Hydrocarbon Resource Characterization and Modeling: Past, Present and Future
Ma, Y. Z.
As the demand for fossil fuels continues to grow and fields mature, hydrocarbon resource characterization has become increasingly important. Optimal valuation and exploitation of a field requires a realistic description of the reservoir, which in turn requires integrated reservoir characterization and modeling using all the available data and rigorous quantification of the uncertainty. Based on our research and experience with worldwide hydrocarbon resource characterization projects, we present a historical review of various phases of petroleum geology and reservoir characterization, which illustrates how the challenges were met in the past, and what new technologies will be emerging in the future. Important past developments include the transition from general petroleum geology to reservoir geology, from disciplinary-focused reservoir description to integrated reservoir characterization, from 2-D subsurface mapping to 3-D reservoir modeling, and from reservoir deterministic analysis to uncertainty analysis. With emergence of unconventional resources and the maturation of many of the world's conventional fields, an integrated, multidisciplinary approach using new innovative technologies, including all the geoscience and engineering disciplines, is even more critical to meet the challenges posed in developing these fields.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90163©2013AAPG 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 19-22, 2013