A New Kinematic Tool for Petroleum System Modeling in Complex Structural Settings: Application to the Foothills Region of Kurdistan
Marie Callies, Romain Darnault, Zahie Anka, Tristan Cornu, Edouard Le Garzic[5,6], Françoise Willien, Romain Giboreau, Nicolas Mouchot
1. Beicip-Franlab, Rueil-Malmaison, France
2. IFPEN, Rueil-Malmaison, France
3. TOTAL E&P, Exploration Excellence Division, Paris La Défense, France
4. TOTAL R&D Frontier Exploration, Pau, France
5. LFC-R, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Pau Cedex, France
6. Group of Dynamics of the Lithosphere, Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
This paper was prepared for talk at the Geological Society Event – Fold and Thrust Belts: Structural style, evolution and exploration, held in London, UK, 31 October - 2 November 2017.
Petroleum system modeling is today recognized as a critical step in exploration workflows. However, fold and thrust belt regions are particularly challenging as most of basin modeling tools do not accurately manage the combination of lateral and vertical tectonic displacements. In basins where hydrocarbon expulsion from source rocks is prior or simultaneous to compressive tectonics, there is a need for a more accurate modeling approaches integrating active faulting, folding and fluid flow (hydrocarbon and water). In these complex areas indeed, the reconstruction of basin burial and geometry, faults connectivity and fluids movements through time implies accounting for the actual horizontal deformation, and requires an appropriate methodology for explorationists. New workflows linking structural-restoration packages to basin modeling tools have thus emerged in the industry in the past years, albeit with strong limitations which impact their operational use.
This communication discusses these limitations from a practical point of view and presents a new workflow intending to overcome these problems with a new 2D kinematic tool designed specifically for basin modeling purposes. Honoring both structural geology and basin modeling constraints, this tool aims at producing easily and rapidly consistent geological scenarios to feed new generation basin simulators. In addition to classic geometrical reconstruction methods, a new mechanical engine taking into account compaction and rock mechanical properties is available along with several deformation models. The ability to provide geologically valid results in all structural contexts and an intuitive definition of deformation parameters to optimize productivity constitute the core of the tool. Dynamic mesh deformation is guaranteed through the model topology preservation as restoration work progresses.
An application case from the Kurdish foothills is used to illustrate this new technology and its ability to quickly generate tens of paleo-sections continuously deformed for basin modeling simulation. Foothills are typical regions where classic approaches do not apply and where explorationists use, when possible, time-consuming methodologies to evaluate petroleum systems. This example shows to what extent this new approach allows easily increasing basin models structural complexity while meeting the industrial operations constraints, both in terms of execution time and results quality.