The modern reservoir management process involves goal setting, planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating, and revising plans. Setting a reservoir management strategy requires knowledge of the reservoir, technology, and an understanding of the business, political, and environmental climates. Formulating a comprehensive management plan involves depletion and development strategies, data acquisition and analyses, geological and numerical model studies, production and reserves forecasts, knowledge of facilities requirements, economic optimization, and management approval. Implementing the plan requires management support; field personnel commitment; and multidisciplinary, integrated teamwork. Project success depends on careful monitoring/surveillance and thorough ongoing evaluation of its performance. If the actual performance of the project does not agree with the expected performance, the original plan should be revised and the cycle (implementing, monitoring, and evaluating) reactivated.

This paper presents sound reservoir management concepts and methods including a team approach based on integration of geoscience and engineering professionals, tools, technology, and data.


The newest industry buzz word, reservoir management, has received significant attention in recent years. Various panel, forum, seminar, and technical sessions provided the framework for information sharing and exchanging ideas on many practical aspects of integrated, sound reservoir management. The needs to enhance recovery from the vast amount of remaining oil and gas in place around the world and to compete globally require better reservoir management practices.

A reservoir's life begins with exploration, which leads to discovery; reservoir delineation; field development; production by primary, secondary and tertiary means; and abandonment (Fig. 1). Sound reservoir management is the key to successful operation of the reservoir throughout its entire life. It is a continuous process, unlike how the baton is passed in traditional E&P organizations.

Historically, some form of reservoir management has been practiced only when a major expenditure is planned, such as original field development or waterflood installation. The reservoir management studies at these specific times were not integrated; i.e., different disciplines did their part separately. During the last 20 years, however, greater emphasis has been put on synergism between engineering and geosciences. Halbouty stated in 1977: "It is the duty and responsibility of industry managers to encourage full coordination of geologists, geophysicists, and petroleum engineers to advance petroleum exploration, development, and production." Despite the emphasis, progress in integration has been slow.

Many leading-edge technological advances have been achieved in geophysics, geology, petrophysics, production, and reservoir engineering. Mainframe supercomputers, more powerful personal computers, and workstations are providing ever-increasing computing power and more efficient database management systems. The technological advances and computer tools (i.e., 3D seismic surveys, cross-well seismology, horizontal wells, geostatistics, EOR processes, and facilities automation) can facilitate better reservoir management, enhancing economic recovery of hydrocarbons (Fig. 2). Even a small percent increase in recovery efficiency could amount to significant additional recovery and profit.

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