Leading Oil Company Advances Oil & Gas Recovery with Goldfire
As an integrated, multinational energy company with markets spanning oil and gas exploration, production, and refinement and base and specialty chemicals production, this global oil and energy company also engages in the development of alternative energy sources - including solar, biomass, and nuclear - to tackle the looming energy crisis.
From the deep-sea to the Arctic Circle, this energy giant has also stepped up investment in cutting-edge research aimed at developing new exploration techniques to tap into oil and gas fields that are currently inaccessible.
The world’s crude oil reserves are widely believed to have peaked – the production in known oil fields is declining and new fields have not been discovered in years. Yet oil and refined petroleum is still the lifeblood of the modern economy and the civilized society, despite promising efforts to develop alternative energy resources.
An estimated 50% of all remaining worldwide oil and gas reserves are held in carbonate reservoirs – sandstone rock formations. The Middle-East is the region with the world’s largest oil reserves, and their share of oil and gas reserves held in carbonate reservoirs is estimated at more than 80%. Sandstone rock formations in carbonate reservoirs are highly complex geological environments including numerous interfacing factors such as fluids, sediments, rock components, and others. This complexity makes advanced oil and gas exploration a technological challenge. Little is known about the structure of sediment layers and interactions between internal fluids and rock components which leads to poor productivity in extracting oil and gas reserves.
This global energy company is engaged at the forefront of groundbreaking scientific research to better understand the interaction of carbonate reservoir components, solve the problem of poor exploration performance, and ultimately increase extraction of oil and gas from carbonate reservoirs.
By analyzing the geological structure of carbonate reservoirs, its different layers and the underlying factors of fluids and wells, the Company’s scientific research aims to develop a “topology roadmap” of carbonate reservoirs. Based on this roadmap the goal is to optimize drilling, increase well productivity, and develop better technologies for oil and gas recovery while, most importantly, successfully tapping into half of the world’s oil and gas reserves currently held in carbonate reservoirs.
Making full use of Invention Machine’s Goldfire software, the energy giant’s research team took carbonate reservoir science to new levels. The researchers identified well and fluid origins in rock formations and mapped complex interactions between fluids and rock components. “Goldfire has helped us to ask the right questions and made access to relevant information quick and easy” said the Research Project Leader.
Using Goldfire’s collaborative features and semantic technology, the team was able to quickly leverage the Company’s global expertise by discovering internal knowledge relevant to the carbonate reservoir research. According to one of the Company’s Reservoir Engineers, “collaborative features in Goldfire have provided essential subject matter expertise to junior R&D engineers working on the project.” In addition, Goldfire allowed the creation of corporate knowledge bases by semantically indexing files in chosen directories, web pages, and specialized scientific papers.
With sophisticated function models visualizing what the structure of carbon reservoirs may look like, the research could be narrowed down to key problem areas in the geological environment, such as factors of low permeability of carbonate reservoir layers.
Goldfire’s powerful root cause analysis – a tool to uncover causes of system behavior or failure – delivered more than one dozen high-ranking causes responsible for poor productivity of carbonate fluids. This discovery led to a number of valuable concepts and ideas on how to tackle the problem of low carbonate fluid productivity in future research projects.
Finally, the patent analysis capabilities integrated in the Goldfire platform helped to examine and consolidate the patent landscape in carbonate reservoir fields.
With the help of Goldfire, the competitive advantage for the multinational energy company came down to saving valuable development time and increasing staff productivity. Two researchers were able to perform scientific research usually done in four months in just one month – shortening the research period significantly, by 75%, and resulting in faster time-to-market along with a time lead over the competition.
Working with Goldfire’s comprehensive opportunity assessment and problem solving capabilities, the Company was able to identify a set of concepts grouped in two solution areas which can be leveraged by future research projects. These solution areas will ultimately support the goal of increasing oil recovery in carbonate reservoirs from currently 10% to 50% over ten years – a huge revenue opportunity for the oil company.
All of the research performed in the initial Goldfire project has been automatically captured in Goldfire’s collaboration repository and is reusable in subsequent projects – paving the way for future cutting-edge science and technology development in oil and gas exploration.