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Gudmund Olsen

AGR’s Reservoir Management & Subsurface team was engaged to provide subsurface and reservoir model evaluation needed to support a thermal enhanced oil recovery development plan for heavy oil fields in Venezuela. The client, an Eastern-Asian oil company, required a robust and expert analysis of the viability of this planned project.

Key investment decisions hinged on this evaluation

A comprehensive reservoir evaluation was needed to validate the production profiles provided for the commercial development of the field. An estimate of 200,000 – 400,000 STBD had been submitted for economic assessment, with the scope of the work including construction of the reservoir simulation model for thermal recovery methods and screening of thermal production techniques, such as:

  • Cyclic steam injection
  • Steam flooding
  • Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD)

Our specialists were also asked to rigorously review the reservoir simulation model and the forecast profiles recommended by a third party. Using the sector model with multi-well configuration, the optimisation of well patterns and sensitivity study of thermal production had been investigated to maximise the oil recovery.

A project that demanded modelling expertise and close collaboration

AGR’s expertise in simulation modelling of thermal production technology in large scale commercial development was critical to this assignment. Close collaboration with the client’s geologist on the modelling selections also proved essential to the robustness of our evaluation.

Specifically, our work included:

  • Converting the black model for the cold production into the compositional model for the thermal production processes.
  • Investigating the sensitivity of grid size on the simulation performance to identify the optimal model for the thermal production forecast.

Also key to the success of this project was the close contact and regular communication with the client. We agreed on:

  • Working in the client’s office to ensure direct discussions with all key stakeholders.
  • Framing the work scope at the kick-off meeting with the client to identify clear deliverables and agree on a project strategy.
  • Weekly progress meetings with the client for complete visibility.
  • Making use of parallel licenses to speed up the execution of the simulation models.

A technical evaluation that investors could rely on

The combination of AGR’s expertise, innovative simulation modelling techniques and collaboration with the client’s own project team, ensured that the following was successfully delivered:

A reservoir simulation model construction for the thermal recovery method, based on:

  • Multi-compositional, thermal process modelling
  • Large scale reservoir modelling with multi-well configurations

Screening of production techniques for heavy oil production, covering:

  • Cold production
  • Cyclic Steam injection (huff and puff)
  • Steam flooding (continues steam injection)
  • Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD)

An evaluation of the field development plan, including:

  • A review of PDVSA’s thermal simulation model
  • Optimal well configuration for heavy oil production
  • Sensitivity study of key parameters for the recovery performance
  • Production profiles for large scale commercial field development
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