White Paper: Computational Issues in Oil Field Applications

Posted on 8/15/17 in Reports

This report provides a summary by participants of the long program on Computational Issues in Oil Field Applications at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), March 20 – June 9, 2017. It provides brief overviews of the three one-week workshops, discusses some nuclei of cooperation between participants as developed during the long program, and highlights some further work performed by participants while resident at IPAM.

The world is increasingly reliant on unconventional (e.g., shale gas, heavy oil) and deep offshore resources that are difficult and expensive to find and produce. The computational challenges associated with these exploration and production operations are substantial. Specific issues include reliably imaging and characterizing deep subsurface oil and gas reservoirs, accurately simulating flow through these highly heterogeneous systems, and applying these modeling capabilities to quantify uncertainty and optimize field performance. Complications arise from the multiphysics and multiscale character of the wave propagation and fluid flow problems, from the need to perform data assimilation for different properties over a range of scales, and as a result of the challenging model-based optimization problems associated with maximizing reservoir performance.

This paper addresses three main areas of attention, in line with the three workshops that formed cornerstones of the program, and thereafter addresses various “nuclei of cooperation” that were formed during the long program.

Read the report.