Though stochastic and geostatistical methods can produce numerous equally likely models of a petroleum reservoir, most practical case studies that use such probabilistic methods do not explore the entire space of uncertainty but focus instead on a single outcome. When displayed using powerful visualization tools, this single outcome is often mistaken for reality. The traditional graphical displays that geostatisticians use to combat this false belief in the certainty of a single image do not convey uncertainty in an intuitive manner; these traditional displays therefore tend to be less compelling than the slick and polished graphical displays that modern visualization tools provide.

The visualization of spatial uncertainty can be made more intuitive with dynamic displays in which each frame is a plausible outcome that differs only slightly from the previous one. The same approach can be enhanced to allow interaction with the display so that users have a more direct sense of exploring the space of uncertainty.

Interactive visualization tools improve decision-making in the face of uncertainty by confronting engineers and geologists with the spatial uncertainy that is often critical in a comprehensive risk analysis of EOR projects.

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