When simulating foam floods, uncertainties exist in both the foam and reservoir parameters however the combination of these uncertainties are rarely incorporated in forecasting. Foam flooding is an effective enhanced oil recovery method that controls mobility, reduces gas relative permeability, delays gas breakthrough and helps improve sweep efficiency. Thus it is often used in highly heterogeneous reservoirs where significant subsurface uncertainties exist. Foam uncertainties exist as (a) foam stability is controlled by a number of factors such as critical water and surfactant concentrations, brine salinity, and oil saturation which are unknown in the subsurface spatially and (b) foam flood simulation requires the accurate description of multiple parameters used in the foam flood models which are unknown.

This study quantifies and compares the impact of uncertainties associated with foam model parameters with the heterogeneity of a fractured carbonate reservoir, an analogue to the highly prolific Arab D formation. Foam model parameters are not known a-priori but can be tuned to experimental data, which ideally represent a range of foam regimes and reservoir conditions. Geological heterogeneities in fractured carbonate reservoirs are complex and include, matrix wettability, fracture density/orientation and initial saturation distribution.

To quantify uncertainties geological uncertainties in fractured carbonate reservoirs, an automated framework was used to history match the production response of a fractured carbonate field by varying geological parameters. This accounts for the geological uncertainties during a waterflood, which are then combined with foam uncertainties from experimental analysis in the optimisation step, by optimising the mean response of the model to foam flooding across a range of geological and foam scenarios. Our workflow used a combination of Particle Swarm Optimisation for history matching and manual optimisation, the final results of which show a wide range of possible impacts of foam flooding from different but equally well matched reservoirs.

The novelty of our work is that it demonstrates how parameters that control foam stability and hence effectiveness in mobility control are related to both foam properties and geological uncertainty. Carrying these uncertainties into foam model properties from core to field scale will translate into considerably more robust estimates of uncertainty when predicting field-scale recovery compared to simulations that only consider uncertainty in the reservoir model.

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