Discontinuum Modelling of Vuggy Carbonates

  • Author / Creator
    Ornes, Alma I
  • The Grosmont Formation in Alberta is a heterogeneous carbonate reservoir of current interest for bitumen extraction, specifically within the vuggy porosity unit. The current research addresses the effects of vugs on the strength and stiffness of carbonate samples under uniaxial compression. Particle Flow Code 3D (PFC3D), a discontinuum modelling technique, is used to evaluate vuggy carbonate samples with different vug volumes, shapes, and locations. This thesis also presents a carbonate testing workflow, which combines computed tomography, laboratory testing, and PFC3D modelling. The workflow is evaluated with laboratory experiments on six vuggy carbonate samples from the Grosmont Formation. The workflow successfully generates samples with the correct vuggy geometry; yet the PFC3D simulations over-predict the laboratory results by 24 to 163% for the uniaxial compression strength. Future research on the calibration of PFC3D material for various scales is recommended to further the understanding of up-scaling carbonate properties for heterogeneous reservoirs.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.