An Iterative Ensemble Kalman Filter for Multiphase Fluid Flow Data Assimilation
- Yaqing Gu (U. of Oklahoma) | Dean S. Oliver (U. of Oklahoma)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- November 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 438 - 446
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 5.5.8 History Matching, 3.3 Well & Reservoir Surveillance and Monitoring, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 5.6.5 Tracers, 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 7.2.2 Risk Management Systems
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The dynamical equations for multiphase flow in porous media are highly nonlinear and the number of variables required to characterize the medium is usually large, often two or more variables per simulator gridblock. Neither the extended Kalman filter nor the ensemble Kalman filter is suitable for assimilating data or for characterizing uncertainty for this type of problem. Although the ensemble Kalman filter handles the nonlinear dynamics correctly during the forecast step, it sometimes fails badly in the analysis (or updating) of saturations.
This paper focuses on the use of an iterative ensemble Kalman filter for data assimilation in nonlinear problems, especially of the type related to multiphase .ow in porous media. Two issues are key: (1) iteration to enforce constraints and (2) ensuring that the resulting ensemble is representative of the conditional pdf (i.e., that the uncertainty quantification is correct). The new algorithm is compared to the ensemble Kalman filter on several highly nonlinear example problems, and shown to be superior in the prediction of uncertainty.
For linear problems, the Kalman filter is optimal for assimilating measurements to continuously update the estimate of state variables. Kalman filters have occasionally been applied to the problem of estimating values of petroleum reservoir variables (Eisenmann et al. 1994; Corser et al. 2000), but they are most appropriate when the problems are characterized by a small number of variables and when the variables to be estimated are linearly related to the observations. Most data assimilation problems in petroleum reservoir engineering are highly nonlinear and are characterized by many variables, often two or more variables per simulator gridblock.
The problem of weather forecasting is in many respects similar to the problem of predicting future petroleum reservoir performance. The economic impact of inaccurate predictions is substantial in both cases, as is the difficulty of assimilating very large data sets and updating very large numerical models. One method that has been recently developed for assimilating data in weather forecasting is ensemble Kalman filtering (Evensen 1994; Houtekamer and Mitchell 1998; Anderson and Anderson 1999; Hamill et al. 2000; Houtekamer and Mitchell 2001; Evensen 2003). It has been demonstrated to be useful for weather prediction over the North Atlantic. The method is now beginning to be applied for data assimilation in groundwater hydrology (Reichle et al. 2002; Chen and Zhang 2006) and in petroleum engineering (Nævdal et al. 2002, 2005; Gu and Oliver 2005; Liu and Oliver 2005a; Wen and Chen 2006, 2007; Zafari and Reynolds 2007; Gao et al. 2006; Lorentzen et al. 2005; Skjervheim et al. 2007; Dong et al. 2006), but the applications to state variables whose density functions are bimodal has proved problematic (Gu and Oliver 2006).
For applications to nonlinear assimilation problems, it is useful to think of the ensemble Kalman filter as a least squares method that obtains an averaged gradient for minimization not from a variational approach but from an empirical correlation between model variables (Anderson 2003; Zafari et al. 2006). In addition to providing a mean estimate of the variables, a Monte Carlo estimate of uncertainty can be obtained directly from the variability in the ensemble.
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