Ecopetrol, Colombia's biggest petroleum company, is among the 40 largest oil companies in the world and one of the top four companies in Latin America. Besides Colombia, where it accounts for 60% of national production, the company has a presence in exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru and the United States (Gulf of Mexico).
After many years of oil production in the Middle Magdalena Valley basin (located in central Colombia), and based on the results of recent drilling campaigns, Ecopetrol felt that various reservoirs in the basin had not been accurately mapped, leading to sub-optimal exploitation.
The Middle Magdalena Valley basin has evolved through many stages, resulting in a complex structural and stratigraphic framework. The main challenge for Ecopetrol was to understand the geometry and kinematics of the basin, provide new insight into the tectonic setting, and gain a clearer picture of the migration and trapping of hydrocarbons in the various reservoirs.
Paradigm® was asked by Ecopetrol to undertake a project that would create an accurate image of the reservoir and add information regarding the location of potential resources.
Paradigm performed the project using its SKUA® sub-surface modeling technology, which is designed to support a full workflow, from seismic to simulation, in one integrated environment. The pillar-less technology embedded in SKUA allows the geologist to take into account all interpreted horizons and faults, together with well markers, with no need to simplify the data to fit technologies that cannot handle high levels of complexity. SKUA enables the creation of an accurate structural and stratigraphic static reservoir model, which in turn provides a more reliable model for reservoir properties modeling and simulation workflows.
Previous studies had not succeeded in associating information from the 185 wells (23 stratigraphic units) and seismic interpretation data (inverse faulting and main horizons) in a unique 3D geologic model. By building a precise stratigraphy column from well markers, seismic interpretation and the deposition mode, this unique full 3D approach provided a true representation of the complexity of the reservoir, through an accurate static model.
For more details regarding the workflow steps in this project, please click here.
The first result of this project was a validated, accurate, structural and stratigraphic model containing 22 stratigraphic units which honored both the seismic interpretation and the well markers. The geologic grid created from the final structural model honored both the geology and the stratigraphy. A solid statistical analysis of the petrophysical well properties was delivered, as were property models honoring sedimentology and petrophysical data.
“The SKUA modeling solution was able to provide us with new and accurate information about reservoir volumetrics in the Middle Magdalena Valley,” said Carlos Chaparro, head of the Enhanced Recovery Department at Ecopetrol. “This information enhanced our confidence when making drilling decisions, since we knew it was based on advanced technology that took all the data into account. In addition, the Paradigm consultant worked at our office daily in order to ensure that the study was carried out efficiently. This gave us the feeling that Paradigm was a true partner, working side by side with us to obtain the best possible results before deadline.”