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Well Control

Geological Statistics

CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY

3. MEASURES OF VARIABILITY

4. DISTRIBUTIONS

5. SAMPLE SUFFICIENCY

6. MEASURES OF SPATIAL CORRELATION

7. EXERCISES

1

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

In this Chapter, we introduce some of the various statistical techniques used in the

analysis of reservoir data. These techniques play an important role in Development

Geology in two areas:

Reservoir characterisation requires quantification of the geological description for

use in reservoir simulators.

Well data are few and far between and statistical techniques are used to populate the

interwell volumes.

The student will learn :

How to average permeability and porosity

How to explore the relationship between permeability measurements and geology

How to relate core and test permeability

How to measure permeability heterogeneity

Construct and evaluate measures of spatial correlation (variograms)

At the end of this Chapter the Petroleum Engineeer will be able to analyse core data

and prepare summary data for mapping or reservoir simulation or for general use in

petroleum engineering. The student should also be able to design a core sampling

programme for porosity and permeability.

Geological Statistics

1. INTRODUCTION

This brief introduction to statistics is designed to give an overview for industry

professionals who find themselves involved in reservoir characterisation. Reservoir

characterisation seeks to define quantitatively the input data needed to undertake

predictions of flow through permeable media (Lake, 1991). There is an obvious need

for hard numerical data and spatial information relating to the petrophysical properties. This information is needed in numerical reservoir simulation.

Before commencing any discussion of statistics, some terminology needs to be clearly

understood. The properties of a reservoir unit for which the geologist or engineer is

required to infer (or estimate or guess) values can be considered a population. This

population may be the entire reservoir (e.g., the Brent Group reservoir in the North

Sea), a subdivision of the reservoir (e.g., the Etive, Rannoch Formations of the Brent

Group) or even a sedimentological entity within the reservoir (e.g., a bedform or

lamina type). In each case, one can estimate the population parameter (e.g., mean,

standard deviation, etc.) by statistical inference from a statistic computed from some

data. In this Chapter we will learn the definitions and how to calculate the simplest

statistical parameters.

The geologist usually estimates the population parameter (e.g., the mean) by an

appropriate descriptive statistic (e.g., an average) from a sample. The sample (in the

statistical, rather than geological sense) can be a small set of measurements (e.g., core

plugs) taken from the reservoir or population of interest. The confidence with which

the sample statistic can be taken as an estimate of the population parameter can also

be quantified, expressing the uncertainty in the prediction of the property.

In the petroleum industry, the samples that are available are generally very small and

not necessarily representative. It is common to infer the parameters for an entire

reservoir (order 108-1010 m3) from a few cores (10- 102 m3) from which limited samples

are taken (10-2-10-3 m3). The wells that are cored may be drilled in unrepresentative

field areas. In addition, only the exploration and appraisal wells (under non-optimum

conditions of interval, recovery or mud chemistry) and the first few development

wells are cored. Lack of representivity may arise from the fact that these wells are

generally located in the crestal areas of the field which, possibly because of variable

diagenesis within the hydrocarbon column, are often not representative of the

reservoir population as a whole. Cores are rarely taken in the aquifer beneath

hydrocarbon accumulations, but aquifer parameter estimation can be as important as

parameters for the reservoir and the aquifer may have a different diagenetic history.

It is important to recognise that the estimates of the core population parameters (i.e.,

average horizontal permeability or porosity) should be based on sufficient samples (in

number and size) taken from that core. If the core properties are poorly estimated, one

can expect the reservoir properties to be poorly modelled. Geologists and engineers

should aim to, at least, provide good estimates of core populations. The more variable

a parameter is, the more samples are required to estimate it - permeability is commonly

very variable and therefore most difficult to estimate.

1

A typical analysis of a core data set might include evaluation of:

summary numbers

the variability

how the summary numbers relate to the variability

how good the numbers are

how the variability of a property relates to location in the reservoir.

The next sections in this Chapter provide the tools to undertake such an evaluation.

The most commonly used descriptive statistics that are determined from a sample are

the measures of central tendency. By central tendency we mean the tendency of the

observations (measurements) in a sample to centre around a particular value rather

than spread themselves across a range of values. When required to produce a set of

summary numbers that describe our available set of variables, the average is the most

easily determined.

Firstly, we need to discuss the types of variables that occur in petroleum engineering.

These are illustrated in Figure 1.

Variables

CATEGORY

Nominal

Ordered

categories

QUANTITY

Ordinal

Discrete

(counting)

Continuous

(measuring)

Ranks

Category variables refer to any variables that involve putting individuals into

categories. These can be:

nominal (e.g., names such as make of bit, formation ) or,

ordinal (e.g., a number to represent degrees of bit wear, or stratigraphic location).

Ordinal data can be ranked (e.g., bits ranked by relative condition of wear, low= 1 to

high = 7) or ordered (e.g., stratigraphic unit 1 is older than stratigraphic unit 2).

Quantity variables have a numerical quantity that can be either discrete (e.g., fossil

specimens, numbers of channels) or continuous (e.g., permeability, porosity, etc.). It

is the latter type of variables that we are most interested in.

Quantity variables can be either extensive or intensive. Extensive variables are

additive (e.g., volume). The volume-weighted average of the porosity for two samples

is the average porosity for the combined volume and a meaningful quantity.

Figure 1

Types of variables (after

Rowntree, 1981)

Geological Statistics

The average of two plugs, e.g., a shaley core plug (1mD) and a clean sandstone

(1000mD), combined, would depend on how they were combined. Intuitively, the

combined value could be either closer to 1000mD (in the case that flow is parallel

through the two plugs) or closer to 1mD (flow through the two plugs in series). The

average permeability depends on the flow conditions and flow geometry. In

engineering the effective property is the property of an equivalent homogeneous

medium. Permeability averages are often used to estimate the effective permeability.

Whilst more than one measure of central tendency can be obtained for each type of

variable, the numbers obtained may not always be meaningful. We now discuss the

various measures and consider the relative merits of the measures in reservoir

characterisation. In this text, mean is the population parameter for central tendency

and average, the estimator of the population mean calculated by a sample statistic

(such as the arithmetic average).

Arithmetic Average

The arithmetic average of N data is obtained by adding the quantities and dividing by

the number of data in the sample. This is commonly expressed mathematically as:

1 N

kar = ki

N i =1

where k represents permeability.

The arithmetic average is an estimator of the arithmetic mean is equally sensitive to

all values. The arithmetic average (and the other averages) can be biassed. Bias is a

systematic error in the estimator and may occur because of a number of reasons:

sands may be sampled more than other lithologies leading to high values for the

arithmetic average,

it may not be possible to plug very loose sands - often the best reservoir zones leading to a pessimistic estimate of permeability,

thin low permeability baffles (faults, thin siltstones) may not be sampled leading

to optimistic estimates of permeability.

Geometric average

The geometric average is determined as the Nth root of the product of N data and is

usually written as:

N

k

kgeom = i

i=1

1/

N

the arithmetic average of the natural log of permeability. This is easier to compute,

as the product term in the above expression rapidily exceeds the capacity of most

computers. It can be written in this form as:

1

1 N

loge (ki)

kgeom = exp N

i=1

The geometric average is indeterminate in the presence of zero data values and this can

cause problems for a sandstone matrix containing shales. Very low values (0.001Md

or less) should be used instead of zeros.

Harmonic average

The harmonic average for N permeability data is given by:

N

khar = N

i=1

-1

1

ki

Like the geometric average, the harmonic average is also indeterminate in the

presence of zero values and low values should be substituted.. All rocks (possibly

except salt) have some permeability , even if the measurement of it is below the

resolution of the device in use.

The inverse of permeability (i.e., k-1) can be considered as resistance to flow. The

harmonic average is therefore the permeability that corresponds to the arithmetic

average resistance to flow. It follows that the harmonic mean is sensitive to low values

of permeability (i.e., large values of k-1). We have also seen that low permeability,

fine grained, material commonly occurs in much thinner layers (e.g., micaceous or

carbonaceous laminae) than high permeability, coarse grained material (e.g., channel

fill sandstones). This tends to result in a systematic (biassed) overestimate of

permeability by the harmonic average (often used to estimate vertical permeability)

due to undersampling of the low permeability layers.

Median

The median of a distribution is equal to the value above and below which equal

numbers of samples lie (k50 see below). The median is most easily determined by

ranking the data and determining the middle value. The median may not be unique

for a discrete distribution. The median is rather insensitive to the tails of the

distribution and, therefore, is often less sensitive to outliers (potential errors). To

illustrate this consider the following two samples of 5 permeability measurements:

A

B

120

120

133

133

210

210

220

220

350mD

1350mD

In each case the median permeability is 210mD but, in sample A, the arithmetic

average is 207mD and in sample B, 407md. In this example, the median could be

considered a more robust estimator of population central tendency.

Geological Statistics

Mode

The mode of a distribution is the most commonly occuring value. A single mode is

not appropriate in be determined in bimodal (i.e., with two peak) or multi-modal

(many peaked) distributions. The arithmetic average is not a meaningful number with

category variables (e.g., average bit wear is 1 or 2; not 1.334 for example). In this case,

the the mode is preferred.

For a perfectly normal distribution all the above measures of central tendency will

overlie (Figure 2). Differences become increasingly marked as the distributions

become more skewed. Skewness is the term used to describe a distribution which is

not symmetrical. In this latter situation, one might ask which average is most

appropriate. Skewed distributions are commonplace in permeability data and

estimating a single average measure may not be appropriate. The appropriate average

will depend on what use is to be made of the estimator..

SYMMETRICAL

DISTRIBUTION

Figure 2

Distibutions of measures of

central tendency

Average

Mode

Median

SKEWED

DISTRIBUTION

Mode

Median

Ar. Av.

Geom. Av.

Har. Av.

Differences in the arithmetic ( kar), geometric ( kgeom), and harmonic ( khar) averages

are a function of the sample heterogeneity, and are commonly observed in permeability datasets. The differences are such that always:

khar kgeom kar

The differences can be exploited for permeability as each average is appropriate for

different flow conditions (refer to Archer and Wall, 1986, for derivation). These

averages are appropriate for the following conditions:

kar

bed parallel, single phase flow (i.e., horizontal flow in a horizontally

layered, bounded system)

khar

bed series, single phase flow (i.e., vertical flow in a horizontally layered,

bounded system)

kgeom

single phase flow in a random, 2-D field

The use of the various averages to estimate mean permeability is appropriate only for

the specific flow conditions described. Often the averages are used as (poor)

Department of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University

1

estimators under the wrong flow conditions (e.g., two phase flow, wrong dimensions,

wrong boundary conditions, etc.), so extreme care is needed here to select the

appropriate average. If the medium is homogeneous, the averages will be very similar.

Permeability measurements are often limited by measurement resolution. Frequently

plug permeability data are listed, in core contractors reports, as <0.001mD or

>6000mD or no measurement possible", (NMP). The undetermined low values will

have an affect on the harmonic average (and also the population vertical permeability)

and truncated high values on the arithmetic average (affecting the horizontal permeability estimates). Whilst there are no set procedures for handling this problem, here

are some suggestions:

If the distribution is thought to be fairly symmetrical, the median will prove to be

a better estimate of the population mean.

If the distribution is significantly skewed it is most likely that the extreme missing

values are the ones you really want! In this case, re-measure with a more accurate

device - statistics cant help you.

It is always important to consider the ultimate use in engineering for any statistic. This

information, together with knowledge of the geological structure and the degree of

variability, should indicate the most appropriate average to use in reservoir characterisation. For averaging permeability:

o

in a layered system at low dips (<20 )- use the arithmetic average for horizontal flow

and harmonic avergae for vertical flow,

o

in steeply dipping beds (>70 ), us the arithmetic average for vertical flow and

horizontal flow along the beds. Use the harmonic average for horizontal permeability

across the beds.

in a random system - use the geometric average for vertical and horizontal

permeability.

1000

100

10

1

1

10

100

1000

The Rannoch Formation in the North Sea is highly laminated and enables a test of the

averaging procedures. A series of experiments compares the average of a very small

scale measurement (taken with a probe permeameter - a device for measuring

permeability of a rock surface by injecting nitrogen through a very thin nozzle) with

the core plug measurement. The rock is laminated with the flow is parallel to the

lamination. The procedure for layered systems used to average the small scale

permeability measurements and compare the averages with the measured plug results

(Figure 3).

1000

100

10

1

1

10

100

1000

Figure 3

Comparison of probe

permeameter estimates of

horizontal and vertical

permeability with

measurements of core plugs

Geological Statistics

The probe permeameter cannot resolve the low permeability thin laminations. As a

result of this instrument bias, the harmonic average is a poor estimator of vertical

permeability. Estimating vertical permeability is often a problem in the industry,

because the thin low permeability layers are under-represented in the sampling or

difficilt to measure. Care should be taken when using the harmonic average.

In contrast, the arithmetic average (because the high permeability layers tend to be

thicker in these sediments) is a reasonable estimator of the horizontal permeability

(Figure 3). This a fairly widespread problem in the measurement of the properties of

rocks - thin beds are under-represented because of volume and spacing considerations. Anisotropy in permeability is usually taken to be the difference between

horizontal and vertical permeability and is estimated by the ratio, kv/kh . Sometimes

there is also anisotopy measured in horizontal permeability in orthogonal directions.

Estimates of anisotropy in sediments depends on the measurement scale. For the

measurement scale , we consider the volume over which a measurement is made or

an average is taken (Figure 4):

-7

of 10 m ), kv/kh ratios range between 0.7 and 1.

-5 3

At the core plug scale (10 m ) kv/kh ratios range from 0.2 to 0.4 with lamina-induced

anisotropy in the 2.5cm samples

At the bed scale, it is difficult to take direct measurements of anisotropy but we can

use statistical estimators. Arithmetic averages of the horizontal plugs and harmonic

3

averages of the vertical plugs can be used to estimate bed-scale anisotropy (1m ).

At this scale anisotropy can be 0.01-0.5, the former in more layered and the latter

in the more massive reservoirs.

Gridblock anisotropies in the simulator will also vary with the scale of the

gridblock. In most field simulations, the blocks are larger than the scale of bedding.

In these cases, the anisotropy will be determined by the bedding and vary greatly

from that observed in core plugs. If a single gridblock is used to represent the

Rannoch Formation the anisotropy value will be as low as 0.007.

Knowledge of anisotropy is particularly critical in the performance prediction of

horizontal wells.

Rannoch anisotropy

Grain

Lamina

Bed

Parasequence

Figure 4

Estimates of scale

dependent anisotropy (kv/kh

ratios) in the Rannoch

Formation.WB, SCS and

HCS refer to the rock types

of the Rannoch Formation.

Formation referes to the

whole Rannoch interval.

kv/kh

.1

WB

SCS

HCS

Formation

.01

.001

10 -6

Probe

Plug

10 -4

10 -2

10 0

10 2

10 4

Plug averages

Probe average

1

Comparing well test and core plug average permeabilities.

Well testing provides larger scale in-situ measurements of permeability. Largely

beyond the scope of this Chapter, well testing is defined as a perforated flowing

inteval over which permeability is estimated from the analysis of pressure data whilst

the well is flowing ar once the flow has been stopped. Permeabilities derived from

these measurements are often compared with core for ground truthing either sets of

data.

There are a number of problems or issues to bear in mind when comparing well test

and core plug average;

Scale, flow geometry and boundary conditions of well test and core plug

permeabilities are all different.

Plug data come from within the well, whereas well test data are dominated by a

region a few metres to a few 100metres from the wellbore.

Well tests are in-situ measurements, whereas core plugs are laboratory measure

ments (often at different stress conditions and conducted with different fluids)

However, even with these problems coupled with the uncertainty of the near well

region, the reservoir engineer is often required to make such comparisons.

Well testing tends to be dominated (in clastic reservoirs) by the properties of beds.

Lamina-scale features are usually undetectable or confused with wellbore phenomena. Larger scale features (e.g., formation boundaries) can be detected if the tests are

long enough.. Well test permeabilities are most closely associated with average bed

permeabilities. The appropriate average will therefore depend on the bed geometry

(Figure 5) . A case study is discussed to illustrate the problem.

kar

kgeom

khar

10

10-50ft

5-10ft

1-5ft

Figure 5

Alternative estimators for

well test permeabilities

depend on the geometry of

the geology at the bedscale.Well testing (in the

middle time region) is

essentially a bedform scale

measurement. Well tests

measure effective scale

permeabilities at that scale

Geological Statistics

The accompanying sketch (Figure 5) shows how the averaging procedure might relate

to bed scale and geometry in an imaginary reservoir. In many reservoirs, single

isolated high permeabilities can be filtered out as they represent lamina (i.e., very

local) properties.

Two wells in the same braided stream reservoir have similar permeability distributions (Fiure 6). The well test permeabilities are quite different in the two wells and

correspond to the geometric average (Well A) or the (weighted) arithmetic average

(Well B). Looking at the spatial distribution of the permeability (Figure 7) we see the

reason why. Well A is characterised by isolated high permeability plug most likely

corresponding to thin, minor fluvial channels of limited extent. Well B on the other

hand, contains relatively thick, major channels of signifcant extent. The lower

permeability matrix dominates the well test volume of investigation in well A

(geometric average more appropriate for random discontinuous high permeability

zones) and the channels, well B (arithmetic average for layer flow). This example

shows the pitfalls of applying statistics without geology - one can always determine

the arithmetic average - but using it as the estimator of horizontal permeability is

sometimes dangerous! In well B it was appropriate because it is a layered system. In

well B it would have overestimated the permeability as the layers are not continuous.

Figure 6

Permeability distribution

from two wells in the same

braided stream reservoir

left: Well (A) right: Well

(B)

Figure 7

Permeability distribution

with depth in the two wells

in Figure 6. left: Well (A)

right: Well (B)

11

1

3. MEASURES OF VARIABILITY

In the previous section we reviewed measures of central tendency. The second class

of descriptive statistics that can be used to describe a sample are measures of

variability or dispersion. These are commonly used in other areas of data analysis but

tend, traditionally, to be overlooked in petroleum engineering (particularly by

geologists). As we will see in this and subsequent sections, the measures of variability

of permeability can:

determine the number of samples required

indicate likely recovery process

suggest likely flow performance

(if not more) useful than averages. Every estimate of central tendency (of permeability) should be accompanied by a measure of variability. The most commonly occuring

measures of variability are reviewed in this section.

Standard deviation

In statistics, a deviation is a distance from the mean. The mean deviation is thus the

average deviation for a sample. The variance is the average squared deviation. The

standard deviation (SD) is given as the positive square root of variance:

SD =

i=1

(ki - k)2

N

0.5

SD =

i=1

k2i

N

0.5

k2

Standard deviation has the units of the measurement being considered (e.g., mD in the

case of peremeability). The lower the standard deviation the less the dispersion or

spread of a distribution about the mean. 68% of all the observations in a normal

distribution lie within one standard deviation (SD) either side of the mean (2SD and

3SD include 95% and 99.7% of the observations, respectively). For small sample

sizes the N in the denominator should be replaced by (N-1) to account for fewer

degrees of freedom caused by the less than optimum estimation of the mean.

Coefficient of variation

The standard deviation often tends to increase as the mean increases. An SD of 80mD

is a high dispersion for a mean of 100mD, but a low dispersion if the mean is 1000mD.

A more useful (in reservoir characterisation) absolute measure of dispersion is given

by the coefficient of variation (Cv), or normalised standard deviation:

Cv = SD /kar

12

Geological Statistics

For small samples (N < 10), the standard deviation needs to be multiplied by a

correction factor. The correction factor accounts for the fact that tha mean is not well

estimated with few samples, and therefore the SD is broader than if there were many

samples and is given by:

1+ 1

4(N-1)

The coefficient of variation is becoming more widely encountered in reservoir

description, particularly in probe permeameter studies (Figure 8), and has been used

to define the level of heterogeneity:

0.0 < Cv < 0.5 Homogeneous

0.5 < Cv < 1.0 Heterogeneous

1.0 < Cv

Very heterogeneous

Figure 8

Coefficient of variation for

a range of geological

materials.(from Jensen et

al, 1997)

S.North Sea Rotliegendes Fm (6)

Crevasse splay sst (5)

Sh. mar.rippled micaceous sst

Fluv lateral accretion sst (5)

Dist/tidal channel Etive ssts

Beach/stacked tidal Etive Fm.

Heterolithic channel fill

Shallow marine HCS

Shall. mar. high contrast lam.

Shallow mar. Lochaline Sst (3)

Shallow marine Rannoch Fm

Aeolian interdune (1)

Shallow marine SCS

Lrge scale x-bed dist chan (5)

Mix'd aeol. wind rip/grainf.(1)

Fluvial trough-cross beds (5)

Fluvial trough-cross beds (2)

Shallow mar. low contrast lam.

Aeolian grainflow (1)

Aeolian wind ripple (1)

Homogeneous core plugs

Synthetic core plugs

Cv 0

INCREASING SORTING

Normal distributions have Cv < 0.5, for Cv > 0.5 the distributions become increasingly

skewed. Even under the latter conditions, the Cv appears to be a useful statistic.

Very heterogeneous

Heterogeneous

Homogeneous

1

13

1

Dykstra-Parsons coefficient

A further measure of variability, developed by the oil industry, recognises that

permeability is often log normally distributed. For permeability that is log-normally

distributed, the Dykstra-Parsons coefficient was defined in the 1950s as:

VDP = 1 -

k

k0.5

k0.5 k

k0.5

where k is the permeability one standard deviation below the median permeability

(k0.5) for a distribution of the logarithm (usually base 10) of permeability. These

parameters are best determined by plotting a probability plot for log(k) and reading off

the 50 and 84th percentiles. This graphical procedure for the determination of VDP (for

which probability paper is required) is illustrated in Figure 9. VDP is useful because

of correlations with waterflood performance,enhanced oil recovery (EOR) potential

and its common occurence in the petroleum engineering literature. Note that estimates

of VDP for distributions that are not log normal can be unrepresentative.

Figure 9

Graphical solution of the

Dykstra-Parsons coefficient

(from Willhite, 1986)

Lorenz coefficient

A third way of expressing heterogeneity in reservoirs is through the use of the Lorenz

Coefficient. The Lorenz Coefficient is defined as a specific area on a Lorenz Plot, a

useful plot which involves the relationship between of core plug porosity () and

permeability(k) as a fraction of total reservoir porosity and permeability. The Lorenz

plot is modelled on a mutch earlier plot (early 1900's) that was used to relate wealth

(flow capacity) to population (storage capacity) - wealth is not evenly distributed

across people, neither is flow capacity in rocks!

To generate the Lorenz Plot, arrange the core data in decreasing order of k/ and

calculate the partial sums

14

Geological Statistics

Fj

Cj

J

j =1

k j hj

J

j =1

kh

i =1 i i

j hj

i =1 i i

where 1 J I and there are I data points. Plot Fj (known as the flow capacity) versus

Cj (the storage capacity) on a linear plot (Fig. 10). The Lc can be calculated from the

shaded area and varies from 0 - 1. Homogeneity is expressed on this plot by the

diagonal (Lc= 0).

Fraction of total

flow capacity

(permeability x

thickness)

Figure 10

Lorenz plot showing

determination of the Lorenz

Coefficient, Lc= 2A where A

is the shaded area

Fj

Cj

0

0

Fraction of total

storage capacity

(porosity x thickness)

The plot can also be useful in well testing as it represents the balance between flow

capacity (or tranmissivity) and storage capacity (storativity) and can indicate the

possibility for double porosity behaviour. In a fractured reservoir, the transmissive

elements (the fractures) are often separate from the storage elements (the matrix) these would have Lorenz Coefficients close to 1.

A modification to the Lorenz Plot is to plot the data with their natural ordering. The

Modified Lorenz Plot ( Figure 11) can then give a good idea on the degree of layering

in the reservoir. The modified Lorenz Plot can be compared with the inflow log

measured during production logging.

15

1

1

Fraction of total

flow capacity

(permeability x

thickness)

Fj

Figure 11

Modified Lorenz Plot

showing stratigraphic

layering.

Cj

0

0

Fraction of total

storage capacity

(porosity x thickness)

4. DISTRIBUTIONS

Frequency

A distribution is a graphical representation of a set of frequencies (observed distribution) or probabilities (theoretical distribution). Frequencies are presented on a bar

chart (histogram) in which the width of the bars are proportional to the class interval

and the height of the bars is proportional to the frequency it represents (Figure 12). The

class interval is the interval between boundaries selected to subdivide the range into

a number of (usually equal) windows. Points falling at the boundaries are

systematically included in the class interval below or above. As a guideline, the

number of class intervals should be between 7 and 25.

Variable

Probability (P) is a number between 0 and 1. Probability 0 means impossibility, 1 is

certainty. Values can be derived from a theoretical distribution or by observation.

For a discrete distribution, probability is defined as:

16

Figure 12

Simple histograms

Geological Statistics

total number of possible outcomes

13

For a continuous variable, the probability is the relevant area under the graph of its

probability density function (pdf). The total area under the graph is 1, i.e., a random

variable will lie within the range of its pdf. The pdfs for the variables in the sample

histograms above can be derived as the sample size approaches infinity and the class

interval approaches zero (Figure 13).

Figure 13

Probability distribution

functions underlying the

sample histograms

Variable

If there are sufficient observations in the sample, the sample histogram can be thought

of as an estimate (or approximation) to the underlying variable pdf. For this reason,

sample histograms are often referred to as pdfs (strictly, pdf is a population

parameter) (Figure 6).

The function that gives the cumulative probability or cumulative frequency (i.e., the

frequency with which a varible has a value less than or equal to a particular value) of

the random variable is known as the cumulative distribution function (cdf) (Figure

14).

Figure 14

Cumulative distribution

functions associated with

the above pdfs

Cdf

1

.5

k50

Variable

k50

17

1

Cdfs are the form of distributions that are commonly used as the input to Monte Carlo

simulation. Random numbers between 0 and 1 are used to derive a number of

realisations of the variable cdf (e.g., for porosity, volume, shale length, channel width,

etc.). The pdf of the random variable will, with enough realisations, assume the

sample pdf.

There are major benefits in identifying the form of the underlying pdf:

the pdf is the only statistical parameter that defines the extreme values and the

probability of their occurrence.

non-normal distributions can be transformed to normality if the underlying distri

bution is known. Parametric methods are appropriate and regression is enhanced

for normally distributed variables.

parametric (i.e., sensitive to the underlying distribution) statistical tests are more

powerful. Procedures where we dont know the form of the pdf are called nonparametric.

Distibutions that are not symmetrical are known as skewed. Consider the two pdfs

in Figure 15, the one on the left is symmetrical whereas the one on the right is

positively skewed (i.e., tail - queue in French - to the positive side of the mode).

There are a set of power (p) transformations for 1 > p > -1 which will transform

P

skewed distributions to normality. For k where p = 1, the distribution is already

normal, for p = 0.5, root normal and for p = 0, log normal. These three distributions

are common for permeability within reservoir rocks.

There are other distributions more specific to small sample probabilities (e.g.,

binomial, poisson) or truncated data sets (e.g., exponential, gamma) which will not be

covered here.

5. SAMPLE SUFFICIENCY

The issue of sample sufficiency is not usually covered in basic statistical texts or even

considered in petroleum engineering. Core plugs, for example, are taken every foot,

regardless - because thats the way it has always been done! In fairness to the core

contractors, geologists and engineers, this has, historically, been the practical (in

terms of cost, core preservation, etc.) sample limit. More recently, we have considered

the appropriate number of measurements for our needs and the representatitivity of

the sample population

With the development of probe permeameters, we are able to reconsider sample

sufficiency and, because probe measurements are relatively cheap and non-destructive, ensure that sufficient samples for our requirements are obtained.

A practical method for determining sample sufficiency comes from the central limit

theorem which states that, if independent samples of size N are drawn from a parent

18

Geological Statistics

population with mean and standard deviation SD, then the distribution of their

means will be approximately normal (regardless of the population pdf) with mean

and standard deviation, SD/N. From this, the probability that the sample mean ( ks)

of N observations lies within a certain range of the population mean () can be

determined for a given confidence interval. For a 95% confidence level (i.e., only a

maximum of five times in 100 will the population mean lie outside that range) the

range is given by t SE, where the standard error (SE) is given by SD/N. ( The

greater the sample number, N, the more confident we can be about estimates of the

mean).

Standard error is the standard deviation (SD) of the sample mean, drawn from a parent

population, and is a measure of the difference between sample ( ks) and population ()

means. Students t is a measure of the difference between estimated mean, for a single

sample, and the population mean, normalised by the SE. For normal distributions the

t value varies with size of sample (Ns) and confidence level (95%), and these values

are well known (standard t tables in any basic statistics text). We can write the above,

mathematically, as:

Prob (ks = t

SD

) = 95%

Ns

We require a sample such that the average of the optimum sample size k0 with

tolerance P%, satisfies the predetermined confidence interval, or:

Prob (k0 =

P k0

) = 95%

100

P k0

SD

=

t

100

N0 .

Rearranging this gives an expression for the optimum number of specimens, N0:

t SD 100 2

N0 =

P k0

Now, for N > 30, t ~ 2 and with a 20% tolerance (i.e., the sample mean will be within

20% of the parent mean, which we consider an acceptable limitation), the expression

reduces to:

N0 =

2 Cv 100 2

20

where Cv = SD /k0

N0 = ( 10 Cv)

19

1

This rule of thumb is a very simple way of determining sample sufficiency. Although

derived for the estimate of the arithmetic mean from uncorrelated samples by normal

theory, it has been found to be useful in designing sample programs in a range of core

and outcrop studies. Having determined the optimum number of samples (N0), the

domain length (D) will determine the optimum sample spacing (D0) as:

D0 = D / N0

An initial sample of 25 measurements, evenly spaced over the domain, which can be

a lamina, bedform, formation, outcrop, etc. can be used to determine an initial estimate

of variability. If the Cv, determined from this sample, is less than 0.5, sufficient

samples have been collected. If more are required, infilling the original with 1, 2 or

n samples, will give 50, 75 or 25n samples. In this way, sufficient samples can be

collected . When insufficient in very variable rock types (e.g., carbonates) the

tolerance may have to be increased to reach achievable sample numbers). Note that

the N-zero technique has really only been tested for permeability sufficiency.

The answer to the original question, posed in the opening paragraph of this section,

can now be explained. Because formations contain facies of differing variability,

some facies will be adequately sampled with 1ft core plugs, but some thin, highly

variable and, possibly, significant facies can be under-sampled. This happens in the

Rannoch Formation (Middle Jurassic Brent Group, North Sea) where the critical

facies at the Rannoch/Etive boundary in some wells is only 10ft thick with Cv = 1.

Over 100 samples, therefore, are needed in such an interval and 10 core plugs are

obviously insufficient (Figure 15).

When insufficient samples are known the sample tolerance(Ps) can be calculated:

Ps = 200 Cv

Ns

-10050

-10051

Core Plugs

-10052

Probe

Arith av

-10053

PLUGS: N=9

Cv = 0.74, Ar. Av. = 390mD

-10054

-10055

PROBE: N = 274,

Cv = 0.99, Ar. av. = 172mD

-10056

-10057

-10058

10

20

100

Permeability (mD)

1000

Figure 15

Highly variable Rannoch

(M. Jur.) interval showing

the concept of optimum

sample density. N0 for this

interval is 100 - satisfied by

the probe but inadequately

measured with core plugs.

(From Jensen et al 1997)

Geological Statistics

We have encountered, in this geoscience course, correlation in the geological sense

of drawing lines of equal stratigraphic significance between wireline logs. In this

section we consider spatial correlation (i.e., autocorrelation, correlation of a variable

with itself as a function of separation in space or time). In reservoir engineering, two

autocorrelation functions, the correlogram and the semivariogram (or variogram), are

commonly encountered (Figure 16) and are best defined by their equations below.

The former tends to be used to measure the degree of similarity between neighbouring

values (e.g, grid blocks in a numerical simulator) and the latter to examine the

differences between neighbouring values (e.g., permeability in outcrop or core

studies). The latter is also used in a mapping procedure known as kriging which has

been adopted from the mining industry and has been used (with some success) in the

petroleum industry.

The correlogram function (r) is given by:

(h) =

1

[(k(x) -k)(k(x+h) -k)]

(N-h) (SD)2

where k(x) and k(x+h) are the permeabilities of any two points seperated by lag (the

distance between sample points, h) and N is the number of data points. As h tends to

zero the correlation function tends to unity. A plot of the function against lag is the

correlogram.

CORRELOGRAM

SEMIVARIOGRAM

Figure 16

Characteristic shapes of

autocorrelation funcions in

the presence of correlation

Lag distance

For comparison, the semivariogram function (g, referred hereafter and most commonly as the variogram, the "semi-" is there because the function is symmetrical

about the origin and only positive lag distances are shown by convention) is given by:

(h)=

1

[k(x) k(x + h)]2

2N

at a lag distance h. In this case, N is the number of pairs of data points. As h approaches

zero the variogram (i.e., variance) approaches zero. Note that the variogram doesnt

require an estimate of the mean and is, therefore, more precise than the correlogram.

Department of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University

21

80

80

60

60

SILL

40

40

RANGE

IDEAL SEMIVARIOGRAM

20

20

NUGGET

0

0

0

Figure 17

Variogram terminology

The variogram has some additional features (Figure 17). At some lag separation

(known as the range) the variogram often approaches the variance of the data (the sill)

and the statistical correlation between points at this and greater separation(s) is zero.

If the variogram at the closest separation is away from the origin, a nugget is said to

exist, often indicative of measurement inaccuracy. If the variogram at the closest

separation approaches the sill, the data are said to be uncorrelated (Figure 18, right).

On a correlogram, uncorrelated data show the correlation function at or near zero from

the shortest separation (Figure 18, left).

CORRELOGRAM

SEMIVARIOGRAM

Lag distance

reduces the amount of "information" carried by each observation. This might result

in either additional samples being required. There is a paradox here, because we have

seen (section on sample sufficiency) that N0 samples (derived for uncorrelated

samples) can give appropriate estimates of mean properties, even though permeability

measurements can be seen to be correlated. Although the reason for this paradox is

not clear at the present time, it can be demonstrated that correlation in sedimentary

rocks exists at several scales. These scales are marked by significant decreases of the

variogram at some positive lag distance (holes).

22

Figure 18

Characteristic shapes of

autocorrelation functions

for random (i.e.,

uncorrelated) samples

Geological Statistics

Core plug kh

Minipermeameter

-10136

-10137

-10138

-10139

-10140

-10141

-10142

-10143

-10144

-10145

Figure 19

Probe (Minipermeameter)

and core plug profiles from

the Rannoch Fm North Sea

-10146

10

100

1000

Core 1

depth

Permeability (mD)

(ft)

Semivariogram magnitude

1.5

Figure 20

Variogram for probe data

shown in Figure 19

1.0

0.5

0.0

0

Lag (m)

The semivariogram can sometimes reveal average periodicities that are represented

by a significant reduction in variance at some lag separation greater than the range. An

example interval from the Rannoch formation shows well developed cyclicity (fig 20)

and this is captured as a hole at approx. 4ft. (1.3m) in the accompanying variogram

(Figure 20). This periodicity is related to the (hummocky cross-stratified) bedform

thickness. There is evidence that the periodicity in the sediment can impact fluid flow

and that the holes can therefore be used as a diagnostic engineering tool. This decrease

in variance at certain separations reflects increased correlation and corresponds to the

wavelength of a lamina or bedform.

Department of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University

23

1

It can also be seen in Figure 21 that each of these scales requires a tailor-made

sampling plan, which may require more than N0 samples.

Figure 21

Multiple correlation scales

in sedimentary rocks, as

shown by the variograms

(from Jensen et al 1997)

It has been oberved that many natural phenomena exhibit variograms that never attain

a sill, suggesting correlation on a never-ending scale (Figure 22). Phenomena which

exhibit this phenomena are commonly known as fractals. Fractals exhibit variation

at all scales, the closer you look the more you see. Variograms in a fractal medium

should, therefore, exhibit the characteristic shape at all scales. Fractal behaviour over

limited length scales has been observed in rocks.

24

Lag distance

Figure 22

Fractal behaviour in a

variogram

Geological Statistics

The main use of variograms in reservoir modelling is in the automated generation of

permeability fields for simulation. A field in this sense is a grid of permeability values.

With a few parameters (nugget, sill, range) and the variogram model can be used to

many equiprobable realisations from the same permeability distribution. These fields

will all look different, but will have the same correlation structure as the input

variogram. The input variograms can be generated from outcrop studies. These fields

are called correlated random field (CRF). The CRF technique involves two steps:

(i)

(ii) Swapping the permeabilities around until their spatial correlation structure

conforms with the given variogram structure.

The generation of many equiprobable permeability fields with millions of cells would

be very difficult manually! The are equiprobable because they are all equally likely

to represent reality. An example of correlated random fields for various isotropic

fields is given in Figures 23.

Figure 23

Correlated random fields

generated from isotropic

variograms (Yuan and

Strobl, 1991)

25

Figure 24

Correlated random fields

generated from anisotropic

variograms (Yuan and

Strobl, 1991)

SUMMARY

Presented with some porosity and permeability data, the engineer should be able

(using the material in this section) to carry out the following:

generate a suite of summary numbers - averages, mode, median, SD, CV - and

discuss their engineering implications,

evaluate the variability in the data and decide the engineering and sampling

implications,

assess how the summary numbers relate to the varianbility,

determine how reliable the summary numbers are, and,

determine the correlation structure of the property in the reservoir.

The exercises at the end of this Chapter allow the student to try out these skills.

26

Geological Statistics

EXERCISES

1 Determine the arithmetic, geometric, harmonic averages, mode and median for the

porosity and permeability in following set of core plugs, from an North Sea well. To

help determine the geometric and harmonic averages you may wish to determine

ln(perm) and the inverse of permeability first.

Depth

Porosity

Horiz. Perm - k.

(mD)

(m)

(%)

3834.9

23.8

105

3835.2

24.8

140

3835.5

27.4

297

3835.8

26.4

236

3836.1

23.6

106

3836.4

24.6

140

3836.7

24.2

157

3837.0

24.8

144

3837.3

26.0

189

3837.6

24.8

111

3837.9

29.4

577

3838.2

27.6

318

3838.5

14.6

nmp

3838.8

22.5

52.4

3839.1

22.1

54

27

1

2. If asked to provide an average of these data:

for reservoir simulation grid block, or,

for comparison with a well test?

What would you need to consider? The variation of data with depth is given below.

-3834

-3835

-3836

-3837

-3838

-3839

-3840

10

15

20

Porosity (%)

25

30

-3834

-3835

-3836

-3837

-3838

-3839

-3840

0

100

200

300 400 500

Horizontal Permeability (mD)

600

3. Plot histograms of permeability and porosity. Plot a Lorenz Plot. What can you

determine from these plots?

28

Geological Statistics

4. From the plots of porosity and permeability vs depth given in Question 2,what can

you say about variability of porosity and permeability?

Calculate the coefficient of variation for both porosity and permeability.

For comparison, the Vdp for the plug permeability is given as 0.46

interval within 20%? To what tolerance can we estimate the arithmetic mean from

these data?

6. Over this same 4m interval we also have probe permeameter measurements.

These are plotted vs depth and displayed for comparison with the core plugs. Can

you see the permeability (geological) structure more clearly?

-3835

Depth (m)

-3836

PROBE

-3837

PLUGS

-3838

-3839

0

100

200

300

400

500

600

Permeability (mD)

Given the following analysis of the probe data, can we expect an average within 20%

of the arithmetic average? What is the true heterogeneity level of this interval and

what do you think controls it? What are the implications for the grid block

permeabilities?

29

1

Probe permeability

No. of meas.

320

151

93

39

Cv

N0

0.82

Vdp

0.69

7.Determine the (semi)variogram function for the core plug permeability and

compare with that for the probe permeability. What is your interpretation of the two

variograms and of the differences between them?

2.0

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0

0

20

40 60

(NB: You can plot your variogram on the above plot by dividing the function by the

variance. In this way you can compare variograms structure from various data sets.

If a sill is present it should appear at the value one)

CORE 5

COARSE GRID

3835.0-3839.0m

Dim. exper.semi-var.

(md^2/Variance)

2.0

1.5

VARIANCE

15831(md^2)

1.0

0.5

dz = 1cm

0.0

0

20

40

60

Lag (cm)

30

Geological Statistics

SOLUTIONS

1.

N

Arith. Av

Geo. Av

Har. Av

Mode

Median

Por

15

24.44

24.18

23.86

24.80

24.80

Perm

14

188

153

126

140

142

2.

To consider which average is the right one - for porosity it doesnt matter for

permeability there are differences which may be significant. A simulation grid block

may be several 100m long so the possible layering of the interval would have to be

taken into consideration (i.e., the scale of application).

If you look at the variation with depth plots, there is no strong evidence for layering,

so one might choose the geometric average (appropriate for random geology). If you

think some of the data are outliers the mode or median might be a better estimate.

3. Histograms

The histogram for porosity shows a more symmetrical distribution than that for

permeability.

Histograms

Count

Count

4

3

4

3

1

0

0

12 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30

Porosity

Permeability

31

32

k(mD)

105

140

297

236

106

140

157

144

189

111

577

318

52

54

Totalk

2626

Phi (%)

23.80

24.80

27.40

26.40

23.60

24.60

24.20

24.80

26.00

24.80

29.40

27.60

22.50

22.10

To tal Phi

352

Unordered

k/phi

4

6

11

9

4

6

6

6

7

4

20

12

2

2

Phi (%)

29.40

27.60

27.40

26.40

26.00

24.20

24.80

24.80

24.60

24.80

23.60

23.80

22.10

22.50

k(mD)

577

318

297

236

189

157

144

140

140

111

106

105

54

52

Ordered

k/phi

20

12

11

9

7

6

6

6

6

4

4

4

2

2

Phi/t otal Phi

0.08

0.08

0.08

0.08

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.06

0.06

k/Total k

0.22

0.12

0.11

0.09

0.07

0.06

0.05

0.05

0.05

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.02

0.02

Cumphi

0.00

0.08

0.16

0.24

0.31

0.39

0.46

0.53

0.60

0.67

0.74

0.81

0.87

0.94

1.00

Cumk

0.00

0.22

0.34

0.45

0.54

0.62

0.68

0.73

0.78

0.84

0.88

0.92

0.96

0.98

1.00

k(mD)

105

140

297

236

106

140

157

144

189

111

577

318

52

54

Totalk

2626

Phi (%)

23.80

24.80

27.40

26.40

23.60

24.60

24.20

24.80

26.00

24.80

29.40

27.60

22.50

22.10

Total Phi

352

Unordered

k/phi

4

6

11

9

4

6

6

6

7

4

20

12

2

2

Phi/total Phi

0.07

0.07

0.08

0.08

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.07

0.08

0.08

0.06

0.06

k/Total k

0.04

0.05

0.11

0.09

0.04

0.05

0.06

0.05

0.07

0.04

0.22

0.12

0.02

0.02

Cumphi

0.00

0.07

0.14

0.22

0.29

0.36

0.43

0.50

0.57

0.64

0.71

0.79

0.87

0.94

1.00

Cumk

0.00

0.04

0.09

0.21

0.30

0.34

0.39

0.45

0.50

0.58

0.62

0.84

0.96

0.98

1.00

Geological Statistics

calculation

33

1

Lorenz Plot

1.00

0.90

0.80

0.70

kh

0.60

0.50

0.40

0.30

0.20

0.10

Ordered Plug Data

0.00

0.00

0.20

0.40

0.60

0.80

1.00

Phih

1.00

0.90

0.80

0.70

kh

0.60

0.50

0.40

0.30

0.20

0.10

Ordered Plug Data

0.00

0.00

0.20

0.40

0.60

0.80

1.00

Phih

The Lorenz Plot shows moderate heterogeneity, the unordered data (stratigraphically

ordered data) shows the occurrence of a high permeability zone.

4. They way the scales are drawn the plots of porosity and permeability appear to have

the same variability. This is because the scales relative to the mean are quite different

34

Lorenz Plot

(A) ordered

(B) unordered

Geological Statistics

sd (STDEV; n-1)

Variance

Cv

Por

3.35

11.23

0.14

Perm

138

18907

0.73

greater (heterogeneous) than the porosity (homogeneous). A Vdp of 0.46 for

permeability also suggests moderate heterogeneity.

5

Using N0 = (10Cv)2 the optimum number of samples (N0) = (7.3)2 53.

There are 14 plugs so the answer is "no".

The 14 plugs will estimate to

=

Ns

14

i.e. 39%

6

The probe permeameter picks out more distinct layering and low permeabilities in the

region where the core plugs showed no measurement possible (3838.5m). The

variation can be related to the geological structure.

No = 67

P =9

Number of samples (320) is well in excess of the No (67) therefore the probe data

average will be within the 20% tolerance. In fact the average will be within 9%

tolerance. This suggests the arithmetic average 151mD or geometric average 93mD

might be more appropriate. Note that the variability has increased with the probe data

(this often, but not always, happens) and the differences between the averages has

become more pronounced than determined by the core plugs. The extra heterogeneity

is due to the geological structure, some of which wasnt originally sampled by the plugs.

7

Semivariogram calculation

Note the effect the missing data point (nmp) has on the numbers of pairs determined.

The normalised gamma is determined by dividing the gamma by the variance of the

permeability (refer to Question 4).

35

1

Permeability

Lag 1

Lag 2

L ag 3

Lag 4

Lag 5

Lag 6

105

140

297

236

106

140

157

144

189

111

577

318

1225

24649

3721

16900

1156

289

169

2025

6084

217156

67081

36864

9216

36481

9216

2601

16

1024

1089

150544

42849

17161

1156

24649

6241

1444

2401

2116

187489

16641

1

0

19600

8464

6889

841

176400

30276

1225

289

23409

2209

25

190969

25921

2704

16

11664

15625

221841

31684

52.4

54

70543

2.56

275205

69696

3434

273529

18660

3249

8391

18225

Count

Sum

Gamma

No rmalised

gamma

12

340458

14186

0.75

11

360443

16384

0.87

11

604199

27464

1.45

10

519434

25972

1.37

9

265956

14775

0.78

8

310150

19384

1.03

Porosity

Lag 1

Lag 2

Lag 3

Lag 4

Lag 5

Lag 6

23.8

24.8

27.4

26.4

23.6

24.6

24.2

24.8

26.0

24.8

29.4

27.6

14.6

22.5

22.1

1.0

6.8

1.0

7.8

1.0

0.2

0.4

1.4

1.4

21.2

3.2

169.0

62.4

0.2

13.0

2.6

14.4

3.2

0.4

0.0

3.2

0.0

11.6

7.8

219.0

26.0

56.3

6.8

1.4

7.8

4.8

1.4

2.0

0.4

21.2

2.6

104.0

47.6

30.3

0.0

0.0

10.2

2.6

5.8

0.0

27.0

7.8

130.0

5.3

53.3

0.6

0.4

6.8

0.2

1.4

23.0

11.6

104.0

12.3

7.3

0.2

0.0

2.0

2.6

33.6

9.0

92.2

5.3

15.2

14

277.0

9.9

0.88

13

357.5

13.8

1.22

12

230.3

9.6

0.85

11

242.1

11.0

0.98

10

167.5

8.4

0.75

9

160.0

8.9

0.79

Count

Sum

Gamma

Normalised

gamma

36

Geological Statistics

The permeability data show a very high nugget (0.65) suggesting that, whilst there is

some correlation, the plug data may be interpreted as uncorrelated random.

Note that the porosity semivariogram is not the same as the permeability variogram

however the same interpretation might be made.

Comparison with the probe data shows the effect of the closely spaced data. The

nugget has dropped to 0.25 and there is a clear hole, indicating a repetitative structure

(bedding). This suggests the interval is more layered, and that the arithmetic average of

the probe data (151mD) might be more appropriate. Note that this is also close to the

geometric average of the plug data (153mD).

37

1

REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

Archer, J. S., and Wall, C.G., 1986, Petroleum Engineering: Principles and Practice,

Graham and Trotman, Newcastle, 362p.

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38

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