AAPG/Hedberg Conference on Carbonate Reservoir Characterization

Conference Goals:

Encourage cross-disciplinary discussion and sharing of experience in describing, quantifying, and modeling petroleum reservoirs in carbonate rocks. Particular emphasis will be placed on:

Field development case histories involving reservoir characterization
Workflows from conceptual models to flow simulation
Results-oriented presentations (OOIP or reserves changes ascribed to reservoir characterization or simulation)
Modeling reservoir heterogeneity on the basis of limited hard data
Critical factors for simulating fluid flow
Unique aspects of carbonate reservoirs
Integration of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and reservoir engineering


Constructing geocellular and flow simulation models of carbonate reservoirs commonly requires workflows and methods somewhat different from those used to model siliciclastic reservoirs. In contrast to sandstones, carbonate reservoirs have more variable stratal architecture, increased vertical and lateral heterogeneity, more complex pore networks and diagenetic histories, and different responses to structural deformation. Successfully capturing these details and preserving them through upscaling is the key to creating flow models that can be reliably matched to production history and run in forward-mode to predict production profiles.

This conference will consist of presentations to small groups, in order to facilitate discussion. Each presenter will have space to include core, posters, or other supporting material. In addition, field trips to classic carbonate outcrops will be offered mid-week and at the end of the conference. Particular value is placed on having engineers participate in the outcrop discussions with their geoscience colleagues. Planned excursions include:

Franklin Mountains (karst breccias in Ordovician Ellenburger Fm.)
Sacramento Mountains (large-scale Mississippian/Pennsylvanian mound heterogeneity and geometry)
McKittrick Canyon + Carlsbad Caverns (basinal slope, fore-reef, reef crest, back-reef facies)
Algerita Escarpment (San Andres stratiform reservoirs) + optional visit to Carlsbad Caverns

Session topics may include:

Case histories (results-focused)
Workflows (process-focused)
Stochastic vs deterministic modeling (and upscaling issues)
Fractures in flow models
Application of outcrop analogs in reservoir simulation
Critical factors in flow simulation
Reservoir characterization methods
Reconciling geology to fluid flow

Location: El Paso, Texas

Date: March 15, 2004, 8 a.m. - March 18, 2004, 5:30 p.m.