January 27, 2024

Reservoir intelligence: following the fluid with precision

In this post, we look at what it takes to resolve one of the most pervasive challenges with reservoir management.

Reservoir knowledge is essential for successful energy projects, and assessing the reservoir's condition involves measuring multiple parameters under hostile conditions and with many unknowns. But be it conventional Oil & Gas industry (O&G), Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) or geothermal projects, they all share one pervasive challenge: understanding the fluid movement within the reservoir.

Following the fluid movement is central to grasping the reservoir dynamic. And what better method for understanding fluid movements than to directly trace and track the fluid by utilizing the natural energy of the fluid flow?

Tracer technology is the only available method for understanding the movements of fluid directly and with precision. Tracer technology involves using tracers, which are small chemical markers that allow us to track the movement, behavior and effectiveness of fluids within a reservoir.

What are some benefits of tracer technologies?

There are many benefits of tracer technologies. Few technologies successfully analyze subsurface and reservoir heterogeneities quantitatively as tracer testing does. This technology is essential for reducing subsurface uncertainty and for improving decision-making.

Tracer technology tell us how fluids move. This helps us monitoring well integrity and detect leakages that could pose environmental and safety risks. In the O&G industry, this knowledge also helps us exploit valuable energy resources in a cost-efficient manner with the lowest environmental impact possible.  

Tracers also allow operators to optimize energy extraction, aiding in preventing reservoir damage and unambiguously identifying risks. One example is extremely rapid breakthrough and recirculation of substantial amounts of water. When the tracers are injected into the reservoir and tracked over time, we can also gather valuable data to improve the accuracy of reservoir models.

For example, we can get a comprehensive insight into the properties of the subsurface, such as how the fluid flows. This helps us to map the fluid pathways and thereby identify the areas of the reservoir that we may otherwise miss and where we can recover more oil from. Additionally, tracers help us to prove connection and quantify significance, and they carry information on sweep efficiency. Poor sweep and inefficient flow can then be mitigated using EOR and IOR. These insights can help us improve the accuracy of simulations and predictions, enabling us to mitigate risk and effectively monitor performance long-term. In our next post, we discuss tracer technology further, specifically, getting the most value from tracer data.

Kjersti Jevanord