Determination of Reservoir Hydraulic Flow Units and Permeability Estimation Using Flow Zone Indicator Method


  • Alyaa M. Ali Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Iraq / Oil and Gas Engineering Department, University of Technology, Iraq
  • Ayad A. Alhaleem Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Iraq



Reservoir Characterization, Hydraulic Flow Unit, Flow Zone Indicator, Permeability Estimation, Khasib Formation


   Reservoir characterization plays a crucial role in comprehending the distribution of formation properties and fluids within heterogeneous reservoirs. This knowledge is instrumental in constructing an accurate three-dimensional model of the reservoir, facilitating predictions regarding porosity, permeability, and fluid flow distribution. Among the various methods employed for reservoir characterization, the hydraulic flow unit stands out as a widely adopted approach. By effectively subdividing the reservoir into distinct zones, each characterized by unique petrophysical and geological properties, hydraulic flow units enable comprehensive reservoir analysis. The concept of the flow unit is closely tied to the flow zone indicator, a critical parameter that defines the porosity-permeability relationships of each hydraulic flow unit. Additionally, the flow zone indicator method proves valuable in estimating permeability accurately. In this study, we demonstrate the application of the flow zone indicator method to determine hydraulic flow units within the Khasib formation. By analyzing core data and calculating the Rock Quality Index (RQI) and Flow Zone Indicator (∅Z), we differentiate the formation into four hydraulic flow units based on FZI values. Specifically, HFU 1 represents a rock of poor quality, corresponding to compact and chalky limestone. HFU 2 represents intermediate quality, corresponding to argillaceous limestone, while HFU 3 represents good quality, corresponding to porous limestone. Lastly, HFU 4 signifies an excellent reservoir rock quality characterized by vuggy limestone. By establishing a permeability equation that correlates with effective porosity for each rock type, we successfully estimate permeability. Comparing these estimated permeability values with core permeability reveals a strong agreement with a high correlation coefficient of 0.96%. Consequently, the flow zone indicator method effectively classifies the Khasib formation into four distinct hydraulic flow units and provides an accurate and reliable means of determining permeability in the reservoir. The resulting permeability equations can be applied to wells and depth intervals lacking core measurements, further emphasizing the practical utility of the FZI method.

Author Biography

Ayad A. Alhaleem, Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Iraq




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How to Cite

Ali, A. M., & Alhaleem, A. A. (2023). Determination of Reservoir Hydraulic Flow Units and Permeability Estimation Using Flow Zone Indicator Method. Iraqi Journal of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 24(2), 89–95.