Towards an integrated restoration/forward geomechanical modelling workflow for basin evolution prediction
Three Cliffs Geomechanical Analysis Ltd,
2 Swansea University, Swansea, UK
3 Chevron Energy Technology Company, 1500 Louisiana St, Houston, TX 77002, USA
* Corresponding author: e-mail: Tony@threecliffs.net
Accepted: 25 April 2018
Many sedimentary basins host important reserves of exploitable energy resources. Understanding of the present-day state of stresses, porosity, overpressure and geometric configuration is essential in order to minimize production costs and enhance safety in operations. The data that can be measured from the field is, however, limited and at a non-optimal resolution. Structural restoration (inverse modelling of past deformation) is often used to validate structural interpretations from seismic data. In addition, it provides the undeformed state of the basin, which is a pre-requisite to understanding fluid migration or to perform forward simulations. Here, we present a workflow that integrates geomechanical-based structural restoration and forward geomechanical modelling in a finite element framework. The geometry and the boundary kinematics derived from restoration are used to automatically create a forward geomechanical model. Iterative correction may then be performed by either modifying the assumptions of the restoration or modifying the restoration-derived boundary conditions in the forward model. The methodology is applied to two problems; firstly, a sand-box scale benchmark model consisting of sand sediments sliding on silicon leading to the formation of a graben structure; secondly, a field-scale thrust-related anticline from Niger Delta. Two strategies to provide further constraint on fault development in the restoration-derived forward simulation are also presented. It is shown that the workflow reproduces the first order structural features observed in the target geometry. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the iterative approach provides improved understanding of the evolution and additional information of current-day stress and material state for the Niger Delta Case.
© A.J.L. Crook et al., published by IFP Energies nouvelles, 2018
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