)
We observe that the equations for arithmetic and harmonic means can be rewritten using a parametric
form;
(EQ 107)
In many systems a the overall behaviour may be approximated using a value of ω between 1 and 1.
SUM
For some attributes, such as volume or pore volume, the effective value is the weighted sum of the values
in the fine cells.
(EQ 108)
MODE
When working with integer values it makes no sense to construct a nonintegral measure of location. In this
case we should use the mode. The mode is the most frequently occurring value in the fine cells contributing
to the coarse cell.
HarmonicMean
w
i
i
∑
1
x
i
w
i
•

i
∑

··
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
HarmonicMean EffectiveValue ArithmeticMean ≤ ≤
PowerAverage
w
i
x
i
ω
•
i
∑
w
i
i
∑

ω
··
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
ω
ω
ω
1 PowerAverage = ArithmeticMean
1 PowerAverage = Harmonic Mean –
0 PowerAverage GeometricMean →
\ ¹


 
=
Sum x
i
w
i
•
i
∑
··
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
Scalar Upscaling
Scalar Upscaling 175
GENERIC UPSCALING METHODS, DISPERSION
To estimate the difficulty of the upcaling process it is helpful to be able to determine the dispersion of the
values in the fine cells. If there is little variation in the fine cells for a given coarse cell it is likely that there
will be few problems with upscaling.
These techniques provide for quality control of the upscaling process.
VARIANCE
(EQ 109)
STANDARD DEVIATION
(EQ 110)
COEFFICIENT OF VARIATION
(EQ 111)
NUMBER OF VALUES
For an integer dataset the number of values represents the number of different values in the fine cells.
PERCENTAGE OF MODE VALUES
The Percentage of Mode values shows how representative the mode is as an effective value for the popu
lation of fine cells in the coarse cell
Variance
x
i
w
i
µ – • ( )
2
i
∑
w
i
i
∑

··
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
µ ArithmeticMean =
StandardDeviation σ
x
i
w
i
µ – • ( )
2
i
∑
w
i
i
∑

··
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
µ ArithmeticMean =
CoefficientOfVariation
S dardDeviation tan
ArithmeticMean

σ
µ
 = =
Scalar Upscaling
176 Reservoir Characterisation
(EQ 112)
PERCENTAGE OF A GIVEN VALUE
The Percentage of a Given Value shows how many of the fine cells have a given value.
(EQ 113)
RESAMPLING
It is desirable to be able to resample attribute data between arbitrary grids. In particular to resample from a
coarser grid to a finer grid. This technique may be used to seed a fine grid with data sampled from a simu
lation grid. This data may then be used as a trend in the geological modelling.
RESAMPLING TO CENTRAL CELL
This method of resampling takes the value from the coarse cell and inserts it into the fine cell closest to the
centre of the coarse cell. All other cells are populated with a NULL value.
FIGURE 172. Resampling to the central cell
This technique is useful if additional geological modelling is required. The sparse values from the coarse
cells form a trend to assist the geological modelling.
RESAMPLING TO ALL CELLS
This method of resampling takes the value from the coarse cell and inserts it into all fine cells that corre
spond to the coarse cell.
PercentageOfModeValues
N x
i
Mode = ( )
N x
i
( )
 
··
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
PercentageOfGivenValue
N x
i
GivenValue = ( )
N x
i
( )

··
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
Scalar Upscaling
Scalar Upscaling 177
FIGURE 173. Resampling to all cells
This technique may be used to check the upscaled values from the coarse cells with the original values in
the fine cells.
EXERCISES
1. Upscaling Porosity, Depth, Pore Volume
Upscale the following diagram of fine cells into the single coarse cell and insert values for depth, porosity
and pore volume.
FIGURE 174. Upscaling Porosity, Depth, Pore Volume  CrossSection
2. Upscaling from variable sized fine cells
Upscale the following diagram of fine cells into the single coarse cell and insert values for depth, porosity
and pore volume.
Porosity = 0.03
Porosity = 0.20
Scalar Upscaling
178 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 175. Upscaling from variable sized fine cells  Cross Section
3. Upscaling indicator values and well locations.
Upscale the following diagram of fine cells into the sixteen fine cells. Indicate the locations of the wells in
the coarse grid. Suggest an alternative coarse grid.
FIGURE 176. Upscaling indicator values and well location  Plan View
4. Do you expect the same volumes to be reported in the geological grid and the upscaled simulation grid?
Explain clearly the reasons for your decision.
Porosity = 0.03
Porosity = 0.20
Well
Fault Block 1
Fault Block 2
Fault Block 3
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 179
Chapter 15  Permeability Upscaling
Simulators use the directional permeabilities (PERM_I, PERM_J, PERM_K) to compute well connection
factors and transmissibilities between cells. The horizontal permeabilities (PERM_I, PERM_J) are taken to
apply to net rock. Upscaled permeabilities must therefore be consistent with upscaled nettogross values.
Furthermore, if upscaled transmissibility multipliers are being generated (see below “Transmissibility Multi
pliers” on page 197) then these should be consistent with the upscaled permeabilities.
Determining effective permeability values for a coarse grid is much more complex than upscaling the volu
metric properties described above. This is because permeability is the relationship between the dynamic
properties of flow rate and pressure differential. The 3D pressure distributions which a simulation will
encounter are not known during upscaling and these can affect the “correct” upscaled permeability. For
example, in a system with low kvkh ratio:
FIGURE 177. Effective K
h
depends more heavily on the top 2 fine layers due to greater pressure
differential
The correct upscaled permeability will depend most heavily on the fine layers in which there are open com
pletions. This is generally not known at the time of upscaling and, indeed, can vary during the course of a
simulation. It is therefore not possible to create upscaled permeabilities which are perfect for all well config
urations and operating pressures. Nevertheless, it is possible to upscale permeabilities (and transmissibility
multipliers) to give good results but care needs to be taken in the selection of methods and the verification
of results.
The following methods vary greatly in the time required for computation. Also, some of the methods can
only be applied when the source grid and target grid are conforming (see “Conforming Grid Correspond
ence” on page 164).
All the methods can generate three directional permeabilities although it may sometimes be desirable to
use different methods for horizontal permeabilities (PERM_I and PERM_J) and vertical permeabilities
(PERM_K).
All the methods assume that horizontal permeabilities are applicable to net rock and vertical permeabilities
are applicable to bulk rock. This is consistent with simulator interpretation. If your fine horizontal permeabil
ities are applicable to bulk rock, select the constant 1 as fine nettogross values for the method. If you
require coarse horizontal permeabilities to be applicable to bulk rock, select 1 as the coarse input netto
gross.
EFFECTIVE PERMEABILITIES
Given a heterogeneous piece of rock, the major controls on its effective permeability are:
1. Anisotropy in spatial correlation.
2. Heterogeneity size or the averaging volume.
EffectiveK dependsmoreheavilyontop2finelayers duetogreater pressuredifferential.
Permeability Upscaling
180 Reservoir Characterisation
3. Boundary conditions.
4. Dimensionality, is it 2D or 3D?
Unlike other properties, such as porosity, the rock itself does not have a unique effective permeability either
measured or calculated. So, measurements on heterogeneous core plugs give effective permeabilities, not
absolute permeabilities. That means that, given a set of permeability data, we should expect different levels
of variability at different sample scales and therefore cannot compare measurements that have been made
at different scales.
To determine the effective it is very important to start by modelling, either explicitly or implicitly, the spatial
distribution of permeability at the scale of the measured data.
Remembering our definition of effective property from “Effective Properties” on page 159 above, we can
define the problem of determining the effective permeability as finding a single permeability value that will
give the same fluid flux through both models, for specified boundary conditions.
FIGURE 178. Input distribution and effective permeability
AVERAGE PERMEABILITIES
Can average permeabilities be used as the effective permeability? Well, consider the two arrangements
in... The univariate statistics are the same for both models, but the different spatial continuity produces ani
sotropy in the upscaled permeabilities. The effective vertical permeability is greatly reduced in the arrange
ment on the right dues to the continuity of the lateral barriers.
FIGURE 179. Two different arrangements with different effective permeabilities
Q
k
VE
/ k
HE
= 1.0 k
VE
/ k
HE
= ?
kV
sand
= kH
sand
= 1.0, k
shale
= 0
shale = 2% sand=98%
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 181
These five arrangements will all have different effective permeabilities yet the have the same proportions of
the five different permeability types, in fact, each column has same distribution.
FIGURE 180. Five different spatial arrangements with different effective permeabilities
PERMEABILITY UPSCALING
In “Reservoir Simulation Models” on page 161 we discussed the importance of understanding how different
simulators work so that we could concentrate on reducing any information loss.
Simulators use the directional permeabilities (PERM_I, PERM_J, PERM_K) to compute well connection
factors and transmissibilities between cells, but
often the geological model will only have a single, nondirectional permeability value. So somehow, at a
geological scale we need to define permeabilities for each of the I,J and K directions.
We also know that, in the simulator, the horizontal permeabilities (PERM_I, PERM_J) are taken to apply to
net rock, whilst the vertical permeability is assumed to apply to the gross rock. This is to take into account
the horizontal continuity of the nonnet rock.
Our upscaled permeabilities must therefore be consistent with upscaled nettogross values. And if we
chose to upscale transmissibility multipliers these should be also consistent with the upscaled permeabili
ties.
THE DYNAMIC NATURE OF PERMEABILITY
Determining effective permeability values for a coarse grid is much more complex than upscaling the static
properties described earlier because permeability is the relationship between the dynamic properties of
flow rate and pressure differential which changes. The 3D pressure distributions which a simulation will
encounter are not known during upscaling and this will result in a difference from the true upscaled perme
ability.
It is not possible to create upscaled permeabilities which are perfect for all well configurations and operat
ing pressures.
But, it is possible to upscale permeabilities and transmissibility multipliers to give good results but great
care needs to be taken in the selection of methods and the verification of results.
The available methods for the upscaling permeability vary greatly in the time required for computation. Also
some of them can only be applied when the source grid and target grid are conforming.
Permeability Upscaling
182 Reservoir Characterisation
All the methods assume that horizontal permeabilities are applicable to net rock and vertical permeabilities
are applicable to bulk rock. This is consistent with simulator interpretation, but, if fine horizontal permeabili
ties are applicable to bulk rock, you must set the fine nettogross values to 1. Similarly, if the coarse hori
zontal permeabilities are applicable to bulk rock, the coarse nettogross values should be set to 1.
All the methods can generate three directional permeabilities although it may sometimes be desirable to
use different methods for horizontal permeabilities (PERM_I and PERM_J) and vertical permeabilities
(PERM_K). Your decision on the choice of method should be based on your understanding of the spatial
arrangement of the fine scale permeabilities.
AVERAGING METHODS
Methods based on averaging ignore the spatial arrangement of the fine scale permeabilities but give impor
tant information about the range of possible values for the effective permeability.
ARITHMETIC MEAN
This method computes an average of the fine cell permeabilities, weighted by an areaoverdistance term:
(EQ 114)
Similarly for PERMJ.
The nettogross does not play a role in the PERM_K computations:
(EQ 115)
It gives a good result when there is no coarsening in the direction of interest, e.g. for horizontal permeability
when coarsening by layers only:
PERMI
PERMI
i
ntg
i
DJ
i
DK
i
•
DI
i

\ ¹
 
• •
\ ¹
 
DJ
i
DK
i
•
DI
i

\ ¹
 
i
∑

i
∑
\ ¹




 
ntg

fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { }
=
PERMK
PERMK
i
DI
i
DJ
i
•
DK
i

\ ¹
 
•
\ ¹
 
DI
i
DJ
i
•
DK
i

\ ¹
 
i
∑

i
∑
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀ { }
=
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 183
Or for vertical permeability when coarsening on the plan view only:
In other cases it will give an optimistic result (the upscaled permeability will be too high) although it may be
acceptable when the fine permeabilities are quite homogeneous.
HARMONIC MEAN
This is similar to the method above except that a weighted harmonic mean is computed instead of a
weighted arithmetic mean. The weight is the same areaoverdistance term:
(EQ 116)
Once again, the upscaled vertical permeability is independent of nettogross:
(EQ 117)
The harmonic mean gives a good result when the coarsening is only in the direction of interest:
Good for
PERM_I
PERM_J
Good for
PERM_K
PERMI
ntg
DJ
i
DK
i
•
DI
i

\ ¹
 
i
∑
•
DJ
i
DK
i
•
DI
i

\ ¹
 
PERMI
i
ntg
i
• ( ) ⁄
\ ¹
 
i
∑

fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
PERMK
DI
i
DJ
i
•
DK
i

\ ¹
 
i
∑
DI
i
DJ
i
•
DK
i

\ ¹
 
PERMI
i
( ) ⁄
\ ¹
 
i
∑

fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
Permeability Upscaling
184 Reservoir Characterisation
In other cases it will give a pessimistic result (the upscaled permeability will be too low). The harmonic
mean will return zero if any of the input permeabilities are zero.
GEOMETRIC MEAN
This method computes a geometric mean of the directional permeabilities, weighted by the same area
overdistance term as the previous two methods. For the geometric mean, the weight is applied as a power:
(EQ 118)
The arithmetic, geometric and harmonic means are related as shown below.
FIGURE 181. Relationship between arithmetic, geometric and harmonic means
EFFECTIVE PERMEABILITIES
But, we know from Figure 179, “Two different arrangements with different effective permeabilities” that sin
Good for
PERM_K
Good for
PERM_I
K
I
J
PERMI
e
DJ
i
DK
i
•
DI
i

\ ¹
 
PERMI
i
ntg
i
• ( ) ln •
\ ¹
 
i
∑
DJ
i
DK
i
•
DI
i

\ ¹
 
i
∑

\ ¹




 
\ ¹




 
ntg

fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
>= Harmonic Mean
1/(arith mean of inverses)
) / 1 (
1
1
∑
=
=
n
i
i i
H
eff
kd p
kd
>= Harmonic Mean
1/(arith mean of inverses)
) / 1 (
1
1
∑
=
=
n
i
i i
H
eff
kd p
kd
Arithmetic Mean
∑
=
=
n
i
i i
A
eff
kd p kd
1
>= Geometric Mean
exp(arith mean of lns)
e
G
eff
kd =
) ln(
1
∑
=
n
i
i i
kd p
e
G
eff
kd =
) ln(
1
∑
=
n
i
i i
kd p
where, d =i,j,or k as before
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 185
glepoint statistics (histogram, mean, variance) are not sufficient to calculate effective permeabilities.
If we run a flow experiment on a real heterogeneous medium we should be able to replace this medium
with an equivalent homogenous medium which gives the same flux under the same boundary conditions.
Analysis of the results of experiments such as this will lead us to the conclusion that the arithmetic mean is
rigorous upper bound on kH
eff
and the harmonic mean is rigorous lower bound on kV
eff
.
HORIZONTALLY LAYERED SYSTEM
Figure 182 on page 185 shows a horizontally layered system. We will compute a value for the effective per
meability of the system that will preserve the flux assuming incompressible flow.
Effective Horizontal Permeability
There will be no flow between the top and bottom faces and a constant pressure will be applied at the inlet
and outlet faces.
FIGURE 182. Horizontally layered system
The equivalent homogeneous system is shown in Figure 183 with the equation for the flux through the sys
k H
1
q
1
k H
k
q
k
k H
n z
q
n z
k H
1
q
1
k H
k
q
k
k H
n z
q
n z
q
Z
= 0
q
Z
= 0
N o  f l o w b o u n d a r y
N o  f l o w b o u n d a r y
q
Z
= 0
q
Z
= 0
N o  f l o w b o u n d a r y
N o  f l o w b o u n d a r y
Permeability Upscaling
186 Reservoir Characterisation
tem.
FIGURE 183. Equivalent homogenous system
If we equate the flow through both systems
(EQ 119)
So the effective horizontal permeability of a horizontally layered system is the thickness weighted arithmetic
mean of horizontal permeabilities for each layer.
Effective Vertical Permeability
There will be no flow between the left and right faces and a constant pressure will be applied at the to and
L
P P
T
kH
Q
O I
eff
) ( −
=
µ
Q
P
I
P
O
L
T
QQ
Q q
k
k 1 =
n
∑
=
t
k
kH
k
µ

P
I
P
O
– ( )
L

k 1 =
n
∑
=
TkH
ef f
µ

P
I
P
O
– ( )
L
 =
kH
eff
t
k
kH
k
k 1 =
n
∑
T
 =
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 187
bottom, inlet and outlet faces.
FIGURE 184. Effective vertical permeability of horizontally layered system
FIGURE 185. Equivalent homogenous system
k V
1
k V
k
k V
n z
q
x
= 0
q
x
= 0
P
O
P
I
p
1
p
k
p
n z  1
Q
Q
k V
1
k V
k
k V
n z
q
x
= 0
q
x
= 0
P
O
P
I
p
1
p
k
p
n z  1
Q
Q
T
P P
L
kV
Q
O I
eff
) ( −
=
µ
Q
P
I
P
O
L
T
Q
Permeability Upscaling
188 Reservoir Characterisation
Preserving the fluxes we can determine the effective vertical permeability.
(EQ 120)
HORIZONTALLY LAYERED SYSTEM: SUMMARY
The effective horizontal permeability is given by the weighted arithmetic mean of layer horizontal permea
bilities.
The effective vertical permeability is given by the weighted harmonic mean of layer vertical permeabilities.
Any zero vertical permeability layer will cause dividing by zero problems in the computation of the harmonic
mean.
RESERVOIR SIMULATION AND NONPAY ROCK
Simulators treat nonpay rock as having zero porosity and permeability, which occurs in a continuous layer.
This means that any block that has some nonpay would have a vertical permeability of zero.
To avoid this, simulators don’t use nonpay for vertical communication calculations which is logically incon
Q
kV
eff
µ
L
P
I
P
O
– ( )
T
 =
flux through a single layer:
Q
LkV
k
µ

p
k 1 –
p
k
– ( )
t
k
 =
p
k 1 –
p
k
–
Qµt
k
LkV
k
 =
summing each layer
p
k 1 –
p
k
– ( )
k 1 =
n
∑
Qµ
L

t
k
kV
k

k 1 =
n
∑
=
P
I
P
O
–
Qµ
L

t
k
kV
k

k 1 =
n
∑
=
Q
L
µ

P
I
P
O
– ( )
t
k
kV
k

k 1 =
n
∑
 =
LkV
eff
µ

P
I
P
O
– ( )
T
 =
kV
ef f
T
t
k
kV
k

k 1 =
n
∑
 =
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 189
sistent.
FIGURE 186. Simulator treatment of nonpay rock
RANDOM SYSTEM
If the system in neither horizontally or vertically layered and there is no obvious anisotropy in the spatial
correlation, the geometric mean can be used as an approximation but this gets worse the if there are indi
vidual perms close to zero since they distort the averaging.
For random systems use weighted geometric mean of horizontal permeabilities for the effective horizontal
permeability and the weighted geometric mean of the vertical permeabilities for the effective vertical perme
ability.
FIGURE 187. Random system
NEITHER LAYERED NOR RANDOM
Most systems are neither layered nor random so the solution will lie somewhere between our two exam
ples.
Real world Simulator representation Real world Simulator representation
Permeability Upscaling
190 Reservoir Characterisation
SUCCESSIVE ARITHMETIC AND HARMONIC MEANS IN 2D
The upper and lower limits on effective horizontal permeability can be calculated by taking arithmetic mean
of columns, then the harmonic mean of the result, or by taking harmonic mean of rows and then the arith
metic mean of the result.
A similar procedure can be used for effective vertical permeability
FIGURE 188. Successive arithmetic and harmonic means in 2D
SUCCESSIVE ARITHMETIC AND HARMONIC MEANS IN 3D
The upper and lower limits on effective x permeability can be calculated by taking arithmetic mean of YZ
planes, then their harmonic mean or by taking harmonic mean of X rows and then their arithmetic mean.
FIGURE 189. Successive arithmetic and harmonic means in 2D
A similar procedure can be used for the z and y direction effective permeabilities.
POWER AVERAGE APPROXIMATION
A generalization of the means is the power average.
A
1
A
2
A
3
A
4
A
5
Harmonic
H
1
H
2
H
3
H
4
H
5
Arithmetic
A
1
A
2
A
3
A
4
A
5
A
1
A
2
A
3
A
4
A
5
Harmonic Harmonic
H
1
H
2
H
3
H
4
H
5
H
1
H
2
H
3
H
4
H
5
Arithmetic Arithmetic
A
1
A
2
A
3
A
4
A
5
Harmonic Harmonic
H
1
H
2
H
3
H
4
H
5
Arithmetic Arithmetic
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 191
(EQ 121)
If Ω = 1 this reduces to the arithmetic mean and as Ω → 0 this tends to the
geometric mean. For Ω = 0 this algorithm is replaced by the geometric mean
algorithm.
It can be used to estimate a partially layered system by choosing an Ω between 1 and 0 for kH
eff
and
choosing an Ω between 0 and 1 for kV
eff
PRODUCTIVITY INDEX PRESERVATION (BRV WEIGHTED) *
RECOMMENDED
This method attempts to preserve the productivity index of wells completed in the coarse cell in each of the
three directions. This is the recommended method when upscaled transmissibility multipliers are being
computed by the shiftedgrid method (see below “Shifted Grid Pressure Solver *recommended” on
page 197)
The coarse scale directional permeabilities are given by:
(EQ 122)
PERMI
PERMI
i
ntg
i
• ( )
Ω
i
∑
ntg
i
i
∑

\ ¹



 
1
Ω

fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
Power
k
H
e
f
f
0
5
10
15
20
25
1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0
Power
k
V
e
f
f
kHeff
kVeff
PERMI
kh1 kh2 •
kh0 NTG VOL • •
 =
Permeability Upscaling
192 Reservoir Characterisation
(EQ 123)
(EQ 124)
where:
(EQ 125)
(EQ 126)
(EQ 127)
ntg = net to gross of fine cell
vol = volume of fine cell
permi, permj, permk = i,j,k permeabilities of fine cell
PERMI, PERMJ, PERMK = i,j,k permeabilities of coarse cell
NTG = net to gross of coarse cell
VOL = volume of coarse cell
PRESSURE SOLVER
An exact solution for a system can be determined by computing a pressure solution over the fine cell net
work which corresponds to the coarse cell. It uses finite difference methods which are the same as reser
voir simulators.
A constant pressure difference is applied to opposite faces in the direction of interest and the remaining
four faces are sealed. The resulting pressure distribution is converted to a pattern of fluxes which are aver
aged to yield a coarse flux.
Pressure solvers can be designed to correctly account for pinchouts in the fine grid.
It is the recommended permeability upscaling method when upscaled transmissibility multipliers are not
being generated.
It is pessimistic for some systems.
It can only be used with conforming grids.
PERMJ
kh0 kh2 •
kh1 NTG VOL • •
 =
PERMK
kh0 kh1 •
kh2 NTG VOL • •
 =
kh0 ntg
i
brv
i
permj
i
permk
i
• ( ) • • ( )
i
∑ \ ¹
 
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
kh1 ntg
i
brv
i
permi
i
permk
i
• ( ) • • ( )
i
∑ \ ¹
 
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
kh2 ntg
i
brv
i
permi
i
permj
i
• ( ) • • ( )
i
∑ \ ¹
 
fine cells i in coarse cell ∀
=
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 193
FIGURE 190. Pressure solver method
THE IMPACT OF SPATIAL CONTINUITY
The five different spatial arrangements below have different effective permeabilities. These can be plotted
on a single graph, Figure 183, to compare the relationship between the degree layering or randomness and
the effective permeability.
FIGURE 191. Different spatial arrangements
k
HE
= 215.0
k
VE
= 0.042
k
HE
= 41.9
k
VE
= 36.7
k
HE
= 89.9
k
VE
= 6.4
k
HE
= 111.3
k
VE
= 0.11
k
HE
= 183.0
k
VE
= 0.047
k
HE
= 215.0
k
VE
= 0.042
k
HE
= 41.9
k
VE
= 36.7
k
HE
= 89.9
k
VE
= 6.4
k
HE
= 111.3
k
VE
= 0.11
k
HE
= 183.0
k
VE
= 0.047
k
HE
= 215.0
k
VE
= 0.042
k
HE
= 41.9
k
VE
= 36.7
k
HE
= 89.9
k
VE
= 6.4
k
HE
= 111.3
k
VE
= 0.11
k
HE
= 183.0
k
VE
= 0.047
Permeability Upscaling
194 Reservoir Characterisation
FIGURE 192. Relationship between degree of randomness and effective permeability
EFFECTS OF SPATIAL CORRELATION
Summarising the effective permeability as a function of the spatial correlation.
PERFECT LAYERING
Use arithmetic mean for effective horizontal permeability.
Use harmonic mean for effective vertical permeability.
You must use both to be consistent.
RANDOM SYSTEM
The geometric mean is reasonable approximation for both the horizontal and vertical effective permeabili
ties.
But, it is an underestimate if there are a lot of very low values.
REAL SYSTEMS
We need a representative model of the spatial distribution of permeability at the scale of the samples. The
anisotropic correlation of extreme values is the main control on the effective permeabilities.
k
HE
k
VE
Arithmetic mean
Geometric mean
Harmonic mean
Log (Continuity anisotropy)
L
o
g
(
E
f
f
e
c
t
i
v
e
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
)
k
HE
k
VE
Arithmetic mean
Geometric mean
Harmonic mean
Log (Continuity anisotropy)
L
o
g
(
E
f
f
e
c
t
i
v
e
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
)
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 195
EFFECTS OF AVERAGING VOLUME
As the averaging volume of the system gets larger the extreme values disappear as cells are averaged.
Figure 193 shows the effect of increasing the averaging volume. The graph at the bottom shows how the
standard deviation of the population decreases.
FIGURE 193. The effect of increasing the averaging volume
The mean and variance in permeabilities depends on the size of the averaging volume, whether this is
experimentally measured or calculated. In general, the variance decreases with averaging volume.
The implications of this fundamental problems are that;
You should expect different variances from coreplugs, whole cores, logderived permeability and pressure
buildup analysis.
You must not mix different data.
Permeability Upscaling
196 Reservoir Characterisation
You should never use variability at one scale to predict the variability at another. For example, do not use 1
inch coreplug measurements to represent 1 metre blocks.
However, this is a major problem if heterogeneities are small compared to averaging volume as this is a sit
uation has a naturally low variance.
IMPACT OF BOUNDARY CONDITIONS
Within any system we need to investigate the effects of the boundary conditions on the solution.
FIGURE 194. Same heterogeneity but different boundary conditions
Figure 194 shows a shale surrounded by sand with two different boundary conditions. On the left the verti
cal permeability is zero and on the right there will be flow around the shale.
BOUNDARY CONDITIONS AND GRIDDING
This situation can be particularly frightening for a gridded system. Consider Figure 195 looking at the sys
tem as a whole you would expect that the shales would decrease the overall effective vertical permeability.
But look more closely.
FIGURE 195. Boundary conditions due to gridding
Each grid cell contains a shale so the vertical permeability of each cell is zero and the overall permeability
that would be computed by a pressure solver would also be zero.
Permeability Upscaling
Permeability Upscaling 197
An inappropriate choice of grid cell size has completely annihilated any clues as to the behaviour of
the system.
This example may appear contrived but is remarkably common. In a grid with 10 million cells there may be
many regions where the boundary conditions imposed by the gridding conspire to have the same effect to
some extent.
Summary
We must impose boundary conditions to calculate or measure effective permeability. We must understand
that the answer depends not just on the fine scale values and their spatial arrangement but also quite heav
ily on the boundary conditions.
Since heterogeneous rocks do not have a unique absolute permeability the usefulness of the upscaling
results will depend on the similarity between the real reservoir boundary conditions and boundary condi
tions imposed by the solution method.
To minimise the effects of boundary conditions it is important to average over regions that are large com
pared to scale of the heterogeneities. This is not a major problem if heterogeneities are small compared to
averaging volume, or low variability variance.
TRANSMISSIBILITY MULTIPLIERS
The flow within a simulation model depends primarily upon a network of transmissibilities. Each transmissi
bility is a measure of how easily a fluid flows between a pair of (adjacent) cells. The transmissibilities are
constructed by the simulator from the grid geometry, nettogross and permeability values. A transmissibility
can be modified by a transmissibility multiplier. Such multipliers are often used to represent barriers to flow
between layers in the simulation model, or to reduce flow across faults. The Net Area Weighted Facial
Average upscaling method (see below) is designed to preserve such barriers.
An alternative approach when upscaling is to generate multipliers for the entire transmissibility network in
order to preserve the transmission which would have occurred in the fine model. The Shifted Grid Pressure
Solver method is designed to do this (see below).
SHIFTED GRID PRESSURE SOLVER
*RECOMMENDED
This method uses a similar approach to the Pressure Solver method for permeability upscaling. However,
in this case the pressure solution is found for a subset of the fine model which represents the centre of one
coarse cell to the centre of the next:
FIGURE 196. Shifted Grid Pressure Solver
FineGrid
CoarseGrid
Areaof pressure
solution(“Shifted
Grid”)
Permeability Upscaling
198 Reservoir Characterisation
Note that the “shifted grid” does not have to exist as an explicit grid in the pressure solver. It may be con
structed on the fly when this method is invoked.
The results of the pressure solution are converted to a transmissibility. This transmissibility is then con
verted to a transmissibility multiplier for use with a particular set of coarse permeabilities. For this reason,
the permeability upscaling must be carried out before using this method to generate transmissibility multipli
ers. Note also that the transmissibility will be preserved regardless of the coarse permeability values being
used (except where a coarse permeability is zero). It is therefore desirable to use a simple method of
upscaling permeability, such as the Productivity Index Preserving method, when using the Shifted Grid
Transmissibility Multiplier method. Such a combination of permeability and transmissibility multiplier upscal
ing will usually yield the best results, even when no fine transmissibility multipliers exist.
EXERCISES
1. If the system were vertically layered, what is the effective horizontal permeability and the effective verti
cal permeability
2. Calculate kV
eff
and kH
eff
for the following layered system
3. Calculate the upper and lower limits on the effective horizontal and vertical permeabilities of the follow
ing 2D system. Then use power averaging to calculate and graph how the effective horizontal and verti
cal permeability might vary for an appropriate range of powers.
Layer Thickness kH kV
1 10 300 200
2 30 600 300
3 20 100 50
4 10 1 0.1
5 30 400 300
5.00 5.00 500.00 500.00 500.00 500.00 20.00 20.00
30.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 15.00 15.00 15.00
500.00 500.00 500.00 20.00 0.05 0.05 0.05 500.00
200.00 200.00 200.00 200.00 200.00 15.00 15.00 15.00
0.05 0.05 2.00 2.00 400.00 400.00 400.00 400.00
Upscaling Quality Control
Upscaling Quality Control 199
Chapter 16  Upscaling Quality Control
How do we know how successful the upscaling has been? Is it sufficient to accept all the defaults from the
software and then hand the resulting reservoir simulation model to the engineer?
No. If we are professional, someone, the geologists who created the geological model or the engineer who
is responsible for the simulation model or both, or an independent upscaling expert should verify the
upscaling process.
STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES
The identification of regions of the coarse grid where the values in the corresponding fine cells have a large
variance is likely to influence the choice of upgridding. These are the regions where the upscaling process
is likely to fail. Is it necessary to upscale these regions at all? Would the engineer be comfortable to use
local grid refinement to preserve the detail in that region?
For permeability upscaling is the difference between the arithmetic mean of the fine cell permeabilities very
different from the harmonic mean. If they are similar there is probable little point in using advanced pres
sure solver techniques for that region.
GENERIC METHODS FOR DISPERSION
To estimate the difficulty of the upcaling process it is helpful to be able to determine the dispersion of the
values in the fine cells.
FIGURE 197. Analysis of the grid at different scales
Figure 197 shows the mechanics of analysis at different scales. For all the blue cells in each red cell com
pute a measure of dispersion such as, variance, standard deviation or coefficient of variation. For indicator
upscaling use one of the integer measures of dispersion such as the number of different values or the per
centage of those blue cell values that are equal to the mode value.
Upscaling Quality Control
200 Reservoir Characterisation
SKEWNESS AND KURTOSIS
You can also determine the effect of higher order statistical measurements. Compute the skewness of the
blue cell values. If the distribution is skewed in a region of the red grid it may indicate problems.
FIGURE 198. Skewed distribution (magenta)
Or, compute the kurtosis of the blue cell values. If the system is highly Leptokurtic in a region it may indicate
problems, particularly if the system is sensitive to extreme values.
FIGURE 199. Different kurtosis values for the same mean and variance
VISUALISATION
Visual comparison of grid geometries and attributes is an indispensable part of verifying upscaling results.
This is particularly true for nonconforming grids since a combination of completely different geometries and
the different coordinate systems used in geological modelling programs and reservoir simulators is almost
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
0.4
0.45
5 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
5 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Upscaling Quality Control
Upscaling Quality Control 201
certain to cause confusion.
FIGURE 200. Spatial aliasing between two grids
There may be spatial aliasing effects in nonconforming grids which can easily be seen if the grids are
shown in wireframe. In Figure 200 there is a spatial aliasing problem. Some of the black cells have no red
cell centres within them and other black cells have more than one. This will create errors in the upscaling
sampling.
VOLUMETRICS
Simple volumetric indicators, such as total pore volume, can also assist in the comparison of models. If the
volumetrics are dramatically different in the geological model and the simulation model, can the upscaling
or upgridding have been performed correctly?
It is important to check volumetrics for different areas within the model, not just the total model. So, choose
a region of interest and compute volumes in the fine grid. Then compare these with the volumes for the
same region in the coarse grid
In particular, check oil and gas in place in regions around the water contacts to ensure that these are being
rescaled correctly.
REGIONAL STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES
The identification of regions of the coarse grid where the values in the corresponding fine cells have a large
variance is likely to influence the choice of upgridding. Since it is in these are the regions where the upscal
ing process is likely to fail.
Then ask whether it is necessary to upscale these regions at all. Would the engineer be comfortable to use
local grid refinement to preserve the detail in that region?
Upscaling Quality Control
202 Reservoir Characterisation
For permeability upscaling a simple check of the different means which form bounds on the solution can be
very useful. Is the difference between the arithmetic mean and the harmonic mean of the fine cells very
small? If they are similar there is probable little point in using advanced pressure solver techniques for that
region.
You can also check all the statistics for different sized regions. In Figure 201 compare any statistic of the
fine black grid within the blue region against the same statistic for the coarse red grid. They should be sim
ilar.
FIGURE 201. Statistics at different scales
EXERCISES
1. Imagine that you could measure the effectiveness of your upscaling. Draw a tornado chart with your
estimates of the sensitivity of the outcome to any parameters that you believe will affect the accuracy of
the upscaling. Discuss your chart.