In 1985 the City of Long Beach initiated a series of reservoir simulation studies within the Long Beach Unit (Unit). The Unit, located in the Wilmington Field, California, is estimated to have contained 3.1 billion barrels of original oil in place. Since the Unit was formed in 1965 approximately 700 million barrels of oil have been recovered. A rapid decline in oil production warranted the need for a detailed study. Of key concern was the known areas of the field that have not been swept efficiently by waterflooding. Evidence from water injection profiles and new well saturations indicated significant reserves were being left behind and that there was potential to improve recovery performance. Reservoir simulation was used as a tool to identify areas of prospective remaining reserves, and to determine an optimum operating strategy to recover those reserves. Because of the large volume of oil in place, only a small percentage increase in recovery would translate to millions of dollars in revenue.

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