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Society of Petroleum Engineers
SPE 23616 Methodological Approach for Reservoir Simulation
N. Sanchez, C. Martinez* and A. Rattia*, Maraven, SA
Copyright 1992, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Inc This paper was presented at the Second Latin American Petroleum Engineering Conference, II LAPEC, of the Society of Petroleum Engineers held in Caracas, Venezuela, March 8·11, 1992
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as presented, have not been reviewed by the II LAPEC or the SPE and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any position of the II LAPEC or the SPE. its officers, or members. Papers presented at SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Write Public.tions Manager, SPE, P.O.Box 833836 Richardson TX 75083·3836 U.S.A. Telex 730989 SPEDAL.
The reservoir simulation is a technology of generalized use in the petroleum industry to evaluate actual and future reservoir performance. However, a general methodology for reservoir simulation has not been completed defined in the literature (Refs. 1,2,3,4). In view that reservoir simulation is a basic tool of reservoir management, Maraven S.A decided to standardize the procedures involved into a reservoir simulation study, developing a methodology aimed to eliminate engineering and computing time waste during the process of model initialization, history match, and predictions, which represent the main part of the reservoir simulation processes. Consecuently, work processes were stablished and documented including flow diagrams, and forms were prepared to obtain information, in order to keep track of the time used during the execution of each stage of the processes, allowing to use statistic control to monitore each process performance. The application of the developed methodology allowed to identify the main time consuming activities, optimizing the studies execution process by reducing the risk of overlooking key aspects and variables, thus increasing the level of confidence of the simulation results. Finally, the preliminary statistic control results have allowed to identify the following actions. 1) Guaranty the use of flow diagrams and measures of the time used in the execution of each process stage, 2)Develope automatic data processing and administration systems to accomplish the simulator requirements, and 3) Continuous trainnig in computarized tools.
the process of inicialization, history, match, and predictions. The aim was to provide new reservoir simulator users with a detailed description of the activities (a series of actions and changes) involved in the execution of each of the main reservoir simulation processes. Figures 1,2 and 3, shown the flow diagrams of each process. Detailed discussion of the different satages involved in each process wiil be presented next.
PROCESS FOR INICIALIZATION RESERVOIR SIMULATION MODEL
The inicialization process consist of the reservoir model validation through the calculation of the original fluid in place volumens . The model initialization allow to stablish the initial fluid saturation and pressure distribution within the reservoir. The flow diagram presented in Figure I, show the procedure to carry out the initialization process for the hypothetical general case of a reservoir with a gas cap and water zone. A detail discussion of the different stages involved is presented next.
The first order to pressure. volumes obtained.
run of of the inicialization data is conducted in check data entry format errors. As result the fluids saturation distribution. and fluid in place for the different fluids inside the reservoir are i.e.• the simulator interpreted inicialization data.
2. Data entry verification
Normally. the first inicialization run of a simulation model may abort due. to errors in data entry formats. inconsistency of relative permeabilities and/or PVT data. The errors of inicialization data are normally of the following types. Parametric problems. fluid properties tables. saturation tables, equilibrium condition tables. aquifer definition. and array generation. 35
The general methodology for reservoir simulation presented in this work, consisted of structuring into stages References and illustrations at the end of paper
Review initial fluid pressures Verify that the initial pressure distribution at the reference depth (datum) match the average reported value. greater time intervals. S.Review aquifer size The initial ratio of the aquifer water volume and reservoir volume. The runs for this part of the match should be conducted using time periods of approximatelly 20 % of the available production history and including restart in each run. fluid properties (fluids specific gravity). e) Errors in net sand thickness. A detail discussion of the different stages involved is presented next 1. if the size of the blocks used to represent the aquifer are increased gradually (between 1. and water-oil contact location. The second stage consist in the reproduction of the reservoir performance at individual well level. After complete the match of the reservoir performance the model should be validated. The flow diagram presented in Figures 2a. consist on input the historical data for the oil production and fluid injection rates. If there is not gas cap within the reservoir go to step 6. This ratio has strong effect on the reservoir energy level. for the first two rows of blocks in the aquifer. If the simulation calculated oil production rates are reproduced satisfactory. and assigning only the constraings impossed by the field production system. the first step within a match should be to make sure that this . Once the necessary adjustment have been conducted. 2b and 2c show the history match process. the inicialization run should be repited and the calculated value for the STOUP should verified. Average pressures match Generally the history match process is carry out in two stages.Reviw data affecting STOIlP Verify that the value of STOIIP calculated by the model is in line with stimated values by volumetric calculations and material balance. structure elevations or total sand thickness. and gas-oil contact location. If there are significative differences the fluid data should be review. 7. In fact recent developed simulators have build in citerias to select. normally is necessary to perform modifications on certain reservoir parameters (geologic or from fluids). the gas-oil ratio. it is of main concern to verify that the calculated initial solution gas-oil ratio reproduce satisfactory the value stablished in the PVT analysis characterization. 36 PROCESS FOR HISTORY MATCH OF THE RESERVOIR PERFORMANCE A very common way to reproduce a reservoir historical performance. correction of data entry formats should be performed and the run must be repited until a clean data code is obtained. should match the calculated value using material balance. well completion intervals and net sand thickness A very common error source is found on the production rates. instead of making local changes affecting only individual blocks which are useful only when the match of the individual well behavior is been performed . making sensitivities to changes on the required variables until obtain a satisfactory match. Once the required adjustments have been made. In order to modify the aquifer size the following parameters have to be considered. If not. net sand thickness in the free gas zone. numerical stability errors will be prevented. Solution method selection In order to select the method that will allow to obtain smaller run times and greater run stability (smaller number of iterations.. The history match of the complete reservoir pressure and major regions is obtained using an interactive process that involve global changes affecting regions or groups of blocks where the wells have observed similar behavior. Review PVT data During the development of a reservoir simulation model. This process is repited until achieve the match. 4. In order to achieve the match. or alternate solution methods during a simulation run. porosity values and distribution. a) Review oil production rates. In the following a detail description of the most common correction actions to achieve the average pressure match arc presented. net sand thickness. the inicialization run must be repited and the STOIIP value has to be verify againg. the parameters affecting the gas cap dimensions must be reviewed.. Alterations of the water-oil transition zone size and its saturations distributions could be prevent.2 METIlOOOLOGICALAPPROACH FOR RESERVOIR SIMULATION SPE 23616 In case of errors. and by major reservoir regions formed by groups of wells with similar characteristics. Consecuently. tacking into account the convergency rates and tolerances within the material balance (see Figure 2a). review the assigned parameters to the equilibrium tables. This procedure is carry out simulating the last five years of history without input the historical oil production rates values. this is normally due to errors of the following type. change. 2. 3. and leave the model to simulate the pressure performance. This procedure is repited until a match of the STOIIP is achieved. Review gas cap size The initial ratio of the gas volume iside the gas cap and the reservoir oil volume should match the volumetric and material balance calculation. 6. If the calculated value is too high/low.5 to 2 times the size of the blocks in the oil zone. this guaranty that the model will be adecuated to predict the reservoir performance. The solution methods do not have to be fixed along all the simulation period. and the water cut. d) High/low values in the capilar pressure curves. If not. a) High/low porosity values (data entry format error) b) Misplace fluid contacts (gas-oil and/or water-oil) c) Inclusion/exclusion of grid blocks that belong or not to the reservoir model. smaller material balance errors or greater tendency to improve it) the model must be run for a small time period using the simulator availables solution methods. The number and size of the blocks used to reproduce the aquifer. and its interrelation with the completion intervals and net sand thickness. i. the porosity. The first stage consist in the reproduction of the observed performance at total reservoir level. consecuently.e.
the water breakthrough is mainly controled by sedimentologic parameters. if the gas in the system is segregating too fast. b) Adjust energy level If the calculated pressure values are considerable far from the observed performance. After complete the match of the average pressure. This can be controled by modifying the vertical permeability in those model regions where faster segregation is required in order to reduce the gas production. c) Adjust fluid flow between major regions It is possible that the simulation calculated average reservoir pressure is in line with the observed value. Therefore. The following procedure should be used for the individual well match (see Figure 2b) . Individual well match After the reservoir and region match have been completed. In order to reduce this effect the slop of the relative permeability curves must be modify. Also. . If this is the case. AND A. this indicate that there is not enough gas within the system. the transmisibilities between the aquifer and the reservoir zone or from the main flow channals must be modified. 3. The GOR is controled by the degree of segregation allowed within the model.e. mainly good producers and wells with large production history using the same reservoir parameters. the GOR and water cut start to show significative variations after some production period. in some cases modification of the slope of the relative permeability curves or critical gas saturation permit to obtain the same effect A very high GOR could indicate a very optimistic ratio of krg/kro. at region level (group of wells with similar characteristics) considerable discrepacies are observed compared to the historical information. it will be necessary to make the required corrections and to repit the run until the model is able to reproduce the observed production rates. which must be trated as mentioned previously. b) Relative prmeability curves for each layer. the match can not be achieved if the gas and water front are not model adecuately. In this case the opposite to the former case must be done. it will not be adecuatelly reflected on the reservoir due to high/low reservoir-aquifer comunication.. MARTINEZ. but. manipulate the slop of the relative permeability curves until a higher ratio of krg/kro is achieved. C. In this case the sedimentological reservoir description will play a very important roll on the water front advance. The parameters that should be modify in order to adjust the GOR and water cut are presented next a) The already mentioned for the pressure match. Therefore. although.. the slop of the relative permeability curves could look reazonable good. It is possible that the aquifer will be strong enough. c) Vertical permeability distribution. It is possible that some of the runs made during this stage may abort due to large block pressure changes. The required actions to adjust the aquifer activity are presented in the following. pore volume. and try separately at the end the not matchable wells. The problem is quit difficult in stratified reservoirs where there is vertical comunication between layers. SANCHEZ. The procedure to adjust the model energy level consist in review the size and pore volumes distribution inside the gas and oil zones. although. In this case an increase in the critical gas saturation coul stop the gas production. This normally takes place in very large size reservoirs and/or complex geological model. and capacity. Also.For aquifers represented by model grid blocks. A general rul is to match the maximun number of wells. This implicate a good knowledge of the gas or water 37 drive mechanism acting into the reservoir. i. . Another problem that may arise. The opposite must be applied in the case of a delaied gas production. if the GOR is very low. becouse of the main flow channals and sand energy levels distribution definition. Match of the historical GOR and water cut performance Frequently. the completion of the well located on the problem grid-block or the values assigned to the porosity. In this case. The variation of this values are due to the gas and water advance into the reservoir. increase the history period to be matched during the next set of runs in 20 % of the available history. as well as the aquifer activity and/or the fluid and rock compresibilities. The increase in the gas production could create a second factor that is reflected as a lower reservoir pressure. i. this means that there is not enough or too mutch energy inside the model compared to the real reservoir condition. the secondary effect could be an increase of the reservoir pressure. This stage should be repited until complete the match of the reservoir production history.e. thus reducing the reservoir depletion. is an early gas flow in the model. it is necessary to obtain a pressure match during that period before decide to iniciate the match of the GOR and water cut (Figure 2b). The regions selection must be carry out based on pressure analysis. In the case of the water cut. the keg curve must be make less monotony growing and the kro curve more monotony growing. Also.For aquifers represented analiticaly. The pressure match of the different regions is obtained modifying the fluid flow between then performing appropiate transmisibility changes. reductions of the vertical permeability allow to decrease this effect Contrariwise. which cause the block pressure to get out of the PVT table pressure range. If not. 4. d) Shape of relative permeability curves. only is necessary to modify the parameters playing a roll in the aquifer influence funtion.SPE 23616 N. and keep running the model using restart of the recurren data. modifications of the transmisibilities along the blocks describing the faults system will allow to modify the water influx in any desired direction. the adjust consist of modify the dimension and/or porosity of the blocks representing the aquifer. In some cases the permeability in some directions could be increased (axis of lithoral bars or flow channals for example) in order to reproduce the regional water saturation distribution. and net oil sand must be reviewed. RATIIA 3 information is correct. or water front advance observed in the reservoir. In this case small adjustment to the transmisibilities in the regions closed to the aquifer will help to correct these discrepancies. the individual well performance match follows.
Stablish base case During the process of a simulation study predictions. History match documentation. 5. 4. the engineer knowledge about the study area. show the prediction behavior under the actual exploitation scheme. and the run should be executed again. If this modification does not help. The predictions of the reservoir simulation study will provide the base for the economic analysis that will allow to stablish the optimun exploitation scheme selection. 2. and the production rate must be matched. This is due to lack of gas availability in the region around the well. . Evaluate the advantage of a flank water injection project versus a pauern injection project. Details of the procedure arc discus in the following. or review the saturation pressure around the well in those reservoirs where there are variations of saturation pressure with depth. observing that model calculated GOR decrease while the observed field GOR is still increasing. The next step consist in validate the reservoir model leaving it run without any constrains to see if the model is able to match the last five years of observed history. This stage is aimed to indicate all barriers found during the process and how were solved. Investigate the effect on recovery of production or injection rate variations. the first run usually denominated base case. In case of well producing by mechanical pumping. If a satisfactory validation is achieved in this stage. b) Match of the GOR The GOR depend to a high degree from the krg/kro ratio. Model valiadation After the reservoir and individual well performance match have been completed. In this run the model only will be constrained by the assigned well head pressure in the artificial lift tables in case of wells producing by natural flow or by artificial 38 gas-lift. the limitations that avoided to obtain a beuer match must be indicated. 7. reducing the critical gas saturation to allow an early gas movement. and neighbor blocks if necessary. a model suitable to predict the reservoir performance is available. and assigning well index values to each active well to reproduce its real oil production potencial at the bigining of the period. If a satisfactory validation is not achieved. Determine the effect of well location and spacing. the well index of the affected wells must be adjust at the time of the event execution. Plot the real and simulated water cut performance versus time for each well. review if there have been events that justify changes in the flow index (workovers. it must be consider to increase/reduce the horizontal or vertical permeability (or both if it is the case) in the block where the well is located. Repitstep 1 and 2 until obtain the match. 2. or reducing the vertical permeability to achieve slower gas segregation and consecuently it can be produced at the well. the krg and kro curves could be modify using a procedure similar to that used during the reservoir GOR match. and achieve a good representation of the botton hole flowing pressure (Fig. and identified not matched regions. and recomendations about additional information required should be point out if necessary. In this case it is only necessary to execute a restart in order to initiate the reservoir predictions. the production guidlines. This performance will be use as reference to determine the benefits of any feasible modification of the actual exploitation scheme. If there is a secondary recovery project taking place in the reservoir. 3. 6. The model validation will be verifyied observing if there is shifting of the well production performance curve above or bellow its observed behavior. and can be corrected modifying the relative permeability curves in the gas saturation ranges existing in the well block location during the not matched period. and reduce the slop of the krw curve in the range of water saturations in which the simulated water cut is greater than the real. Plot the well block water saturation versus time. Evaluate the reservoir future performance under natural depletion.4 ME1lIODOLOGICAL APPROACH FOR RESERVOIR SIMULAnON SPE 23616 a) Adjust the well energy level The well pressure is related to the energy level in its neighborhood. 1. c. only the maximun bolton hole flowing pressure have to be defined. The reservoir characteristics. The flow diagram of the process to carry out predictions of the future reservoir performance is shown in Figure 3. and gas or water injection. 6. Investigate the effect of infill drilling on recovery. The reservoir model must be validate going back the last five years of the available production history. Water cut match In this case the procedure is as indicated in the following. a model able to predict the future reservoir performance is available. the process efficiency must be evaluated to decide if is possible to improve the actual s. It is common that relative permeability curves describe the well performance only during a certain period. 1. and sleeves changes). Study the feasibility of additional recovery by using enhance oil recovery process. new adjust must be made to the relative permeability curves and return to stage 4 (see Table 2c). because at saturations smaller than that the krw value must be closed to cero. Special concern must be given to the satuaration at wich the water production start out. If that is the case. and increase the krw value in the range of water saturation where the real water cut curve is greater than the simulated. The following are the more common evaluated alternatives. PROCESS FOR PREDICTION OF THE RESERVOIR FUTURE PERFORMANCE After an adecuated match of the historical reservoir performance have been achieved. or also. When the model does not reproduce the gas-oil ratio. 1. If this is too high/low. Also. 3. 2c). Therefore. and the strategic program will determine the exploitation options that could be carry out in the reservoir. Define schemes of well completion in layered reservoirs. well recompletions. artificial lift curves must be developed and included into the model to simulate the vertical flow performance.
and by comparison with the predicted values. . STATISTIC CONTROL PROCESS In order to monitor each process using statistic control.Botton hole historical observed pressure. If there is not a secondary recovery project taking place in the reservoir. . . This program must contain: .When will be necessary to perform workovers and/or zone changes in each well. 3. The preliminary 39 areas. the reasons for its use.Well evaluation schemes.Number of well to drill and repair. If the execution of the actions mentioned in the previous stage indicate that it is necessary to improve the actual additional recovery efficiency. stratigraphy.The effect of change the well spacing in none drained to stablish the process efficiency.Injection scheme considering geologic characteristics (structure. . the additional recovery possibility must be investigated (stage 4). . C.SPE 23616 N. . . Reconstruction of the additional recovery scheme. and compare this results with the actual injection sheme. It must point out the used criteria. 8. biginin and end of injection.Production-reserves ratio. The selection of the best additional recovery program must take into account the following.Effect on recovery of change operational parameters as production GaR. In this case the most common questions are the following. it will be necessary to evaluate the effect of the following options.. or drilling new wells on model identified poor drained zones. . . RATTIA 5 production/injection scheme.Volume of injection required and well injection distribution. 7.The analysis of the former presented factors will allow to stablish different natural depletion scenarios. . the validity of the original reservoir predictions can be stablished. SANCHEZ. 4. 2. thus evaluating the following aspects. MARTINEZ. After the required runs have been conducted go to stage 7.Effect on well production of water or gas invaded zones isolation.Effect on production potential of change the well production method (artifitial lift versus natural depletion). The organization of all this information should be clear enough to be used as guide for the reservoir operators during the execution of the stablished actions and to monitor the selected exploitation scheme.Oil. . If this is not the case. From the former aspects analysis.Oil recovered (% of STOIW. . and production mechanism will allow to decide if there is possibility for additional development. water cut limit. . . . . If this is the case refer to stage 5. and maximun injection pressure. will allow to elaborate an operational program for the schemes considered to be further investigated. .Moddification of the number and distribution of injectors and producers. % of insitu mobile oil recovered by the project) .Identify key operational parameters that will allow to guaranty the project succes (GaR. . and well completions). gas and water production prediction. .Project interruption. .Volume of fluid injected at reservoir conditions. If the last is true go to next stage.e. predictions must be conducted . water cut.Variation of injection pressures. . . 6. Additional development program The results of the predictions executed in stage 2 compared to the expected recoveries in reservoir with similar characteristics. . and the additional recovery predictions.Changes of injected fluids. AND A.The effect of infill drilling on potential and recovery.Evaluate the effect on recovery of infill drilling.Production/injection required production facilities. . and sedimentology).The completion date of each new well and the initial assigned potential. in the opposite case go to stage 7. using the optimun injection rate stablished previously. . the reservoir natural depletion should be used as reference to determine the benefits of any feasible change of the actual exploitation scheme. drilling and workover schedule. . .Total fluid produced substitution factor. S. Process documentation This stage must show a resume about the developed activity during the prediction process execution. or if it is necessary to modify the actual reservoir exploitation scheme or made additional predictions aimed to improved the reservoir recovery.Chronologie events secuence. .The annual total production of those wells and the cumulative production until total recovery. Determine additional recovery process efficiency If there is an ongoing water and/or gas injection project in the simulated reservoir. i. Feasibility evaluation of additional recovery The most important aspects that should be take into account to iniciate an additional recovery project are.Chronology or events secuence.Changes of injection/production zones. Wells and reservoir injection rates. data collection forms were developed to keep tracking of the time used during the execution of each stage involved in the described processes. Natural depletion predictions This predictions were aimed to evaluate alternatives to improve the actual natural depletion scheme (base case). which must be compared base in economic indicators to the best of stage 2 analyzed options.The effect on production potential and recovery of drilling new wells. . The indicated parameters will be used as reference in the economic evaluation. . Elaborate operational program The natural depletion predictions with and without additional development. and the results obtained at the end of each stage.Variation of injection and production rates.
New Jersey. and consecuentiy. 3. Develop automatized systems for studies administration and data processing based in the simulator requirements. fraction. giving a detailed step by step procedure to achieve adecuate simulation results. in order to optimize the processes and improve the confidence level of simulation results. R. The standardization of the procedures involved in reservoir simulation studies. Paris. Saler. The analysis results and interpretation of the information collected allowed to identify the following corrective actions. 1.: " Modem Reservoir Engineering . Use of a statistic control system to interpret process variation.A. Mirabal. A general methodology for reservoir simulation has been defined. N.. Applied science publishers LTD.B. Aziz. paper SPE 18305. krg = Gas relative permeability. Finally. and identification of actions to improve the process. 1980.6 METIlOOOLOGICAL APPROACH RlR RESERVOIR SIMULATION SPE 23616 results analysis of the developed methodology application have allowed to identify the main engineering and computation time consuming activities.:"Engineering Control in Reservoir Simulation". The success of the described methodology will depend of the continuous identification of corrective actions to optimize the quality and productivity of reservoir simulation studies. M YSanchez N. fraction. Agosto 1991. for permission to publish this paper. Continuous trainning about the use of simulators and computer systems. Compagnie Francaise des Petroles. Maraven S. 1985. M. guarantying the continuous methodology optimization. NOMENCLATURE krw Water relative permeability. REFERENCES 1. allow to obtain information about the time consumed in the execution of each activity of the procedure. 2.A..:"Reservoir Simulation Seminar". 4. Total . and identification of key efficiency variables as productivity measures in each process. 1979. GOR = Solution gas-oil ratio. In the following the used procedure will described. SCF/CTB STOUP = Stock tanck oil initial in place. the succes of the described methodology will depend of the continuous identification of corrective actions. 3. and prepare run charts to identify variation aspects using a statistic control process. 4. H. 2. 1.S. Criccklow. Improved productivity measures visualization. fraction. Prentice Hall. 4. London.and Maraven S.G and Toronyi. The collected information during the execution of different studies was analyzed making run charts allowing to identify the main activities responsible for the time variations observed during the execution of each process stage (Ref. kro Oil relativepermeability. Identification of common and special facts responsible for process alterations. Special thanks to A. and which contribution is gratefully acknowledged. Guaranty the use of the flow diagrams stabJished for each process. 2. Finol who made helpful suggestions. The developed general methodology guaranty an adecuate representation of the acting reservoir mechanism. Selection of an automatized system for the statistic process control. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to express our apprecianon to the managements of Petroleos de Venezuela S. 2. 3. 3. Guaranty complete statistic control of each stage of the described processes.:" Petroleum Reservoir Simulation".A. K and Settary. 5. thus increasing the confidence level of the simulation results. Oct 1988. CONCLUSIONS 1. STB = = 40 .:"Resultados de la aplicacion de calidad de gestion en simulacion de yacimientos". 5). A.A Simulation Approach". Selection and confidence analysis of the information available. 4. 5. Inc.
.lory match of the hi.. AND CouPL£1IOH he1 SAND IHT(RVAlS THICKNESS "-OJUST UOO[l [NlRGY ADJUST rlUIO rlOW BETWEEN WVQR REGIONS INCREASE 20% ri121!1~Pree ••• for hi..tonelill relll!..oir perlormance .SEE 2361 6 WEll.