Reservoir Characteriza terization and Simulation: The Dilemma of Living with More Unknowns than Equations

Turgay Ertekin Penn State University


• Reservoir characterization and synergy in reservoir management • Reservoir characterization and mathematical models of the reservoir • Reservoir characterization and uncertainty of reservoir simulation • Synergy in reservoir simulation • Reservoir characterization from field data • Summary

Optimizing the Performance of a Field
Characterize the reservoir Define operating alternatives Make predictions for different scenarios Analyze results and make decisions

Geologic model Simulation model Input data History matching

Economic model

What is Reservoir Characterization?
A managing tool for our most important asset
(1) Begins prior to acquisition and continues through all phases of the life cycle, and (2) Describes the critical set of activities and decisions needed for effective reservoir asset management

Guiding principles
(1) Reservoir is the primary asset (2) Data acquisition involves: forward planning cost/benefit analysis focusing on critical uncertainties considering short term/long term objectives

Uses multi-disciplinary teams multi-

What is Reservoir Characterization?
STATIC DESCRIPTION: How much hydrocarbon there is in place. Reservoir characterization forms the foundation for the other analysis steps.

DYNAMIC DESCRIPTION: How much of it and at what rate can be recovered

What is Reservoir Characterization?
OBJECTIVES: • Identifying key reservoir features • Identifying main drive mechanisms • Determining reservoir volumetrics • Monitoring performance

Reservoir Characterization
Reservoir model
Regional depositional studies Field & well production information

Fluid characterization

Rock characterization

Geologic modeling

Seismic survey

Sources of Data
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Geophysical Data Geological Data Geological Processes Deposition Diagenesis Outcrop / Analogy Studies Core Data OpenOpen-Hole Log Data Engineering Data CasedCased-Hole Log Data Pressure Transient Data Historical Production Data PVT Analysis Tracer Studies

Data: Potential Areas of Conflict
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Core: Core Scale, High Confidence OpenOpen-Hole Logs: Reservoir Scale, High Confidence

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Core Permeability: Core Scale, High Confidence OpenOpen-Hole Logs: Reservoir Scale, Low Confidence (Derived) Pressure Transient Permeability: Reservoir Scale, High Confidence (May Represent Averaged Value over Several Flow Units within Test Interval)

Reservoir Pressure
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Formation Wireline Tester: Reservoir Scale, High Confidence (Individual Flow Units) Pressure Transient Analysis:Reservoir Scale, Medium Confidence (May Represent Averaged Value over Several Flow Units within Test Interval)

Data: Potential Areas of Conflict
Initial Saturations
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Core: Core Scale, Medium Confidence (Represents Small Sample) OpenOpen-Hole Logs: Reservoir Scale, High Confidence CasedCased-Hole Logs: Reservoir Scale, Med , Medium Confidence (May Represent Swept Conditions) Core: Core Scale, High/Medium Confidence OpenOpen-Hole Logs: Swir: Reservoir Scale, High Confidence Sorw: Reservoir Scale, Medium/Low Confidence (Uncertainty over whether Sorw has been Reached, Only Found in In-fill Wells) InCasedCased-Log Derived: Sorw: Reservoir Scale, High/Medium Confidence (Uncertainty over whether Sorw has been Reached)

EndEnd-Point Saturations
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Data: Potential Areas of Conflict
Transition Zone Heights


Core: Core Scale, Medium Confidence (Capillary Pressure from Core Represents Small Sample) OpenOpen-Hole Logs: Reservoir Scale, High Confidence Scale is not an Issue OpenOpen-Hole Logs: High Confidence (May be Masked by Lithological Effects) Wireline Formation Tester: High Confidence Seismic: Medium/Low: Seismic Flat Events not Always Apparent, ismic Requires Velocity Model)

Fluid Contacts
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Data: Resolution of Data Conflicts
Always give more Weight to Data which:



Contain a High Degree of Confidence Pressure Transient Permeability versus Log Derived Permeability UnsteadyUnsteady-State Relative Permeability versus Steady State Relative Permeability BottomBottom-Hole PVT Samples versus Recombined Separator Samples Are Measured at the Appropriate Scale for the Reservoir Model Log versus Core Data Pressure Transient Data versus Core Data Are Representative of the Processes Occurring in the Reservoir Differential (Variable Composition) PVT Data versus Flash (Constant Composition) PVT Data Imbibition (Increasing Wetting Phase Saturation) versus Drainage (Decreasing Wetting Phase Satura Saturation) Relative Permeability and Capillary Pressure Data for Water Wet Reservoirs

Preliminary Versions of the Flow Model can be Used to Screen Conflicting Data to Determine Further Course of Action

A Conceptual Model for Reservoir Characterization
Collect and evaluate data

Design data acquisition plan

Interpret/improve reservoir desciption

Identify critical risks cost/benefit analysis

Synergism in Reservoir Management
Key Questions:
• What does the reservoir look like? • What is its external geometry? • What is the continuity of the internal pore space and fluids? • Will the reservoir have an effective natural water drive? If so, what is the aquifer geometry, continuity and strength? • Where should wells and platforms be located? • How should wells be completed and perforated? • Will recoveries be better by water or gas displacement? • Will improved recovery technology be needed and when?

Modern Reservoir Management: • Teamwork • Close coordination Geologists Geophysicists Engineers Petrophysicists

Synergism and Organization
Advantages: • common goal with specific objectives • focusing early on key issues • diverse specialists • savings in time and cost Disadvantages: • training in teamwork • recognition of contributions • personnel problems • emergency response attitude

Barriers: • diverse personalities • lack of good communication skills • resistance to the concept of sharing




Life Cycle of an Asset




AcquireAcquire-Explore and Appraise


Reserves Rates Drive Mechanisms Aquifer Size



DATA AVAILABLE: Seismic surveys Logs Cores, fluid samples Well tests

Planning phase

Drilling Engineer

Well locations Number of wells Number of rigs and platforms


Reservoir Engineer

DATA AVAILABLE: FineFine-grid seismic lines More logs More cores, fluid samples More well tests


Reservoir Engineer

Completion & workover planning Production strategies Handling of fluids


Production Engineer

DATA AVAILABLE: FineFine-grid seismic lines Logs on all wells Cores on 25% of wells Well tests

Surveillance phase

Reservoir Engineer

Infill drilling Revised production injection strategies


Production Engineer

DATA AVAILABLE: Pressure surveys GOR and WOR Wellbore surveys

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