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Developments with Petrel

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The next frontier for geoscience software might be a way to include petroleum systems information, says Stephen Warner, Geoscience Marketing Manager with Schlumberger Information Solutions.

Finding, characterizing and exploiting new and existing reservoirs is becoming increasingly complex. More and more E&P companies are deploying integrated, extensible software technology to standardize best practices and workflows and enable a more productive environment. A good example of the need to integrate domains can be seen when we look at exploration.

Every geoscientist is taught in university that for oil and gas to be present in the subsurface, you need four key elements-reservoir, charge, trap and a seal.

Yet approximately 75 percent of exploration failures (dry wells) can be attributed to a failure to understand the charge (migration and timing of hydrocarbons into a potential reservoir) and seal (hydrocarbons stay trapped in the reservoir compartment over geologic time), according to Stephen Warner, Geoscience Marketing Manager with Schlumberger Information Solutions, speaking at EAGE.

So perhaps for exploration the next frontier for geoscience software will be helping users build petroleum systems information into the geological model.

"We need to build petroleum systems into the mainstream geology and geophysics workflows," he says. "We''ve gone beyond asking how do I place my wells purely against seismic and maps, you''ve got to understand the hydrocarbon maturation, as well as static and dynamic reservoir properties and geomechanicsin order to plan wells accurately and safely." he says.
To aid these decisions Schlumberger has been developing functionality to model petroleum systems in the Petrel*, its widely used E&P software platform. Petrel now supports 1-D petroleum systems models giving geoscientists a contextual understanding of burial history, source rock maturation, and hydrocarbon expulsion potential directly in Petrel software, and 3D petroleum systems model building as input to PetroMod petroleum systems modelling software.

"Petrel can access the best science in the industry by running powerful numerical simulators such and PetroMod and also Omega* for seismic processing and ECLIPSE* and INTERSECT* for reservoir simulation," he said.

Additional new tools support 3D preproduction geomechanics modelling to support drilling planning and safe mud weight windows. Coupling these geomechanics models to reservoir simulation also provides 4D analyses of stress changes, and rock failure that might occur later in the life of their field.

Schlumberger also acquired GeoKnowledge in December 2012, "GeoX software is the industry standard for prospect assessment," he said. ''With Petrel software as the industry leading prospect identification software and GeoX prospect assessment capabilities truly this is a winning combination when it comes to acquiring the right acreage and drilling your best prospects with a better understanding of probabilistic reward volumes.''

However the rich science available for Schlumberger cannot solve all the industry challenges, it is important that innovation and best in class science should be readily available to the users regardless of which software vendor developed it-Software extensibility is key. "The Ocean development framework enables openness within the Petrel platform, which boasts the largest ecosystem of 3rd party developers in the industry. No single vendor can provide all the innovation needed - so we designed Petrel as an open environment," he said.

More than 70 independent software companies, 30 exploration and production companies and in excess of 60 universities are writing Petrel plug-ins, he said. Today there are over 1,000 developers writing for technology for the Petrel platform. Schlumberger also develops a large percentage of its own technology using the Ocean Framework which is a highly productive development environment and supports faster introduction of new technology into the market.
Schlumberger has developed the Studio* E&P knowledge environment, to help people work productively and collaboratively in the Petrel platform, Studio provides a multiuser collaboration environment which supports finding, sharing and managing data and knowledge across an organization.

Users can share best practices, communicate via Microsoft Lync, label interpretations with quality tags, and create shared blogs directly within their Petrel workflow.

Studio uses fast filtering and smart indexing to help people quickly find what they are looking for. This helps users locate and import data from multiple sources, including local Petrel projects and Studio repositories, the Techlog* wellbore software platform, production and drilling information in the IHS database, and other petrotechnical data sources through TIBCO OpenSpirit such as OpenWorks.

"This gives geoscience staff complete awareness of what others are doing around their company," he said.

"Then If I want to share something with my team I can right click and send it to Studio, then everyone can see my latest interpretation update, and choose whether to bring it into their project. Promoting collaboration more effectively than the traditional also connected to the same database approach."

"Clients tell us, they have had shared databases before, but it wasn''t until they deployed the Studio environment that they truly had people collaborating,''" Mr Warner said.

Mr. Warner acknowledges that many people want to have a good choice of which software application to use for different parts of their workflow - but he also believes that having a number of different software packages in use increases the complexity.

"If you are split between multiple applications, it''s impossible to manage the uncertainty. Capturing uncertainty and managing it from exploration through to production is only possible on an integrated platform like Petrel," he said.

"This approach is allowing companies to have standardized technology and best practices, without sacrificing science."

*Mark of Schlumberger



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