Announcing new Rapid Reservoir Modelling research collaboration

Prof Sebastian Geiger discusses modifications to a petroleum reservoir model with PhD students Simeon Agada, Mohamed Ahmed and Alessandro Mangione from the Carbonate Reservoir Group.

Scientists from the Carbonate Reservoir Group at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, under the leadership of Professor Sebastian Geiger, have formed a 2.54M USD research partnership with colleagues at University of Calgary, Imperial College London and the Federal University of Pernambuco. This partnership will aim to develop a novel Rapid Reservoir Modelling (RRM) software that facilitates prototyping of complex reservoir models.

This project is an exciting one because we will have the tremendous opportunity to revolutionise the way subsurface reservoirs are modelled in the future.

Prof. Sebastian Geiger,  Academic lead

Constructing or refining models for subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs is still a challenging and time-consuming task that entails a high degree of uncertainty. The lack of an intuitive set of modelling, simulation and visualisation tools that allows prototyping of reservoir models and development concepts significantly increases the challenge.

Conventional reservoir modelling workflows, facilitated by commercially available software packages, have remained essentially unchanged for the past decade. However, these workflows are slow, requiring many months from initial model concepts to flow simulation. Therefore, many model concepts, such as large scale reservoir architecture, become fixed early in the process and are difficult to retrospectively change.

The RRM project will develop a novel software product that facilitates the prototyping of reservoir models, well trajectories and development options using interactive modelling and visualisation techniques to work on a range of hardware architectures such as table tops and surface PCs, which fosters the natural collaboration within integrated asset teams.

The research partnership is supported by four oil companies (BG Group, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, and Statoil) as well as a software company (IBM Research). The original project idea was developed within the Foundation CMG network, which sponsors research chairs at Heriot-Watt University, University of Calgary, and the Federal University of Pernambuco.

Academic Lead, Prof Sebastian Geiger said "The RRM project allows Heriot-Watt University to collaborate with world renown researchers across four different academic institutions and five different companies, all providing a diverse range of expertise, from visualisation to petroleum geoscience and scientific computing. This project is an exciting because we will have the tremendous opportunity to revolutionise the way subsurface reservoirs are modelled in the future."