SANFORD, STEVEN J. and NANCY A. WILDMAN
Chevron Production Company. Bakersfield, CA, 93309
Abstract: Use of 3D modeling and Visualization Tools to Add Value in California Heavy Oil Projects: Cymric and Coalinga Fields
Three-dimensional modeling and reservoir visualization tools are increasingly used to add value to California heavy oil projects. These tools use UNIX-based software to build, manipulate and visualize multi-cellular geologic models. Models built with these tools are used for reservoir simulation, planning horizontal well paths and interpreting reservoir monitoring data. Examples from Cymric and Coalinga Oil Fields show the utility of these tools.
3D modeling tools greatly speed the process of building and modifying reservoir simulation models. Because simple reservoir models can now be built in a few hours, reservoir simulation can be widely applied to reservoir development and management questions. Also, 3D modeling tools enable rapid construction of horizontal well paths that satisfy all the mechanical and geologic constraints of drilling operations and reservoir conditions. This reduces the risk in guiding the well path through the optimum part of the reservoir.
Interpretation of reservoir monitoring data is sped by the ability of visualization tools to correctly display three-dimensional relationships. In some cases, 3D displays render obsolete the use of two-dimensional maps and cross-sections for interpreting reservoir monitoring data.
Reservoir simulation, accurate horizontal well planning, and rapid interpretation of monitoring data add value by reducing cycle time, decreasing risk, and reducing costs. This is illustrated by examples from Cymric and Coalinga Fields. Wider application of these tools elsewhere promises cost benefits for other heavy oil reservoirs as well.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90920©1999 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Monterey, California