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Theme 2: Reservoir characterisation to improve volumetric sweep

Theme 2 works with the integration of field data such as pressure, temperature, seismic data, tracer data, geophysical data, and geological data into a field scale simulation model.

Photo of Sissel Opsahl Viig, tracer technology researcher at IFE

In Theme 2 we will focus our research towards integrating all types of information/data available to improve and enhance decision-making in petroleum production. A main driver when conducting our research is to deliver new results and new methodology that will be applied by the industry.

Primary objective of Theme 2

The aim is to develop new and improved methodology that will support the evaluation and decision making with regards to IOR/EOR pilots at the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). This addresses the potential of producing the resources in un-swept areas as well as mobilizing the trapped resources in swept areas. The research is focusing on challenges for the entire NCS while demonstrating the improved methodology on real field cases.

Secondary objectives of Theme 2

• Further development of tracer technology
• Improvement of reservoir simulation tools with regards to IOR/EOR processes
• Robust production optimization
• Better history matching through improved data assimilation tools
• Inclusion of 4D seismic data in ensemble based history matching
• Evaluation of economic potential
• Investigation of the connection between the reservoir complexity and recovery factor potential 

These are the tasks in Theme 2

Task 5: Tracer Technology

Task leader: Tor Bjørnstad, Research Manager, IFE (tor.bjornstad@ife.no)

The overall objective of this task is to improve on, and develop new, tracer technology for in-situ determination of residual oil saturation (SOR) and better description of flow fields • in the swept volumes between wells after some period of secondary oil production, and • in the near well volume and to examine the effect of various tertiary recovery methods. The targeted methods are aimed to produce valuable data for evaluation of the need for infill wells, and eventually positioning of such wells in addition to evaluation of the most efficient EOR method for a given field. The relation to the main Road Map is directly to Milestones 6 (monitoring technology) and 13 (pilot tests conclusions), partly to Milestones 8 (reservoir simulation methods) and 9 (history matching) and indirectly to Milestones 5 (economic potential of IOR methods), 14 (economic potential of pilot tests), 15 (recommendation for full-field tests) and 16 (economic potential for full-field tests at NCS).

At present, several scientists at IFE are partly participating in Task 2.5, which also engages one PhD-student (Mario Silva) working with phase-partitioning interwell tracers. Expected defense of his Thesis is foreseen by end of 2018. In addition, a postdoc (Mahmoud Ould Metidji on 50%) is working on nano-particles for interwell studies and with new esters for near-well experiments. The progress is satisfactory, and a final technical report is scheduled by ultimo September 2018.

Task 6: Reservoir Simulation Tools

Task leader: Robert Klöfkorn, Senior Research Scientist, IRIS (Robert.kloefkorn@norceresearch.no)

Improved modeling methodology and simulation capabilities for IOR are important to perform reliable pilot and full field simulations. In this project, we contribute towards the OPM (www.opm-project.com) simulation framework. This is an open source code able of handling industrial relevant models, which provides a platform for testing innovative reservoir simulation developments in general. The project addresses improved simulation tools, which are important for simulation of any IOR processes. In particular, the complex physical and chemical IOR processes are in crucial need of improved simulation tools that allow for resolution of fronts and mixing zones. We anticipate that the resulting improvements will lead to better decision making and, hence, improve oil recovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. In collaboration with the Tasks in the Centre, and its focus on different scales, it is important to provide a simulator that is capable to simulate the physical processes in the reservoir with satisfying fidelity to generate the measured data.

Currently three PostDocs and two PhD students are working within Task 6 which have contributed well to the Centre’s excellent publication record. Furthermore, our contributions to OPM have helped to include IOR and EOR applications in OPM and the code base today is mature and includes and openly available documentation. Task 6 leader Robert Klöfkorn was the main organizer for an international workshop in May in Bergen – PDESoft2018 which was well received by the community. Pål Andersen, PostDoc (UiS), received an award for his engagement in teaching and education. At this early stage in his career without having a big group of PhD students he is already listed as one of the most productive scientists at UiS. In addition, Bergit Brattekås, a PostDoc from the Centre at UiB, was invited to give a talk at IOR Norway 2018, highlighting her collaboration with Pål Andersen about experiments on co-current imbibition, performed at UiB, and corresponding simulations performed at UiS. Additionally, the newly hired PostDoc Birane Kane will broaden the research portfolio of Task 6 towards direct numerical simulation of polymer fluids.

Task 7: Field scale evaluation and history matching

Task leader: Geir Nævdal, Chief Scientist, IRIS (gena@norceresearch.no)

The economic feasibility of implementing new IOR methods on a field needs to be evaluated, preferably taking the uncertainty in the reservoir description into account. While optimizing future production, environmental constraints need to be considered. The evaluation will be based on history matched reservoir models. An important focus in this task is to develop better methods for full field history matching using 4-D seismic data. The history matching is done using ensemble-based methods, but we consider use of different types of seismic data for inversion. Some focus is on compacting reservoirs. Here we both study how to improve the interpretation of 4D seismic data for the location of water and pressure fronts and investigate the coupling between fluid flow and geomechanics linking 4D seismic observations to stress exchange in the reservoir and surrounding rock. A substantial part of the work on history matching is using real data, an open data set for the Norne field and data from Ekofisk that has been made available for selected studies within the IOR center.

Recently, our first full field study on history matching utilizing 4D seismic data has been successfully completed. The chosen field was the Norne field, using the data set available for research purposes. The results are currently being presented in different forums. The results are attracting attention, as it demonstrates a full workflow for assisted history matching using 4D seismic data. One of the PhD students of the task, Yiteng Zhang, is currently proceeding towards completion of his thesis. His field is production optimization using ensemble-based methods. He presented two papers at SPE Norway One Day Seminar.