Reservoir Characterization and Modeling

Reservoir Characterization and Modeling


This course is designed for graduate students in geology, geophysics, and engineering.  Senior-level undergraduates may take the course with permission from the instructor.  It is anticipated that the students in this class will be quite diverse.  As such, the course utilizes a team-structure, where each student will contribute their expertise within their discipline. Students get hands on experience building models of heterogeneity from the subsurface and outcrop and using fluid flow simulation to investigate the impact of heterogeneity on oil recovery.  The course will be structured in four parts:

  1. Introduction to reservoir characterization
  2. Background on basic rock and fluid properties
  3. Study of different depositional environments and their controls on the spatial distribution of rock and fluid properties,
  4. Perform a reservoir characterization and modeling study using data collected from an outcrop (weekend fieldtrip to the Book Cliffs near Green River)


By the end of this course, students will be able to

  • Use data derived from commonly available subsurface exploration tools to elucidate reservoir rock and fluid properties,
  • Describe and interpret reservoir scale heterogeneity from an outcrop,
  • Build a model that captures observed heterogeneity from subsurface data or outcrop interpretations (reservoir characterization), quantify the volume of fluid in place (static modeling) and predict multi-phase fluid flow through the model (dynamic modeling),
  • Predict the impact of spatially variable rock and fluid properties (heterogeneity) on the amount and distribution of oil volumes in a reservoir and how heterogeneity will impact fluid production,
  • Have the tools to quantify the impact of uncertainty associated with rock and fluid property heterogeneity on volumes of oil in place and recovery of those fluids.
  • Have the skills, tools and confidence to work in an interdisciplinary team.
  • Have a working knowledge of how to use Petrel and Eclipse.