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Facies analysis, correlation, and reservoir prediction in nonmarine–shallow marine strata: Cretaceous Straight Cliffs Formation, Kaiparowits Plateau, Utah

The proposed research has two complementary emphases: proximal stratigraphy (alluvial and fluvial strata to the west) and marginal marine stratigraphy (shoreface, tidal, and estuarine deposits to the east). Both efforts share the same basic goals and outcomes, summarized below. First and foremost, we seek to use excellent outcrops of marine to nonmarine facies to create detailed 3D facies and stratigraphic interpretations. These results inform ongoing regional stratigraphic correlations, training image generation for multiple-point modeling workflows or rules for rules-based modeling workflows, and reservoir flow connectivity analysis. Products include a combination of descriptive, quantitative, and spatially correct databases, and inputs and workflows for building predictive reservoir models. We seek to provide 'plug-in' deliverables that can be readily integrated into company exploration and production efforts.


Summary: Research Goals

  • Field-based facies interpretations, stratigraphic correlations across the study area.
  • Regional correlations and sequence stratigraphy: draw conclusions regarding relationships (if any) between downdip and updip stratigraphy, emphasis on predictive elements. Investigate along-strike variations.
  • Provide inputs for geostatistical modeling; create ground-truthed 3D geocellular models, training image(s) and best parameters for multiple-point simulation and/or rules for rules-based workflows, and flow connectivity analysis.

Summary: Outcomes and Deliverables

  • Regular field trips and review meetings in Houston as requested; on-demand access to ongoing research results.
  • Potential for direct collaboration with business units working in analogous settings.
  • Strengthened recruiting relationships and industry-academic partnership.
  • Updates provided annually via secure website:
    • Illustrated facies models (PPTs).
    • Field documentation: cross sections, fence diagrams, gigapan facies maps, etc.
    • Quantitative database cataloging the size, shape, orientation, geometric and connectivity relationships of architectural and reservoir elements.
    • Virtual basin reconstructions using spatially correct digital models – e.g., SiroVision photogrammetry and lidar.
    • True-scale, deterministic outcrop model(s).
    • Flow-based connectivity analysis of architectural element control on reservoir connectivity for different recovery processes using deterministic outcrop model(s).
    • Optimized workflows to generate predictive reservoir models.


Phase I Sponsors (2012-2014)

conocophillips       shell       logoChevron       Statoil  Hess

Phase II Sponsors (2015-2017)

conocophillips       shell     Hess

Kaiparowits Sneak Peak

Location map of past and present studies along the Kaiparowits Plateau. Currently we have 4 active students working in the area and have admitted 4 more for the Fall of 2012.

GigaPan Interpretation of the fluvial architecture of Rock House Cove. This GigaPan has been Georeferenced in GoogleEarth and is available as a KMZ file.

This is an image of some tests that Dr. Cari Johnson has performed with her students to collect LIDAR and georeference it in GoogleEarth.  Digital data collection and georeferencing of data is on of our active area of researchs.

S5 Box