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Integrated Reservoir Characterization of Mature Fields: Application of 3-D Visualization Technologies to Reserve Growth Strategies
Integrated reservoir characterization is a demonstrated low cost, low risk approach to fostering reserve growth in mature and often "marginal" fields along the Gulf Coast. Immersive virtual reality visualization technologies are now being used to elevate the discovery process during integration of the complex multidisciplinary data sets leading to superior reservoir models that enhance the identification of reserve growth opportunities within Texas Gulf Coast reservoirs. The rewards can be large. Recent experience in the US indicates that two-thirds of all reserve additions come from existing fields, and in Texas, we have seen a 40 percent increase in the reserves added on a per well basis. Further, in a Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, field evaluation, integrated reservoir characterization including virtual reality imaging resulted in the identification of the residency of approximately 1.9 BSTB of remaining mobile oil and in the delineation of numerous infill wells and recompletion opportunities. Along the Texas Gulf Coast, 3-D seismic and virtual reality images have been processed and interpreted to define bypassed gas compartments in the Frio Formation reservoirs as part of the State of Texas Advanced Resource Recovery Program resulting in recovery of significant gas resources. In the next decade, the volumes of incremental oil and natural gas that will ultimately be recovered will be functions of the style of heterogeneity of the reservoir system, the magnitude of the unrecovered mobile oil and natural gas, and the effectiveness of the deployment of advanced reservoir characterization practices and recovery technologies. Incorporating virtual reality imaging to reservoir characterization should be an integral part of all advanced reservoir characterization programs along the Gulf Coast.
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