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Correlating Reserve Growth in Fields to Certain Field Characteristics

Cook, Troy 1
1 Energy Team, US Geological Survey, Denver, CO.

Past estimates of reserve growth in oil and gas fields have been based primarily on types of field groupings such as, 1) age of field based on start of production or discovery, 2) field development groups related to secondary and tertiary recovery methods potentially available in the future and, 3) individual field studies. Of these, individual field studies are probably the most comprehensive, but are time and labor intensive. Field development status would be most applicable to individual fields or groups of fields where potential reserve growth is primarily driven by the application of a known, but possibly underutilized, technology. Age-based methods tend to require large datasets and have been shown to work well at large regional levels.

For the purpose of minimizing the time invested in field-level studies while maintaining that level of resolution in the final answer, a new approach was used for distinguishing individual fields with potentially high reserve growth from those having little or no potential, based on past historical behavior.

The Nehring Associates Significant Oil and Gas Fields of the United States database and the IHS Petroleum Information Data Model (PIDM) were the primary sources of information that were used in this study to examine each field’s individual reserve growth behavior through time. Historical reserve growth in oil fields was examined for correlations to oil viscosity, areal extent of the field, activity related to the drilling of new wells, field-level remaining reserves, production rates, and current and past total known recoverable size.

The correlations between actual growth and some of these common field parameters were then established using a Microsoft Excel linear correlation calculation. High correlations between growth and field parameters, such as the lack of net change in remaining reserves through time correlating to high reserve-growth oilfields, can then be examined at a more detailed level on a field-by-field basis.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009