Workshop makes headway on naturally fractured reservoirs

Workshop makes headway on naturally fractured reservoirs

By Dr. Sebastan Geiger, Energi Simulation Chair from Heriot-Watt University

I had the great honour to co-chair, together with Bertraind Gauthier from Total, the 3rd EAGE (European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers) Workshop on Naturally Fractured Reservoirs (NFR) in Oman, after having served on the organising committee for the first two editions of this successful event.

Why do we care about NFR? Because they are ubiquitous in the subsurface and, in the form of hydrocarbons and geothermal heat, they contain the bulk of the planet’s conventional energy that will provide the base load of our energy supply for decades to come. Characterising, modelling, and simulating naturally fractured reservoirs remains a major challenge for the energy industry.

A central aspect of the research that we conduct in my Energi Simulation Chair Programme for Carbonate Reservoir Simulation is the integration of reservoir engineering and geoscience to build more meaningful reservoir models. I was hence pleased to see that the committee decided to choose “The Calibration Challenge” as the theme for this 3-day workshop, as calibrating reservoir models for NFR is notoriously difficult and remains an unresolved problem. We were fortunate to bring together experts from industry and academia from a range of disciplines in this workshop who shared real-world challenges, practical approaches, and innovative solutions to address “the calibration challenge” and discussed a roadmap for the future.

Five PhD students supported by Energi Simulation (four from Heriot-Watt University and one from University of Alberta) presented posters and talks at this event, which was a great testament to their aptitude and research prowess considering that they presented to some of the most renowned experts in the field of NRF modelling and characterisation. The summary below, which I authored with Bertrand, reflects on the lessons learned and challenges ahead that we discussed during the event.