Benchmarking the recovery factor and production performance of a given reservoir against applicable analogs is a key step in field development optimization and a prerequisite in understanding the necessary actions required to improve hydrocarbon recovery. Existing benchmarking methods are principally structured to solve specific problems in individual situations and, consequently, are difficult to apply widely and consistently. This study presents an alternative empirical analog benchmarking workflow that is based upon systematic analysis of more than 1,600 reservoirs from around the world. This workflow is designed for effective, practical, and repeatable application of analog analysis to all reservoir types, development scenarios, and production challenges. It comprises five key steps: (1) definition of problems and objectives; (2) parameterization of the target reservoir; (3) quantification of resource potential; (4) assessment of production performance; and (5) identification of best practices and lessons learned.

Problems of differing nature and for different objectives require different sets of analogs. This workflow advocates starting with a broad set of parameters to find a wide range of analogs for quantification of resource potential, followed by a narrowly defined set of parameters to find relevant analogs for assessment of production performance. During subsequent analysis of the chosen analogs, the focus is on isolating specific critical issues and identifying a smaller number of applicable analogs that more closely match the target reservoir with the aim to document both best practices and lessons learned.

This workflow aims to inform decisions by identifying the best-in-class performers and examining in detail what differentiates them. It has been successfully applied to improve hydrocarbon recovery for carbonate, clastic, and basement reservoirs globally. The case studies provided herein demonstrate that this workflow has real-world utility in the identification of upside recovery potential and specific actions that can be taken to optimize production and recovery.

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