Methods for enhanced reservoir understanding have triggered large volumes of oil resources

Advanced reservoir characterization methods have contributed significantly to increased oil production, and researchers at NORCE are the primary developers of these methods.

Sist oppdatert: Feb 21, 2020
Published Feb 7, 2020

The methods are based on the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) and make it possible to merge information from reservoir models with large amounts of observed data. EnKF couples observations from the reservoir with reservoir models to create the best possible description of the oil reservoir.

The improved reservoir description enables the oil companies to make better decisions based on up-to-date and more accurate information, e.g., when planning and drilling new wells.

Geir Evensen2 PS
Geir Evensen, NORCE, has developed a method that enables oil companies to make better decisions. Photo: Veronica Helle

NORCE researcher, Geir Evensen, originally developed EnKF for use in ocean and weather forecasting, and most large weather forecasting centers now use EnKF-based methods in their operational systems. NORCE initiated the use of EnKF in petroleum applications, where it has proven to work very well in combination with reservoir modeling and simulation. Several oil companies, including Equinor, are now using EnKF technology in their recommended workflow.

- EnKF has contributed to faster updates of reservoir models with new information; it gives lower uncertainty and more accurate well targets, Evensen says.

Geir Evensen currently manages the RCN Petromaks-2 project DIGIRES where the EnKF technology is being further developed for operational use of digital decision support. The project is a collaboration with seven oil companies.

Reservoir characterization, including the use of EnKF technology, is estimated to account for over half of the technology area's realized reserve increase of 540 million barrels of oil equivalents, says a new report from Rystad Energy.

Read the report here (in Norwegian)

Increased value creation

Rystad Energy presented the report at the Offshore Strategy Conference in Stavanger, February 3rd, 2020. The report states that projects supported by the Research Council have triggered large volumes of oil resources. Oil and Energy Minister, Tina Bru, says the report from Rystad Energy is excellent news. «It confirms that the support for petroleum research results in significantly increased value creation, large cost savings, new jobs, and new technology to reduce climate and environmental impacts,» she says.

EnKF based technology is estimated to account for over half of the technology area's realized reserve increase of 540 million barrels of oil equivalent.
– Report from Rystad Energy

The research group in NORCE has ambitions to take the methods to many new applications and, in 2019, submitted an SFI application for this purpose.

Partner in IOR

NORCE, together with IFE, are core partners in the National IOR Centre of Norway. The University of Stavanger leads the IOR Centre. The Centre’s goal is to develop new knowledge and technology to increase recovery beyond projections under today’s field operation plans.

Also read Rystad: Increased value creation