Summary

Good reservoir management is key to successful exploitation of hydrocarbon resources. Sustaining quality reservoir management programs can be a challenge in view of cross-functional, cross-group requirements plus personnel and priority changes. Reservoir management processes have been defined, and a set of questionnaires has been designed to review reservoir management practices comprehensively, to assess its strengths, to identify areas for improvement, and to provide a method to measure improvements over time.

Introduction

Reservoir management consists of several processes that require the interaction of technical, operating, and management groups for success. Several authors1–8 have described how reservoir management is structured, indicating that these programs are part of most organizations' practices. The complexity of the problem; the use of multifunctional and, in some instances, multiorganizational teams; personnel changes; changing priorities; and lack of documentation can, however, reduce the effectiveness of reservoir management systems. This paper summarizes our view of the processes that make up reservoir management and offers a method for assessing the effectiveness of reservoir management programs and for identifying strengths and areas for improvement. A key premise is the need to approach the topic from a quality prospective (i.e., benchmark to an ideal, "best-practice" standard to ensure that all opportunities are identified).

Reservoir Management Processes

Fig. 1 is a template that illustrates the processes that make up reservoir management and their relationship to one another. The chart is based on the multifunctional-team concept where the reservoir management team (RMT) members are the technical and operating professionals who perform the reservoir management tasks; the reservoir management leadership team (RMLT) members are the supervisors and managers responsible for creating the environment for effective reservoir management; and the support systems are those needed to serve reservoir management and other company functions. Only the RMT and RMLT will be addressed in this paper. The following descriptions define the processes conducted by the RMT and the RMLT.

RMT.

A. Compiling and Organizing Data.

Organizes reservoir-description and performance data that are needed currently and in the future to maximize the value of the resources.

B. Describing the Reservoir.

Develops an up-to-date, detailed description of the reservoir that incorporates available data and technology into a fieldwide interpretation that is consistent with observed historical reservoir performance.

C. Determining the In-Place Resource.

Develops a quantitative assessment of the potentially valuable resources in a field, including a description of the level of certainty inherent in the determination.

D/E. Identifying/Prioritizing Opportunities.

Identifies and screens potential opportunities that could increase the economic value of the reservoir. Opportunities may involve investments and/or reservoir management strategies. Includes recognition and evaluation of risks and benefits and selection of the most attractive opportunities for further advancement.

F. Evaluating Opportunities.

Applies the tools/technology to complete an assessment of the production and recovery benefits of an opportunity. Alternatives are also evaluated as necessary to optimize the economic value of the resource. Outputs would be recommendations to fund projects and/or implement changes to the depletion plan, the strategy for most effectively producing the reservoirs.

G. Obtaining Approvals and Funding.

Obtains the necessary management approvals and endorsements for recommendations to acquire data, fund projects, or revise the depletion plan.

H. Designing Operating and Surveillance Plans.

Develops plans that define the operating and surveillance activities necessary to implement the depletion plan. The operating plan provides guidelines for reservoir management activities (e.g., withdrawal and/or injection rates and a wellbore utilization scheme). The surveillance plan identifies the reservoir-description and performance data required for current and future use.

I/J. Implementing and Operating.

Implementing is the actual implementation of workovers, drilling, facility modifications, and projects consistent with the operating plan to increase the economic value of the resource. Operating involves the activities associated with ongoing operations of the existing wells and facilities consistent with the operating and surveillance plans. It includes a cost-effective process for acquiring reservoir-description and performance data.

K. Analyzing Performance Data.

Analyzes information that is obtained from measuring the actual performance of wells, reservoirs, and facilities and compares it with expected performance from theoretically based models. The deviations from expectations can be used to increase the understanding of the related processes and provide insight to aid in identifying future opportunities to increase the economic value of the resource.

L/M. Determining Needs To Advance Ideas and Determining Technical Redesign Requirements.

Identifies data, analysis, or technology needs and costs that could reduce the risks and improve the definition of the opportunity. The intent of these questions is to gain insight into how opportunities not initially implemented can be enhanced further through additional analysis and/or data acquisition.

N/O. Research/Opportunity Inventories.

Lists technology needs and investment opportunities that are developed and updated by other RMT processes.

RMLT.
P. Measuring Reservoir Management.

Determines the scope, management, and relevance of data used to measure the quality and the quality improvements of the reservoir management process.

Q/R. Process Planning/Identifying Improvements.

Systematically develops strategies and goals that define opportunities to improve the quality of the reservoir management process.

S. Improving Customer Satisfaction.

Objectively measures the level of customer satisfaction.

T. Assessing Skills.

Determines skills required to develop and manage a reservoir and assesses the staff's current proficiency in those skills.

U. Developing Skills.

Makes plans for attendance at schools and seminars and for work assignments to improve skills consistent with technical needs. Also includes development of local training programs designed to meet specific local needs not met cost-effectively by other programs.

RMT.
A. Compiling and Organizing Data.

Organizes reservoir-description and performance data that are needed currently and in the future to maximize the value of the resources.

B. Describing the Reservoir.

Develops an up-to-date, detailed description of the reservoir that incorporates available data and technology into a fieldwide interpretation that is consistent with observed historical reservoir performance.

C. Determining the In-Place Resource.

Develops a quantitative assessment of the potentially valuable resources in a field, including a description of the level of certainty inherent in the determination.

D/E. Identifying/Prioritizing Opportunities.

Identifies and screens potential opportunities that could increase the economic value of the reservoir. Opportunities may involve investments and/or reservoir management strategies. Includes recognition and evaluation of risks and benefits and selection of the most attractive opportunities for further advancement.

F. Evaluating Opportunities.

Applies the tools/technology to complete an assessment of the production and recovery benefits of an opportunity. Alternatives are also evaluated as necessary to optimize the economic value of the resource. Outputs would be recommendations to fund projects and/or implement changes to the depletion plan, the strategy for most effectively producing the reservoirs.

G. Obtaining Approvals and Funding.

Obtains the necessary management approvals and endorsements for recommendations to acquire data, fund projects, or revise the depletion plan.

H. Designing Operating and Surveillance Plans.

Develops plans that define the operating and surveillance activities necessary to implement the depletion plan. The operating plan provides guidelines for reservoir management activities (e.g., withdrawal and/or injection rates and a wellbore utilization scheme). The surveillance plan identifies the reservoir-description and performance data required for current and future use.

I/J. Implementing and Operating.

Implementing is the actual implementation of workovers, drilling, facility modifications, and projects consistent with the operating plan to increase the economic value of the resource. Operating involves the activities associated with ongoing operations of the existing wells and facilities consistent with the operating and surveillance plans. It includes a cost-effective process for acquiring reservoir-description and performance data.

K. Analyzing Performance Data.

Analyzes information that is obtained from measuring the actual performance of wells, reservoirs, and facilities and compares it with expected performance from theoretically based models. The deviations from expectations can be used to increase the understanding of the related processes and provide insight to aid in identifying future opportunities to increase the economic value of the resource.

L/M. Determining Needs To Advance Ideas and Determining Technical Redesign Requirements.

Identifies data, analysis, or technology needs and costs that could reduce the risks and improve the definition of the opportunity. The intent of these questions is to gain insight into how opportunities not initially implemented can be enhanced further through additional analysis and/or data acquisition.

N/O. Research/Opportunity Inventories.

Lists technology needs and investment opportunities that are developed and updated by other RMT processes.

RMLT.
P. Measuring Reservoir Management.

Determines the scope, management, and relevance of data used to measure the quality and the quality improvements of the reservoir management process.

Q/R. Process Planning/Identifying Improvements.

Systematically develops strategies and goals that define opportunities to improve the quality of the reservoir management process.

S. Improving Customer Satisfaction.

Objectively measures the level of customer satisfaction.

T. Assessing Skills.

Determines skills required to develop and manage a reservoir and assesses the staff's current proficiency in those skills.

U. Developing Skills.

Makes plans for attendance at schools and seminars and for work assignments to improve skills consistent with technical needs. Also includes development of local training programs designed to meet specific local needs not met cost-effectively by other programs.

A. Compiling and Organizing Data.

Organizes reservoir-description and performance data that are needed currently and in the future to maximize the value of the resources.

B. Describing the Reservoir.

Develops an up-to-date, detailed description of the reservoir that incorporates available data and technology into a fieldwide interpretation that is consistent with observed historical reservoir performance.

C. Determining the In-Place Resource.

Develops a quantitative assessment of the potentially valuable resources in a field, including a description of the level of certainty inherent in the determination.

D/E. Identifying/Prioritizing Opportunities.

Identifies and screens potential opportunities that could increase the economic value of the reservoir. Opportunities may involve investments and/or reservoir management strategies. Includes recognition and evaluation of risks and benefits and selection of the most attractive opportunities for further advancement.

F. Evaluating Opportunities.

Applies the tools/technology to complete an assessment of the production and recovery benefits of an opportunity. Alternatives are also evaluated as necessary to optimize the economic value of the resource. Outputs would be recommendations to fund projects and/or implement changes to the depletion plan, the strategy for most effectively producing the reservoirs.

G. Obtaining Approvals and Funding.

Obtains the necessary management approvals and endorsements for recommendations to acquire data, fund projects, or revise the depletion plan.

H. Designing Operating and Surveillance Plans.

Develops plans that define the operating and surveillance activities necessary to implement the depletion plan. The operating plan provides guidelines for reservoir management activities (e.g., withdrawal and/or injection rates and a wellbore utilization scheme). The surveillance plan identifies the reservoir-description and performance data required for current and future use.

I/J. Implementing and Operating.

Implementing is the actual implementation of workovers, drilling, facility modifications, and projects consistent with the operating plan to increase the economic value of the resource. Operating involves the activities associated with ongoing operations of the existing wells and facilities consistent with the operating and surveillance plans. It includes a cost-effective process for acquiring reservoir-description and performance data.

K. Analyzing Performance Data.

Analyzes information that is obtained from measuring the actual performance of wells, reservoirs, and facilities and compares it with expected performance from theoretically based models. The deviations from expectations can be used to increase the understanding of the related processes and provide insight to aid in identifying future opportunities to increase the economic value of the resource.

L/M. Determining Needs To Advance Ideas and Determining Technical Redesign Requirements.

Identifies data, analysis, or technology needs and costs that could reduce the risks and improve the definition of the opportunity. The intent of these questions is to gain insight into how opportunities not initially implemented can be enhanced further through additional analysis and/or data acquisition.

N/O. Research/Opportunity Inventories.

Lists technology needs and investment opportunities that are developed and updated by other RMT processes.

P. Measuring Reservoir Management.

Determines the scope, management, and relevance of data used to measure the quality and the quality improvements of the reservoir management process.

Q/R. Process Planning/Identifying Improvements.

Systematically develops strategies and goals that define opportunities to improve the quality of the reservoir management process.

S. Improving Customer Satisfaction.

Objectively measures the level of customer satisfaction.

T. Assessing Skills.

Determines skills required to develop and manage a reservoir and assesses the staff's current proficiency in those skills.

U. Developing Skills.

Makes plans for attendance at schools and seminars and for work assignments to improve skills consistent with technical needs. Also includes development of local training programs designed to meet specific local needs not met cost-effectively by other programs.

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