Simulating reservoir lithologies by an actively conditioned Markov chain model

Runhai Feng, Stefan M. Luthi, Dries Gisolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The coupled Markov chain model can be used to simulate reservoir lithologies between wells, by conditioning them on the observed data in the cored wells. However, with this method, only the state at the same depth as the current cell is going to be used for conditioning, which may be a problem if the geological layers are dipping. This will cause the simulated lithological layers to be broken or to become discontinuous across the reservoir. In order to address this problem, an actively conditioned process is proposed here, in which a tolerance angle is predefined. The states contained in the region constrained by the tolerance angle will be employed for conditioning in the horizontal chain first, after which a coupling concept with the vertical chain is implemented. In order to use the same horizontal transition matrix for different future states, the tolerance angle has to be small. This allows the method to work in reservoirs without complex structures caused by depositional processes or tectonic deformations. Directional artefacts in the modeling process are avoided through a careful choice of the simulation path. The tolerance angle and dipping direction of the strata can be obtained from a correlation between wells, or from seismic data, which are available in most hydrocarbon reservoirs, either by interpretation or by inversion that can also assist the construction of a horizontal probability matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Article number800
Pages (from-to)800-815
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysics and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2018


  • actively conditioned CMC (A-CMC)
  • coupled Markov chain (CMC)
  • lithology simulation, tolerance angle
  • seismic inversion


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