Uncertainty evaluation of reservoir simulation models using particle swarms and hierarchical clustering
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History matching production data in finite difference reservoir simulation models has been and always will be a challenge for the industry. The principal hurdles that need to be overcome are finding a match in the first place and more importantly a set of matches that can capture the uncertainty range of the simulation model and to do this in as short a time as possible since the bottleneck in this process is the length of time taken to run the model. This study looks at the implementation of Particle Swarm Optimisation (PSO) in history matching finite difference simulation models. Particle Swarms are a class of evolutionary algorithms that have shown much promise over the last decade. This method draws parallels from the social interaction of swarms of bees, flocks of birds and shoals of fish. Essentially a swarm of agents are allowed to search the solution hyperspace keeping in memory each individual’s historical best position and iteratively improving the optimisation by the emergent interaction of the swarm. An intrinsic feature of PSO is its local search capability. A sequential niching variation of the PSO has been developed viz. Flexi-PSO that enhances the exploration and exploitation of the hyperspace and is capable of finding multiple minima. This new variation has been applied to history matching synthetic reservoir simulation models to find multiple distinct history 3 matches to try to capture the uncertainty range. Hierarchical clustering is then used to post-process the history match runs to reduce the size of the ensemble carried forward for prediction. The success of the uncertainty modelling exercise is then assessed by checking whether the production profile forecasts generated by the ensemble covers the truth case.