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Rock Mechanics for Natural Resources and Infrastructure

SBMR 2014 ISRM Specialized Conference 09-13 September, Goiania, Brazil

CBMR/ABMS and ISRM, 2014

3D Geological Modeling of Subsurface for Drilling Purposes Using

Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic
Alvaro Gustavo Talavera Lopez
PUC-Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, alvaro@ele.puc-rio.br
Vivian Rodrigues Marchesi
PUC-Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, vivianrm@puc-rio.br
Dbora Lopes Pilotto Domingues
PUC-Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, deborapilotto@puc-rio.br
Sergio Augusto Barreto da Fontoura
PUC-Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, fontoura@puc-rio.br
Clemente Jos Gonalves
Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, clemente@petrobras.com.br
Marcos Fonseca Alcure
Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, marcosalcure@petrobras.com.br
SUMMARY: 3D geological modeling is an important part of geomechanical models. Therefore, the
knowledge of spatial distribution algorithms of geological properties is essential for the proper
characterization of the subsurface. Generally, geostatistical and neural networks can be used as
forecasting strategies of geological characteristics. One problem in forecasting logs and
geomechanical properties is that they are not linearly related to several decision variables. Through
neural networks it is possible to describe the behavior of complex systems and to estimate relevant
correlations between a given set of inputs and another of outputs using a nonlinear function.
Alternatively, fuzzy logic is a knowledge-based system that allows adding rules, which can be used
to infer the result of a forecast. This work presents a methodology for 3D geological modeling of oil
fields using artificial neural networks for forecasting geological properties, and a Fuzzy logic system
employed in order to improve the performance of neural network through the inclusion of geological
rules. It was concluded that, using both computational intelligence techniques, it is possible to obtain
reliable models based on numerical results.

KEYWORDS: Neural networks, Fuzzy logic, properties forecast.


One problem in predicting logs and 3D

geomechanical properties is that they are related
to several decision variables, such as seismic
attributes, lithofacies, information core and well
logs. This large database generates highly
nonlinear relations regarding the variables to be
forecast; thus, contributing to the low
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performance of the predictive models of standard

statistical methods.
Neural networks have great potential for the
precise description of complex systems
behavior. Neural networks make it possible to
approximate a relation between an input set of
dimension n and an output set of dimension m
through a nonlinear function. This method
allows for an efficient representation of highly

nonlinear relations and performs well in

situations in which the mathematical model
related to the problem to be solved is very
complex to obtain (Haykin, 1999; Mohaghegh,
Artificial neural networks are becoming
increasingly popular in areas such as geology
and geophysics. They are used, for instance, in
the characterization of petroleum reservoirs, for
geological properties forecasting and well logs
prediction, for seismic inversion and fractures
modeling (Mohaghegh and Ameri, 1995; Van
der Baan and Jutten, 2000; Caldern-Macas et
al., 2000; Mohaghegh, 2005; Baddari et al.
(2010) and Darabi et al., 2010).
Huang et al. (1996) used back-propagation
artificial neural networks (BP-ANN) to model
the interrelations between spatial position, six
different well logs, and permeability. The BPANN produced permeability values that
compared well to measured values in the cored
intervals. Fung et al. (1996) used neural
networks and Learning Vector Quantization
(LVQ) for forecasting rock properties. Saggaf et
al. (2003) used BP-NN to estimate the
distribution of reservoir porosity using 3D
seismic in the field of Ghawar, Saudi Arabia.
Wang et al. (1998) modeled porosity
distribution through the integration of techniques
of neural networks and kriging in the field of
A'nan, north of China. The association of
geostatistics and neural network can also be
found in Niu et al. (2000) and Nakayama (2000).
Studies involving the relation between reservoir
properties and seismic attributes to estimate 3D
reservoir parameters can be found in Arzuman
(2009). Although seismic attributes assist in
predicting the geological properties, they add
more complexity to the forecasting operation,
due to nonlinearities of seismic attributes and
large amount of seismic 3D data.
Most studies mentioned above use a single
neural network for predicting properties in the
well and 3D field. This paper proposes a model
of multi-neural networks in which each neural
network is designed for each geological zone of
the subsurface. For this purpose, a study of the
different types of input variables in each neural
network appropriate for each zone was carried
out. This study implied working with many
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variables. A principal component analysis was

carried out in order to reduce the dimension of
data space variables. The variables were chosen
among seismic attributes, well logs and
geological properties of reservoir. This strategy
has the advantage of assigning neural networks
for each spatial region of the reservoir for more
accuracy in prediction.
In general, the prediction of geological
properties by neural networks or by any other
prediction model are subject to errors due to
possible criteria disregarded in the forecast, such
as geological faults, fractures, data quality, very
thin facies layers and heterogeneity in the field.
To correct possible errors in the prediction, a
system with fuzzy logic is used to infer the result
of the prediction model.
Lin and Cunningha (1995) have proposed the
use of fuzzy logic to model the identification of
nonlinear systems. Subsequently, other studies
used this strategy for reservoir characterization
(Bhuiyan, 2001; Weiss et al., 2001). Lim and
Kim (2004) proposed a model that uses fuzzy
logic to select the best reservoir properties,
which will be used by the neural network for the
prediction of permeability and porosity. Taghavi
(2005) used linear regression and fuzzy logic in
the prediction of permeability and concluded that
the fuzzy logic produced better results.
Kadkhodaie-Ilkhchi et al. (2009) used seismic
attributes as decision variables in a committee
fuzzy inference system for estimating water
saturation and porosity parameters. The model
proposed in this paper is divided in two stages.
The first stage is the prediction of properties
using neural networks and the second stage is to
use fuzzy logic to correct possible errors in the
prediction, using expert knowledge. Next, we
present the theoretical framework of the theories
used herein such as neural networks, fuzzy logic
and principal component analysis. The proposed
method is described afterwards followed by the
description of the application of the method to
predict sonic logs at a field case. Finally, we
present some conclusions regarding the method,
its potential and possible developments for its
application are drawn.



Neural Networks

The Rumelhart-Hinton-Williams multilayer

network that we consider here is a feed-forward
type network with connections between
adjoining layers only. Networks generally have
hidden layers between the input and output
layers. Each layer consists of computational
units as it can be seen in Figure 1.
The input-output relationship of each unit is
represented by inputs , output , connection
weights , threshold , and differentiable
function as follows:
= (=1 )


Usually, the function is called the activation

function, which is a bounded and monotone
differentiable function such as the sigmoid
function represented by Equation (2), where is
the slope parameter of the function (Funahashi,

() =



The learning rule of the neural network is

(Rumelhart et al., 1986) and consists in the use
of the gradient descent method to find a set of
weights so that the error between the desired
output and the output signal network is

Neural network modeling process comprises

three basic steps related to experimental data:
training, testing and predicting. Network training
is the process of adjusting the network
connection weight so that explanatory and
response values match the data as closely as
possible. Testing data are used for checking the
training. Finally, validating data are used for
studing model accuracy. A comprehensive
reference on neural networks can be found in
Haykin (1999).

Fuzzy Logic

Fuzzy logic is a logic based on fuzzy set theory

which aims to model the approximate mode of
reasoning, mimicking human ability to make
decisions in an environment of uncertainty and
imprecision (Zadeh, 1976; Pedrycz and Gomide,
1998). It allows intelligent control and decision
support systems to deal with imprecise
information. A fuzzy logic system is able to
simultaneously process numerical data and
linguistic knowledge (Mendel, 1995). In fuzzy
set theory, each element may belong to a set of
degree (), which can take values ranging from
0 to 1. Each fuzzy set is represented by a
membership function (MF). MFs can present
several types, such as Gaussian, triangular,
trapezoidal and sigmoidal, see Figure 2.

Figure 2. Examples of four classes of parameterized MFs

Figure 1. Schematic Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP)

network (Darabi, et al. 2010).

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We aim, with this work, at developing a fuzzy

inference system FIS, which is a process that
maps a set of input data into a set of output data

using fuzzy logic. A FIS has 4 main parts,

presented in Figure 2, which are (a)
fuzzification, (b) rules, (c) inference engine and
(d) defuzzification.

The process of Mamdani method is

illustrated in Figure 4 and more details on this
method can be obtained from KadkhodaieIlkhchi (2009).

Figure 4. Illustration of Fuzzy Inference Systems.

2.3 Principal Components Analysis

Figure 3. Main parts of a Fuzzy Inference Systems.

The fuzzification consists in mapping out the

accurate inputs or non-fuzzy (crips) numbers
(resulting measurements) into fuzzy sets. This
process is needed in order to activate rules which
are expressed in terms of linguistic variables and
have fuzzy sets associated to them. Rules can be
provided by experts or extracted from the
numerical data (this method is particularly useful
in problems of forecasting time series) in the
form of linguistic sentences, e.g., IF 1 is very
warm and 2 is quite low THEN turn
somewhat to the right. The inference process
are used to combine fuzzy IF-THEN rules from
to fuzzy rule base into a mapping from fuzzy
input set to fuzzy output set. Once the fuzzy
output set is obtained through inference (modus
ponens generalized), the stage of defuzzification
is carried out in order to interpret the
information. There are several defuzzification
methods in the literature, two of the most used
ones are the center of gravity and the mean of the
In this work, the fuzzy inference used is
called the method of Mamdani in which the
output membership functions are fuzzy sets.
After the aggregation process, there is a fuzzy set
for each output variable that needs
defuzzification. For example, consider the rule:
: 1 1 , = 1,2, ,

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The principal component analysis (PCA) is a

linear transformation of data to a new coordinate
system (space features). This transformation is
designed so that the data set can be represented
by a reduced number of data ensuring higher
intrinsic information contained in the data set.
Therefore, the data set is reduced dimensionally.
In this sense, PCA can be defined as an optimal
linear transformation in order to preserve the
subspace that has the highest variance. Principal
component analysis is a technique commonly
used in pattern recognition and signal processing
In petroleum field, it is widely used especially
in the area of geo-modeling and in modeling 3D
properties where the amount of data is too large
e.g. seismic attributes. In this sense, it is used to
reduce the dimension of the data. Hagen (1982)
describes the application of PCA to model
seismic stratigraphy and Brito (2010) also
mentions seismic data and seismic attribute
volume to improve seismic stratigraphy using
PCA. Guo et al. (2006) describe the use of PCA
to reduce the dimension of the spectral
components in seismic images to delineate
stratigraphic features of interest.


This paper proposes a model using neural

networks and fuzzy logic for predicting
geological properties and electric logs in

petroleum reservoirs. Figure 5 shows the block

diagram of the proposed model. The model is
divided into three steps. The first step is called
data preparation; it includes the division of the
model field in geological zones and the
evaluation of decision variables that the neural
network will use in predicting properties in each
zone. The decision variables include the seismic
attributes due to its 3D nature (seismic cube),
which helps predicting properties (Taner, 2001),
the facies observed at the drilled wells that
provide the geological lithology in each zone, the
well log at drilled wells and the normalized
coordinates x, y, z for each well. Finally, data
dimensionality is reduced using PCA.

Figure 5. Proposed Model.

The second step is the development of the

model using neural networks and fuzzy logic. In
this step, neural networks are designed for each
geological zone in order to predict some property

. The advantage of using this strategy is that it

is easy to identify which neural network had the
lowest or highest performance in predicting and
then change one decision variable or the
structure of the neural network. On the other
hand, choosing the input variables for each
neural network is complex because each network
will not necessarily have the same entries. The
strategy used for setting is shown in Figure 6.

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Figure 6. Neural Networks Strategy.

Once the prediction by neural network is

carried out, a fuzzy logic system is applied. Since
it is possible to enter if-then rules with a geologic
sense in fuzzy system in order to eliminate errors
due to possible criteria disregarded in the
forecast, such as geological faults, fractures, low
data quality noises, very thin facies layers, there
is a reduction of errors in forecasting, especially
in thinner layers of zones where the neural
network does not have good performance in
prediction, as found by Tang et al. (2011).
The third step is to regroup all the results of
neural networks in each zone to generate the 3D
model of the field. To evaluate the predicted
outcome the results of all networks in each zone
are added together and compared to the same
property in well validation (i.e. a well whose data
were not used at all stages).
In this section, the proposed model is applied for
the studied field. The methodology used is as
follows: (i) the studied field has eight wells that
will be referred to as 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 7 and 8 ,
(ii) well 4 is chosen as well validation, i.e. it
will only be used to compare with the final result
of the prediction made by the proposed model.
The studied field is divided into seven geological
zones so seven neural networks will be

In this first example, the objective is to design

the proposed model to predict the cube of
compressional sonic log, DTC, in the field. As
explained in the previous section, the set of input
variables for each neural network is selected
using studies such as Taner (2000), Arzuman
(2009) and Azevedo et al. (2009) that show the
usefulness of each seismic attribute for detecting
geological properties. The selected variables are
presented in Table 1, where A is amplitude, AI is
the acoustic impedance, IV is interval velocity, F
is the facies and is the normalization of
The input variables of each network is shown
in Table 1 and the results of the proposed model
of DTC prediction in the 3D field is shown in
Figure 7, where the vertical arrow is the location
of the well validation 4
Table 1. Selecting inputs by neural networks - DTC.








according to equation 3, where is the value of

property DTC in well validation 4 , is the DTC
estimated by the proposed model. Using this
error measure, a MAPE of 6.10% was obtained.




The same exercise was done for the shear

sonic log, DTS, following the same procedure.
Table 2 shows the input variables for the neural
networks. The result of the prediction model is
shown in Figure 8, with a MAPE regarding well
validation of 6.80%.
Table 2. Selecting inputs by neural networks - DTS.








Figure 8. Forecast DTS by Neural Network at coordinate


Figure 7. Prediction of DTC at coordinate J.

To validate this model the Mean Absolute

Percentage Error (MAPE) is calculated

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It can be seen in Figure 8, the formation of

pockets, which can be interpreted as errors in
forecasting, especially in very thin layers where
the neural network cannot get a good prediction,
as in Tang et al. (2011). One way of solving this
problem is to use a filter to eliminate these
disturbances. In this case, it is advisable to use
Fuzzy Logic. To do this, rules for the behavior of
properties of well profiles such as DTC, Gamma

Ray and DTS, were generated as follows:

1. If RG is low and RHOB is high then DTS is
2. If RG is high and RHOB is medium then
DTS is medium.
3. If RG is low and RHOB is medium then DTS
is medium.

Applying the fuzzy system in prediction made

by the neural network in thinner layers can
reduce the approximation error of the neural
network. This can be seen in Figure 11. Using
this strategy, the MAPE is reduced to 5.94%.

It is important to highlight that these rules are

just examples and should not be applied as
general truth.
The fuzzy sets were designed according to the
expert's knowledge and statistics of each profile,
as shown in Figure 9. The fuzzy sets and fuzzy
inference system were developed using the
Petrel calculated by a program *. mac.
Figure 11. Filtered using Fuzzy Logic.

It can also be seen in Figure 11 that the neural

network has a lower performance on thin layers
due to the limited information in these regions.

Figure 9. Fuzzy Sets Gamma Ray, respectively low,
medium and high GR.

The fuzzy system accepts two inputs: the

Gamma Ray GR and Resistivity RHOB. Then,
the input data are normalized (fuzzification
step), followed by the application of fuzzy
inference system and denormalization of data
output (desfuzzication), resulting in a DTS real
value. This process can be seen in Figure 10.


This paper presents a method for 3D geological

modeling of oil fields using artificial neural
networks for forecasting geological properties
and a system of fuzzy logic to improve the
prediction performance.
The proposal for designing one neural
network for each different geological unit
improves the evaluation of the performance of
each neural network as well as facilitates the
selection of input parameters for each geological
zone. The use of fuzzy logic in order to make the
prediction of properties more accurate indicated
that the technique is quite promising. As future
work, it is proposed to study de fuzzy inference
rules that can help predict specific properties;
possibly rules that include the degree of rock

Figure 10. Fuzzy inference system.

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The authors thank Petrobras for the data

provided and Schlumberger for the academic

license of the Petrel software.

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