Three-Dimensional Structural and Petrophysical Modeling for Reservoir Characterization of the Mangahewa Formation, Pohokura Gas-Condensate Field, Taranaki Basin, New Zealand


This study integrated three-dimensional (3D) structural and petrophysical models to establish the reservoir characteristics of the Mangahewa Formation within the Pohokura Gas-Condensate Field. The 3D structural model, in which 3 horizons and 51 faults were interpreted, was developed using an algorithm for volume-based modeling. The complex structural mechanism was observed as compressional and extensional stresses resulting in steeply dipping normal and reverse faults. The fault throw was estimated to be up to 85 m, and 33% of the faults had throws of less than 10 m. This explains the fault growth system as small, younger faults have merged to develop larger faults. Well log analysis was used to evaluate important petrophysical parameters such as effective porosity, net-to-gross ratio, shale volume, and water and hydrocarbon saturation. After applying a cutoff, the estimated values for effective porosity, net-to-gross ratio, shale volume, and water and hydrocarbon saturation were 12–18%, 13–31%, 13–26%, 6–22%, and 78–94%, respectively. The estimated values were then incorporated into the grid cells to design 3D petrophysical modeling using the algorithm for sequential Gaussian simulation. The structural model indicated effective trapping and the presence of a conduit mechanism for hydrocarbons. The well log analysis identified significant effective porosities containing substantial hydrocarbon saturation, whereas the petrophysical models showed very good dissemination of the petrophysical parameters. From these models, which also incorporate the gas–water contact, proposed drilling sites for future exploration and well development were proposed. The results characterize the Mangahewa Formation as a good reservoir within the Pohokura Gas-Condensate Field.

Natural Resources Research