Zhuoheng Chen, Geological Survey of Canada (Canada)
Kirk Osadetz, Geological Survey of Canada (Canada)
Suyun Hu, PetroChina (China)
Qiulin Guo, PetroChina (China)
Shiyun Mi, PetroChina (China)
Stochastic simulation has been proven a useful tool for studying reservoir heterogeneity and revealing the associated uncertainties in petroleum exploration and exploitation. The application to petroleum resource assessment leads to the prediction of undiscovered accumulation with geographic locations. A model-based simulation approach for resource assessment and risk evaluation has been developed by the Geological Survey of Canada, which includes a spatial correlation model for describing the distribution characteristics of the discovered hydrocarbon accumulations, a geological model that represents the control of essential petroleum system elements on the occurrence of hydrocarbon accumulations, and a predictive model for integrating available data, relevant information and geoscience constraints for the purpose of generating possible scenarios of petroleum resource occurrences in a play. This approach has been applied to evaluating play hydrocarbon potentials and assessing geological risk in a number of plays, where subsequent exploratory drilling has generated data sets that validate the predicted resource potentials and exploratory risks. In this paper we present application examples from a middle Devonian carbonate play of the Rainbow Sub-basin in Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) and a Tertiary sandstone play in Nanpu Sag, Bohai Bay Basin, China, which illustrate the application of the model-based simulation approach to play evaluation and risk assessment. The comparison of the predictions resulting from the model-based simulation and the results of post-prediction drilling indicate that the model-based simulation approach captures the essentials of geological controls on the spatial distribution of petroleum accumulations and provides valuable information for strategic exploration planning and risk reduction.