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SPE 50642

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Society of Petroleum Engineers

Computer Aided History Matching of a Real Field Case

Th.Grussaute, SPE, and P. Gouel, SPE, Elf Exploration Production

Copyright 1998, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc

properties of the reservoir are only partly known. History
This paper was prepared for presentation af the 1998 SPE European Petroleum Conference matching is the process by which these model properties are
held m The Hague. The Netherlands, 2C-22 October 1998
modified in order to fit the production data.
Thts paper was selected for presentation by”an SPE Program Comimtke following rewew of
mformatmn contained m an abstract submitted by the author(s) Contents of the paper as
History matching has traditionally been performed by–trial
presented have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum EngiiiFers and are subject to and error. Analyzing the differences between simulated and
correction by the author(s) The mater] al. as presented. does not necessarily reflect any
posmon of the Soctety of Petroleum Engineers, Its officers, or members. Papers presented at observed values, the reservoir engineer changes one or ‘a few
SPE meetmgs are sublect to publication rewew by Editorial Committees of the Society of
Petroleum Engineers. Electronic reproducbon. distributmn. or storage of any part of this paper parameters at a time, hoping to improve the match. Mainly
for commercial purposes wtthout the written consent of the Soctety of Petroleum Engineers IS based on experience, this iterative process is generally non
prohibited Permission to reproduce in print IS restricted to an abstract of not more than 300
words. illustrations may not be cop!ed The abstract must contain conspicuous trivial and very time-consuming. The multiphase equations
acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented Write Librarian. SPE. P O
Box 833838. Richardson. TX 75083-3836. U.S. A.. fax 01-972-952-9435. being non-linear, there. is no sensible relationship between the
simulation input and the output. The large dimension of the
unknown parameter space, proportional to the number of cells
in the model, and correlations between parameters add to the
This paper presents the application of a semi-automatic history
problem complexity. More practically, history matching also
matching tool to real field cases. The process of history
requires a lot of manual work in generating the input files,
matching a reservoir model is a difficult and time-consuming
running the model simulations and visualizing the results.
step in the course of a reservoir engineering study. The
History matching a reservoir typically takes months for large
gradient method has now been widely accepted as an efficient
models, whereas the predictive part of the study, much more
way of aiding the reservoir engineer during this process. The
productive in the management’s eyes, only takes a few weeks.
sensitivities of the dynamic observations with respect to the
Many techniques have emerged in the last ten years to
model parameters give some very valuable qualitative and
automate and shorten this costly step. They all transform the
quantitative information about the best history matching
history matching problem into a minimization one. A so-called
objective function quantifies the difference between observed
A history matching tool has been developed to make the
and simulated values and history matching amounts to
most of the gradient information. Tests are carried out on two
minimizing this fitnction. Various methods have been
3D 3-phase field cases in real industrial conditions. We show
developed to find the global minimum of this complex
that the computing times are still a critical issue for the validity
function. They are based either on the simulated annealing
of the method. Results and methodology are presented and the
technique, on neural networks’ or on the use of response
practical benefits of such techniques for the reservoir engineer
surfaces2. Though sometimes giving good results, these
are assessed.
methods are not believed to be very industrially efficient as
they require many calls to the simulator.’
All the other minimization techniques used in the oil
Reservoir models are now commonly used to predict future
industry are based on the gradient method. The sensibilities of
reservoir performance. For these predictions to be as valid as
the simulation output with respect to the model parameters are
possible. a necessary condition is to ensure that the model
computed and integrated into a non-linear regression routine.
encompasses all available data and information.
These programs are known to converge much faster than
While most of the static data can be easily integrated
global algorithms but the solution can be trapped in a local
during the construction of the model. the integration of
minimum of the objective ti.mction.
dynamic data is not so easy. Some preliminary information can
Yet it might not be necessary to look for the absolute
be derived from production data but it is very unlikely that
minimum of the function, all the more as it might be
this initial model captures all the production history
inconsistent with geology. The solution of a history match is
information. Well production rates and dynamic pressures are
non-unique and different acceptable parameter combinations
generally not correctly reproduced in the initial simulation run.
can be found. To take this into account, we can generate
Due to insufficient data, the geological. petrophysical and fluid


multiple initial reservoir models and history match each one of

them3”4. Despite better estimating the forecast uncertainties, Theory
this strategy is still not the rule in the industry because of its Due to the ill-posed nature of the problem, history matching a
excessive cost. It does even more to stress the need for reservoir may lead to numerous mathematical difficulties. The
computer-aided history matching techniques. following presents the main steps of the method and the
The reservoir engineer thus generally focuses on a single corresponding necessary precautions.
model realisation. A large variety of solutions have been
developed in recent years around two main approaches : The objective function
optimal control theory5-8 and regressions based on Gauss- The objective fimction measures the discrepancy between
Newton optimisation9-13. The former method basically the data and the simulator response for a given set of
computes gradients faster but converges slower than the latter. parameters. It can be made of two components. The first one,
These procedures are particularly efficient for deterministic Q,,~., , is the weighted sum of the squares of the differences
models though a tight control of the consistency of the results between the simulated production values ys’mand the historical
is necessary. Respect of the original variability of the production data yobs:
parameters is, for example, not guaranteed.
Inspired by the water resource industry” a new strand of
development has emerged in history matching, more L ,k=l ok
appropriate to geostatistical models. These techniques, based
on the pilot point method. combine the statistical constraints N is the total number of observations, q is the standard
on the parameters and the derivative information15”19. Early deviation of the measurement error of the k* observation and
results are encouraging, but much work still has to be done (1)~is the weight assigned to this observation. This weight can
before they can be used on an industrial level. vary depending on the importance we grant to the match of this
The method we present here can be ranked among the observation. It can be high if it corresponds to a well, a date or
Gauss-Newton ones. Despite the progressive generalization of a type of observation we particularly want to match. Note that
the geostatistical approach. deterministic models still represent this weight introduces a slight variation to the traditional sum-
the most important part. Conceiving history matching tools to of-squares formulation.
deal with such models thus appears as a priority. Our method The available observation types in our tool all relate to the
does intensively use the gradient information. We first wells : well pressure averages, bottom hole pressures, fluid
compute the derivatives of every single observation with rates, gas-oil ratios and water-cuts. Those which are not
respect to the model parameters. These gradients are then used integrated such as RFT or PLT logs will have to be matched
at every step of the history matching process : regression, but manually.
also parameterization and uncertainty analysis. None of the The second component of the objective fi.mction, QPtio,,
ideas presented here are new (see references). However their incorporates in the regression some of our prior geological
development took some time and their applications have been knowledge of the reservoir :
restricted to synthetic or simple cases for long (except ref. 11).
Research was also mainly concentrated on the pressure match,
often much simpler than the production rate match as it
!2.,,(),=(x - XII )%-’ (~ - %) (2)

depends less on local variations of the parameters.

We have applied the tool we developed with our partners X. is the a priori mean value of x and Co is the a priori
(see Acknowledgments) to two real 3-D 3-phase reservoir covariance matrix of the parameters. The more we deviate
models. We conducted these tests in real industrial conditions from the initial model, the greater QPnO,is. This term prevents
with the much-dreaded time constraint, in order to better assess the solution of the history match from being too far from the
the benefits we can expect from such techniques. As far as we initial state, guaranteeing some physical consistency. It also
are aware. these are among the very first tests made in such improves the conditioning of the minimization algorithm.
conditions. Lomeland e[ a/.20 did successfully use a computer- - The total objective fhnction is thus :
aided history matching tool on a complex field case but hardly
mentioned the test conditions. Their methodology and ours Q= Q,,,.,+/-JQpmr (3)
have much in common, but we believe that both the way they
compute gradients (numerically) and the optimizer they use The u-factor is a weighting factor which expresses the
(conjugate gradients) can be improved. relative strength of our beli=f in ;he initial model. -
In this paper, we briefly present the theoretical basis of the The solution of our history match problem is the set of
method and its application to the two case studies. We try to parameters which minimizes Q. If the uncertainties for the
define an appropriate methodology and we discuss in measured observations and for the initial model are gaussian,
particular how to combine the software contribution with the the least-squares objective function has a statistical meaning.
engineer’s experience. By applying the bayesian formalism, the minimum of the


objective function, corresponds to the maximum of the important to note that the selection of the best parameters may
posterior probability density fimction (pdf), depend on the history period we particularly want to focus on.
The gradients are ‘also used to compute an approximation of
pdf (x)= exp (- Q(x)) (4) the hessian matrix of the objective fimction (made with the
second derivatives of Q), the inverse of which gives the
defining the maximum likelihood model ‘7. correlations between parameters. These are essential indicators
for choosing the optimal set of parameters.
Gradient computation History matching programs prove to be unable to match
The key point of the gradient method is the possibility to complex fields automatically. These tools rather tend to be
compute the gradients at a relatively low extra cost. Estimating used as an aid to the engineer at every step of the process, from
the sensitivities of the reservoir model with respect to the the global field match to the individual well match, through the
parameters with simple numerical differentiations requires two flow or geological units and the individual layer matches.
simulations for every parameter (or at least one base Down to the layer level, the definition of the parameters is
simulation and one more extra per parameter). Anterion er u/.9 natural. For every regional property, one can choose to define
proposed a much faster analytical formulation. Taking notice one parameter per layer (or per flow unit or just one global
that the matrices involved in the pressure, saturation and in the parameter) and analyze the initial sensitivities to select the
gradient calculations are the same at every time step, the most influential and non-correlated ones. This method is thus
gradient calculation can be coded in the simulator itself. particularly suited to deterministic (or stratigraphic-based)
The sensitivities of the calculated pressure and saturation models. Note that a parameter is defined by a multiplier factor
with respect to the parameters of the problem are first for its property instead of the value of the property itself in
computed. The direct relation between observations and order to get a dimensionless problem. Different types of
pressure and saturation is then used to obtain the sensitivities properties can therefore be dealt with at the same time.
of every observation. To match individual wells, more local modifications have
The derivatives with respect to some parameters are to be considered. The layer approach is not accurate enough,
sometimes not straightforward at all, and it can be easier to parameters have to be more precisely defined. The g,radzone
revert to the numerical calculation (for instance for the relative analysis techniquezz is applied to select the most influential
permeability end points). For some other very sensitive zones in each layer. Briefly, the interpolation of the
parameters like the bubble-point pressure, even the numerical eigenvectors corresponding to the highest eigenvalues of the
method is not accurate enough. This kind of parameter cannot hessian matrix of the objective function gives the spatial
be fixed with gradient methods. extension of the most sensitive parameters. For less layered-
The available parameters in our tool are the pore volume, based models, the gradzone technique is also perfectly
the X. Y, Z and fault transmissibilities, the analytical aquifer applicable in 3-D.
characteristics, the relative permeability shape and end points, For stochastic models, the pilot point method15-19 would be
the equilibration contact depths, the cell depths and the dual- more recommended. Yet our tool is not totally incompatible
porosity sigma factor. with such models. A multiplier applied to an entire layer the
The extra time required to compute the gradients is properties of which have been geostatistically computed
proportional to the number of parameters. From our corresponds to a modification of the distribution mean, and
experience, it amounts to 5-30% of the cost of a full simulation would still respect the variogram range.
run per parameter, depending on the type of parameter and of
its spatial extension. Optimization
With the intensive number of simulator calls asked for by
Parameter definition the regression which computes the- best -values for the
One of the main difficulties in traditional history matching parameters, the choice of a good optimizer is a crucial point. A
is to identifi the parameters to be modified. Every property in good general history matching program coupled with a bad
every g,ridcell is a potential parameter. This is obviously _. optimizer would take far too long to converge and would
unmanageable. A sound methodology 1 and the engineer’s finally be of no industrial interest.
experience are generally used to reduce the problem to a Gradient-based non-linear optimization algorithms s-uch as
reasonable size. steepest descent, Gauss-Newton or Quasi-Newton methods are
The gradient information can be very profitable at this step. well knowr?;. But the most efficient optimizers for our
It shows directly which parameter we should preferably change problem are formed from hybrids of these basic methodsz~.
to improve our match. These parameters are those for which The optimizer we use, the dog-leg method, efficiently
the sensitivity of the objective function is the highest. The combines the steepest descent and the Gauss-Newton
efficiency of the gradient computation enables us to deal with a approaches for obtaining both numerical robustness far from
great number of parameters of different types in a single the soiution and rapid convergence near the solution.
simulator run. The gradients can vary with time, so it is


Parameter values are restricted between manually-input Uncertainty analysis

minimum and maximum bounds. As the solution of a history match is non-unique, it is
The Gauss-Newton approximation to the hessian matrix is important to be able to assess the validity of the final model.
constructed fi-om the elementary sensitivities @Js’m/&i: The covariance matrix computed for the final value of the
parameters gives the standard deviation for each parameter,
that is how well these parameters have been defined by the
history matching process.
To extend the uncertainty on the parameters to the
uncertainty on production predictions, the gradients can be
The correlation matrix is obtained by normalizing the used again~”~b. Based on relatively simple approaches, these
covariance matrix, which is the inverse of the hessian matrix. methods yet give fast and quite reliable estimations of the
For this algorithm to be filly efficient, the parameters we prediction uncertainties.
optimize must fulfill some mathematical conditions. The For more accurate methods, one should resort to surface
objective function Q has to be sensitive to every parameter responses and experimental design techniques or, time and
(more or less equally sensitive to every parameter) and the money permitting, to -mult i-realisations schemes.
parameters must not be too correlated. Hopefully these
conditions are the same as those required for good history Application
matching parameters. A thorough analysis of both the gradients To illustrate the interest of this computer-aided history
and the hessian matrix after the initial simulation can give us matching technique, we take two specific field examples. The
such an appropriate set of parameters. Ory el al.’5 perfected test conditions were as close to the industrial conditions as
this initial parameter analysis and suggest to apply it at every possible. As the software was still much research-oriented, it
regression iteration. We thought that this would not meet our was impossible to let the engineers in charge of the reservoir
industrial constraints so we chose to perform such an analysis studies use it alone. They were offered the use of this tool
only once and to let the regression go and iterate on its own. whenever possible, at every step of the history matching
The stopping criteria of [i]e optimizer also have great process. A very close collaboration was thus maintained
implications on the computing time. Unlike most synthetic between the reservoir engineers and the software user.
cases, real field cases have no exact solution. There is no point The main advantages of such test procedures are twofold.
hoping that our final objective fimction value equals zero. This Firstly, the reservoir engineer does not lose time trying to learn
is even more obvious when the prior geological term QP.O, is how to use the tool and can fully concentrate on the reservoir
introduced. Therefore our stopping criterion is not based on aspects. When people get accustomed to these techniques. they
the absolute value of the objective function. The regression will definitely not want to spend much extra time
stops when it can not reduce Q any more or when the gradients implementing them. It is a necessary condition for their
are too low to lead to sufficient parameter variations. The final success and we had to reproduce that situation. Secondly, we
value of the objective function will be a minimum value can better observe how the experienced engineer reacts or
relative to the corresponding set of parameters. adapts to these new techniques. He might have doubts about
The computer-aided history matching process will thus the validity of such methods, but he can also help a lot in
ideally be a succession of the following iterations : defining the better way to use them, and to combine them with
● define a set of parameters his own experience of history matching.
● simulate the initial model However, this procedure is not ideal. Loss of information
● select the optimal set of parameters after the analysis of between the reservoir engineer and the software user is
the gradient information inevitable. Moreover the latter is not responsible for the study
● optimize the parameter values (regression) so that the impact of the sotlware might be somewhat diluted
because of the way the former works. Maintaining an excellent
● if the match is not satisfactory enough, define a new set
level of communication was therefore essential.
of parameters...
We can even add another leve~ to this loop as it is valid
Case 1
only for a given set of observations. We can for instance repeat
The first case study, FIELD 1, is a West African oil-field. This
the above process for the pressure match first and then for the
mixed Iithology reservoir shows a succession of silico-elastic
saturation match.
and carbonated deposits. The main facies are dolomitic
It is also thought that semi-automatic techniques will be
sandstones and vuggy dolomites. This stratified reservoir is
very profitable in reservoir monitoring operations. Such tools
characterized by a fractured upper part and by a strong
could be easily integrated in the model updating process. They
horizontal anisotropy. Porosity and permeability are low,
could directly include new observations and give the adequate
average values at the field scale are : kx,,= 10mD, ky,v=85mD,
parameter variations to account for this new field response.
kvkh,,= 1/60, I$a,=7?40.Fig.1 shows the simulation model. This


18\7bx20 model has around 20000 active cells. including T-he software was therefore used in the regression mode to
some local grid refinements. try to match the well pressures by modi@ing the total pore
The tield has been producing for 10 years through 12 wells volume. Convergence was achieved atler 5 iterations, the
and oil reco~ery has been enhanced with 5 water injection objective function decreased from 19.45 to I I .36 and the final
wells. There is no aquifer support. The initial pressure was 100 pore volume multiplier was 1.488 (starting from I). This figure
bars above the bubble-point pressure. Water and gas contirmed the tluid volume had been underestimated but this
breakthroughs can be observed on many wells slier a few years 50°0 increase was higher than what uncertainty on geology
of production. could allow. The same regression was started again with one
pore volume parameter per layer (for a total number of 20
Results parameters) to check where this important volume increase
The FIELD I model would have been a perfect test case. was concentrated. Tab. 1 shows the initial and final values of
However the experiment did not progress as expected. The the parameters and of the gradients. The upper limit for the
histo~ matching tool proved not to be robust enough at that pore volume multipliers was set to 2. This value was
time and some time was spent in debugging sessions. Though deliberately higher than what was physically acceptable. If a
these sotlware problems have definitely been removed now. parameter reaches this improbable value, it means either that
this w’as a major blow to the viability of the technique on that the bounds have been wrongly set or, more probably. that we
case. did not choose the right parameters. It could also mean that
Another lesson was to be learnt immediately : great something is badly modeled in our reservoir. It is therefore a
computing power has to be allocated to the process. In very good indication of the consistency of the model. Some of
industrial conditions. the superiority of computer-aided the final values are even higher than the global 50°/0 increase,
techniques over fully manual ones depends much on the as the parameters have been set more accurately (layers 11 to
simulation time. On the machine the tool was installed, a single 14 and 16). These results also confirm one of the general rules
run of the FIELD 1 case could take up to 5 hours. Considering of history matching : the dynamic data mainly constrain the
that for an average number of parameters the gradient producing areas and have little effect on the non-producing
calculation can double or treble that simulation time, any ones. The 5 upper layers and the two lower ones do not have
regression took more than a day (5 or 6 iterations are generally any well perforations and their final pore volume multiplier is
needed for convergence). This was too slow to be filly hardly affected by the regression. On the contrary, layers 9 to
profitable. Many changes had usually been made to the model 16 are the most productive ones and they bear the major part
by the reservoir engineer during that lapse of time and the of the volume increase. This is also a bias as far as geology is
results of the regression were therefore much more difficult to concerned.
interpret and to integrate into the modified model. From the These preliminary results led us to come back to our
way people work. it is easy to conclude that computer-aided geological model and check the uncertainty on the pore
techniques will be most profitable as long as regressions can volume. Nothing could justifi a 50°/0 increase. The analysis of
be performed overnight. The reservoir engineer would spend the simulated pressure curves showed there was a rather
the day analyzing simulation output and conceiving different correct initial pressure at most of the wells but that they were
hypotheses. and would get the optimized solution the morning depleted too quickly afterwards. The fluid flow was probably
after. For larger reservoir models, the regression option is not wrongly represented. We thus tried to match the pressure with
as viable, but the sensitivity analysis would still give much 5 global parameters : pore volume, horizontal and vertical
valuable information in a single run. Parallel computing is transmissibilities, all defined on the whole field. Though the
much expected as it would enable these techniques to be vertical transmissibility proved to be a less sensitive parameter,
applied to these kinds of models. it was kept in the regression. The final value of the objective
The aid brought to the engineer by the software was function reached 9.95 after 5 iterations. Tab.2 shows the final
therefore more selective than really continuous but still parameter and gradient values. The pore volume increase
appreciable. (+28Yo) Lj balanced by horizontal transmissibility increase

(x6) and is now acceptable. These parameters were strongly

Pressure nwtch. The initial run showed the pressure in the coupled. Fig.2 shows the initial and final simulated pressure
model was much too low. With no aquifer support, the curbs for some wells and how they compare with the
possible parameters which could improve the pressure match observations. The match is generally quite good. The software
were the pore volume. the permeability. the rock enabled us to go straight to the optimized global changes. It
compressibility and possibly the fault transmissibilities. The could have been used also to define a relation between the pore
rock compressibility was quite well determined thanks to good volume and transmissibilities modifications, that is for given
measurements and good correlation with analogous fields. On values of the increase in porosity ( 10OA,20°/0, 500/0...), how
the other hand, the uncertainty on the original oil in place much we should have increased the transmissibility to get a
(OOIP) was known to be high. correct pressure match. The engineer then would have chosen
the optimal values taking into account both their physical


acceptability find the tinal quality of the match in each case. to). But the objective function hardly decreased. from 8.15 to
But the technical problems mentioned above prevented us 8.05 in 9 iterations, and the GOR match was not improved
from doing so. enough. This means we had chosen a bad starting hypothesis :
.$ome local modifications were to be made to match the vertical transmissibility between layer 8 and layer 9 had
accuratel> wells at the individual level, mainly with the fault little intluence on the GOR match or might be coupled with
transmissibiiities. This ]~as done manually but should have other parameters. Had not we had technical problems, we
also been done automaticai Iy. The tinal adopted changes were would have used the sotlware to try to match these problematic
a global 30°0 increase in the pore volume and a multiplying wells with coupled local modifications of the pore volume, the
factor of 5 for the transmissibility. The vertical transmissibility vertical transmissibility in all perforated layers and the critical
was tinally hardl! changed. except an important reduction in gas saturations. lt was eventually done manually.
the lower part of the reservoir corresponding to an identified
flow barrier. Case 2
The second case is the history matching of F[ELD2, a cross-
Smirdiou mdch. The w’ater production was reproduced section of a large oil reservoir of the Middle East. The aim of
well b> the model. Only minor changes to the fault the reservoir engineering study is to better understand the oil
transmissibilities were necessa~. The gas production was recovery process and to assess other production scenarios
much more difficult to model. Breakthroughs were generally through a phenomenolog,ical approach.
not simulated. The critical gas saturation had high initial The model is a 75x3x 19 (=4275) cell model and is rather
values. tlom 10?/Oto 20?i0. The geological study mentioned simple from a geological point of view (Fig.6). The cross-
uncertainties about anhydrite dissolution in the upper part of section we study is the plane Y=2, the two lateral sections Y= 1
the reservoir. It might have been underestimated, so that the and Y=3 being used to impose realistic boundary conditions.
critical gas saturation in those layers is likely to be lower (this Average field values initially are : kx.,= ky.V=14mD,
would also explain the underestimated pore volume). kvlkh,y~ 1, +,.= 15%. FIELD2 has pressure support from water
To model the gas breakthroughs, 4 critical gas saturation injection, modeled in a thick lower layer, and possibly also
parameters were defined. corresponding to the 4 main from a side aquifer.- Oil production started in 1968. 17
geological units : from layer 1 to layer 8, layers 9 to 15, layers producing wells are perforated in the cross-section as well as
16 and 17 and layers 18 to 20. The regression mode was used 31 producers and 6 injectors in the lateral sections. The
to match the Gas Oil Ratio (GOR). The objective flmction was reservoir pressure has always remained well above the bubble-
lowered from 8.77 to 6.95 in 4 iterations (this value cannot be point pressure so that no gas has been produced.
compared with the one obtained during the pressure match as it
does not refer to the same observations). The final parameter Results
values confirmed our assumption : the suggested corrections Following the FIELD 1 case conclusions, the history
were to decrease the critical gas saturations of 7°/0 and 8°/0 in matching so%vare was installed on a much more powerful
the two upper geological units, to keep the same one in the machine (3 times faster) so that it could be used in optimal
third region and to increase the lower one by 5?40.Fig.3 shows conditions. The FIELD2 model being simpler than the FIELD 1
the initial and final GOR plots for some wells and the one, a reservoir simulation only took around 15 minutes on this
measured observations. The match is definitely better on most case in this environment. On such a case, results from the
of the wells. but the improvement is still insufficient on some semi-automated history matching sotlware were obtained
of them. Those non-matched wells are all perforated above and almost interactively.
below the 8[h layer. Shale traces can be spotted at the bottom of
this layer on some well logs, but have not been integrated in Pressure match. Field depletion was too important in the
the model. Therefore there might be some vertical flow initial run. The simulated field pressure was more than 30 bars
barriers between layer 8 and layer 9. lower than the observed one, which was around 150 bars at the
A gradzone analysis was performed to determine in which end of the historical data. Many wells could not produce their
area the model was the most sensitive to modifications of the historical fluid rates as they soon turned to be controlled by the
vertical transmissibility. Fig.-l shows the initial sampling of limiting bottom hole flowing pressure.
parameters. 45 multipliers of the vertical transmissibility Setting correct boundary conditions to a cross-section is
(ZTrans) between layer 8 and layer 9 were selected in a regular not an easy task. The production rates of the wells located in
pattern. The gradzone analysis led to the definition of 4 the lateral sections have to be cut so as to only take into
gradzones, that is extended zones where the ZTrans parameters account the part of their production coming from the model.
are most influential on the GOR match (Fig.5). A regression This ratio is very uncertain for most of the wells. An initial
was initiated with these 4 new parameters. The first run proved guess was that this rat io might have been incorrect in our
these gradzones had been correctly computed as they model and that we did not have the correct fluid volumes. We
effectively were the most sensitive zones (and their relative used the software to match the well pressure with 18 pore
sensitivity was ranked with the eigenvalues they correspond volume parameters defined in the lateral sections (Fig.7). At


the end of the regression. the objective fhnction had hardly computed so the software can only essential Iy give qualitative
decreased and though the final values of the parameters indications.
.- to increase the lateral pore volume by a factor I to 3. The final operation was to tune the pressure match with the
the final match \vas not much better than the initial one. vertical transmissibilities which were thought to have some
Pressure measurements are very scarce on FIELD2. therefore influence. 18 ZTrans parameters were defined (one per layer).
the quali~ of the match cannot be accurately estimated on The initial run showed none was to be neglected, the
plots of pressure versus time. We rather based ourselves on the sensitivities being roughly of the same magnitude. The w~
RFT log match and on the value of the objective function. weights of the objective function were modified to put more
Note also that no prior term was introduced in the objective emphasis on the wells the match of which had to be improved.
fl.mction as the initial model was very uncertain. The regression made the objective fimction decrease from 22.8
We also used the softlvare to check whether the importance to 1I.5 in 8 iterations. This was obtained through keeping
of the side aquifer had been underestimated. Three aquifers almost constant vertical transmissibilities in the upper part of
were detined. one on each side of the cross-section (the fourth the reservoir and through sensibly increasing them in the lower
one. X=75. being isolated by a sealing fault). and both their part, up to a factor of 20. The pressure match was then
permeability and their size were used as parameters. The considered as satisfactory, with a 2°/0 precision. This last
objective tlmction again hardly decreased but relevant tuning operation gave the engineer a lot of confidence in the
conclusions could still be drawn. Fig.8 shows the parameter quality of his match. Knowing these were optimal values also
values at each regression iteration. The permeability and size prevented him from vainly trying to improve his match
of the 2“d and 3rd aquifer rapidly tend to the minimum value of endlessly. The final match was thus obtained much faster than
0.1. In our model. those aquifers are connected perpendicularly expected.
to the cross-section (that is connected on planes Y= 1 and Y=3)
and have little physical significance knowing that the cross- Suturutiou match. The reservoir being almost gas-tlee,
section is extracted from a [arger field. The first aquifer, only the water production match had to be considered. For
connected on the plane X=1, is a bit more influential but external reasons, assistance to the reservoir engineer was
cannot compensate the pressure difference alone. interrupted for a few days during which the water match was
Analyzing more closely the pressure maps, it should be almost achieved. Here again semi-automated techniques were
noted that the pressure dropped mainly around the wells but used to refine the match. The reservoir engineer had identified
was higher elsewhere. These might be indications of bad fluid ~j regions where the vertical transrnissibilities locally
flow. The model proved to be very sensitive to the horizontal governed the water flow around the wells in the cross-section.
transmissibility parameter. applied on the whole field, so we Each one of them was defined as a parameter and integrated in
tried to match the pressure with 19 XYTrans parameters, one our program to match the water-oil ratios. Afler the initial run,
per layer. Well oil production rate observations were also 4 almost non sensitive parameters were removed and some
added to the objective fl.mction. The regression led to a correlated ones were gathered in the same sets, leading to 17
diminution of the objective function from 27.2 to 13.0 in 12 different parameters. The regression did not improve the
iterations. The final values of the XYTrans multipliers were quality of the match much. The objective fimction was only
around 4 for most layers. which was acceptable. The exception lowered from 22.9 to 22.1 in 10 iterations. The parameter
was the 18[h layer which had a final value of 50. In the absence multipliers all had final values around 1, proving that the
of any vertical transmissibility parameter, this was a way of engineer’s match could not be much bettered. Fig 9. shows the
increasing the comectivity between the producing layers and initial and final water production rates and the observed ones
the lower 19~hlayer where water was injected and where the for some wells.
pressure was getting too high. The modification of the vertical In the two lateral sections, the water-cut match was yet not
communication was made following this conclusion. Most of perfect. Though not essential as the study was mainly focused
the wells were then much better matched. It was found that the on the cross-section wells, this gave a last opportunity to use
others had productivity problems. The software was unable to the software in more extreme conditions. 36 parameters were
cope with this as default productivity indexes (PI) are defined : the 18 pore volume parameters already seen in the
dependant on permeability and not on transmissibility. The first step of the pressure match and 18 ZTrans parameters
changes we made to the transmissibility were not passed to the defined on the same areas. The match was only slightly
PI. Therefore some manual adjustments had to be done. The improved at the end of the regression, but the testing of the
implementation of the permeability parameter is now a priority robustness of the program proved to be entirely successfid.
for our program.
The characteristics of the aquifer were also slightly Conclusions
changed after a sensitivity analysis showed they had to be We have demonstrated the application to two field cases of
increased. This is another limit of the program : analytical computer-aided history-matching techniques. Tested under
Carter-Tracy aquifers are modeled through discrete tables industrial conditions, the method provided the reservoir
depending on their size. Gradients of discrete values cannot be engineer with great indications and resulted in important time-


savings. The quality of the tinal matches were also sensibly -<. CIlaveat. G.. Dupu!. M. and Lemon nier.P. :‘Histoo Matching
improved. b} [he Use of Optimal Control Theov”. SPW. FebruaD 1975.
Aparr from their indisputable value for identifying sensitive
6. Chen. W.[-t.. Gavalas. G.R.. Seinfeld. J.I+. and Wasserman.
parameters and for optimizing their values. gradient-based
M. :’A New Algorithm for Automatic History Matching’. SPE.J.
methods also enable the engineer to test many different December 1974.593-608.
hypotheses and therefore to have a much better understanding 7. Yang. P.H.. Armasu. R.V. and Watson. A.T. :’Automatic Histo~
of the processes involved in the reservoir. These techniques Matching \vith Variable Metrics Methods”. SpE 16977. SPE
undoubtedly broaden the engineer’s analysis. .4nnuaI ‘l_echnicalConference. Dallas. 1987.
Though entirel] automatic history matching programs are a s. Zhang. .I.. Duprr). A.. and Bissell. R.C. :-Use of Optimal Control
long w’ay from being achieved. the method presented here Theov for Histoq Matching”. -@ [international Conference on
definitely brings a very valuable assistance at every step of the Inverse Problems : Theo~ and Practice. Le Croisic. France. June
9-l-L 1996.
9. Amerion. F.. Eymard. R. and Karcher. B. :’Use of Parameter
Gradients for HistoO Matching”. SPE 18433. SPE
Reservoir Simulation Symposium. San Antonio. Februq 1987.
Nomenclature I o. Tan. T.B. and Kalogerakis. N. :-Improved Reservoir
c= covariance matrix Characterization Using Automatic History Matching Procedures’.
/./. hessian matrix KPT. June 1993. Vol 32. No.6. 26-32.
Q= objective finction i 1. BisselL R.C.. Sharma. Y. and Killough. J. :“History Matching
k= permeability. Lz, mD Using the klethod of Gradients: 2 Case Studies”. SPE 28590.
s= reservoir model parameters SPE Annual Technical Conference. New Orleans. September 25-
28. 1994.
)’ = production quantities I~. Rahon. D.. Blanc. G. and Guerillot. D. :’Gradient Methods
co = observation weight Constrained by Geological Bodies in History Matching”.
0= standard deviation of measurement error ECMOR V. 5’h European Conference on the Mathematics of Oil
~= porosity. fraction Recove~. Leoben. Austria Sept 3-5.1996.
13. Landa. J.L.. Kamal. M.M. Jenkins, C.D. and Home. R.N:
Subscripts .Reservoir Characterization Constrained to Well Test Data: A
sim = simulated Field Example.. SPE 36511. SPE Annual Technical Conference
obs = observed
and Exhibition. Dallas. Ott.6-9. 1996.
14. de Marsily. G.. Lavedan. G.. Bocuher. M. and Fasinino. G. :
av = average
Interpretation of Interference Tests in a Well Field Using
Geostatistical Techniques to fit the Permeability Distribution in a
Acknowledgments Reservoir Model.. in Geostatistics for .Yatura[ Resources
The development of this history matching software was partly Charucteri:ation. edited by Verly. G.. David. M.. JoumeL A.G.
funded by the EU Thermie program. (project OG 55/95 and MarechaL A.( 1984) D.Reidel. NorweIL MA. 831-849.
UKTJO). We would like to thank colleagues on this project 15. Floris. F. : Direct Conditioning of Gaussian Random Fields to
from Elf Exploration UK. Norsk Hydro SA and GeoQuest RT Dynamic Production Data.. ECMOR V. 5’hEuropean Conference
for their great contribution. on the Mathematics of Oil Recovery, Leoben. Austria. Sept 3-5.
We would also like to thank Elf Exploration Production
16. BisselL R.C. Dubrule. O.. Lamy. P.. Swaby. P. and Lepine O. :
management for permission to publish this paper. .Combining Geostatistical Modelling With Gradient Information
for Histo~ Matching: the Pilot Point Method.. SPE 38730. SPE
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Characterization’. ECMOR V. 5’h European Conference on the Statfjord Formation at the Stattjord Field.. SPE 38931. SpE
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%ameter Initialvalua InitialgmdientI Finalvalue Finalga client

1 1 -0.21 1.01 I -0.01
2 1 -0.21 1,02 -0.01
3 1 -0.14 0,96 -0.01
4 1 J3.14 0.99 -0.01
5 1 -0.24 1.01 -0,01
6 1 -0.24 1.01 -0.01
7 1 -0.24 1.19 -0.02
6 1 -0.24 1.16 -0.02
9 1 .o.ea 1.42 -all
10 1 -0,85 1,39 -009
11 1 -0.97 2 -0.17
12 1 -1.C6 1.77 -0.16
13 1 5.&6 1.75 -017
14 1 -076 1.53 -0.1
15 1 -0.85 1,34 -0.07
16 1 -116 ?68 -0.17
17 1 -0.36 1.16 4.09
18 1 -0.81 0.!% -0.07 Fig.1 : FIELDI model
19 1 -0.2-2 0.97 -0.01
al 1 -0.23 0.38 -0.01

Table I : FIELD1, pressure match : initial and final Pore Volume

parameter values (1 parameterllayer)


. . . ,“,
,, ----
—. ,”,
, ,“,,,., m,... ”,. w.!,
w.,, ,
,,”., ,,,,

,,.., ,...,.,.
* 0. . . .. . . .,... ”,. W.,! 2 * * 0,,.,.., ,,... ”,. I?.,, .



\ -.

‘\ v! In.


\ ‘,

‘. --- =-..__&
,.. .

““,, ,,,, ” ““,,”” ”., ,!,, ,, ””” t,””


---- ,“, ,,. , ,,. ,.”,4 ~.l,

, -——- ,.,,,.,,,.,,.,. w.,, , —
r,.., ,, . . . . . . w.,, , ,,.., ,,..,.,, w.,, ,
* * O*..,.., r,..,.,. w.,, t x * Ob,.r.. * P,.,,.,. w.11 s

.. .


,“ . -,

m . \
m.. \
nm. .*
, m.

.— —————.-—.. . —

Fig.2 : FIELDI, pressure match : initial and final simulated values compared to the observations for 4 wells

---- ;“; ,;. , ~oR W., , *

!{.., con z
. + !,,.,,,,..,
Go” w.,{ 2

,,, ,, ,, ,, ,_,,,
.,__ a.—.

--—— !“,,,., W* W.11 I

<h., co, ,

,— + hl.1.rl.d co# W*I1 I
.,!, $”,
. . . .. . . . .. . .. .. .
n.. . . .. . . . . ml . -,, -.--.. .-.. -”. ——--.. =.. -—-..—-=

1 I !!
e. +
I -..

‘“‘ ‘IA
-.; F--”””
m+. -

,* +$? \


““” .0,,,. ,. ””.?””

‘“” -”., .Z., wfi”
..!, .:, ..
!f*. n

Fig.3 : FIELDI, GOR match : initial and final simulated values compared to the observations for 4 wells
-. —50642




Fig.4: gradzone analysis : initial Ztrans parameter sampling (grid Figs : gradzone analysis : selected Ztrans Parametemfor
not to scale) regression (grid not to scale)

Fig.6 : FIELD2 model


., . *W wow ‘W v!, :Jln +~ w



+Kl ““”- ““ ‘“ ‘“””’’””””’””’””’””’”””””

-Angle 1

+Angle 2
0,2 + K3
-O-Angle— 3
0 I I

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Fig.8 : aquifer parameters : modifier values function of the

Fig.7 :18 lateral pore volume parameters to set correct boundary iteration. Properties of aquifers 2 and 3 tend to the minimum
conditions values.

.nitlal WCLr T Well W2

final WCLTT T!2
WCLrT Well W2


=.- -> ----1, ,
,. .-
.- ,

.. . I
./.... .

~+ ,,, -. .::. .,, l ,2. , ,8,
.. A.,

---—- ,rmit
ial WCUT Well WI
final W-CUT WI
historical WCL’T WCL1 WI

,..,,:-. ,x-
, .,,,.m,f= –
/,:. ., .,, r
.- ,._,
,. - . _-
1’ . ,, .
,- I t,
.! :-

,4, ,,, ,..

. ..,20,
., ,.=2 *=
,.,2 ,.-.

Fig.9 : FIELD2, water-cut match tuning with local ZTrans parameters : few differences between initial and final simulations.