Structuring the Exploration Process of Vale E&P: The Use of Integrated Multidisciplinary Modeling and Geologic Risk Assessment
As part of a strategy to diversify and optimize its energy matrix through increased use of thermal coal, renewable fuels and natural gas, Vale has entered the petroleum business in 2007. Since then, Vale has built a meaningful exploration portfolio composed of stakes in 16 concessions, mostly acquired through farm-in agreements. Such concessions encompass 26 blocks located in the Brazilian basins of Santos, Espírito Santo, Pará-Maranhão and Parnaíba, with several exploratory leads and prospects of plays that range in age from Devonian to Tertiary, and two gas discoveries under appraisal.
The exploration team of Vale was organized in multidisciplinary teams with shared goals and searching for synergy among disciplines and an effective integration of technical skills and geologic knowledge. One of the main drives was to promote a truly integrated multidisciplinary approach to enhance the understanding of geologic risk factors, from source to trap. The intensive use of technology and varied geologic and geophysical modeling techniques have been implemented to leverage the value of information asset, providing the basis for a better assessment of exploratory risk and allowing quicker and more informed business decisions to be made.
This work will present examples of the application of this exploration strategy. Regional petroleum system studies were carried out through the analysis and modeling of the essential elements (source, reservoir, seal, and overburden rocks) and processes (generation, migration-accumulation and trap formation) as well as of all genetically-related petroleum occurrences (seeps, shows, and accumulations). An approach based on the integration between hard and soft data has been developed in multiscale applications, ranging from regional play fairway mapping to volumetric assessment of exploratory prospects and gas discoveries.