New Ways to Confront Heterogeneity in Hydrocarbon Recovery Forecasts

Larry Lake

Public Abstract

The proposed work relates to the goal of ensuring the availability of affordable energy to the Nation's future by improving the accuracy and usefulness of forecasts of hydrocarbon recovery. Improved forecasts will lead to more efficient capital expenditure that will, in turn, lead to more profitable investments and to the ability to produce resources that would be uneconomic with existing technology.

One task of the proposed work also seeks to provide tools that could be used to increase the ultimate recovery from mature resources, with minimal additional investment, by identifying poorly swept volumes in a reservoir.

The methods to be used in confronting heterogeneity deal with application and/or extensions of geostatistical methods currently used to generate numerical simulation input. The goals here are to tie conventional geostatistical results to geological indicators of ultimate recovery so that the empirical association between geology and recovery can be explained. We will do the tying through numerical simulation of primary and secondary recovery of hydrocarbons on reservoir models with different levels and styles of heterogeneity. In another task, a similar goal would be to investigate the efficiency of multiple-point statistics for capturing the essential features exhibited by different geological depositional environments. This task will seek to relate, through numerical simulation, multiple point statistical characterization to hydrocarbon recovery. The final task uses fluctuations of injection and production rates in mature (waterflooded) to define preferential flow paths.

This research would be sponsored by the Department of Energy.


Contact:

Larry W. Lake
Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
1 University Station C0304
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas 78712-0228
Phone: (512) 471-8233 FAX: (512) 471-9605
Email: Larry_Lake@mail.utexas.edu

See the Reservoir Engineering page for information on related research.