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pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 163, Issue 5–6, pp 1175–1192 | Cite as

Upscaling: Effective Medium Theory, Numerical Methods and the Fractal Dream

  • Y. Guéguen
  • M. Le Ravalec
  • L. Ricard
Article

Abstract

Upscaling is a major issue regarding mechanical and transport properties of rocks. This paper examines three issues relative to upscaling. The first one is a brief overview of Effective Medium Theory (EMT), which is a key tool to predict average rock properties at a macroscopic scale in the case of a statistically homogeneous medium. EMT is of particular interest in the calculation of elastic properties. As discussed in this paper, EMT can thus provide a possible way to perform upscaling, although it is by no means the only one, and in particular it is irrelevant if the medium does not adhere to statistical homogeneity. This last circumstance is examined in part two of the paper. We focus on the example of constructing a hydrocarbon reservoir model. Such a construction is a required step in the process of making reasonable predictions for oil production. Taking into account rock permeability, lithological units and various structural discontinuities at different scales is part of this construction. The result is that stochastic reservoir models are built that rely on various numerical upscaling methods. These methods are reviewed. They provide techniques which make it possible to deal with upscaling on a general basis. Finally, a last case in which upscaling is trivial is considered in the third part of the paper. This is the fractal case. Fractal models have become popular precisely because they are free of the assumption of statistical homogeneity and yet do not involve numerical methods. It is suggested that using a physical criterion as a means to discriminate whether fractality is a dream or reality would be more satisfactory than relying on a limited data set alone.

Keywords

Upscaling Effective Medium Numerical Methods Fractals 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Guéguen
    • 1
  • M. Le Ravalec
    • 2
  • L. Ricard
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de GeologieEcole Normale SuperieureParisFrance
  2. 2.Institut Français de PetroleIFPFrance

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