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Novel Techniques for Reservoir Modeling

4-9 November :: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Technical Agenda

The Present as the Key to the Future: Are We Limited to Our Current Tools?

Session Managers: Reza Fassihi and Bimal Parekh

Material balance, analytical and decline-curve models are the tools of choice for many applications, including reserves booking because of their supposed consistency, simplicity and ease of use for certain applications. In addition, these tools complement the numerical modeling efforts for purposes like reservoir management and field development planning.

Other approaches, such as data mining, have also gained traction in creating models in data-rich environments. Thus, probabilistic approaches have been accepted as the model of choice for certain applications. In this session, we will address what lies ahead in terms of the future applicability of currently popular tools. In particular, we will explore the following:

  • Will operators and regulators continue to rely on decline-curve analysis for reserves reporting?
  • Will analytical models continue to be the only reliable technology in the future?
  • What is the trend in the architecture of future numerical models?
    • At what point can numerical modeling be the tool of choice?
    • Can we overcome the inherent data-intensive nature?
    • Will we need new workflows to make them fit-for-purpose?
  • What would be the role of data mining in our future “reliable technology” toolkit?

Review of Current Tools - A Look into Our Tool Chest

Session Managers: Basak Kurtoglu and Dilhan Ilk

Increased ability to produce from complex conventional reservoirs and tight/ultra-tight unconventional resources poses significant challenges to the analysis, modeling and forecasting of well/reservoir behavior. Conventional analytical methods still form the backbone of our core tools. Although these methods are straightforward and easy to use, their limitations are obvious with increasing complexity in well geometry and reservoir description. The primary objective of this session is to facilitate discussion centered on the possible shortcomings of the present techniques and to lay the groundwork for achieving best practices to analyze and model well/reservoir behavior in the future. Further, the sufficiency of available data and data quality in the application of current techniques will be discussed to deliver a general understanding of the critical data needs for future methodologies.

Future Tools for Modeling Primary Recovery

Session Managers: Mohamed Soliman and Chih Chen

Various analytical models have been developed to study conventional reservoirs successfully over the years. With some modifications, these analytical models are extended to cover some of the nonlinear behaviors, such as gas flow, non-Darcy effect and reservoir compaction in unconventional reservoirs. Several issues merit serious attention:

  • Can all the modeling tools for conventional reservoirs be readily adapted to unconventional and hydrate reservoirs?
  • Should future analytical tools be developed to account for the leading factors, such as diffusion physics, in unconventional reservoirs? To what extent are various decline-curve analyses valid?
  • How can the importance of geomechanical changes in the formations affect and be modeled for primary recovery with analytic models?
  • Is it possible to develop new modeling tools with novel ideas of data collection in wells to improve modeling of reservoir behavior?

This session will address all these issues to explore the novel techniques in developing future tools for modeling primary recovery in various types of unconventional systems.

Emerging Tools for Modeling Secondary Recovery

Session Managers: Harun Ates and Sheldon Gorell

The emphasis of this session will be on novel solutions and emerging tools to analyze the performance of reservoirs under waterflood, with a focus on exploring the following items:

  • What are some of these new solutions?
    • What are the premises and roles of these emerging tools in reservoir modeling?
    • Can they predict performance at well, pattern and asset level?
    • Will they address inherent issues such as inaccuracies in measurements, uncertainties in data and other operating variables to make reliable predictions?
  • How will they impact the way we manage water flooding?
    • Could they even predict events and enable proactive flood management?
  • How can we validate the solutions from the emerging tools?
      • By data-driven methods, such as matching of field results?
      • By reconciling with the traditional methods, such as grid-based flow simulations?

Developing Efficient and Reliable Tools for Modeling Tertiary Recovery

Session Managers: Dave Merchant and Reza Fassihi

Tertiary recovery processes may encompass CO2 injection, polymers, surfactants and other technologies. For the past 40 years, CO2 injection has been the most utilized tertiary technology for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). It has evolved from a partially understood process to a process based on proven technology and experience. In the 21st century, CO2 from anthropogenic sources may enable global expansion of this technology into basins that contain oil fields with EOR potential but lacked a CO2 source to make the tertiary recovery process economically attractive. This session will discuss the capability for new, fast tools to predict and manage the complex physics of tertiary recovery.

  • How do we speed history matching for mature assets with decades of production history of dubious data quality and a large number of wells?
  • What solution models can represent the complex physics, such as capacitance resistance, streamline, and surrogate?
  • Can responses be managed with artificial intelligence relationships?

Unconventional Tools for Unconventional Reservoirs

Session Managers: Li Fan and Jackson Bi

Unconventional reservoir development has ushered new challenges to predict oil and gas recovery. Conventional pressure buildup data are unavailable, and the geometries and conductivities of multiple, complex hydraulic fractures are not predicted accurately enough for performance predictions.  In shale reservoirs, complex physics of gas desorption and of oil flow fromĀ  matrix into fractures is not understood to the extent that they can be replicated by current numerical models. The session will explore the current use of pragmatic modeling tools for unconventional reservoir exploration and development to establish production drivers, well performance measure such as initial production rate (IP), decline rate, and estimated ultimate recovery (EUR). The session will also examine challenges facing the industry today:

  • Predicting well performance from complex stimulations (complex fractures in complex formations)
  • Whether “quick look” tools can model nanoDarcy and naturally fractured formations
  • Integrating data gathered during stimulation and flowback monitoring into models

Future for Surrogate Reservoir Modeling

Session Managers: Eduardo Gildin and Benoit Couet

New technologies that rapidly and accurately simulate various and more sophisticated recovery processes are needed in our industry. Artificial intelligence, data mining, proxy and model reduction methods are being used to overcome some of our challenges. However, many questions still remain in developing surrogate models and data mining techniques. Indeed, the lack of historical applications using these techniques prevents us from determining their efficiency. In this session, we will discuss the path to the future applications of surrogate and data mining techniques and some of the daunting open questions:

  • Are rapid solutions based on artificial intelligence, data mining, proxy, and model reduction techniques viable and more desirable than grid-based modeling?
  • How will surrogate models address our need to handle a large number of wells and complex well gathering systems?
  • Can we vet the results with high-frequency real-time data to gain confidence?
  • Can this approach be combined with other analytic tools?

Modeling in the Future - Integration and Hybridization

Session Managers: Sanjay Srinivasan and Scott Meddaugh

At present, there are a variety of reservoir modeling approaches, workflows and tools. Many are specific to the type of study performed or to the recovery mechanism. Some are even currently specific to a particular data type or reservoir. This session will focus on the future of hybrid techniques, specifically for tertiary recovery applications and for integrated reservoir modeling. Topics to be addressed in this session include:

  • What differences exist between modeling “green field” reservoirs with limited though generally high quality data, and “brown field” reservoirs with abundant data of varying quality?
  • How can real-time reservoir data be effectively incorporated within a fully integrated reservoir modeling/forecasting environment to facilitate efficient “real time” decision-making?
  • Will sufficient integration across all levels and disciplines involved in reservoir modeling as it is known today enable “management by exception” in the future?

Path to Adoption

Session Managers: Shah Kabir and Stan Cullick

This session synthesizes nuggets from preceding sessions. In particular, we will explore how reservoir modeling for hydrocarbon exploitation can be used more efficiently in the future than practiced today. We will review the obstacles, challenges, and above all, explore ways to make a business case for the use of fit-for-purpose reservoir modeling tool in assets of various economic environments