Skip to main content

Development of complex layered and fractured reservoir models for reservoir simulation


The link between the geostatistical modeling of multiscale carbonate heterogeneities and representative simulation flow models remains a challenge because conventional upscaling procedures often disregard the complex dynamic behavior that links the geostatistical static properties, dynamic rock/fluid data and reservoir operational conditions. This work proposes a methodology to build robust simulation models for naturally fractured carbonate reservoirs with multiscale geological characterizations. The development of this work follows three main steps: (1) hierarchical upscaling procedure by flow units, (2) integration of flow units into a reservoir-scale simulation model, (3) validation of simulation model. The hierarchical upscaling procedure was applied to three inter-well regions and extrapolated to three flow units. The proposed workflow is applied to a reservoir based on a combination of real and synthetic data from a Brazilian offshore carbonate reservoir. The methodology shows several advantages: it represents static and dynamic behavior from multiscale heterogeneities in reservoir simulation; it minimizes risk in the selection of well position and completion through well characterization of representative static and dynamic data for each flow unit; and, improved selection process for the simulation flow model. The methodology shows that the relative permeability defined in reservoir simulation can be different from the laboratory measured curve because it needs to match the dynamic behavior from the reference solution. This result shows that a proper characterization and upscaling approach are crucial to sufficiently represent geological heterogeneous scenarios in reservoir simulation. The methodology we present here is useful for multidisciplinary areas of expertise as it ensures the appropriate link between the fine scale geomodelling and the coarser scale reservoir simulation, considering the development of complex carbonate reservoirs.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17
Fig. 18
Fig. 19
Fig. 20
Fig. 21
Fig. 22
Fig. 23
Fig. 24
Fig. 25
Fig. 26
Fig. 27
Fig. 28
Fig. 29
Fig. 30


  1. Agada S, Chen F, Geiger S, Toigulova G, Agar S, Shekhar R, Benson G, Hehmeyer O, Amour F, Mutti M, Christ N, Immenhauser A (2014) Numerical simulation of fluid-flow processes in a 3D high-resolution carbonate reservoir analogue. Petroleum Geoscience 20:125–142

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Agar S, Geiger S (2015) Fundamental controls on fluid flow in carbonates: current workflows to emerging technologies. Geolog Soc London Spec Pub 406:1–59

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Amaefule JO, Altunbay M, Tiab D, Kersey DG, Keelan DK (1993) Enhanced reservoir description: using core and log data to identify hydraulic (flow) units and predict permeability in uncored intervals/wells, SPE 26435, Annual technical conference and exhibition, Houston

  4. Barenblatt GE, Zheltov IP, Kochina IN (1960) Basic Concepts in the Theory of Homogeneous Liquids in Fissured Rocks. Journal of Applied Mathematical Mechanics (USSR) 24:852–864

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  5. Bear J (1972) Dynamics of fluids in porous media. Courier Corporation, New York 764p

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  6. Beltrão, R. L. C., Sombra, C. L., Lage, A. C. V. M., Fagundes Netto, J. R., Henriques, C. C. D., 2009. Challenges and New Technologies for the Development of the Pre-Salt Cluster, Santos Basin, Brazil. OTC 19880, Offshore Technology Conference, Texas, 4–7 May

  7. Bourbiaux, B., 2010. Fractured Reservoir Simulation: A Challenging and Rewarding Issue. Oil and Gas Science and Technology – Rev. IFP, v. 65, No.2, pp. 227–238

  8. Chandra V, Barnett A, Corbett P, Geiger S, Wright P, Steele R, Milroy P (2014) Effective integration of reservoir rock-typing and simulation using near-wellbore upscaling. Mar Pet Geol 67:307–326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Corbett, P. W. M., 2013. The role of Geoengineering in Oil field Development: Chapter 8 in Gomes et al., Eds “New Technologies in Oil and Gas Industry”. ISBN 980-1-56080-153-5

  10. Corbett PWM (2009) Petroleum Geoengieering: integration of Static and Dynamic Models. SEG/EAGE Distinguished Instructor Series 12:100p

    Google Scholar 

  11. Corbett PWM, Estrela R, Shoier A, Morales A, Boghi L (2016) Integration of cretaceous Morro do Chaves rock properties (NE Brazil) with the Holocene Hamelin Coquina architecture (Shark Bay, Western Australia) to model effective permeability. Petroleum Geosci 22:105–122

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Corbett PWM, Potter DK (2004) Petrotyping: a basemap and atlas for navigation through permeability and porosity data for reservoir comparison and permeability prediction. International Symposium of the Society of Core Analysts. Abu Dhabi, UAE, 5–9 October

  13. Correia MG, Maschio C, Schiozer D (2015) Integration of multiscale carbonate reservoir heterogeneities in reservoir simulation. J Petrol Sci Eng 131:34–50

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Cosentino L (2001) Integrated Reservoir Studies. Editions Tecnip, Paris Cedex 310p

    Google Scholar 

  15. Ebanks WJ, Scheihing MH, Atkinson CD (1992) Flow units for reservoir characterization. In: Morton-Thompson D, Woods AM (eds) Development geology reference manual. Methods in exploration series 10, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, pp 282–284

  16. Deutsch CV (2002) Geostatistical Reservoir Modelling. Oxford University Press, New York 376p

    Google Scholar 

  17. Fitch PJR, Jackson MD, Hampson GJ, John CM (2014) Interaction of stratigraphic and sedimentological heterogeneities with flow in carbonate ramp reservoirs: impact of fluid properties and production strategy. Petroleum Geoscience 20:7–26

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Gunter G, Finneran J, Hartmann D, Miller J (1997) Early determination of reservoir flow units using an integrated petrophysical method. SPE 38679, Annual technical conference and exhibition, San Antonio, Texas

  19. Hearn CL, Ebanks WJ, Tye RS, Ranganathan V (1984) Geological factors influencing reservoir performance of the Hartzog draw field, Wyoming. J Petrol Technol 36(8):1–335

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Oda M (1985) Permeability Tensor for Discontinuous Rock Mass. Geotechnique 35(4):483–495

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Rangel-German ER, Kovscek AR, Akin S (2010) Time-dependent shape factors for uniform and non-uniform pressure boundary conditions. Transport of Porous Media 83(3):591–601

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Ringrose PS, Bentley M (2015) Reservoir model design: a practitioner´s guide. Springer, Berlin, p 249

    Google Scholar 

  23. Strijker G, Bertotti G, Luthi S (2012) Multi-scale fracture network analysis from an outcrop analogue: a case study from the Cambro-Ordovician clastic succession in Petra, Jordan. Mar Pet Geol 38:104–116

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Sun S, Sloan R (2003) Quantification of uncertainty in recovery efficiency predictions: lessons learned from 250 mature carbonate fields. SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 5–8 October

  25. Warren, J. E., Root, P.J., 1963. The Behavior of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.SPE Journal, September, p. 245-255

  26. Whitaker FF, Felce GP, Benson BS, Amour F, Mutti M, Smart PL (2015) Simulating flow through forward sediment model stratigraphies: insights into climatic control of reservoir quality in isolated carbonate platforms. Petrol Geosci 20:27–40

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors are grateful to the Center of Petroleum Studies (Cepetro-Unicamp/Brazil), PETROBRAS S/A, UNISIM and the Petroleum Engineering Department (DEP-FEM-Unicamp/Brazil) for their support of this work. The authors are also grateful to Schlumberger Information Solution for the use of Petrel®, and CMG for the use of IMEX.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Manuel Gomes Correia.

Additional information

Technical Editor: Celso Kazuyuki Morooka.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Correia, M.G., Maschio, C. & Schiozer, D.J. Development of complex layered and fractured reservoir models for reservoir simulation. J Braz. Soc. Mech. Sci. Eng. 39, 219–233 (2017).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Carbonate reservoir
  • Dual porosity
  • Multiscale heterogeneities
  • Reservoir simulation