Abstract

With the recognized cost and complexity of IOR and EOR projects onshore, there is a significant risk of projects not meeting their NPV or production targets, unless cost-effective well and reservoir management plans are in place to mitigate such risks. Time-lapse seismic could provide important and timely information to diagnose and remediate areal conformance issues, if the time-lapse data is of high enough quality and low enough cost to be acquired on a frequent basis. We review the business case, expected value, and affordability of seismic monitoring in IOR/EOR projects and the new technologies that may be used for this purpose. We illustrate these ideas with a case study from the Peace River heavy oil field in Canada, as it is implemented today to monitor steam injection in a relatively shallow reservoir and how it could be implemented in the future to reduce cost and preserve value by judicious adjustment of the frequency of seismic monitoring. We also comment on the challenges and technology options for monitoring of deeper reservoirs.

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