Types of reservoir model

Reservoir models typically fall into two categories:

  • Geological models are created by geologists and geophysicists and aim to provide a static description of the reservoir, prior to production.
  • Reservoir simulation models are created by reservoir engineers and use finite difference methods to simulate the flow of fluids within the reservoir, over its production lifetime.

Sometimes a single “shared earth model” is used for both purposes. More commonly, a geological model is constructed at a relatively high (fine) resolution. A coarser grid for the reservoir simulation model is constructed, with perhaps two orders of magnitude fewer cells. Effective values of attributes for the simulation model are then derived from the geological model by an upscaling process. Alternatively, if no geological model exists, the attribute values for a simulation model may be determined by a process of sampling geological maps.

Uncertainty in the true values of the reservoir properties is sometimes investigated by constructing several different realizations of the sets of attribute values. The behaviour of the resulting simulation models can then indicate the associated level of economic uncertainty.

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