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Petrel Structural Modeling

The Petrel 2017 Structural Modeling course presents the flexibility of Petrel and the different approaches that enable you to build 3D models ready for simulation. The course details different approaches to building models that capture geologically complex situations, such as reverse faults and truncations.

The first part of the course demonstrates the real power of Petrel in building watertight frameworks of structurally and stratigraphically complex regions using the new Volume Based Modeling functionality. It is also demonstrates the robust Fault modeling while interpreting seismic functionality which allows rapid real-time creation of the Structural framework, placing the geophysical interpretation at the core of good model building.

The same structural model created with Volume Based Modeling technology is the input to compute a flattened, non-deformed space (Depospace) that can eventually be used for property population honoring shape and position of objects, facies and variogram ranges.

Troubleshooting methods addressing the main issues the user can face while building the structural framework model and how they can be corrected are also covered.

The second part of the course presents the standard Corner Point Gridding approach used for the construction of a 3D grid.

Possible workflows combining Structural framework and Corner point gridding are also covered.

Additional tools available to optimize the resulting models are presented and can be used if holding the Structural and fault analysis license. Exercises related have also been included.

The manual is based on Petrel 2017.1 release and will not include information about subsequent enhancements and modifications introduced in later releases. For more recent releases, please refer to the Petrel Structural Modeling: Structural Framework Workflows and Petrel Structural Modeling: Corner Point Gridding Workflow courses which cover all the topics in this course, in addition to being based on Petrel 2018+ versions and introducing new learning subjects.

Day 1

Day 1 : Modules 1, 2, 3 & 4

  • Introduction to modeling
  • Introduction to Structural framework and the concept of Volume-based modeling
  • Generation of the Fault framework 
  • Boundary definition and Horizon modeling

This session will introduce the participants to the basic concepts of 3D structural modeling and to an overview of the Petrel Structural framework modeling workflow and the Volume-based modeling (VBM) technology. Then, the participants will sequentially learn how to define a new structural framework and generate a fault framework, how to create or update a fault model on the fly, how to define the geometry/resolution of a structural model, build a non-refined model, quality check and optimize the model built.

Day 2

Day 2 : Modules 5, 6, 7 & 8

  • Zone model refinement and creation
  • Troubleshooting
  • Depospace
  • Structural gridding

    During Day 2, the participants will build a refined watertight structural model that can be used in the Structural gridding process. They will also discover troubleshooting methods and solutions to issues which can be encountered in the structural framework workflow. 

    Depospace is a virtual space suitable for both compressional and extensional settings, in which the stratigraphic function (and the resulting conformable horizons) are unfaulted and unfolded. In this session, the participants will learn about the purpose and process for creating a depositional space. Then, they will apply the Structural gridding process to create a stair-stepped grid ready for simulation. 

    Day 3

    Day 3 : Modules 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13

    • Conversion of a structural framework to pillar fault model
    • Data preparation for Corner point gridding
    • Introduction to Corner point gridding and Main faults modeling
    • Pillar gridding
    • Make horizons

      Day 3 will start by introducing the participants to the workflow for converting a structural framework to a pillar fault model and then focus on the second part of the course dedicated to Corner point gridding processes.
      Often, input data for Corner point gridding initially needs pre-conditioning to improve the success of modeling. The second part of this course will start by presenting how to use the tools in Petrel to solve common problems associated with input data (polygons, fault sticks, seismic horizons, surfaces, etc.) and how to define and generate the main faults in a model, based on the input data prepared. Then, the participants will learn about generating a 3D grid through the Pillar gridding process, inserting stratigraphic horizons into the 3D grid created and optimizing the horizons with respect to honoring the faults.

      Day 4

      Day 4 : Modules 14, 15, 16 & Appendices 

      • Truncations and 3D grid editing
      • Reverse fault modeling using Corner point gridding
      • Model salt diapirs using Corner point gridding
      • Appendix A - Operations for model optimization
      • Appendix B - Seismic dummy volume creation

      In addition to covering the workflow of inserting minor faults into a 3D model, this session will focus on the concepts and methodologies for modeling reverse faults and salt domes using the Corner point gridding. Salt domes are diapiric masses of salt, of considerable economic importance because they can develop oil traps. Finally, additional tools available to optimize the resulting models will be presented.

      Learning activity mix

      Development and exploration geologists, geophysicists, petroleum engineers, managers, reservoir engineers and technical personnel with prior experience in Petrel.

      • Introduction to Modeling
      • Structural framework
        • The Concept of Volume Based Modeling
        • Generate the Fault framework
        • Fault framework while interpreting
        • Boundary definition and Horizon modeling
        • Horizon filtering attribute
        • Refine and create zone model
        • Troubleshooting
        • Depospace
        • Structural gridding
      • Corner Point Gridding
        • Data preparation
        • Modeling of main faults
        • Pillar gridding
        • Make horizons
        • Truncations
        • Reverse faults
        • Modeling salt diapirs
      • Tools for model optimization


      General knowledge of petroleum geology and geophysics. As well as Participation in the Petrel Fundamentals and Petrel Geology courses or equivalent Petrel experience is necessary.

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