In applications of ensemble-based history matching, it is common to conduct Kalman gain or covariance localization to mitigate spurious correlations and excessive variability reduction resulting from the use of relatively small ensembles. Another alternative strategy not very well explored in reservoir applications is to apply a local analysis scheme, which consists of defining a smaller group of local model variables and observed data (observations), and perform history matching within each group individually. This work aims to demonstrate the practical advantages of a new local analysis scheme over the Kalman gain localization in a 4D seismic history-matching problem that involves big seismic data sets. In the proposed local analysis scheme, we use a correlation-based adaptive data-selection strategy to choose observations for the update of each group of local model variables. Compared to the Kalman gain localization scheme, the proposed local analysis scheme has an improved capacity in handling big models and big data sets, especially in terms of computer memory required to store relevant matrices involved in ensemble-based history-matching algorithms. In addition, we show that despite the need for a higher computational cost to perform model update per iteration step, the proposed local analysis scheme makes the ensemble-based history-matching algorithm converge faster, rendering the same level of data mismatch values at a faster pace. Meanwhile, with the same numbers of iteration steps, the ensemble-based history-matching algorithm equipped with the proposed local analysis scheme tends to yield better qualities for the estimated reservoir models than that with a Kalman gain localization scheme. As such, the proposed adaptive local analysis scheme has the potential of facilitating wider applications of ensemble-based algorithms to practical large-scale history-matching problems.

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