SBED Biogenic Structure Modeling
Author: subsurfaceAI

SBED™ Biogenic Structure Modeling accurately simulates the activities of burrowing organisms on reservoir facies at the lamina scale and estimates their effects on petrophysical properties using flow-based upscaling.  Bioturbation within a substrate can add to sedimentary heterogeneity and alter horizontal and vertical permeability. Understanding the subtle changes in permeability that can result from biogenic structures within sediments is an important concern for operators working IOR and EOR projects, such as steam-assisted gravity drainage and CO2 sequestration.

SBED captures the effects on petrophysical characteristics of reservoir facies through modeling key bioturbation features including trace fossil morphology, presence or absence of burrow linings, nature of burrow fills, burrow size, and bioturbation intensity.  Biogenic structures are modeled as 3D objects of varying dimensions and orientations, which are superimposed on process-oriented stochastic models. Specific permeabilities can be assigned to primary burrows, burrow rims and host lithologies and multiple realizations can be generated to quantify parameter variability.

The impact of biogenic structures on estimates of effective directional permeability can be captured by varying model parameters including orientation, abundance, diversity, and permeability in burrows and burrow rims. SBED uses flow-based upscaling to accurately calculate the effective directional permeabilities for reservoir facies with bioturbation. SBED models can include multiple bedding structures both with and without bioturbation.

Case study: Bioturbation and Its Effects on Permeability in Wave-Dominated Shoreface Rocks of the Spring Canyon Member, Blackhawk Formation, Utah, USA