Efficient Assimilation of Crosswell Electromagnetic Data Using Ensemble-Based History-Matching Framework

Zhang, Yanhui (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) | Hoteit, Ibrahim (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)



An ensemble-based history-matching framework is proposed to enhance the characterization of petroleum reservoirs through the assimilation of crosswell electromagnetic (EM) data. As one of advanced technologies in reservoir surveillance, crosswell EM tomography can provide a cross-sectional conductivity map and hence saturation profile at an interwell scale by exploiting the sharp contrast in conductivity between hydrocarbons and saline water. Incorporating this new information into reservoir simulation in combination with other available observations is therefore expected to enhance the forecasting capability of reservoir models and to lead to better quantification of uncertainty.

The proposed approach applies ensemble-based data-assimilation methods to build a robust and flexible framework under which various sources of available measurements can be readily integrated. Because the assimilation of crosswell EM data can be implemented in different ways (e.g., components of EM fields or inverted conductivity), a comparative study is conducted. The first approach integrates crosswell EM data in its original form which entails establishing a forward model simulating observed EM responses. In this work, the forward model is based on Archie's law that provides a link between fluid properties and formation conductivity, and Maxwell’s equations that describe how EM fields behave given the spatial distribution of conductivity. Alternatively, formation conductivity can be used for history matching, which is obtained from the original EM data through inversion using an adjoint gradient-based optimization method. Because the inverted conductivity is usually of high dimension and very noisy, an image-oriented distance parameterization utilizing fluid front information is applied aiming to assimilate the conductivity field efficiently and robustly. Numerical experiments for different test cases with increasing complexity are carried out to examine the performance of the proposed integration schemes and potential of crosswell EM data for improving the estimation of relevant model parameters. The results demonstrate the efficiency of the developed history-matching workflow and added value of crosswell EM data in enhancing the characterization of reservoir models and reliability of model forecasts.