Scenario-based reservoir modelling:: the need for more determinism and less anchoring
Published:January 01, 2008
Mark Bentley, Simon Smith, 2008. "Scenario-based reservoir modelling:: the need for more determinism and less anchoring", The Future of Geological Modelling in Hydrocarbon Development, A. Robinson, P. Griffiths, J. Price, J. Hegre, A. Muggeridge
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The scenario-based reservoir modelling method places a strong emphasis on the deterministic control of the model design, contrasting with strongly probabilistic approaches in which effort is focused on the ‘richness’ of a geostatistical algorithm to derive multiple stochastic realizations. Scenario-based approaches also differ from traditional ‘rationalist’ modelling, which often involves the construction of only a single, best-guess or base-case model. The advantage of scenario modelling is that there is no requirement to anchor on a preferred, base-case model, and it is argued here that selection of a base case is detrimental to achieving appropriately wide uncertainty ranges. Multiple-deterministic scenario modelling also carries the advantage of maintaining explicit dependency between model parameters and the ultimate model outcome, such as a development plan. The approach has been applied widely to new fields, where multiple deterministic reservoir simulations of a suite of static models can be easily handled. The approach has also been extended to mature fields, in which practical approaches to multiple-history matching are required. Mature field scenario modelling, in particular, illustrates the weaknesses of base-case modelling, and delivers a strong statement on the non-uniqueness of modelling in general. Current issues are the need to develop better methodologies for multiple-history matching, and for linking discrete, deterministic, scenario-based outcomes to probabilistic reporting. Experimental design methods offer a solution to the latter issue, and a simple, practical workflow for its application is described.
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The Future of Geological Modelling in Hydrocarbon Development
The 3D geological model is still regarded as one of the newest and most innovative tools for reservoir management purposes. The computer modelling of structures, rock properties and fluid flow in hydrocarbon reservoirs has evolved from a specialist activity to part of the standard desktop toolkit. The application of these techniques has allowed all disciplines of the subsurface team to collaborate in a common workspace. In today’s asset teams, the role of the geological model in hydrocarbon development planning is key and will be for some time ahead.
The challenges that face the geologists and engineers will be to provide more seamless interaction between static and dynamic models. This interaction requires the development of conventional and unconventional modelling algorithms and methodologies in order to provide more risk-assessed scenarios, thus enabling geologists and engineers to better understand and capture inherent uncertainties at each aspect of the geological model’s life.