SPE 26436
Enhanced Reservoir Description: Using Core and Log Data
to Identify Hydraulic (Flow) Units and Predict Permeability in
Uncored Intervals/Wells
Jude O. Amaefule* and Mehmet Altunbay*, Core Laboratories; Djebbar Tiab*, U. of Oklahoma; David G. Kersey
and Dare K. Keelan*, Core Laboratories
·SPE Member
This paper was prepared for presentation at the 68th Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers held in Houston, Texas, 36 October 1993,
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper,
as presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s), The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect
any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members, Papers presented at SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society
of Petroleum Engineers, Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words, Illustrations may not be copied, The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment
of where and by whom the paper is presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 750833836, U.S.A. Telex, 163245 SPEUT.
Abstract technique has been successfully tested in clastic rocks from East
Texas, South America, West Africa, South East Asia and Far East
Understanding complex vanatlOns in pore geometry within Asia, as well as carbonate sequences from West Texas and
different lithofacies is the key to improved reservoir description Canada. This paper documents the theoretical development,
and exploitation. Core data provide information on various validates and characterizes the hydraulic units, and presents
depositional and diagenetic controls on pore geometry. predicted versus actual permeability data to demonstrate the
Variations in pore geometrical attributes in turn, define the efficacy of the proposed technique.
existence ofdistinct zones (hydraulic units) with similar fluidflow
characteristics. Classic discrimination of rock types has been
based on subjective geological observations and on empirical Introduction
relationships between the log of permeability versus porosity.
One of the most important existing and emerging challenges of
However, for any porosity within a given rock type, permeability
geoscientists and engineers is to improve reservoir description
can vary by several orders of magnitude, which indicates the
techniques. It is well recognized that improvements in reservoir
existence of several flow units.
description will reduce the amount of hydrocarbon left behind
In this paper, a new, practical and theoretically correct pipe. Accurate determination of porebody/throat attributes and
methodology is proposed for identification and characterization fluid distribution are central elements in improved reservoir
of hydraulic units within mappable geological units (facies). The description. Many reservoir description programs, though
detailed, have not included descriptions at the porethroat scale.
technique is based on a modified KozenyCarmen equation and
Yet, porethroat attributes control initiaVresidual hydrocarbon
the concept ofmean hydraulic radius. The equation indicates that
distribution and fluid flow. Because they are readily available,
for any hydraulic unit, a loglog plot of a "Reservoir Quality
continuous sources of data, logging tool responses are often used
Index," (RQI), which is equal to O.03l4Jk/$, versus a
to draw inferences ahout lithology, depositional and diagenetic
"Normalized Porosity Index" (<I>z) which is equal to <1>/( 1<1» should
sequences, and fluid content. These inferences are based on
yield a straight line with a unit slope. The intercept of the unit empirical models utilizing cOITelations among tool responses,
slope line with <l>z = 1, designated as the "Flow Zone Indicator" rock and fluid properties. In many instances, unfortunately, the
(FZI), is a unique parameter for each hydraulic unit. RQI, <Pz and correlation models can not be used globally because of the
Fn are based on stressed porosity and permeability data influences of factors not fully considered by the models. Factors
measured on core samples. include (a) the presence of potassiumfeldspar, zircon, etc.
causing erroneously high calculated Vsh from the gamma ray; (b)
FZI is then correlated to certain combinations of logging tool microporosity in kaolinite, chert, etc. leading to high apparent
responses to develop regression models for permeability water saturation calculations; and (c) siderite, pyrite, barite, and
predictions in cored and uncored intervals or wells. The proposed smectite influencing the resistivity, density and neutron log
205
2 ENHANCED RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION: USING CORE AND LOG DATA TO SPE 26436
IDENTIFY HYDRAULIC (FLOW) UNITS AND PREDICT PERMEABILITY IN UNCORED INTERVALSIWELLS
calculations. The key to enhanced reserves determination and normally distributed parameters does not necessarily establish
improved productivity is not based on the use of empirical causality. On the classical plot, the relationship between
correlations. It is based on the establishment of causal permeability and porosity is not causal. Whereas porosity is
relationships among corederived, microscopic porethroat generally independent of grain size, permeability is strongly
parameters and logderived macroscopic attributes. These dependent on grain size. For example, in a reservoir, porosity and
theoretically correct relationships can then be used as input permeability may, in general, be directly proportional. Yet, in the
variables to calibrate logs for improved reservoir description. same reservoir, there may be both high and low permeability
zones with equal porosity values (Fig. 1). Therefore this
In this paper, a new, practical and theoretically sound traditional plot can not be used reliably to estimate accurate
methodology is introduced to identify and characterize hydraulic permeability from porosity data. Several investigators 5,7,8,9,10
units within mappable geologic units (facies). This methodology have noted the inadequacy of this classical approach and have
uses core data to develop an understanding of the complex proposed alternative models for relating porosity to permeability.
variations in pore geometry within different lithofacies. Core data From the classical approach it can be concluded that for any given
provide information for various depositional and diagenetic rock type, the different .porosity/permeability relationships are
controls on pore geometry. Variations in pore geometrical evidence of the existence of different hydraulic units. Apparently
attributes, in turn, define the existence of distinct zones (hydraulic several investigatOl'S3,5,11 had come to a similar conclusion about
units) with similar fluidflow characteristics. A hydraulic (pore porosity/permeability relationships.
geometrical) unit is defined as the representative elementary
volume l (REV) "of total reservoir rock within which geological In this paper, a theoretically correct, and fundamentally derived
and petrophysical properties that affect fluid flow are internally relationship between porosity and permeability is proposed. The
consistent and predictably different from properties of other rock influence of various geological (depositional and diagenetic)
volumes.,,2 variables that contrOl fluid flowal;e reflected in the proposeo
methodology.
Hydraulic units are related to geologic facies distribution, but do
not necessarily coincide with facies boundaries. 3 Therefore,
hydraulic units may not be vertically contiguous. Hydraulic units Fundamental Theory
are often defined by (a) geological attributes of texture,
The hydraulic quality of a rock is controlled by pore geometry.
mineralogy, sedimentary structures, bedding contacts and nature
This, in turn, is a function of mineralogy (i.e., type, abundance,
of permeability barriers and by (b) petrophysical properties of
morphology and location relative to pore throats) and texture (i.e.,
porosity, permeability and capillary pressure.
grain size, grain shape, sOlting, and packing). Various
permutations of these geological attributes often indicate the
Statement of the Problem existence of distinct rock units with similar pore throat attributes.
Determination of these pore throat attributes is central to accurate
zoning of reservoirs into units with similar hydraulic properties.
Classical PermeabilityPorosity Relationships The mean hydraulic unit radius (rmh) concept l2 is the key to
Knowledge of permeability and permeability distribution is unraveling the hydraulic units and relating porosity, permeability
critical to effective reservoir description. Several authors4 ,5,6 and capillary pressure.
have noted the importance of these parameters for planning and
implementation of completion strategies for successful
waterflooding programs and for construction of representative
Cross Sectional Area Volume Open to Flow
simulation models for effective reservoir management.
Wetted Perimeter Wetted Surface Area .. (2)
Permeability and permeability distribution are usually determined
from core data. However, most wells are often not cored. As a
result, permeability is estimated in uncored sections/wells from
For a circular, cylindrical capillary tube,
permeability versus porosity relationships that are often
developed from statistically insignificant data sets. In uncored r
wells or zones, empirical permeability is estimated from log rmh = 2' (3)
derived porosity using Eq. 1.
By invoking the concept of the mean hydraulic radius, Kozenyl3
and Carmen l4 considered the reservoir rock to be composed of a
logk = a~ + b (I) bundle of capillary tubes. They then applied Poisseuille's and
Darcy's Laws to derive a relationship (Eq. 4) between porosity
and permeability. The primary assumptions in their derivation are
that "the travel time of a fluid element in a capillary tube is equal
There is apparently no theoretical basis to support the traditional
to that in a REV,,,15 and that porosity is effective.
crossplot of the logarithm of permeability versus porosity.
Permeability is plotted as a log function only because it appears
to be lognormally distributed. However, correlation of two
206
SPE 26436 1.0. AMAEFULE, M. ALTUNBAY, D. TIAB, D.G. KERSEY AND D.K. KEELAN 3
The mean hydraulic radius (rmh) can be related to the surface area
per unit grain volume (Sgy) and effective porosity (~e) as follows: RQI
..................... (11)
~z
Sg, ~ HI ~'$J ~ r ~.(I ~'$J (5)
Substituting these variables into Eq. 8 and taking the logarithm of
Substituting Eq. 5 for rmh in Eq. 4, Kozeny and Carmen obtained both sides results in
the following relationship
10gRQI = log~z + 10gFZI (12)
k ~ (l ~~,)2 [z,:d (6) On a loglog plot of RQI versus ~z' all samples with similar F'Zl
values will lie on a straight line with unit slope. Samples with
different FZI values will lie on other parallel lines. The value of
where k is in !.lm 2 and ~e is a fraction. the FZI constant can be determined from the intercept of the unit
slope straight line at ~z = 1. Samples that lie on the same straight
The generalized form of the KozenyCarmen relationship is given
line have similar pore throat attributes and, \hereby, constitute a
by Eq. 7.
hydraulic unit.
k = ~~ [~J
(l  ~ e)
2
Fst S;v
(7) Alternative relationships that yield FZI values similar to those
derived from Eq. 12 have also been developed from Eq. 7 as
follows.
where Fs is the shape factor (2 is for a circular cylinder). The term
F st 2 has classically been referred to as the Kozeny constant. For If k (md), FZI (!.1m) and ~e (fraction), then
ideal, uniform, and unconsolidated rocks, Carmen 14 and
Leverett 16 computed the value of this term to be about 5.
However, Rose and Bruce 17 showed that this term (Fst 2) could k = 1014 (FZI)  ') ( ~~
(l  ~ e) 2
) (13)
vary from 5 to 100 in real reservoir rocks.
Ji ~ [1 ~'$~ [JF:~sJ (8) logk = log (~R) + log [1014 (FZI 2 )] (16)
~ 0.0314 Ji (9)
~ = 1014 (FZI) 2
~e
(_e_) = 1014(FZI)2(~
l~e
')
z
)2. (17)
~z
c\)
is defined as the pore volumetograin volume ratio.
log (:) = 210g~z + log [1014 (FZI) 2] (18)
$z ~ (10)
e
207
4 ENHANCED RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION: USING CORE AND LOG DATA TO SPE 26436
IDENTIFY HYDRAULIC (FLOW) UNITS AND PREDICT PERMEABILITY IN UNCORED INTERVALSIWELLS
A loglog plot of (k/<I» versus <l>z results in a straight line with a any given homogeneous population are approximately normally
slope of 2 and an intercept of <l>z = 1 of 1014 (FZI)2. As noted distributed. A probability plot of a unimodally and normally
earlier, all samples with similar FZI values belong to the same distributed variable often results in a straight line. In contrast, the
hydraulic unit and will, therefore, lie on the same straight line. existence of multiple. homogeneous subgroups· within a given
population often give rise to multimodal distributions and thus
results in multiple straight lines on a probability plot,22
Geological Significance of FZI Determination of the specific number of hydraulic units is
Statistical techniques based only on variations in permeability constrained by random errors in the porosity and permeability
have been used by previous investigators19 to zone the reservoir data used to compute FZI. The magnitude of the random errors
into layers. The problem is that these approaches ignored can be estimated by the root mean square technique. 23 Relative
geological attributes that control reservoir zonation.20 random errors in FZI computed from Eq. 21 were used to
establish the uncertainty envelopes around FZI trend lines. All
The Flow Zone Indicator (FZI) is a unique parameter that samples with the coefficient of variance (.1.FZIIFZI > 0.5) were
incorporates the geological attributes of texture and mineralogy in considered unreliable and therefore were not used in the hydraulic
the discrimination of distinct pore geometrical facies (hydraulic unit zonation process. The following parameters were used to
units). compute (.1.FZIIFZI),''in Eq. 21: (.1.k/k = 0.2; .1.<I>e = 0.5% (if <l>t is
used instead of <l>e' then.1.<I> = 1%)).
Data21 displayed on Figs. 2 and 3 demonstrate the excellent
correlation between Swr (from capillary pressure), surface area
(from NMR), weight percent of grains with sizes less than 30 .1.FZI .1.<1> ? 3  <I> ?
(   ) = ±O,5[() • (  ) + ()
.1.k 1°·5 ... (21)
microns (from wet sieve), and FZI. As expected, Swr decreased FZI <I> 1 <I> k
with increasing FZI (Fig. 2). The relationship between Swr and
FZI can be representedmathematlcally by the following
expression. Validation and Characterization of Hydraulic
Units: Case Histories
Swr = 1[a + bFZr
1 c J ' " .•.•.•....••. (19)
Confirmation of the validity of the proposed FZI technique for
identification of distinct pore geometrical (hydraulic) units is
provided by using a combination of the following technologies:
where a = 1.12, b = 0.5634, c = 1.44, and ~ = 0.998. The
relationship between SgV' W (weight percent grains less than 30 • Mineralogical and textural characteristics of each unit as
microns) and FZI can be represented by the following equation: determined from petrographic data (XRD, FfIR mineralogy,
thinsection photography and SEM)
X min • RQI stress sensitivity
Y = Y min + (YmaxYmin) FZI (20)
• Pore throat characterization as determined from mercury
injection and/or centrifuge capillary pressure.
Values of Ymin' Ymax' and X min are summarized in Table 1.
The size distribution of pore throat radii, determined from
In general, rocks containing authigenic pore lining, pore filling,
capillary pressure data, provides an independent method to
and pore bridging clays as well as fine grained, poorly sorted
corroborate the hydraulic unit zonation. The ratio of macro (r >
sands tend to exhibit high surface area and high tortuosity, hence
1.5 /lm) plus meso (0.5/lm < r < 1.5/lm) to micro (r < 0.5 /lm) is
low FZI (Table 3). In contrast, clean, coarse grained and well
an excellent delineator of hydraulic units.
sorted sands exhibit lower surface areas, lower shape factor, lower
tortuosity, and higher FZI values. In a related fashion, different Manipulation of Eqs. 37 yields the fundamental relationship
depositional environments and diagenetic processes control pore between FZI and the mean hydraulic radius (rmh):
geometry and FZI in carbonate rocks.
Hydraulic Unit Zonation Process log (rill") = log (FZl) + log (~t<l>z) ..... , ..... (22)
A detailed flowchart of the hydraulic unitization process is shown
in Fig. 4. This process involves the application of classical
Thus,
statistical techniques including histogram/frequency diagrams,
normality tests, cluster analysis, and error analysis for
discriminating the hydraulic units. A onedimensional FZI
frequency histogram coupled with a classical test for normal Y = mX, , , (23)
distribution were used to discriminate the distinct family of
hydraulic units. As documented by standard statistical rill}, r;;:
where X = FZI, Y =  , and m = slope =to.J Fs t.
textbooks,22 intrinsic and unimodally distributed variables within <l>z
208
SPE 26436 lO. AMAEFULE, M. ALTUNBAY, D. TIAB, D.G. KERSEY AND D.K. KEELAN 5
Fig. 5 provides the corroborative evidence of the soundness of the South East Asia
fundamental theory as depicted by the straight line in the center of Porositypermeability data from a clastic sequence from South
the plot of rm h/<1>z versus FZI. The slope is the product of JF: 't' East Asia were subjected to the hydraulic unitization process.
which is equal to 6.74. s Fig. 10 shows the existence of distinct hydraulic units within the
cored interval as determined from a loglog plot of RQI versus <1>zo
Four typical examples from clastic sequences in Texas, South The different curves depicted on this figure indicate the FZI
America, South East Asia, and West Africa as well as two average for each of the seven hydraulic units.
carbonate rock examples from West Texas and Canada are
presented to demonstrate the worldwide applicability of this Thin section photomicrographs24 of samples from the various
proposed technique. units shown on Figs. 11 to 15 substantiate the effectiveness of the
proposed zonation process. Notice the effect of texture and
mineralogy on the pore geometrical quality of the different units.
Field Examples of Clastic Reservoirs For instance, comparison of Figs. llA and lIB show the textural
and mineralogical similarity of hydraulic unit 1 taken from both
Travis Peak Formation, East Texas shallow and deep play samples. In.contrast, hydraulic unit 2 (Fig.
The first step in the verification of this hydraulic unit zonation 12) is typified by a very fine to fine grained texture and a much
method is to compare the crossplot of the log of permeability higher clay content (10%) than hydraulic unit 1 (5%). Hydraulic
versus porosity (Fig. 1). The log of permeability/porosity unit 3 (Fig. 13) from a deep play is charaC\terized by a coarse
crossplot shows wide dispersion around the regression line (e.g., siltstone to very fine grained sandstone with a total clay content of
permeability varies up to four orders of magnitude for a given 21 %, while hydraulic unit 4 (Fig. 14) is a medium grained
porosity} Thedispersion .is decreased when depositional siltstone with a higher clay content of 25%. The seventh (Fig. 15)
environments are superimposed onto the plot. Samples deposited and worst unit is a argillaceous siltstone with a total clay content
in the fluvial environment (lower interval) have higher of34%.
permeability values for given porosities than samples deposited in
the delta plain environment (Fig. 1). Replacement of the general West Africa
regression line with regression lines for the upper and lower Fig. 16 shows the classical log k versus <1> plot for a typical data set
intervals reduces the dispersion. from the Niger Delta. Seven distinct hydraulic units were
established within the cored interval by utilizing the proposed
Plotting the distIibution of the major diagenetic clays highlights
techniques. As previously observed, the permeabilityporosity
the impact of diagenesis on reservoir properties. Regardless of
relationship in the Niger Delta is also nonlinear and predictable
the depositional environment, the highest permeability values are
(Eq. 13). FZI ranged from 0.3 to well over 11 in these
associated with kaolinite, intermediate permeability values
depositionaVdiagenetic sequences. 'The variability of FZI in the
correlate with chlorite, and the lowest permeability values
Niger Delta rocks appears to be both texturally and
correlate with illite.
mineralogically controlled.
A loglog plot ofRQI versus <1>z for this data set (Fig. 6) shows the
Fig. 17 documents the intrinsic pore geometrical characteristics
existence of six distinct hydraulic units within the cored interval.
and reflects the effect of geological attlibutes (Figs. 18A to 18C)
Each hydraulic unit is characterized by a different average FZI
on hydraulic quality. For example, hydraulic unit 4 (FZI =4.83),
value. The influence of diagenesis has modified the original
which is a finegrained, moderately wellrounded and wellsorted
depositional parameters to give these multiple hydraulic units.
sand with a low clay content (l % kaolinite) (Fig. 18A), had the
following distribution of pore throat sizes: macro = 83%, meso =
South America 2%, and micro = 15%. In contrast, a sample from hydraulic unit
Porosity and permeability data generated on a typical South 5 (FZI =3.7), with a pore throat size distribution of macro =68%,
American clastic reservoir rock were used to compute RQI, <1>z' meso = 5%, and micro = 27%, is comprised of laminated, coarse
and FZI. A loglog plot of RQI versus <1>z (Fig. 7) shows five and fine grained sequences with angular, poorly sorted grains and
distinct hydraulic units within the cored interval. These units an intermediate clay content (5% kaolinite) (Fig. 18B). The worst
were discriminated by the previously discussed statistical quality hydraulic unit (FZI = 0.4), which is comprised of
techniques with the theoretical unit slope constraint. laminated, fine grained, well rounded, moderately sorted
sandstone sequences, had a high clay content (12% kaolinite and
Additionally, Fig. 8 shows the classical log k versus <1> plot after chlorite) (Fig. 18C) and a pore throat size distlibution of macro =
the zonation process. 'The permeability response equations were 22, meso = 29, and micro = 49%.
derived from Eq. 13. It is evident from this plot that permeability
is a nonlinear function of porosity, texture and mineralogy. The Porosity and pelmeability data determined at multiple net
differences between the hydraulic units was further verified by overburden pressures were used to characterize the RQI stress
wateroil capillary pressure data and cation exchange capacity sensitivity of each hydraulic unit. RQI was correlated to net
(CEC) per unit pore volume (Qy). It is evident on Fig. 9 that Qy overburden stress (a) by the following relationship:25
decreased with increasing FZI, thus manifesting the effect of clay
minerals on the rock's hydraulic quality.
209
6 ENHANCED RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION: USING CORE AND LOG DATA TO SPE 26436
IDENTIFY HYDRAULIC (FLOW) UNITS AND PREDICT PERMEABILITY IN UNCORED INTERVALS/WELLS
where bs = stress sensitivity factor, O'i = initial stress used for RQI i, Field Examples of Carbonate Reservoirs
and c =stress constant (20004000 psi).
West Texas
The crossplot of log permeability versus porosity shows the
scatter common in many carbonate reservoirs (Fig. 22). Zoning
For the Niger Delta clastic rocks, the RQI stress sensitivity (b s)
the interval into hydraulic units shows six distinct FZI groups
was correlated to FZI with the following parameters: Al = 1.39,
(Table 3). The grouping into six units is supported by
X =FZI, X o =FZImiu ' B 1 = 1.31, C 1 =0.96, D 1 =5.2, nl = 2.09,
independent geological andengineeringdata. In this example,··
with a coefficient of determination (R1 == .9999). In general, it was
petrology and mercuryinjection capillary pressure were
established that rocks from the same hydraulic unit (similar FZI)
performed on selected samples from each hydraulic unit.
exhibited similar RQI stress sensitivities (b s)' bs decreased with
, increasing FZI. Additionally, rocks with abundant macropore The effects of the depositional environment on pore throat
throats typically showed lower RQI stress sensitivities (b s < 0.05), attributes were examined. As expected in Paleozoic carbonate
in contrast to microporositydominated rocks that showed higher reservoirs, the overprint of diagenesis (Table 4) has significantly
bs values (b s > 0.05). altered the original depositional pore/grain relationships. The
slight correlation of mottling (i.e., bioturbation) with FZI shows
The classical J function is not adequate for differentiating the
the residual influence of the depositional environment on
various hydraulic units. This is because the J function only
reservoir quality.
normalizes capillary pressure with respect to porosity,
permeability and tortuosity, but does not include the effect of In comparison, diagenetic effects are directly related to FZI. An
surface area. Eq. 26 confirms this observation. inverse correlation (12 = 0.9999) of dolomite/calcite with FZI
results from the initial diagenetic development and subsequent
P~
partial dissolution of dolomite.
J = ~ = ~ ~ = RQI = _1_ (26) Porethroat size distributions were calculated from the capillary
O'cose r~$ rmll Jiis"C pressure data. The ratio of macropore to micropore throat sizes is
directly proportional to FZI.
It is for this reason that no global J function appears plausible for
normalization of capillary pressure. Hydraulic Units and Permeability Prediction
Therefore, a more generalized water saturation versus capillary from Core and Log Data
pressure model was developed based on the concept of the A typical Far East Asia example was used to demonstrate the
hydraulic unit. The proposed relationship (Eq. 27) is well integration of core and log data to identify hydraulic units and to
behaved. predict permeability. A flowchaIt of the process is shown on Fig.
23. Initially, the core depth was matched to the wireline log depth
by comparing the total/spectral gamma derived from log and core
data. Next the proposed zonation process was developed from
stressed core (porosity and Klinkenberg permeability) data from
the cored interval. Based on this process, six distinct hydraulic
As FZI tends to FZlmiu ' Sw approaches 1 as expected. Similarly, units were identified within the cored interval. The result of this
as Pc = Pd' Sw also approaches 1. However, as FZI or Pc zonation process is shown on the log k versus <1> plot in Fig. 24. As
approaches large values, Sw approaches the irreducible saturation expected, each pore geometrical family had similar average rmh
Swr Fig. 19 shows a typical Niger Delta example on the and FZI values.
application of the proposed model. This model has also been
210
SPE 26436 1.0. AMAEFULE, M. ALTUNBAY, D. TIAB, D.G. KERSEY AND D.K. KEELAN 7
Selection of the Wireline Data for the Derivation of The discrimination matrix created from the control well(s) is used
Transform Equations as a reference set (a set of histograms for every log for each
hydraulic unit) for the neighboring uncored well(s) to determine
Environmentally corrected wireline log data were selected based
the probability of having the same hydraulic unit in a given
on their ability to reflect the pore space attributes such as clays
prediction window. This then forms the basis for the qualitative
(type, abundance, location, morphology). porethroat geometry
predictions of hydraulic units in an uncored well.
and effective porosity. Individual wireline tool responses can not
be directly correlated with the porespace/throat attributes. Fig. 25 shows the output of a case study using the proposed
Therefore, a statistical evaluation of the correlation between
technique on a Far East Asia well in a typical logging trace with
wireline data and porespace/throat attributes is performed for eight tracks. The hydraulic unit numbers starting from the best to
each case. Selected log data are then used as variables in a the worst are assigned to the extreme right track (track 8). In the
transform equation to generate the permeability profiles. first well, the interval from X420 to X500 feet was cored. Data
from X420X472 were used to develop the hydraulic unit tracks
A set of environmentallycorrected wireline logging tool
and regression models from wireline logs. Hydraulic units were
responses (y, <l>W<l>D' <l>D' ~t. Rxo, R t ) were rankcorrelated to FZI
subsequently predicted for the section X472 to X500 and
using Spearman's Rho Statistical Technique. 25
permeability determined from the regression models for those
units. Without hydraulic unitization, permeability prt\.dicted from
Derivation of Regression Models for FZI and wireline logging tool response through the classical multilinear
Permeability correlation technique shows significant deviations from actual
A matrix of known core (FZI, RQI and k) values and measured values with ~ :=: .22 (Fig. 26). In contrast, permeability
corresponding wireline log responses is created for each hydraulic predicted fromthesamelogging tool responses after hydraulic
unit. A logarithmic filtering of the data is performed to normalize zonation (Fig. 27) exhibits excellent correlations (r2 > .999) with
the data distribution by calculating the logarithm of each variable. the actual measured values in the cored interval. Fig. 28 compares
Then, a matrix of the logarithms of normalized independent the permeability predicted from the classical log permeability vs.
variables and logarithm of the normalized dependent variable porosity crossplot to permeability derived from logging tool
(FZI, RQI or k) are generated. Quadratic. multilinear, or linear responses after hydraulic unitization using actual measured
models26 with modifications are then selected to form the basis permeability values in another interval. As is evident on this plot.
for the transform equations. The transformation matrix is the classical log permeability versus porosity correlation
standardized by subtracting the mean of each column from the underestimates permeability for k > 50 md in contrast to the
row variable itself and dividing the result by the standard proposed hydraulic unit controlled logderived permeability.
deviation of that column.
In a second uncored well. the proposed process was used to
Transform equations for each hydraulic unit were derived from predict the hydraulic unit profiles and to assign the regression
the models and assigned to the corresponding depth points based equations for permeability determination based on logging
on the hydraulic unit profile. parameters (Fig. 29). This hydraulic unit process also has been
successfully applied in the Norwegian North Sea for permeability
prediction. 28 More extensive theoretical developments dealing
Qualitative Predictions of Hydraulic Units for the
with clastic. carbonate and naturally fractured reservoirs can be
Uncored Sections found in TIab. 29
Qualitative predictions for the uncored sections of each well are
performed by using a probabilistic method with a deterministic
tool. The probabilistic method uses relationships implicit in the Conclusions
data to derive results. It does not require any assumption or
A new. practical and theoreticallybased technique has been
predetermined equations. Results are obtained by statistical developed to identify and characterize units with similar pore
inferences. The deterministic tool that complements this throat geometrical attributes (hydraulic units). This technique has
methodology is the hydraulic unitization process that has been a wide variety of practical field applications for both cored and
performed individually and independently on each well. uncored wells. These include:
Therefore, although it seems like a contradiction in terms, the
deterministic approach (i.e.. hydraulic units profile of the cored • Improved prediction of permeability and permeability
sections) enhances the reliability of the predictions of a distributions from wireline logs in partially cored/uncored
probabilistic tool, because it provides a reliable and intervals and adjacent wells
mathematically sound inference database. Probabilities are
computed from estimated distributions of each hydraulic unit by • Improved welltowell rock properties correlations for
application of the Bayes Theorem. 27 Level by level. transition refinement of petrophysical models
matrices were created and solved to establish a vertical • Forecasts reservoir rock quality (and formation damage
association between hydraulic units. Details of the probabilistic potential) in partially cored/uncored wells for improved
techniques are well documented. 27 completions and enhanced recovery decisions
211
8 ENHANCED RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION: USING CORE AND LOG DATA TO SPE 26436
IDENTIFY HYDRAULIC (FLOW) UNITS AND PREDICT PERMEABILITY IN UNCORED INTERVALSIWELLS
• Provides a unique parameter, the Flow Zone Indicator (FZI) 5. Stiles, J.H., Jr. and Hutfilz, J.M.: "The use of Routine and
for delineating the number of layers (hydraulic units) Special Core Analysis in Characterizing Brent Group
required for assignment of geological and petrophysical Reservoirs, U.K. North Sea," SPE 18388 (1988).
parameters in numerical simulators.
6. Chopra, AK., Stein, M.H. and Ader, J.e.: "Development of
The proposed hydraulic unit process has been successfully Reservoir Description to Aid in Design of EOR Project,"
applied worldwide for both clastic (East Texas, South America, SPE 16370, presented at the SPE California Regional
West Africa, South East Asia and Far East Asia) and carbonate meeting, Ventura, California (1987).
(Canada and West Texas) rocks.
7. Dorfman, M.H., Newey, J.1., and Coates, G.R.: "New
Techniques in Lithofacies Determination and Permeability
Nomenclature Prediction in Carbonates using Well Logs" (1990) 113120,
in Geological Applications of Wireline Logs, A Hurst, M.A
bs stress sensitivity factor
Lovell and Ae. Morton, Eds., Geological Society Special
c critical stress constant (20004000 psi)
Publication No. 48.
Fs = shape factor
Fs't2 = Kozeny constant 8. Dubrule, O. and Haldorsen, RH.: "Geostatistics for
k permeability (!lm 2 ) Permeability Estimation," Reservoir Characterization, L.W.
l' pore throat radius (!lm) Lake and H.B. Carroll, Jr. (eds.), Academic Press (1986)
rroh mean hydraulic radius (!lm) 223247.
RQI= Reservoir Quality Index (!lm)
(J overburden stress (psi) 9. Timur, A: "An Investigation of Permeability, Porosity and
(Jj initial overburden stress (psi) Residual Water Saturation Relationships," Trans. SPWLA
Sgv surface area per unit grain volume (!lm I ) Ninth Annual Logging Symposium (1968) Paper K.
Sw water saturation (fractional pore volume)
Swr irreducible water saturation (fractional pore volume) 10. Wendt, W.A, Sakurai, S. and Nelson, P.H.: "Permeability
~e effective porosity (fraction bulk volume) Prediction from Well Logs Using Multiple Regression,"
~R . reduced porosity index Reservoir Characterization, L.W. Lake and RB. Carroll, Jr.
~z pore volumetograin volume ratio (eds.), Academic Press (1986) 181221.
't tortuosity
11. Slatts, R.M. and Hopkins, G.L.: Scaling Geologic Reservoir
Description to Engineering Needs," JPT, v. 42, No. 2
Acknowledgments (February 1990) 202211.
The authors thank Core Laboratories Division of Western Atlas 12. Bird, R.B., Steware, W.E. and Lightfoot, E.N.: Transport
International for permission granted for the publication of this Phenomena, New York, Wiley (1960).
manuscript. Additional thanks are due to Cynthia Philipson for
technical editing and assistance in figure preparation and to 13. Kozeny, J.: "Uber Kapillare Leitung des Wassel'S im Boden,
Shelley Barnett for dedicated efforts in the preparation of this Sitzungsberichte," Royal Academy of Science, Vienna, Proc.
manuscript. Class I (1927) v. 136,271306.
212
SPE 26436 J.O. AMAEFULE, M. ALTUNBAY, D. TIAB, D.G. KERSEY AND O.K. KEELAN 9
20. Weber, K.J. and van Geuns, L.C.: "Framework for Table 1. Relationship between Surface
Constructing Clastic Reservoir Simulation Models," JPT v. Area, Weight Percent
42 No. 10 (October, 1990) 12481253 and 12961297. Grains < 30/l and FZI 21
21. Zemanek, J.: "LowResistivity HydrocarbonBearing Sand Surface Area Weight %
Reservoirs," SPE 15713, SPE Middle East Oil Show (1987) Parameter
(NMR) (Wet Sieve)
18597/SPEFE (Dec. 1989) 51521.
Y Sgv W
22. Taylor, J.K.: Statistical Techniquesjor Data Analysis, Lewis
Y max 153.50 m2/g 19.79%
Publishers, Inc., Michigan (1990).
Y min 2
16.92 m /g 13.68
23. Amaefule, J.O., and D.K. Keelan: "Stochastic Approach to
Computation of Uncertainties in Petrophysical Properties," X min 0.10 !Jm 0.80 !Jm
SCA Paper 8907 (1989) 128. R2 0.95 0.995
1 6436 7.9 21.87 0.522 6.090 faintly mottled; small anhydrite patches
2 6390 8.8 6.38 0.267 2.774 faintly mottled; small to large anhydrite patches; faintly to moderately laminated
3 6417 10.1 2.23 0.148 1.313 mottled to massive; small anhydrite patches; faint allochem ghosts
4 6491 10.4 1.43 0.116 1.005 massive to faintly laminated; bird's eye anhydrite; fine stylolites
5 6454 8.3 0.37 0.066 0.732 massive to faintly mottled; small anhydrite patches; common allochem ghosts
6 6621 19.4 0.76 0.062 0.258 massive to faintly mottled; small anhydrite patches; faint allochem ghosts; healed fractures
213
10 ENHANCED RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION: USING CORE AND LOG DATA TO SPE 26436
IDENTIFY HYDRAULIC (FLOW) UNITS AND PREDICT PERMEABILITY IN UNCORED INTERVALSIWELLS
• Upper Interval
l::J. Lower Interval
100l.~.,........".
Clay
Mor hology
0.8 ++41lI
10 ....... ""' ........
"E ,'
m
0
z 1.0 0.6
'0
~ ~
CD en
lIfI
CD 0.1
~
@
8
0.4
...
~
0.01
0.2
.....
0.001 ....I_4...........fJ4.L.+.+.,.+""""'T..,.....,i~r+.,.+
o 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.10 0.12 0.14 0.16 0.18
Porosity @ (Reservoir NOBI, fractlon
Fig. 1. Plot oflog permeability versus porosity (upper and lower intervals), 0.5 1.5 2.5
East Texas example. 25 FZI
214
100 100 ~
\
I \
90
I L C/)
\ .\ ~
I, 80
I V N
0\
\ \ Plot either
 log RQl vs. log $z
70
I / ~
VJ
0\
\
or
>
FZ/ = RQ/@$z = 1 :<:
a.
:c SO
/ 9
 e;/
E
~ l:9
;l>
\ ".. V FZ/=
Jk@$R=l
~
0::
40 ~
,./.
k
;l>
FZ/ = $@$z = 1 trJ
. . 30
~
s:r
..............
/eX
t"'"
I wt. % <30 microns
. . Delermine number of units.
Employ statistical applications
20 lT1
~
 histogram
10
,)
= ~.~. ;l>
V
y RQ/  lest for normality
k j ' $z,' RQ/o  clusler analysis t"'"
~
 error analysis
10 aa
0.5 1.5 2.5 Y = EXP(b e (lEXP((7»» 10 12 14 Z
FZI FZI ttl
where b = stress sensitivity factor CharaClerize the hydraulic units
;l>
 mineralogically and Iexturally
Fig. 3. Surface area per unit grain volume  stress sensitivity Fig. 5. Plot of rmh/$z versus FZI. ~><:
 pore throat geometry
(Sgv) and weight percent grains < 30  modified J function ~
microns versus FZI. 21 k_(a);$(a) ....,
f\)
...... compule ;;
CJ1 $
$z=q
10 ~.~ ttl
t:1
= 0.314~
HU1
HU2
FZI
FZI
= 4.00
= 2.00
RQ/
P
HU3 FZI = 1.50 FZI = RQ/ ~
HU4 FZI = 0.75 ~ trJ
HU5 FZI = 0.50 :;:&j
C/)
HUG FZI = 0.25 $3
$R = (1_$)2
trJ
><:
;l>
III
C
zt:1
ec.>
E t:1
Fig. 4. Flowchart for characterization of hydraulic units.
a0:: 0.1 I 7'
a0:: ~
I / / 71' 7' I
~
0.1 7£ trJ
t"'"
;l>
Z
0.01 I ci I I
0.01 0.1
0.01 I ' 0' , I
0.01 0.1
Phl(z)
....
....
Phi(z) Fig. 7. Crossplot of log RQI versus log $z
Fig. 6. Plot oflog RQI versus log $zfor East (South American example).
Texas.
10000
I
HU1
HU2 0.9 I< ,.....
1000 +J
HU3 o tv
HU4 ttl
IL HU5 0.8 Z
3
100 0.7 ~
~
:I:
"0 0.6 ~
E 10
~ 0
~ :::tl ttl
:g ~ 0.5 > Z
Q>
~
M c::: :I:
~ . ~ >
0 0.4 I<Z
n n
0.3
\ .. ttl
fJ 0
\
0.1
. o
~
~
... ... ..
0.2
en
0.01 ~ & [~ c::: ttl
0.1
. . """".; . " & i
. .. Z :::tl
I< <
& & &
3
en 0
I<
I' I
0.001 i i i .,
> :::tl
~
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 4 10
oZ
0.4
Porosity, fraction FZI, microns
en
~ n
Fig. 8. Crossplot of penneability versus Fig. 9. Cation exchange capacity (Qy) versus Fig. 10. Crossplot of penneability versus ~ :::tl
porosity for different hydraulic units FZI (South American example). porosity for different hydraulic units g ~
(South American example). (South East Asian example). n3 0
I\)
~
(j) ~ ~
~ c:::
~ ~
ttl Z
> a
~ n
~ 0
I< :::tl
~ ttl
Z >
Z
c::: 0
Z ~
n 0
o a
:::tl 0
>
ttl
o 3
Z>
tri
:::tl
d
<
Fig. 11A. Hydraulic Unit #1 (Shallow Play), Fine Fig. lIB. Hydraulic Unit #1 (Deep Play), Fine to Fig. 12. Hydraulic Unit #2 (Shallow Plan), Very >
~
to medium grained sandstone. «l> = medium grained sandstone. «l> = 28.9%, fine to fine grained sandstone. «l> = en en
29.9%, k = 712md
Total Clay = 5.0%
k= 813md
Total Clay =6.4%
29.0%, k = 308md
Total Clay = 10.0%
~~ tv~
(South East Asian example) (South East Asian example) (South East Asian example) ~ ~
en~
0\
en
rg
t'J
0\
~
w
0\
9
>
s::
Fig. 13. Hydraulic Unit #3 (Deep Play), Coarse Fig. 14. Hydraulic Unit #4 (Deep Play), Medium Fig. 15. Hydraulic Unit #7 (Deep Play), Very
>
t'I1
'Tj
siltstone to vary fine grained sandstone. grained siltstone. argillaceous siltstone. <\> = 9.9%, k =
<\> = 29.4%, k = 60md
Total Clay = 21.0%
<\> = 27.2%, k = 1O.2md
Total Clay = 25.0%
O.OOlmd
Total Clay = 34.0%
~~
(South East Asian example) (South East Asian example) (South East Asian example) ~
>
~
C
Z
t:ti
>
~<
~
100000 1.0 ,           , r         ,            ,
~
HU1 FZI = 10.5 :;
I\) HU2 FZI = 8.5
I t:ti
I~
......L
HU3 FZI = 7.011
...J HU4 FZI = 4.3 tj
10000
HU5 FZI = 2.5
HUG
HU7
FZI
FZI
= 1.0
= 0.3
0.8 ............... I "I
P
~
1000
I I 0.7 I ""'" ...... 1 'II... ",\ t'I1
:::'d
en
'U I '" 'f":\: ....... '< I Vi t'I1
E
0.6
<
~ >
:g 100 0.5 I ", I ",,\ I \ Z
41
tj
~
a. 0." o
10 ~
0.3 I '" ~ In, I
0.2
HU1
HU2
illt""'
HU4
HU5 >
Z
0.1 HUG
HU7
Fig. 16. Crossplot of Klinkenberg Fig. 17. Average pore throat size distribution
permeability versus porosity for various hydraulic units ......
w
(West Mrican example). (West Mrican example).
12
_ l'
I I
0.9 ,\\
o +:
10 tt1
0.8"\\ I I Z
>3
t;j
0.7 I \\\', I I I ~
::r:
0.6 I \'. '. '\: I ~
0
::0 tt1
I ·1 ~ 6 > Z
C ::r:
Fig. 18A. Hydraulic Unit 4, fine grained 0.41 \\ '\: I ....... oorL
>
t"""
sandstone. n Zn

Total Clay = 1% 0.31 ,,\. , ..... < I fJ 0tt1
(West African example) o ::0
0.2 I   ' 'J.. . . < ~ I ~ tt1
'" (,I)
~
C tt1
0.1 I I = t , I Z ::0
>3 <
10 100 1000
III ! II
0.5 1.5 %.5 3.5 4.5 5.5 1.5 7.5 1.5 1.5 10.5 11.5 12..5 13.5 14.5 15.5 >16
(,I)
>
Z 0
0

::0
PclPd
Class Interval o tt1
'i:l (,I)
Fig. 19. Sw versus nonnalized capillary Fig. 20. FZI versus class interval ::0 n
pressure fraction (Pc/Pd)
tI'J ~
(West African example).
(Canadian example).
S2 ~
1000 I n 
>3 0
I\)
....... 10000 i::ool HU1 FZl 5.18
I 'i:l
tI'J
::0 C
~
ex>
Hydraulic Unit 5, laminated fine and 100 I f   HU2 FZl 3.09 ~ ~
HU3 FZl 1.79
L...
lJ... tI'J Z
coarse grained sandstone. HU4
HU5
FZl
FZl
1.09
0.53 V > a
Total Clay = 5% 1000 , I 2" .:.;;7"
10 I
HU6 FZl 0.24
~ . /V ....V ~ n
t""" 0
(West African example) V
/" ~
L...
V V V V
/
V~ ~
 ::0tI'J
100 , :1': t' .r. I :::;;>'"""1
o
E
~1 I
/
./V
/:v l........ .... 0&
z z
>
'/
l.? V v
V V c 0
J~
~
V L( ~V
'C
E l Z t"""
j V V n 0
~

p
~ 10 I l /. ,'" /' / l/
v
c,
o a
J;;7o~ v:
f ::0 0
~ ~ V~
~ A ~ ?~ >
~ V k'
<9'
ell tTl
Q.
52 if' o >3
0:1 c,
~
~ Z >
0.1
~~~
/0
o 0
o 0
~ >3
J ::0 0
++1 I I I
0c,
<
0.1 MU .) 1'"£.1 = 1.01 0.01
J/ '/ >
t"""
(,I) (,I)
0\
(West African example)
Fig. 21. Crossplot of penneability versus Fig. 22. Crossplot of penneability versus
porosity (Canadian example). porosity for various hydraulic units
(West Texas example).
SPE 26436 J.O. AMAEFULE, M. ALTUNBAY, D. TIAB, D.G. KERSEY AND D.K. KEELAN 15
s
Depth match core and log data
1 POROSITY
PREDICT(O
PERI.lEABlllTY,md
FIRST PASS
AND
ESER'VOIR OUAl..JTY
INDEX
SAMPLE WEll.
HYDRAULIC UNITS
HU1"BesIOvolity
HU 7Wo"t Quality
.1 For each hydraulic unit, de\'elop regression r=_'''''l400 Pi'll (,..nstr'O'l) 60
models for FZI based on logging attributes
Compute RQI, q>l' FZI Phi (lolol)
in cored intervals/wells
from stressed q> and k
.1
~
Validate models in cored wells ROI(d.L.nnin.d)
Zone cored interval into hydraulic units 0.01 10
~
For each hydraulic unit
~
Rankcorrelate logging tool responses Verify statistic similarity of
(y, q>N  q>D' Ilt, R xo ' R l , etc.)with FZI hydraulic units in adjacent wells
using Spearman's RHO
statistical technique ~
~
Compute FZI in uncored wells
using the regression models
based on logging anributes
Compute statistical measures of dispersion
~
(mean, median, std. deviation) of all
logging variables and FZI
Calculate permeability
~ k = 1014 (FZI) 2 _ _
¢>3_
I in uncored wells
Fig. 23. Prediction of hydraulic units and permeability from core and
log data.
10000 . . . ,      .           ,       ,       ,
100 ++,t''7'!"'=~,..e_+::7"""l
'C
E 10 ++,~rhoI17!___::7i"'='~
~
:g
~
a.
0.1
0.01
0.001
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
Porosity, fraction
,.
1000.00
1
_.......  ·:~:~l·
'''''.''>
~t~
.j. CR 14010 Phi(".utrnn)6Q
Ptll(lutul}
kprwdicled. md
o ......
0\
I;~
Phi (_irK) trJ
fH++HH
Z
....,
rill "il Phi (een)
:2: ~ ;j
:5 100.00 m l!OI(dolonn"'...'
0.01 10
~
~
~ ~ O.D~(prwdletlld)IO
::r::
G
.1. 17 i
"tl
c: ~
0
l .17 "
:::) 10
~ trJ
'5
o
10
VI. J:
0
c:
> Z
C ::c:
] 10.00
] l" >
~
!
." ".. 1
n Zn
~
E
IJ ..,  trJ
.,; E fJ 0
~
~
17 0
~ fffffittbV7 o
~ en
~
.. 1.00
~
a. 0.1
"./ trJ
~ C trJ
II Z ~
v v  0<
....,
0.10
v 100.00 1000.00
0.01 k en 
>
Z 0
~
0.10 1.00
k.~. _
10.00
(core permeability)
0.01 0.1 1 10
k.. ...du...1. md (core permeability)
100 1000
o
"i:l
trJ
en
~ n
Fig. 26. Predicted penneability versus core Fig. 27. Predicted penneability with hydraulic ~
permeability without hydraulic
unitization (Far Eastern example).
unitization versus core penneability
(Far Eastern example). n 
otrJ
...., 0
"i:l
....,
"i:l ~
I\)
I\)
COMPARISON
~ C
o ~ ~
trJ Z
> a
~ n

l" 0
~ trJ
~
Z >
Z
C 0
Z l"
n 0
o a
~ 0
otrJ >
..,
Z
...., >
....,
trJ 0
~
<
100 >
l'
en en