Open Access


Open Hours

Mon-Fri(09:00-18:00 hrs)

Hydraulic Flow Unit Characterization in Sandstone Reservoirs, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Esomchi U. Nwokoma

Department of Physics, College of Physical Science, Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, 02155, Nigeria

Boniface I. Ijeh

Department of Physics, College of Physical Science, Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, 02155, Nigeria

Chukwunenyoke Amos-Uhegbu

Department of Physics, College of Physical Science, Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, 02155, Nigeria


Copyright © 2023 Author(s). Published by Nan Yang Academy of Sciences Pte. Ltd.

Creative Commons License

This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License.


The key factor in a successful oil field development plan is understanding the reservoir. The effectiveness of oil extraction is determined by variations in the reservoir, specifically the distribution of porosity and permeability. To create an accurate model of the reservoir, the vertical distribution of its qualities must be determined and separated into flow units, each with its own unique characteristics that affect fluid flow. By identifying these flow units, the preferred flow zones can be discovered. The aim of this study is to identify the number and distribution of hydraulic units, their important characteristics, and the flow performance in two specific wells in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, using the Modified Lorenz Plot (MLP) method. In the hydrocarbon-rich intervals of the wells, a total of 18 flow units were found, with 12 in Well 1 and 6 in Well 2. The number of flow units indicates the level of heterogeneity in the reservoir. This study showed that the Modified Lorenz Plot (MLP) is an efficient and low-cost method for defining petrophysical flow units. This research study aims to transform the conventional approach to reservoir characterization by conducting a thorough analysis of hydraulic flow units in sandstone reservoirs located in the complex geological setting of the Niger Delta, Nigeria. By examining the hydraulic properties of reservoir rocks, the study seeks to gain a better understanding of subsurface fluid flow behavior and the potential for hydrocarbon accumulation.

Keywords: Flow units, Hydraulic units, Modified Lorenz Plot (MLP), Reservoir


[1] Stolz, A.K., Graves, R.M., 2003. Sensitivity study of flow unit fefinition by use of reservoir simulation. SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition; 2003 Oct 5-8; Denver, Colorado. p. SPE-84277-MS. DOI:

[2] Onuh, H.M., David, O.O., Onuh, C.Y., 2016. Modified reservoir quality indicator methodology for improved hydraulic flow unit characterization using the normalized pore throat methodology (Niger Delta field as case study). Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology. 7(2), 409-416. DOI:

[3] Lawal, K.A., Onyekonwu, M.O., 2005. A robust approach to Flow Unit Zonation: SPE Paper 98830. Society of Petroleum Engineers: Richardson. pp. 15.

[4] Khalid, M., Desouky, S.E.D., Rashed, M., et al. 2019. Application of hydraulic flow units’ approach for improving reservoir characterization and predicting permeability. Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology. 10(2), 467-479. DOI:

[5] Ebanks, W.J., 1987. Flow Unit Concept-Integrated Approach for Engineering Projects. AAPG Annual Meeting, AAPG Bulletin. 71(5), 551-552.

[6] Soto B.R., Torres, F., Arango, S., et al., 2001. Improved reservoir permeability models from flow units and soft computing techniques: A case study, Suria and Reforma-Libertad Fields, Colombia; 2001 Mar 25-28; Buenos Aires, Argentina. p. SPE-69625-MS. DOI:

[7] Svirsky, D., Ryazanov, A., Pankov, M., et al. (editors), 2004. Hydraulic flow units resolve reservoir description challenges in a Siberian oil field. Proceedings, Society of Petroleum Engineers Asia Pacific Conference on Integrated Modeling and Asset Management; 2004 Mar 29-30. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. p. 15.

[8] Fang, Y., Yang, E., Guo, S., et al., 2022. Study on micro remaining oil distribution of polymer flooding in Class-II B oil layer of Daqing Oilfield. Energy. 254, 124479. DOI:

[9] Zhong, H., He, Y., Yang, E., et al., 2022. Modeling of microflow during viscoelastic polymer flooding in heterogenous reservoirs of Daqing Oilfield. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. 210, 110091. DOI:

[10] Short, K.C., Stauble, A.J., 1967. Outline of geology of Niger Delta. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin. 51, 761-779.

[11] Hospers, J., 1965. Gravity field and structure of the Niger Delta, Nigeria, West Africa. Geological Society of American Bulletin. 76, 407-422.

[12] Avbovbo, A.A., 1978. Tertiary lithostratigraphy of Niger Delta. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin. 62, 295-300.

[13] Awosika, L.F., 1995. Impacts of global climate change and sea level rise on coastal resources and energy development in Nigeria. Global Climate Change: Impact on Energy Development DAM TECH Nigeria Limited.

[14] Tiab, D., Donaldson, E.C., 2012. Petrophysics. Elsevier: Netherlands. pp. 85-219. DOI:

[15] Nooruddin, H.A., Hossain, M.E., 2011. Modified Kozeny–Carmen correlation for enhanced hydraulic flow unit characterization. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. 80(1), 107-115. DOI:

[16] Amaefule, J.O., Altunbay, M., Tiab, D., et al., 1993. Enhanced reservoir description: Using core and log data to identify hydraulic (flow) units and predict permeability in uncored intervals/wells. 1993 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition; 1988 Oct 3-6; Houston, TX. p. SPE-26436-MS. DOI:

[17] Al-Dhafeeri, A .M., Nasr-El-Din, H.A., 2007. Characteristics of high-permeability zones using core analysis, and production logging data. Journal of Petroleum Science Engineering. 55(1-2), 18-36. DOI:

[18] Ross-Coss, D., Ampomah, W., Cather, M., et al. (editors), 2016. An improved approach for sandstone reservoir characterization. SPE Western Regional Meeting; 2016 May 23-26; Anchorage, Alaska, USA. p. SPE-180375-MS. DOI:

[19] Mahjour, S.K., Al-Askari, M.K.G., Masihi, M., 2016. Flow-units verification, using statistical zonation and application of Stratigraphic Modified Lorenz Plot in Tabnak gas field. Egyptian Journal of Petroleum. 25(2), 215-220. DOI:

[20] Doorwar, S., Purswani, P., Ambastha, A., et al., 2020. Application of tracer-based workflow for calibrating reservoir heterogeneity. SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering. 24(03), 603-618. DOI:

[21] El-Deek, I., Abdullatif, O., Korvin, G., 2017. Heterogeneity analysis of reservoir porosity and permeability in the Late Ordovician glacio-fluvial Sarah Formation paleovalleys, central Saudi Arabia. Arabian Journal of Geosciences. 10(18). DOI: