The aim of this study is to determine to what extent the quality of a history matched model is a good predictor of future production. The background is the common assumption that the better a model matches the production data is the better it is for forecasting, or, at the very least, it leads to an improved estimate of the uncertainty in future production. We demonstrate that the validity of this assumption depends on the length of the history match period and that of the forecasting period. It also depends on how heterogeneous the reservoir is.
The correlation between the quality of history match and quality of forecast depends on various factors. For the same level of heterogeneity one of the strongest factors is the water breakthrough time for the base and compared cases.
Broadly if both the base and compared case have water breakthrough before the end of the history match period then the forecasts are reasonable. However, there appears to be a very rapid transition from a reasonably good history match leading to a good forecast to a moderately good history match leading to a very poor forecast. If water breakthrough has not occurred there is a very poor correlation between the quality of the history match and the quality of the forecast. So, the traditional belief that a good history matched model will also produce a good forecast is not always true.