What Is Reservoir Management?
- G.C. Thakur (Chevron Petroleum Technology Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 1996
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 520 - 525
- 1996. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.9 Miscible Methods, 7.1.9 Project Economic Analysis, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.1.7 Seismic Processing and Interpretation, 5.6.5 Tracers, 5.5.8 History Matching, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 3.3.6 Integrated Modeling, 5.1.6 Near-Well and Vertical Seismic Profiles, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 7.1.10 Field Economic Analysis, 3 Production and Well Operations, 5.6.6 Cross-well Tomography, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation
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Distinguished Author Series articles are general, descriptiverepresentations that summarize the state of the art in an area of technology bydescribing recent developments for readers who are not specialists in thetopics discussed. Written by individuals recognized as experts in the area,these articles provide key references to more definitive work and presentspecific details only to illustrate the technology. Purpose: to informthe general readership of recent advances in various areas of petroleumengineering.
This paper describes practical aspects of reservoir management and newapproaches being used today, with emphasis on the multidisciplinary teamapproach. Case studies are presented that illustrate the effectiveness of thisapproach. In addition, specific attributes of a successful reservoir-managementorganization and program are highlighted.
Reservoir management has been defined by a number of authors.1-4Basically, sound reservoir-management practice relies on use of financial,technological, and human resources, while minimizing capital investments andoperating expenses to maximize economic recovery of oil and gas from areservoir. The purpose of reservoir management is to control operations toobtain the maximum possible economic recovery from a reservoir on the basis offacts, information, and knowledge.3
History and Current Status
Before 1970, many considered reservoir engineering to be of major technicalimportance in reservoir management. Wyllie5 emphasized thefundamental concepts of reservoir mechanics and automation with computers.Essley6 emphasized the advancement in technical aspects of reservoirengineering, yet warned that vital engineering considerations are oftenneglected or ignored.
During the 1970's and 1980's, synergism between geoscientists and reservoirengineering proved to be very successful. Craig et al.7emphasized the value of detailed reservoir description with geological,geophysical, and reservoir-simulation techniques. Harris and Hewitt8presented a geological perspective of the synergism in reservoir management.Even though the synergism provided by the interaction between geoscientists andreservoir engineering was quite successful, the values of other disciplines(e.g., production operations and drilling) and other engineering functions likefacilities engineering were not realized to their fullest extent.
Reservoir management has now matured to the point where great emphasis isplaced on working as a crossfunctional team, involving all technical areas,management, economics, legal, and environmental groups. This type ofreservoir-management model has proved to be quite successful.9-20This paper highlights the major contributions to this model.
Data Collection and Management
Data collection and management are very important to project success, andthey must be carefully planned and carried out. A clear understanding of thepurpose and application of the data is necessary (i.e., a definition of why theinformation is needed and how it is to be used). A cost/benefit analysis of thedata (i.e., the cost of data collection and management and the benefits to bederived) is mandatory.
Justification, priority, timeliness, quality, and cost-effectiveness shouldbe the guiding factors in data collection and analysis. Fig. 1 shows anefficient data-flow diagram. Proper timing of data collection is very importantbecause early initiation of a well-coordinated data-collection program not onlyprovides a better monitoring and evaluation tool, but also costs less in thelong run. For example, a few early drillstem tests could help decide if andwhere to set pipe. Sometimes these data can also provide the same type ofinformation normally available by complex and expensive cased-hole,multiple-zone testing. An extra log or an additional hour's time on a drillstemtest may provide better information than could be obtained from more expensivecore analysis.
A market research found that geologists and engineers spend up to half theirtime collecting and processing data.17 As a result, they have lesstime available for analysis and making future recommendations. Thedata-management issue is not an easy task. We all look forward to the result ofa joint-study project, sponsored by the Petrotechnical Open Software Corp., indeveloping industry data standards.
Integration of Geoscience and Engineering
In 1977, Halbouty19 advised, "It is the duty and responsibilityof industry managers to encourage full coordination of geologists,geophysicists, and petroleum engineers to advance petroleum exploration,development, and production." Since then, considerable progress has been madein this integration effort.
Sessions and Lehman20 presented the concept of increasedinteraction between geologists and reservoir engineers through multifunctionalteams and cross training between the disciplines. Sneider21recommended that geologists, geophysicists, petroleum engineers, and otherswork together on a project more effectively and efficiently as a team ratherthan working as a group of individuals.
Traditionally, data of different types have been processed separately,leading to several disparate approaches: a geologic, a geophysical, and aproduction/engineering model. The industry has made considerable progress inintegrating these models as the importance of geology and geophysics inpredicting reservoir performance is better recognized by reservoir engineers.With the advent of 3D geologic modeling programs, automating the generation ofgeological maps and cross sections from exploration data is practical. Inaddition, the geologic picture (including the qualitative interferences) isbeing transferred into a simulation model.22,23
Using numerical simulation, the reservoir engineer today seeks more data,both in quantity and quality, from the geoscientists. On the other hand,history matching of the reservoir's performance and utilization of a numericalsimulation model can lead to feedback of geological information to thegeologist.
Better tools and data, along with the advent of new technology, such asworkstations and integrated software packages, can minimize remaining barriersbetween reservoir-management disciplines. Integrated data-storage and-retrieval systems that use workstations and interactive technologies provide abridge between geoscientists and engineers. By integrating the work ofgeoscientists and engineers, it is possible to check and to validate seismicand geologic interpretations. Team members are able to correct contradictionsas they arise, minimizing costly errors later in the field's life. In a broadersense, current reservoir-management approaches look not only at integration ofgeosciences and engineering, but also at integration of data, tools, technologyand people, as Fig. 2 shows.
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