23 Jan 2007   |   News

Oil reservoir model could improve yields

Licensing and collaboration opportunity

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have developed a predictive statistical model for modelling oil reservoirs and improving recovery levels based on past production and injection data from existing oilfields.

Oil-producing companies inject water or gas into reservoirs to maintain pressure as hydrocarbons are extracted, thus maximising extraction levels. But the technique may not be effective in structurally complex reservoirs. The Edinburgh model uses statistical analysis techniques to assess the combined response of oil reservoirs to injection, and hence identify effective strategies for field development and recovery.

The researchers say this offers major cost savings by allowing existing reserves to be comprehensively developed. The system also informs operational and asset management decisions, both in real-time and predictively.

The software has been embedded into an industry-standard reservoir modelling tool and can be run on a desktop PC. It is suitable for a range of applications including entire reservoir management and for efficient extraction from mature and complex fields.

Using the model it is possible to visualise the whole reservoir production and injection; assess alternative water flooding strategies; image the structure of the reservoir; determine fluid flow paths and barriers; and do forward planning of injection/production strategies.

The technology is now available to licence for hydrocarbon reservoir applications, and the university says collaboration on further trials for specific reservoir data is a possibility.

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