American Journal of Applied Sciences

Fully Integrated Hydrocarbon Reservoir Studies: Myth or Reality?

Christoforos Benetatos and Dario Viberti

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2010.1477.1486

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 7, Issue 11

Pages 1477-1486


Problem statement: In the petroleum industry and especially during reservoir studies, data coming from different disciplines must be combined in order to generate a model that is representative of the reservoir being studied and can be used for defining the most viable development strategy of the field from both an economic and technical standpoint. Each of these disciplines represents an independent piece of a puzzle that is solved by professionals from various scientific fields who have different educational backgrounds. Integration among geophysics, geology, fluid dynamics and geomechanics is truly essential, but requires specific approaches and procedures for generating and calibrating a reservoir model capable of dealing with all and each of these aspects. Approach: Independent workflows were examined for each of the disciplines involved so as to highlight unavoidable interdependencies between static, dynamic and geomechanical models, even when the goal is to tackle each issue separately. Then, the traditional working method was compared to the integrated approach that supports the generation and calibration of models based on data and interpretation results from all the disciplines involved in the entire project. Results: The construction of a reservoir model should be regarded as a dynamic process, subject to repeated updates as new data is made available and by frequent modifications when inconsistencies are found between the understanding that different specialists have of the same system. This approach has exhibited great advantages in terms of improvement in the quality and flexibility of the model, reduction of working time and generation of a single final model that can be adapted or used for any kind of simulation problem. Conclusion: An integrated approach is necessary for reservoir modeling purposes. Modern reservoir studies should be designed accordingly to permit the full integration of static, dynamic and geomechanical data into a single reservoir model. Integration is always beneficial, even though there still remains a misconception that it is not needed at all times. For this reason, it is recommended that an effort is made to set up a model capable to handle all aspects of a reservoir study each time a new field study is undertaken, even when it is not envisioned that all aspects might be of interest in the future.


© 2010 Christoforos Benetatos and Dario Viberti. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.