AAPG Middle East Region GTW, Maximizing Asset Value: Integrating Geoscience with Reservoir Management & Facilities Optimization

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The Power of Integrating Subsurface Data Analysis II From Reservoir Pore Throat to Sales Point

Abstract

The objective of our business – as for all businesses - is to maximize asset value. To that end, our respective companies employ talented staff who are highly competent within their discipline area of expertise. However, success in business requires more than individual talent. Whatever the level of individual competencies, a lack of a mutual understanding of the company business objectives by individuals and various company department will result in poor business performance. Even with a mutual understanding of the company business objectives, poor intra-department and inter-department communication can also be a cause for failure. No geoscientist or engineer comes to work to do a bad job - but the impact of poor communication can result in such. The key to business success is for all staff to understand how they support the business objective. When John F. Kennedy set NASA the challenge to put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth, he visited the NASA Space Center. Questioning what an individual did, the answer was, “I am putting a man on the moon”. That individual was the janitor. Having a common goal is a powerful ingredient for success. Maximizing asset value can mean different things in different business environments. Reservoirs may be depleted too quickly to maximize ultimate recovery but the high depletion rate is necessary to provide a source of energy for the local population. This would be an anathema to a reservoir engineer who would prefer to remain true to her profession and maximize recovery – although this may not be the best business case for the country. Conversely, low offtake rates imposed by the government to maximize ultimate recovery may conflict with the company desire to maximize cash flow or Net Present Value. Once business objectives are clear, there are still many ways that we can fail to deliver – a key reason being poor communication. Effective communications between disciplines can be fostered by structured work flows. The first step is to gather data to understand what you don’t understand. The data must be quality assured and managed to ensure that it is accessible to all potential users. The data should then be used to model the physical asset but only to the extent that the models help us understand why the asset is performing below expectation. When sub-optimal performance is identified, plans can be made to intervene and improve the asset performance – within the agreed business drivers! To inventory the “cast of thousands” that take part in these processes would be the first indication of how integration between disciplines is necessary for success. This presentation focuses on the power of integrating subsurface data analysis as the starting point for success, but then shows that success is only guaranteed if sound understanding of the reservoir is coupled to the performance of the facilities in the short and long term and how this can be achieved by structured work practices.