Reservoir Characterisation and
Improved Oil Recovery

Program Manager: Dr Lincoln Paterson (CSIRO)
NCPGG Coordinator: Dr Nick Lemon

Defining the properties and heterogeneity of petroleum reservoirs is an industry-wide problem that is highly significant for investment, development and reservoir management decisions. Data are limited, measured on different scales, and key components may be sparse or omitted.

The problem ranges from spatial distributions of porosity and permeability through to multiphase dynamic relative permeability and capillary pressure. Measurements are made at scales that range from the core and the well log to the seismic scale, or measurements are not made and have to be estimated. The problem is to combine these measurements and implement them at the scale of the reservoir simulation gridblock.

This research program aims at an integrated approach to reservoir characterisation and improved oil recovery. A range of overlapping specific activities that include such things as laboratory measurements of core-scale heterogeneity and network modelling through to developing the necessary scale-up rules for two and three-phase displacements in addition to integrating data from various sources. Each of these activities have stand-alone deliverables which will be transferred into practice in their own right. However, the strength of the program is contained in the multidisciplinary approach that the APCRC can deliver.

Pore Level Reservoir Characterisation
Project Leader: Dr Nick Lemon
Research personnel: Dr Nick Lemon, Dr Ghazi Kraishan
Funding: APCRC

Several projects are underway to improve the understanding of diagenesis on reservoir quality. One line of study follows from the discontinued project on chlorite occurrences. That project concentrated on greensand reservoirs, known to have highly variable characteristics over short distances, from reservoir to seal. The controls on the reservoir potential are the amount and compactability of the glaucony grains and the amount and distribution of siderite cements. A breakthrough has been made in the understanding of siderite cements, linking them to the availability of oxidised iron on the sea floor. Goethitic iron is available when glaucony is oxidised and a class of bacteria use iron reduction as an energy source, precipitating siderite in the process. As there are obvious links between siderite cement and exposure surfaces, hardgrounds can confidently be used in sequence analysis.

MSc project: Petrographic Image Analysis as a Tool to Quantify Porosity and Cement Distribution.
MSc student: John Nejedlik
Supervisors: Dr John Kaldi, Dr Nick Lemon, Prof Val Pinczewski (Uni of NSW)
Funding support: APCRC
Scholarship support: APCRC