Adequate model complexity and data resolution for effective constraint of simulation models by 4D seismic data
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4D seismic data bears valuable spatial information about production-related changes in the reservoir. It is a challenging task though to make simulation models honour it. Strict spatial tie of seismic data requires adequate model complexity in order to assimilate details of seismic signature. On the other hand, not all the details in the seismic signal are critical or even relevant to the flow characteristics of the simulation model so that fitting them may compromise the predictive capability of models. So, how complex should be a model to take advantage of information from seismic data and what details should be matched? This work aims to show how choices of parameterisation affect the efficiency of assimilating spatial information from the seismic data. Also, the level of details at which the seismic signal carries useful information for the simulation model is demonstrated in light of the limited detectability of events on the seismic map and modelling errors. The problem of the optimal model complexity is investigated in the context of choosing model parameterisation which allows effective assimilation of spatial information in the seismic map. In this study, a model parameterisation scheme based on deterministic objects derived from seismic interpretation creates bias for model predictions which results in poor fit of historic data. The key to rectifying the bias was found to be increasing the flexibility of parameterisation by either increasing the number of parameters or using a scheme that does not impose prior information incompatible with data such as pilot points in this case. Using the history matching experiments with a combined dataset of production and seismic data, a level of match of the seismic maps is identified which results in an optimal constraint of the simulation models. Better constrained models were identified by quality of their forecasts and closeness of the pressure and saturation state to the truth case. The results indicate that a significant amount of details in the seismic maps is not contributing to the constructive constraint by the seismic data which is caused by two factors. First is that smaller details are a specific response of the system-source of observed data, and as such are not relevant to flow characteristics of the model, and second is that the resolution of the seismic map itself is limited by the seismic bandwidth and noise. The results suggest that the notion of a good match for 4D seismic maps commonly equated to the visually close match is not universally applicable.