To ‘upscale flow properties’ means to estimate large-scale flow behaviour from smaller-scale measurements. Typically, we start with a few measurements of rock samples (length scale ~3 cm) and some records of flow rates and pressures in well tests (~100’s m). Our challenge is to estimate how the whole reservoir will flow (~1 km).
Flow properties of rocks vary enormously over a wide range of length scales, and estimating upscaled flow properties can be quite a challenge. Unfortunately, many reservoir modellers choose to overlook this problem and blindly hope that a few measurements will correctly represent the whole reservoir.
The aim of this chapter is to help make intelligent estimates of large-scale flow properties and to avoid stupid pitfalls. In the words of Albert Einstein:
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.