Technology Focus: Reserves/Asset Management (December 2008)
- Dean Rietz (Ryder Scott Company)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 58 - 58
- 2008. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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As a consultant who routinely is asked to assist clients on reservoir management (through reservoir studies), it is sometimes surprising when the usefulness of reservoir studies is questioned. First, it should go without saying that a reservoir study should be embarked on only to answer specific questions such as:
- How much oil or gas will be recovered from a particular asset?
- Can the same amount be recovered with less investment?
- Can more be recovered by use of optional operating approaches?
But the real question is, Why conduct a study in the first place? After all, once we find the asset, the reservoir properties (e.g., its size and the rock and fluid characteristics) are “what they are” and we cannot change them. Can we affect recovery by managing the reservoir, or must we simply accept what we get?
This brings us to a simple comparison with hurricanes. Earlier this year, the Houston area was impacted significantly by Hurricane Ike. Hurricanes, like petroleum reservoirs, occur naturally, and the characteristics (the fundamental properties that define them) are unique to that entity and are uncertain. In both cases, however, we can use tools (such as numerical models) to project and forecast their future behavior.
In the case of Ike, the weather models forecasted landfall in the vicinity of Galveston—well in advance, which enabled making decisions and taking action. To save lives, much of the anticipated impact area was evacuated. In addition, relief supplies, equipment, and personnel were prepositioned (out of harm’s way) to respond quickly. The result was fewer casualties than experienced with earlier devastating hurricanes and an immediate response to begin the recovery process.
Just like preparing for the inevitable landfall of a hurricane, companies can plan for the inevitable depletion of a reservoir. Reservoir models, for example, can and do help identify more-efficient methods of hydrocarbon recovery. So, why are studies performed and reservoir-management strategies implemented? There are two main reasons: to improve recovery efficiency and/or maximize the return on investment of a particular asset. Our industry has the technology and the know-how.
Reserves/Asset Management additional reading available at the SPE eLibrary: www.spe.org
SPE 112932 • “Simplified Country-Entry Risk-Assessment Model for Global Petroleum Investments” by Surya Rajan, SPE, Marathon Oil Company, et al.
SPE 113260 • “Reservoir Management of the Gullfaks Main Field” by Saifullah Talukdar, SPE, StatoilHydro, et al.
SPE 111717 • “Real-Time Reservoir Management From Data Acquisition Through Implementation: Closed-Loop Approach” by Saeed M. Mubarak, SPE, Saudi Aramco
Additional reading available at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org
OTC 19644 • “International Risk Management” by Daniel V. Murphy, Systech International
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