Bayesian-Style History Matching: Another Way To Underestimate Forecast Uncertainty?

Topics: Reservoir simulation
Source: SPE 175121
Fig. 1—Forecast results for the cumulative production of oil (red), gas (green), and water (blue) in ad hoc units. The bands of curves are a cluster of 512 forecasts sampled from the posterior distribution with adjusted data constraint. The dark dashed curves are the truth-case results.

Current theoretical formulations of assisted-history-matching (AHM) problems within the Bayesian framework [e.g., ensemble-Kalman-filter (EnKF) and randomized-maximum-likelihood (RML) problems] are typically based on the assumption that simulation models can reproduce field data accurately within the measurement error. However, this assumption does not hold for AHM problems of real assets. This paper critically investigates the impact of using realistic, inaccurate simulation models. In particular, it demonstrates the risk of underestimating uncertainty when conditioning real-life models to large numbers of field data.


Improved simulation and history-­matching techniques have still not cured the chronic ailment of systematically underestimating uncertainty in forecast results. This is because it is very easy to forget or ignore uncertain factors or model assumptions; also, the method used to constrain a model to historical data may excessively reduce uncertainties.

In this paper, the authors highlight the fact that stochastic, Bayesian-style history-matching methods can very easily lead to unrealistically reduced uncertainty ranges in forecast results. The complete paper discusses Bayesian-style history matching and uncertainty quantification in detail.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 175121, “Bayesian-Style History Matching: Another Way To Underestimate Forecast Uncertainty?” by Jeroen C. Vink, Guohua Gao, and Chaohui Chen, Shell, prepared for the 2015 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, 28–30 September. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Bayesian-Style History Matching: Another Way To Underestimate Forecast Uncertainty?

01 April 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 4