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The Role of Simulation in Reservoir Engineering: Gaps, Peaks, and Trends

Start Date: April 26, 2017 - 04:15 PM
End Date: April 26, 2017 - 05:15 PM

By Dr. Hussein A. Hoteit
Venue: Lecture Hall 1 (2322), Engineering and Science Hall (Building 9)​

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​Abstract: Reservoir Simulation is becoming an indispensable tool in Reservoir Engineering for applications mostly related to major capital projects in the Oil & Gas industry. While the fundamental sciences have not changed much since the early development of reservoir simulators during the seventies and eighties of the past century, significant improvements have been achieved thanks to advances in computational power, discretization techniques, and linear solvers. Reservoir models that required super machines in the past to simulate can now be easily performed on a personal computer. Currently, the grid-block model size that can be simulated with parallel computing is reaching levels beyond imagination.  The big question, however, remains; are we making these simulation models more reliable? Are they truly able to improve the decision quality? The answer is debatable and may not be universal as it may vary across different companies. Despite all advancements in computational power, reservoir simulation is still a wild horse. In this talk, after a brief introduction about the applicability of reservoir simulation in the industry, based on my subjective experience, I will address the key limitations of this technology that go beyond the simulation model size.  I will highlight some workflows adopted in the industry to manage the risk of this technology and keep reservoir simulations within bounds. I will then talk about a reviving technology related to finite element methods in modeling naturally fractured reservoirs. This technology is regaining interest in the reservoir engineering community thanks to the revolution of unconventional resources. 
Bio: Hussein Hoteit is an Associate Professor in Petroleum Engineering at Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC), KAUST. Before joining KAUST, Dr. Hoteit worked for ConocoPhillips and Chevron oil companies in Houston, TX. He has about 15 years of cumulative experience in reservoir engineering where he worked in projects related to Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (CEOR), miscible CO2 flood, steam injection, and reservoir simulation development. Dr. Hoteit has conducted research in different areas such as modeling multi-phase flow in naturally fractured reservoirs using higher-order methods, modeling molecular diffusion and gas-oil interaction in fractured reservoirs, Knudsen diffusion in unconventional plays, high resolution simulations for full field CEOR, improved SAGD, thermodynamic phase behavior, wax deposition in pipelines and other area related to discretization methods and gridding. Dr. Hoteit was selected as an SPE DL, distinguished lecturer, in 2009 and has earned several SPE awards.  He serves as an Associate Editor for SPE Journal since 2006.