Risk management has become an integral part of the decision-making workflow in the oil and gas upstream business. As many oil fields reach a mature state, the need for rejuvenation and decline mitigation of assets set ground for Improved-Oil Recovery (IOR) opportunities. However, the associated decision-making process requires incorporating screening, reservoir simulation and financial evaluation, demanding complex multidisciplinary team efforts. It is important that any stage of the analysis, technical, strategic and economically sound decisions should be made.
On one hand, IOR screening, whether based on technical grounds or ‘gut feeling’ experience, or better yet on both criteria, leaves a number of possible IOR processes available for evaluation through simulation. Analytical simulation and applicability screening tools are often favored on early stages. However, their crude application could mislead the decision process if results are not carefully interpreted and combined with reservoir engineering expertise and additional evaluation criteria.
We propose to combine IOR screening strategies with spatial reservoir information to help to create appropriate sector models as starting point for more detailed evaluations. For this purpose, we couple an analytical simulator/IOR screening tool with a software tool that aids framing the IOR decision-making problem effectively, in the form of influence diagrams. From these diagrams, it is possible to create Tornado Diagrams, Decision Trees and Monte Carlo profiles that assist Reservoir Engineers with the task of properly and rationally framing the decision process, for example with regard to economic risk assessment and NPV analysis associated with IOR.
The coupling between both software solutions is proposed in a way that avoids the inflexible monolithic constructions. We illustrate advantages of the proposed approach through a speedy analysis of a publicly available case.