Upscaling uncertainty analysis in a shallow-marine environment

Karl D. Stephen*, Canghu Yang, Jonathan N. Carter, John A. Howell, Tom Manzocchi, Arne Skorstad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Gecological models are often created at a scale finer than is suitable for flow simulation and also ignore the effects of sub-cellular heterogeneities. Upscaling of static and dynamic reservoir properties is an important process that captures the impact of smaller scales, ensuring that both heterogeneity and the flow physics are represented more accurately. A Geopseudo upscaling approach for shallow-marine reservoirs is presented, which captures the essential flow characteristics across a range of scales from laminae to the simulation grid. Starting with a base-case set of minimum assumptions enables generation of one set of pseudo-relative permeability and capillary pressure curves per facies. This is then expanded to investigate the limitations of these assumptions and compare their impact against variations in large-scale geological and structural parameters. For the analysis, two-level full factorial experimental design is used to determine important parameters. A comparison of upscaling effects is also performed. The most important upscaling and fine-scale parameters identified by the analysis are the shape of the capillary pressure curve, lamina-scale permeability variation and upscaling flow speed. Of similar importance are the sedimentological parameters for shoreline aggradation angle and curvature. Fault direction (perpendicular and parallel to the shoreline) and the fine-scale upscaling method are of moderate to low importance. The shallow-marine parameter for clinoform barrier strength and the direction of flow considered when upscaling are unimportant. Analysis of upscaling effects suggests that the algorithm used at the intermediate scale is not important, while the assumed flow speed is very important, typically resulting in a 10% maximum variation in cumulative recovery. Fine-scale properties and upscaling methods affect recovery mostl due to increased initial water saturations but also because of early breakthrough.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-84
Number of pages14
JournalPetroleum Geoscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • Geopseudos
  • Sedimentary structures
  • Shallow marine
  • Uncertainty
  • Upscaling


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