Worldwide, sedimentary rocks form important hydrocarbon reservoirs. The great uncertainty in characterizing the effective properties of sedimentary reservoirs les in the complex distribution of their internal heterogeneities. For this reason, outcrop analogues of subsurface reservoir rocks are commonly examined to better understand both stratigraphic and structural architectures, with the ultimate goal of improving exploration success and exploitation strategies.

The intent of the Reservoir Characterization Project is to provide a robust and comprehensive dataset by integrating a significant number of measurements and observations of fractured and faulted sedimentary rocks, in relation to their depositional environment, diagenetic evolution and tectonic history. The approach is based on both qualitative and quantitative analysis of primary and secondary heterogeneities affecting not only the physical-mechanical properties of sedimentary rocks, but also their hydraulic characteristics. Such models can significantly reduce exploration risk and are of prime importance for a more refined understanding of the link between the small-scale features observed in outcrop and the larger-scale structures revealed in the subsurface.

The sedimentary successions exposed in central and southern Italy, as well as in the whole Mediterranean area, exhibit a suite of sedimentary successions strongly affected by diagenetic and tectonic structural elements. Good exposure and vertical/lateral continuity of these sedimentary successions permit to evaluate the dimensional parameters of primary and secondary heterogeneities, their changing petrophysical and hydraulic parameters, and the prediction of their geometry and distribution both in space and time.