Continuous reservoir model updating using an ensemble Kalman filter with a streamline-based covariance localization



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Texas A&M University


This work presents a new approach that combines the comprehensive capabilities of the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) and the flow path information from streamlines to eliminate and/or reduce some of the problems and limitations of the use of the EnKF for history matching reservoir models. The recent use of the EnKF for data assimilation and assessment of uncertainties in future forecasts in reservoir engineering seems to be promising. EnKF provides ways of incorporating any type of production data or time lapse seismic information in an efficient way. However, the use of the EnKF in history matching comes with its shares of challenges and concerns. The overshooting of parameters leading to loss of geologic realism, possible increase in the material balance errors of the updated phase(s), and limitations associated with non-Gaussian permeability distribution are some of the most critical problems of the EnKF. The use of larger ensemble size may mitigate some of these problems but are prohibitively expensive in practice. We present a streamline-based conditioning technique that can be implemented with the EnKF to eliminate or reduce the magnitude of these problems, allowing for the use of a reduced ensemble size, thereby leading to significant savings in time during field scale implementation. Our approach involves no extra computational cost and is easy to implement. Additionally, the final history matched model tends to preserve most of the geological features of the initial geologic model. A quick look at the procedure is provided that enables the implementation of this approach into the current EnKF implementations. Our procedure uses the streamline path information to condition the covariance matrix in the Kalman Update. We demonstrate the power and utility of our approach with synthetic examples and a field case. Our result shows that using the conditioned technique presented in this thesis, the overshooting/undershooting problems disappears and the limitation to work with non- Gaussian distribution is reduced. Finally, an analysis of the scalability in a parallel implementation of our computer code is given.