Multiscale ensemble filtering for reservoir engineering applications

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Reservoir management requires periodic updates of the simulation models using the production data available over time. Traditionally, validation of reservoir models with production data is done using a history matching process. Uncertainties in the data, as well as in the model, lead to a nonunique history matching inverse problem. It has been shown that the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is an adequate method for predicting the dynamics of the reservoir. The EnKF is a sequential Monte-Carlo approach that uses an ensemble of reservoir models. For realistic, large-scale applications, the ensemble size needs to be kept small due to computational inefficiency. Consequently, the error space is not well covered (poor cross-correlation matrix approximations) and the updated parameter field becomes scattered and loses important geological features (for example, the contact between high- and low-permeability values). The prior geological knowledge present in the initial time is not found anymore in the final updated parameter. We propose a new approach to overcome some of the EnKF limitations. This paper shows the specifications and results of the ensemble multiscale filter (EnMSF) for automatic history matching. EnMSF replaces, at each update time, the prior sample covariance with a multiscale tree. The global dependence is preserved via the parent–child relation in the tree (nodes at the adjacent scales). After constructing the tree, the Kalman update is performed. The properties of the EnMSF are presented here with a 2D, two-phase (oil and water) small twin experiment, and the results are compared to the EnKF. The advantages of using EnMSF are localization in space and scale, adaptability to prior information, and efficiency in case many measurements are available. These advantages make the EnMSF a practical tool for many data assimilation problems.

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