Characterization of a heterogeneous carbonate reservoir by integrating electrofacies and hydraulic flow units: a case study of Kangan gas field, Zagros basin

Amir Karimian Torghabeh, Jafar Qajar*, Ali Dehghan Abnavi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Reservoir characterization is one of the key stages in oil and gas exploration, appraisal, development, and optimal production. During the exploration phase, core analysis and well logging are basic information obtained after the pay zone identification. This study aims to integrate the concept of electrofacies (EFs) with hydraulic flow units (HFUs) to effectively characterize Permo–Triassic carbonate formations at the Kangan giant gas field in southwestern Iran. For this purpose, well log data collected from 10 drilled wellbores and 490 core data have been analyzed based on similar clusters and statistical features in which rock-type approaches were used in order to integrate petrophysical data with facies. In particular, we used a multi-resolution graph-based clustering (MRGC) method to determine EFs and the probability plot method, histogram analysis, and the plot of reservoir quality index versus the normalized porosity to identify HFUs. Based on the data, five electrofacies and six HFUs were identified. To establish a good connection between the electrofacies and the pay zones, we analyzed wells’ cross sections to compare lithology, production potential in each zone, rock type, and amount of shale and eventually to adapt facies to flow units and determine the best quality reservoir zone. The main difference between this work and other studies in the literature is adopting a systematic approach based on integrating the geology (via EFs analysis) and engineering examination (via HFUs) to accurately characterize the hydrocarbon-bearing formations. The results of this study help in rapid and cost-effective carbonate reservoir characterization by combining electrofacies clustering and HFU analysis based on core and log data, which are available and routine information in all oil/gas fields. This, in turn, assists in developing the field, using more appropriate production and EOR scenarios, and even locating proper perforation sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645–660
JournalJournal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Electrofacies
  • Hydraulic flow units
  • MRGC method
  • Cluster analysis
  • Carbonate reservoirs


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