20191015 SPE Distinguished Lecturer: Using the Movement of Fluids in Geological Time to Improve Reservoir Characterization

20191015 SPE Distinguished Lecturer: Using the Movement of Fluids in Geological Time to Improve Reservoir Characterization

Distinguished Lecturer
←  SPE - Calgary Section

Distinguished Lecturer:
 Using the Movement of Fluids in Geological Time to Improve Reservoir Characterization

Date: Tuesday 15th of October 2019
Speaker: Bruce James, P.Eng. President @ James Reservoir Inc
Location: Calgary Petroleum Club
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM 


Fluids, such as oil, gas, and water, can move within a reservoir over geological time. This talk will show how recognising these processes and incorporating them into analysis can greatly improve reservoir characterization and provide powerful insights to optimise development plans.  I will use 3 very different examples to illustrate this.


Firstly, a deepwater oil field, that had long been considered an “ugly duckling” was re-evaluated incorporating knowledge of historical fluid movement which had created compositional grading. The new analysis revealed better connectivity, higher recoverable oil volumes and a previously unrecognized tar mat, which demonstrated that producer locations should be higher on structure and the potential need for a waterflood.


Secondly, the Sunrise gas field in the Timor Sea was reassessed with the knowledge of historical advective gas mixing. This showed that Sunrise, previously thought to have a high risk of compartmentalization, was actually well connected both vertically and laterally. This analysis changed the number and locations of planned development wells, significantly reducing the potential development cost.


Finally, in the Alberta Oil Sands, analysis showed that the redistribution of “solid” bitumen and water had occurred as a result of biodegradation. This explained the puzzling water mobility and “upside down” transition zones. This knowledge is important in predicting the lateral movement of steam/heat needed for the optimum design of thermal oil recovery.


The movement of fluids within a reservoir over geological time happens more often than is commonly thought and is an under utilized tool for reservoir characterization.  It is particularly valuable for offshore development where information is sparse.  The most important key to using it is simply asking the question "could it have occurred?”


Speaker Bio:

Bruce is currently President of James Reservoir Inc., which he formed after retiring from Suncor.  While at Suncor he was a Reservoir Engineering Advisor working primarily on improving the in situ recovery of the Alberta Oil Sands.  He also worked for Shell in New Orleans, Unocal in Houston and Woodside in Perth, Australia.  Bruce has a B.A.Sc. and Ph.D. in Geological Engineering from U.B.C., Canada, as well as a M.S. in Engineering Economics Systems and Operations Research from Stanford.  He won Best Paper at the 2014 SPE Heavy Oil Conference and Best Paper at the 2010 APPEA Conference in Australia.

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October 15, 2019
From 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Calgary Petroleum Club