With data acquisition at many scales, comprehensive databases, and integrated data visualizations, a much more realistic understanding of the implications of reservoir characterization on production is emerging. This paper provides a multidisciplinary overview of four tasks: reservoir delineation, reservoir modeling, production optimization, and uncertainty analysis. Each of these tasks highlights specific engineering applications. An overview is provided of geophysical, geological, and petrophysical approaches that engineers need to understand in order to communicate effectively with geoscientists. Flow units and compartments are the key elements used in this paper to relate the reservoir characterization provided by geoscientists to what is needed by engineers. These two concepts enable engineers and geoscientists to develop a common view of what various disciplines can reveal about a reservoir.

Applications for integrated reservoir characterization include improving drilling and completion locations, optimizing well productivity, and enhancing recoverable reserves. An integrated reservoir characterization focused on flow units and reservoir compartments amplifies considerably what can be understood from conventional engineering techniques, including reserves estimation, material balance, production data analysis, and fluid flow simulation.

Examples from field studies demonstrate results derived from integrated reservoir characterization that would not have been apparent from conventional engineering methods.

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