While it is true that reservoir simulation and new technology applications are crucial to unlocking reserves in a field, the first and most fundamental step in rejuvenating a mature field is to verify the existing data and evaluate the basis of the current understanding. This process, while seemingly "routine", can uncover ambiguous data and questionable interpretations, which can mislead the reservoir simulation results unless corrected. The older and more mature the oilfield, the more ambiguities that can be uncovered. The new understanding can be subsequently converted to "quick-gain" opportunities that can be quickly monetized, while maturing higher investment and more complicated opportunities with reservoir simulation.
The approach applied in a sample field named Field B comprised challenging the established interpretation and understanding by taking a more thorough look and applying a different approach with the basic data. There are examples of reinterpreting the seismic data, cross-checking pressure and production reports with geological understanding, cross-checking well intervention reports, production and open-hole log data, and challenging the conventional approach and understanding. On top of the detective work, it is also necessary to judge whether the data "make sense" or seem unreasonable. Although simple, this approach was effective and successful in generating multiple opportunities in Field B.
This paper provides valuable insight and examples in data verification and challenging established understanding to generate potential opportunities. Having a good grasp of the fundamentals is a valuable skill in a mature field environment. It pays to thoroughly understand the fundamentals, because otherwise, the "fancy techniques" will not work.