This paper documents the use of integrated reservoir management concepts during the application of innovative technology to improve oil production/recovery in both new and mature fields. It provides a number of examples of multi-disciplinary project teams working together in a motivated environment to optimize the asset value. These examples demonstrate the innovative use of existing technologies to increase asset productivity: 3D/4D seismic, geostatistics, characterization/simulation, horizontal drilling technology, and improved oil recovery (IOR)/enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques — dumpflooding, peripheral/pattern floods, water/gas injection, CO2/miscible gas, and steamflooding.
Adopting an integrated team approach is important because of the advanced level of expertise required in making large-scale primary, secondary and tertiary projects successful from both a technical and an economic point of view. Opportunities for improving recovery through synergistic activities among team members are numerous. The integrated team approach and innovative use of technologies have resulted in significant increase in production/recovery in each of the case studies. Moreover, multi-disciplinary functions can yield significant benefits and individual job satisfaction for the participating team members.
A team building approach that uses "in-house" reservoir management quality fitness reviews or mini-forums are often employed to facilitate communication among engineering, geosciences, and operations staff. Recommendations for project improvement are a natural outgrowth of these forums.
Our experience indicates that considerable corporate benefits can be derived from integrated, multi-disciplinary reservoir management activities for both new and mature fields, onshore or offshore.
While the meaning of the term "reservoir management" has continued to evolve over the years (Satter et al. 1992; Haldorsen and Van Gold-Racht 1989; Wiggins and Starzman 1989; Robertson 1989; Satter and Thakur 1994), most observers would agree with view that sound reservoir management practice relies on the use of financial, technological, and human resources to maximize the economic recovery of oil and gas from a reservoir while minimizing capital investments and operating expenses (Satter and Thakur 1994).
Note that such a characterization has at its core the achievement of economic rather than only technical outcomes. This is a far cry from the traditional view of reservoir management as primarily a matter of reservoir engineering, which focuses on the movement of oil, gas, and liquids within a given geological environment. In fact, reservoir management is increasingly evolving into a multi-disciplinary endeavor in which the fundamental insights provided by reservoir engineers are synergistically linked to solutions developed by earth scientists, well and facility designers, economic and legal advisors, and risk managers.
Thus, while the traditional view tended to look upon the process or reservoir management as a relay race in which control of the project was handed off from one group of experts to the next as asset development continued, today a more apt sports metaphor might be that of a basketball team in which a flexible, multi-functional organization provides an integrated approach to problem solving from acquisition to the final stages of field disposal (Fig. 1).