TULSA, OK - A software program that projects how much
oil or natural gas lies in a reservoir, and how much more can be recovered,
has the potential to save millions of dollars while increasing our Nation’s
oil and natural gas supplies. And it’s free.
The program, known as GEMINI (Geo-Engineering Modeling through Internet
Informatics), is an interactive, integrated website that provides the
framework for reservoir modeling. Developed with funding from the U.S.
Department of Energy, the program can boost domestic oil and gas production,
increasing national energy security and decreasing our dependence on foreign
This powerful program can pinpoint areas that were bypassed when drilling
ended and may still contain oil and natural gas. In addition to revealing
how deep in the Earth the oil lies and how much is there, GEMINI can analyze
rock formation along with a host of other reservoir characteristics; it
can also suggest additional drilling locations.
For natural gas exploration, GEMINI has a program that acts like the
FBI’s computerized fingerprint system, using well logs instead of
fingerprints. Well logs have specific characteristics that enable them
to be identified like fingerprints. Using a pattern-recognition-based
program, GEMINI can “look” in wells and identify zones that
may have been bypassed when they were originally drilled. Companies can
then decide if it is cost-effective to bring the resource to the surface.
Anyone can use the tool, but it is particularly beneficial to small companies
that cannot afford costly software programs that perform the same analyses.
Compared with the additional barrels of recovered fossil fuel that may
otherwise be lost, the project price is miniscule.
GEMINI has been available for about a year, but it has been continually
refined. All of the project’s programs are now operational, and
is regularly accessed.
The project stems from an earlier effort between the Energy Department
and the State of Kansas called the Digital Petroleum Atlas, which shows
all the oil and gas production in the state, and identifies which areas
are the most productive. In the last century, Kansas produced 6.1 billion
barrels of oil and 36.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
The whole software package consists of 11 integrated tools and databases.
GEMINI’s analytical components include assembling fluid and rock
parameters, basic and enhanced wireline log interpretation, data mining,
spatial analysis and visualization, volumetrics, material balance, and
parameterization formatting of results for reservoir-simulation software.
Analyses on one or multiple wells can be conducted.
The program also creates password-protected virtual reservoir analysis
which examines core data, calibrates and analyzes wireline logs, analyzes
drill stem tests, calculates oil-in-place, compares oil-in-place with
material-balance calculations, and downloads results for presentation
or further analysis in other software. GEMINI even tracks the user’s
progress to help review and revisit a project.
In addition to examining company data, and data from the Kansas Geological
Survey, the software will eventually be able to analyze information from
other public domains. The GEMINI website is also being used to convey
Kansas Geological Survey research results, serving as a platform for distance
learning and technology transfer.
GEMINI’s total cost, including federal funding and cost-share
monies from the state, amounts to $1.17 million over three years.
In addition to the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology
Laboratory, project collaborators include the Kansas Geological Survey,
Phillips Petroleum, Murfin Drilling, Mull Drilling, Pioneer, British Petroleum
and Anadarko Petroleum Corp.