An iterative ensemble Kalman filter for reservoir engineering applications

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The study has been focused on examining the usage and the applicability of ensemble Kalman filtering techniques to the history matching procedures. The ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is often applied nowadays to solving such a problem. Meanwhile, traditional EnKF requires assumption of the distribution's normality. Besides, it is based on the linear update of the analysis equations. These facts may cause problems when filter is used in reservoir applications and result in sampling error. The situation becomes more problematic if the a priori information on the reservoir structure is poor and initial guess about the, e.g., permeability field is far from the actual one. The above circumstance explains a reason to perform some further research concerned with analyzing specific modification of the EnKF-based approach, namely, the iterative EnKF (IEnKF) scheme, which allows restarting the procedure with a new initial guess that is closer to the actual solution and, hence, requires less improvement by the algorithm while providing better estimation of the parameters. The paper presents some examples for which the IEnKF algorithm works better than traditional EnKF. The algorithms are compared while estimating the permeability field in relation to the two-phase, two-dimensional fluid flow model.

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