In many parts of the world, the redevelopment of older fields presents unique problems that will require innovative solutions. With the rising costs of finding and developing new oil fields, oil companies are turning more attention to revitalizing existing fields. Because of historical practices, these fields often have significant potential for enhanced recovery. These older fields have many different problems to deal with than the more modern fields that traditionally drive petroleum technology.

Advances in computer hardware and software technology have made it possible to analyze reservoirs at a level of detail unimagined only a few years ago. With all of this power on our desktops, it is easy to lose sight of a major problem in dealing with older fields – the historical data.

In many cases, there may be a large amount of historical data, but much of it is either inaccurate or critical types of data have not been gathered. Several field examples are discussed in this paper. Each field has redevelopment potential using modern techniques, but each project has great uncertainty due to data constraints. The conclusions and recommendations of the paper include suggestions for ways to solve these problems. Since we cannot go back in time to gather critical missing data (e.g., early production and injection data, initial fluid properties, produced compositions, etc.), special techniques will be needed to determine the value of these projects.

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