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Augmented Artificial Intelligence Improves Data Analytics in Heavy-Oil Reservoirs

Recently, many heavy-oil fields have seen exponentially higher volumes of data made available as a result of omnipresent connectivity. Existing data platforms have focused traditionally on solving the problem of data storage and access. The more-complex problem of true knowledge discovery and systematic value creation from the massive amount of data is less frequently addressed. The authors of this paper propose a novel work flow for the problem of building intelligent data analytics in heavy-oil fields.

Introduction

Optimal reservoir management for heavy-oil reservoirs requires systematic solutions that combine both engineering ability and advanced analytics. The authors believe that this requirement is addressed by what they call augmented artificial intelligence (AAI), a process inspired by the intelligence-amplification concept in which machine learning and human expertise are combined to improve solutions derived by systems that learn without any type of input from engineers or geoscientists. Practical deployment of AAI will involve automated work flows that use solid technical expertise and proven processes to transform field data into more-effective reservoir-management solutions.

Even with rapid data-preprocessing solutions in place, developing an optimal reservoir-management framework for heavy-oil assets is inherently complex. Identifying key recovery obstacles (KROs) and field-development plans (FDPs) typically takes many months, involving a large team of experts and the construction of sophisticated full-field simulation models. The recommendation is that automated work flows and AAI solutions are combined to identify those KROs rapidly and prepare robust FDPs that increase production and optimize current operations.

Perhaps the less-intuitive step in developing systematic solutions for heavy-oil fields is the process of developing a quantitative reservoir diagnostic framework. This process must build from big-data analytics platforms and an array of analytical, numerical, and empirical models combined to deliver a catalog of KROs affecting field performance. To this end, the entire historical set of well, field, and reservoir data must be processed and input into this diagnostics platform. Once the KROs are understood, the next step is to translate the diagnostics into detailed action plans in the field that can generate production, reserves, or capital-efficiency improvements.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 193650, “Augmented-Artificial-Intelligence Solutions for Heavy-Oil Reservoirs: Innovative Work Flows That Build From Smart Analytics, Machine Learning, and Expert-Based Systems,” by David Castineira, Xiang Zhai, and Hamed Darabi, Quantum Reservoir Impact Group, prepared for the 2018 SPE International Heavy Oil Conference and Exhibition, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 10–12 December. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Augmented Artificial Intelligence Improves Data Analytics in Heavy-Oil Reservoirs

01 May 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 5

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