PICO International Petroleum—an independent exploration and
production company—wanted to convert and upgrade its existing simulation
model of the El Zaafarana field in Egypt to more accurately predict water
breakthrough and improve production forecasting. This was for a mixture of
performance and logistical issues. The simulator PICO had previously been using
caused engineers to waste valuable time importing and exporting data for
The existing simulation model was also running too slowly, despite
efforts to work around the problem by substituting the model's local grid
refinement (LGR) with up-scaled critical water saturation.
PICO hoped to overcome this issue, improve simulation runtime, and
increase productivity by moving to Petrel Reservoir Engineering (RE) software
to drive their simulations in the ECLIPSE industry-reference simulator. In
addition, the proposed move would enable PICO to collaborate better—both
internally and with its partners already using the software.
Four-stage migration plan
After meeting with Schlumberger to discuss requirements and logistics,
it was decided that the shift to Petrel RE would be undertaken in four stages:
data gathering, initialization, history matching, and model validation.
The first stage saw the team gather and validate existing simulation
data files for transfer into Petrel RE. The files were examined and smoothed
where necessary, to further improve simulation runtime, while honoring key
reservoir characteristics. Next, the team established a workflow to import
properties from the old model. The existing grid was exported by first
traversing in the J direction with a different grid origin, and then importing
the properties onto the Petrel grid.
To ensure that the properties had been correctly imported, comparisons
were made with the array loaded in Petrel RE. The porosity and permeability
array showed an excellent match, verifying that the migration workflow was