Streamline Assisted Ensemble Kalman Filter - Formulation and Field Application
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The goal of any data assimilation or history matching algorithm is to enable better reservoir management decisions through the construction of reliable reservoir performance models and the assessment of the underlying uncertainties. A considerable body of research work and enhanced computational capabilities have led to an increased application of robust and efficient history matching algorithms to condition reservoir models to dynamic data. Moreover, there has been a shift towards generating multiple plausible reservoir models in recognition of the significance of the associated uncertainties. This provides for uncertainty analysis in reservoir performance forecasts, enabling better management decisions for reservoir development. Additionally, the increased deployment of permanent well sensors and downhole monitors has led to an increasing interest in maintaining 'live' models that are current and consistent with historical observations. One such data assimilation approach that has gained popularity in the recent past is the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) (Evensen 2003). It is a Monte Carlo approach to generate a suite of plausible subsurface models conditioned to previously obtained measurements. One advantage of the EnKF is its ability to integrate different types of data at different scales thereby allowing for a framework where all available dynamic data is simultaneously or sequentially utilized to improve estimates of the reservoir model parameters. Of particular interest is the use of partitioning tracer data to infer the location and distribution of target un-swept oil. Due to the difficulty in differentiating the relative effects of spatial variations in fractional flow and fluid saturations and partitioning coefficients on the tracer response, interpretation of partitioning tracer responses is particularly challenging in the presence of mobile oil saturations. The purpose of this research is to improve the performance of the EnKF in parameter estimation for reservoir characterization studies without the use of a large ensemble size so as to keep the algorithm efficient and computationally inexpensive for large, field-scale models. To achieve this, we propose the use of streamline-derived information to mitigate problems associated with the use of the EnKF with small sample sizes and non-linear dynamics in non-Gaussian settings. Following this, we present the application of the EnKF for interpretation of partitioning tracer tests specifically to obtain improved estimates of the spatial distribution of target oil.
Devegowda, Deepak (2009). Streamline Assisted Ensemble Kalman Filter - Formulation and Field Application. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from