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Estimación de reservas Petroleo

Estimación de reservas Petroleo

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80
JPT • MAY 2007
Introduction
Reserves estimation is one of the most essential tasks in thepetroleum industry. It is the process by which the economi-cally recoverable hydrocarbons in a field, area, or region areevaluated quantitatively. Downward revisions of U.S. Securityand Exchange Commission (SEC)-booked reserves by someoil companies in 2004 brought the topic under public scruti-ny. Confidence in reserves disclosures became a public issue,and there were calls from investors and lending institutionsfor more-reliable reserves estimates. Oil companies haveresponded by revisiting reserves-estimation procedures, andSPE, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), World Petroleum Council (WPC), and Society of PetroleumEvaluation Engineers (SPEE) have launched a joint projectto train reserves evaluators. A major goal in this initiativeis preparation of training modules that represent industry’s“recommended practices.” Long before the issue caught the public’s attention, how-ever, reserves estimation was a challenge for the industry.The challenge stems from many factors, tangible and intan-gible, that enter the estimation process, and judgment is anintegral part of the process. Uncertainty, along with risk, isan endemic problem that must be addressed. Consequently,the industry’s record of properly predicting reserves has beenmixed. Despite appeals from some quarters, there currentlyis no standardized reserves-estimation procedure. The purpose of this paper is to discuss various issuesrelated to reserves, review reserves-estimation procedures,and make suggestions for improvements. Emphasis will beplaced on reserves evaluation at the preproduction stage inwhich estimation errors generally have the highest economiceffect. The discussed procedures pertain to conventional oiland gas reserves. Specific rules relating to booking reservesfor regulatory purposes are outside the scope of this paper.
Reserves Definition and Classification
Fig. 1
shows how reserves are part of the petroleum resourcebase. Under the SPE/WPC definitions, “Reserves are thosequantities of petroleum which are anticipated to be com-mercially recovered from known accumulations from agiven date forward” (
Petroleum Reserves Definitions
1997).Commerciality implies commitment or expected commit-ment to develop reserves within a reasonable time frame.Depending on the degree of uncertainty, three main classes of reserves are recognized: proved, probable, and possible, thelast-named two collectively called unproved. Proved reservesare those quantities that have reasonable certainty of beingrecovered, indicating a high degree of confidence. Provedreserves may be developed or undeveloped. Probable reservesare more likely than not to be recoverable, while pos-sible reserves are less likely to be recoverable than probablereserves. Geological and engineering data form the basis of determination. Proved reserves assume recoverability undercurrent economic conditions, operating methods, and gov-ernment regulations. For unproved reserves, recoverabilitymay be tied to future economic conditions and technology. In the absence of fluid-contact data, the lowest knownoccurrence of hydrocarbons generally controls the provedlimit. Reserves exclude past production. Potentially recoverable quantities that do not satisfy the defini-tion of reserves are contingent (discovered but subcommercial)and prospective (undiscovered) resources. Subcommercialityincludes technology limitations (
Petroleum Reserves Definitions
1997;
Petroleum Resources Definitions
2000).
Reserves Estimation: The Challenge for the Industry 
Ferruh Demirmen, SPE, Petroleum Consultant
DISTINGUISHED AUTHOR SERIES
Fig. 1—Petroleum resource classification, based onFig. 1 of Petroleum Resources Definitions (2000).
Dev.Undev.Best EstimateHigh EstimateBest EstimateHigh Estimate
   T  o   t  a   l   P  e   t  r  o   l  e  u  m    I  n   i   t   i  a   l   l  y  -   i  n  -   P   l  a  c  e
   D   i  s  c  o  v  e  r  e   d   i  n  -   P   l  a  c  e
Low Estimate
Reserves
Proved+ ProbableProved+ Probable+ Possible
   S  u   b  -   C  o  m .   U  n   d   i  s  c  o  v .   i  n  -   P   l  a  c  e
Increasing Uncertainty
Low Estimate
    I  n  c  r  e  a  s   i  n  g   M  a   t  u  r   i   t  y
ProvedUnrecoverable
   C  o  m  m  e  r  c   i  a   l
ProductionContingent Resources
Unrecoverable
Prospective Resources
 
Copyright 2007 Society of Petroleum EngineersThis is paper SPE 103434.
Distinguished Author Series
articles are general, descriptiverepresentations that summarize the state of the art in an area of technology by describing recentdevelopments for readers who are not specialists in the topics discussed. Written by individualsrecognized as experts in the area, these articles provide key references to more definitive workand present specific details only to illustrate the technology.
Purpose:
to inform the generalreadership of recent advances in various areas of petroleum engineering.
Ferruh Demirmen,
SPE, is an independent petroleumconsultant dealing, in part, with reserves estimation. Hehas 40 years of upstream experience, mostly in produc-tion. Demirmen retired from Shell Intl. Petroleum Mij. as acorporate consultant in production geology responsible for Europe/North Sea, southeast Asia, and South America. Heholds a BS degree from the U. of Kansas and MS and PhDdegrees from Stanford U., all in geology.
 
JPT • MAY 2007
 Because of ambiguity associated with uncertainty levels intraditional definitions of reserves, probabilistic definitionsthat quantify uncertainty have gained wide acceptance in theindustry. Under SPE/WPC guidelines, for proved reserves,there should be at least a 90% probability that the quantitiesactually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate
(Fig. 2).
 For probable reserves, there should be at least a 50% probabil-ity that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceedthe sum of estimated proved plus probable reserves. Likewise,for possible reserves, there should be at least a 10% probabilitythat the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed thesum of estimated proved plus probable plus possible reserves.Fig. 2 shows some common notation (e.g., 1P and 2P). Reserves categories are subject to change in responseto data maturity and other contingencies. While there areexceptions, the usual trend is for possible and probablereserves to move to the proved category and contingentresources to move to reserves category. In September 2006, SPE issued a draft proposal
PetroleumReserves and Resources Classification, Definitions and Guidelines
for review in 2007 sponsored by SPE, AAPG, WPC, andSPEE and invited the industry to comment.
Sources of Technical Uncertainty 
Reserves estimation is heavily affected by technical uncer-tainty
(Fig. 3).
The first level of uncertainty is associatedwith one-dimensional data (e.g., well logs, cores, well tests).These data provide reservoir properties such as porosity,hydrocarbon saturation, oil viscosity, and the like, at or nearthe well bore. The second level of uncertainty arises whenone-dimensional reservoir properties are extrapolated totwo and three dimensions with the help of geology, seismic(e.g., inversion), and long-term production tests. Errorsincurred during extrapolation compound those incurred atthe first stage. The combination of data, together with labarotory mea-surements such as relative permeability, help construct areservoir model, either static or dynamic (the latter incor-porating fluid-flow characteristics). The reservoir modelitself is imperfect because of inherent uncertainties in thedata and assumptions that go into building it. The model isa simplified representation of the complex geological/rock/ fluid system. The third level of technical uncertainty is associated withthe reserves-estimation process itself. This stage is whereshortcomings in estimation procedures compound imperfec-tions in the reservoir model. Therefore, technical uncertainty is inherent in reservesestimates. As will be noted in the following sections, how-ever, technical uncertainty is not the only factor that affectsreserves estimates.
Nondiminishing Uncertainty 
A generalization, frequently quoted in the literature, is thatas additional data become available with increasing field
81
Fig. 2—Probabilistic reserves definition.
10%10%40%40%
Percentages denoterelative areas under 
Proved Probable Possible(P1)(P2)(P3)P90P50P10
probability curve
ModeMedianMean
(1P) (2P)(3P)
Fig. 3—Sources of technical uncertainty.
Wells
1D Data
Geology and Seismic
2D and 3D DataElectric logsCores/cuttingsWireline samplesPressure dataWell testsProduction dataVSP, etc.Reservoir continuityReservoir connectivity Aquifer strength, etc.
 
Reservoir Model
VOLUMETRICS
Interpretation and extrapolationthroughout the process
(U
NCERTAINTY
L
EVEL
3)(U
NCERTAINTY
L
EVEL
2)U
NCERTAINTY
L
EVEL
1)
#1#2
Fig. 4—Uncertainty range in GIIP in unnamed field.Expl.
=
exploration, Dev.
=
development.
654321
1980 1982 1984 1986199019921988
   G   I   I   P ,   T  c   f
AppraisalDev.Expl.
HighMiddleLowDevelopmentdecision
 
82
JPT • MAY 2007
maturity, uncertainty in ultimate recovery (UR) or reservesbecomes smaller. The concept, based on intuition, however,is not supported by evidence.
Fig. 4
is a typical trend of theuncertainty range of estimated gas initially in place (GIIP)for a field in the North Sea (Stoessel 1994). UR histories of many other fields show a similar nondiminishing trend atpreproduction stage. Unpublished oil company data point inthe same direction. Less information exists on the behavior of uncertaintyrange after production, but the general nondiminishingtrend appears to hold at this stage also. Results of a studyinvolving 12 experienced petroleum engineers attempting toestimate (remaining) reserves in producing wells in a field inColorado support this view (Hefner and Thompson 1996).
Fig. 5
shows average results of probabilistic P90, P50, andP10 values (plus the SEC-compliant deterministic value) forone of the wells. The horizontal dashed line defines the idealsituation in which the estimate matches the actual reserves.(The well had reached the economic limit; therefore, theactual reserves could be determined.) It is noted that theP10 to P90 range is nearly constant over time. Similar non-diminishing trends at production stage have been reportedfrom other sources (Thomas 1998; Cronquist 2001). The foregoing conclusions are consistent with the con-sensus reached at a European Assn. of Geoscientists &Engineers (EAGE) workshop held in Amsterdam (EAGE1996). A reasonable explanation for the observed phenom-ena is that our ability to properly quantify uncertainty, evenat the production stage, is rather limited.
Field Reserves Histories
More significant, as far as economic effect, is whether fieldreserves estimates (expectation values) show consistencyover time. Review of field reserves histories from severalpetroleum provinces indicates that this is generally not thecase (Demirmen 2005).
Fig. 6
displays variations in UR estimates for oil over theperiod 1974 through 2004 for 15 major oil fields on theNorwegian continental shelf (NCS). These are mean valuesas reported by the operators and occasionally as establishedby Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Both pre- and post-production estimates are included. Significant fluctuationsin UR over time are evident. The Statfjord field, for example,had its UR estimates slashed substantially 2 years after dis-covery, but had the estimates upgraded to near-discoverylevels many years later. A similar pattern is seen (not repro-duced here) when UR values are expressed as percentage of those at production startup time.
DISTINGUISHED AUTHOR SERIES
Fig. 5—Reserves estimates in producing well inColorado.
Ideal trend
% Actual UR
0.50.01.01.50 20 40 60 80 100
P90P10P50
Deterministicunder SEC rules
 Average of all estimatesby 12 petroleum engineers
   E  s   t   i  m  a   t  e   d   /   A  c   t  u  a   l   R  e  m  a   i  n   i  n  g   R  e  s  e  r  v  e  s
Fig. 6—Changes in UR estimates for oil in major fields on NCS.
05001,0001,5002,0002,5003,0003,5004,000
1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 1994 1998 2002
   O   i   l ,  m   i   l   l   i  o  n   b   b   l
BalderEkofiskEldfiskStatfjordValhallUlaGulfaksOsebergSnorreTroll West AsgardDraugenHeidrunGraneNorne
Discovered 1974StatfjordEkofiskTroll West production startProduction start 1979
Source: NPD
0
 
BalderEkofiskEldfiskStatfjordValhallUlaGulfaksOsebergSnorreTroll West AsgardDraugenHeidrunGraneNorne

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