Fast History Matching and Optimization Using a Novel Physics-Based Data-Driven Model: An Application to a Diatomite Reservoir

Wang, Zhenzhen (Chevron ETC) | He, Jincong (Chevron ETC) | Milliken, William J. (Chevron Corporation) | Wen, Xian-Huan (Chevron ETC)


Abstract Full-physics models in history matching and optimization can be computationally expensive since these problems usually require hundreds of simulations or more. We have previously implemented a physics-based data-driven network model with a commercial simulator that serves as a surrogate without the need to build the 3-D geological model. In this paper, we reconstruct the network model to account for complex reservoir conditions of mature fields and successfully apply it to a diatomite reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) for rapid history matching and optimization. The reservoir is simplified into a network of 1-D connections between well perforations. These connections are discretized into grid blocks and the grid properties are calibrated to historical production data. Elevation change, saturation distribution, capillary pressure, and relative permeability are accounted for to best represent the mature field conditions. To simulate this physics-based network model through a commercial simulator, an equivalent 2-D Cartesian model is designed where rows correspond to the above-mentioned connections. Thereafter, the history matching can be performed with the Ensemble Smoother with Multiple Data Assimilation (ESMDA) algorithm under a sequential iterative process. A representative model after history matching is then employed for well control optimization. The network model methodology has been successfully applied to the waterflood optimization for a 56-well sector model of a diatomite reservoir in the SJV. History matching result shows that the network model honors field-level production history and gives reasonable matches for most of the wells, including pressure and flow rate. The calibrated ensemble from the last iteration of history matching yields a satisfactory production prediction, which is verified by the remaining historical data. For well control optimization, we select the P50 model to maximize the Net Present Value (NPV) in 5 years under provided well/field constraints. This confirms that the calibrated network model is accurate enough for production forecasts and optimization. The use of a commercial simulator in the network model provided flexibility to account for complex physics, such as elevation difference between wells, saturation non-equilibrium, and strong capillary pressure. Unlike traditional big-loop workflow that relies on a detailed characterization of geological models, the proposed network model only requires production data and can be built and updated rapidly. The model also runs much faster (tens of seconds) than a full-physics model due to the employment of much fewer grid blocks. To our knowledge, this is the first time this physics-based data-driven network model is applied with a commercial simulator on a field waterflood case. Unlike approaches developed with analytic solutions, the use of commercial simulator makes it feasible to be further extended for complex processes, e.g., thermal or compositional flow. It serves as an useful surrogate model for both fast and reliable decision-making in reservoir management.

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