Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
Intelligent Computing System for Reservoir Analysis and Risk Assessment
of Red River Formation/Class Revisit
This project was in response to DOE's solicitation DE-PS26-99BC15144, Reservoir
Class Field Demonstration Program - Class Revisit. The goal of the Class Program
was to extend the economic production of domestic fields, by slowing the rate
of well abandonments and preserving industry infrastructure, and to increase
ultimate recovery using improved reservoir characterization and advanced technologies.
Develop an intelligent computing system and apply to reservoir-production models
for analysis of seismic and geologic data relating to management, development
and exploration problems in Class II reservoirs, shallow-shelf carbonate depostional
Various software tools will be written. These tools can be broadly characterized
as 1) clustering tools, 2) neural solvers, 3) multiple-linear regression, 4)
entrapment-potential calculator and 5) combining tools. Evaluation of these
tools will be made using at least five 3-D seismic surveys, multiple 2-D seismic
surveys and a large database of geological, petrophysical and production information.
A methodology will be developed as a guide for users to effectively use the
software tools. After validation and blind tests, results from the characterization
tools will be used for locating drilling targets. A demonstration and capability
for downloading of the software will be provided on a project web site.
Luff Exploration Company
Intelligent Computing System software has been developed and proven for predictive
modeling in the Red River formation in the Williston Basin.
The project has developed user friendly software for neural networks solving
of complex seismic and reservoir characterization problems. ICS software provides
a means to correlate data from well logs, and production data, and integrate
it with seismic data to make accurate stratigraphic predictions necessary for
successful drilling and completions. As of July 2003, field trials conducted
in the Red River formation in the Williston Basin have increased proved oil
reserves by 3.25 MMbbl, and increased oil production over 2.6 M bbl/day. The
horizontal wells are expected to produce over 1 MMbbl of incremental oil by
Predictive tools have been used for decades by petroleum engineers and geologists
to find and recover oil and gas resources. As technology advances, our understanding
of subsurface geology sharpens and we often have to re-think our strategies
for producing these valuable energy resources. Most of the easy to find and
recover oil has been produced. The remaining oil is located in more complex
environments, making it more difficult to find and more expensive to extract.
Luff Exploration has developed the Intelligent Computing System (ICS) as a tool
to assist decision makers in selection of optimal drill-site locations and to
reduce risks associated with drilling operations. ICS is a package of software
tools and a reservoir characterization strategy to better access reservoir limits,
producibility and favorable depositional setting. ICS uses clustering, artificial
neural networks, and classical regression methods to combine seismic, geologic
and engineering data for predictions of reservoir potential.
Several software tools within the ICS package are used to transform seismic
attributes to reservoir characteristics such as thickness, porosity, permeability,
and entrapment pressure. Data from wells within seismic surveys are used as
training control to transform seismic attributes to conventional reservoir attributes.
Seismic-transformed reservoir characteristics can be combined with well production
data from a lager database through a neural network solver to describe oil-water
contacts, oil-cut and producibility.
- The ICS software developed for integrated reservoir characterization and risk
assessment for petroleum exploration.
- A software toolkit was designed to correlate relationships between seismic
information and well data.
- ICS software tools are implemented in MATLAB, an integration and visualization
program. ICS is designed to run on Windows without purchase of MATLAB.
- ICS toolkit tested on seismic and well data from six 3-D seismic surveys and
wells within survey boundaries in the Williston Basin.
- Generic approach reservoir characterization modules that can be used: depositional
setting, structure and growth history, seismic pseudo-reservoir parameters (variations
in thickness and porosity), fluid saturation, structure and stratigraphic entrapment,
and combining and weighting characterization parameters.
- The test site at Amor South field in the Red River formation has undergone
complex depositional processes and tectonic growth since the time of deposition
(450 million years ago) resulting in difficult to interpret structure and stratigraphy.
- Seismic attributes were transformed to reservoir attributes and finally to
production attributes for predictive modeling of Amor South field.
- Original mobile-oil-in-place for Red River Zone B at Amor South field was
calculated at 3.1 MMbbl using seismic attributes.
Luff Exploration developed the ICS software to use reservoir characterization
data to make predictions of where to drill and recomplete wells to optimize
The ICS software has been successful in exploitation field trials of the Red
River B Zone in the Williston Basin at South Amor field, North Dakota. The Red
River B Zone is a thin dolomite reservoir with an average thickness of 7 feet
and an average depth of 9,000 ft. With a thickness ranging from only 4 to 15
feet, change in reservoir development is practically invisible to visual observation
of seismic waveform character. The ICS software uses well logs, drill-stem tests
and production data from several hundred wells in both the Red River B and C
zones to correlate with the seismic data to overcome the resolution problems.
The neural network solver was able to contour the interval revealing a tilted
oil-water contact and predicting the oil-cut.
Application of ICS technology significantly reduced the risks associated in
drilling horizontal wells in the Red River formation, and paid off in terms
of reduced exploitation costs, increased reserves discovered and increased production.
Predictions from ICS were used to re-enter and drill horizontal laterals in
16 vertical wells. These vertical wells were producing an average of 20 bbl/day
each. Following completion as horizontal wells the initial production was 200-300
bbl/day/well. During the 24 months following the horizontal completions the
16 wells have produced an average of 43,300 bbl/month.
Current Status (August 2004)
The project ended in September, 2003. Luff continues to use the predictive modeling
capabilities of ICS to develop Red River prospects in the Williston Basin. Project
results, information on ICS development, and "how to use" tutorials
were presented at a 2003-4 PTTC Rocky Mountain Regional symposium.
An electronic copy of the final report, published in November 2003, is available
from NETL at 918-699-2000.
Free ICS software is available on CD at www.netl.doe.gov/software. The ICS
software is not specific to any particular region or depositional type, and
users can use their own databases to populate the programs and generate predictions.
Project Start: February 24, 2000
Project End: August 31, 2003
Anticipated DOE Contribution: $447,200
Performer Contribution: $809,800 (64% of total)
NETL - Paul West (email@example.com or 918-699-2035)
Luff Exploration - Kenneth Luff (303-861-2468)
Petrotech Engineering - Mark Sippel (firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-864-9734)
Overlay of the structure, planned and drilled horizontal wells at South Armor
ICS control panel for access to software toolbox.