October 2007

Information-driven life-cycle reservoir management

While overall increased drilling activities and challenging drilling applications are capturing the headlines, there is a quieter, but potentially more significant movement within the oil and gas industry. This new direction emphasizes using information to manage the reservoir for optimal reserves recovery over the full life cycle. Today, despite the many advances in reservoir characterization technologies and techniques, the recovery factor for oil reservoirs still averages less than 40%. It is estimated that in the US there are in excess of 374 billion bbl of stranded oil with almost 100 billion bbl recoverable. Extrapolated on a global basis, bypassed oil constitutes perhaps the final frontier for the industry, with well over 1 trillion bbl in play. With crude prices high, and new exploration involving significant expense and risk, there is a great deal more emphasis on optimizing the recovery rate from existing and new reservoirs.

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