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Grid-free Facies Modelling of Inclined Heterolithic Strata in the McMurray Formation Open Access


Other title
Grid-free Facies Modeling
McMurray Formation
Facies Modeling
Object-based Modeling
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Mohammad Hassanpour, Rahman
Supervisor and department
Deutsch, Clayton (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Nouri, Alireza (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Chen, John (Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary)
Duesch, Clayton (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Gingras, Murray (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Leung, Juliana (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Boisvert, Jeff (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mining Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The McMurray Formation contains complex geological features that were partially formed in a fluvial-estuarine depositional environment. These geological features that are interrelated to each other exist with different shapes, patterns, and sizes. The inclined heterolithic strata (IHS) formed as part of kilometer scale channels contain continuous centimeter scale features that are important for flow characterization of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) recovery processes. Modelling the detailed facies in such depositional systems requires a methodology that integrates the shape and size of geological architectures and reflects heterogeneity over many scales. Object-based and event-based modelling provide the framework to integrate geological architectures into geostatistical facie models however, representation of geological architectures with discretized grid would result in the loss of small scale heterogeneity. This dissertation presents algorithms and workflows on grid-free modelling that allows modelling of multi-scale geological features without relating them to a grid system. The contributions of this work include 1) the development of a stochastic object-based algorithm for modelling of tidal channelized systems, 2) the development of a grid-free object-based algorithm that allows modelling of multi-scale geological features in the McMurray Formation, and 3) the construction of a grid-free training image library for the application of McMurray Formation facies modelling. The details of algorithms and workflows are discussed. The performance of the proposed methodology is compared to conventional geostatistical modelling techniques through thermal flow simulations.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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