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The Role of Mini-Simulation in Reservoir Management
Historically, reservoir simulators have been used for studying large fields and those undergoing complex recovery processes. These studies are costly, require highly trained professionals, and are often too time-consuming for operating department work environments. The simulators have not been suitable for modeling small reservoirs. However, the time has come to cast away the clutter of the numerous classical methods and replace them with a single more versatile tool - mini-simulation.
Simulation of small reservoirs has been made possible by the advent of interactive simulators on a mainframe, workstation or personal computer, numerically stable solution methods, computerization of reservoir data and inexpensive computing time. The proposed mini-simulation technique offers a middle ground between the sophisticated fine-grid reservoir simulation method and classical methods for reservoir analyses. The technique relies on coarse-gridding, correlations for unavailable data, and an interactive simulator that guides and prompts the user-engineers. Mini-simulation can play an important role in managing small reservoirs which were previously thought to be uneconomic to model. It is superior to the classical methods because it is simpler in concept, is not hampered by the restrictive assumptions made in the classical methods, and running the simulator is very similar to operating a real reservoir incorporating reservoir management ideas.
This paper presents several practical and real-life oil and gas reservoir studies using an interactive personal computer simulator to illustrate the method and benefit of applying mini-simulation to the management of small reservoirs.
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