Imperial College London

Dr Craig Smalley

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Visiting Professor







Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

doi = {10.1144/SP347.3},
pages = {25--41},
title = {Reservoir compartmentalization: Get it before it gets you},
url = {},
year = {2010}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - This paper examines the impact of compartmentalization on oil recovery, the importance of identifying it during field appraisal, and methods to evaluate it using fluid data. The impact on recovery factor is highlighted using a global database of oil field recovery factors as a function of reservoir complexity and compartmentalization, and emphasized in two case studies. The effect of compartmentalization on oil recovery demonstrates the benefit in characterizing compartmentalization correctly during appraisal, so that the field can be developed in an optimal manner. Early characterization of field compartmentalization requires making maximum use of available fluid data during appraisal. When interpretingfluid data to identify compartmentalization, it is critical to take into account the different time-scales for various fluid signals (pressure, contacts, density, composition) to equilibrate, and to be able to extrapolate to field production time-scales. This is essential to avoid false negatives (compartments assumed absent due to homogeneous fluid properties, when in fact fluids would have equilibrated even in the presence of compartments), false positives (where fluid differences are interpreted as evidence of compartments when in fact there has not been sufficient time for equilibration to occur), and to resolve apparently conflicting data (some fluid indicators are at equilibrium, others are not). Rigorous simulation of fluid equilibration is a complex multiphase multidimensional process, and is generally reserved for specialist in-depth studies. However, order-of-magnitude evaluations can be made using analytical solutions in minutes, allowing many 'what-if' scenarios to be considered and uncertainty to be assessed. Analytical solutions for estimating the time required for spatially-varying fluid properties to revert to steady state distributions are reviewed. All these mixing processes are shown to be diffusive in character. An effective diffusion coefficient
DO - 10.1144/SP347.3
EP - 41
PY - 2010///
SN - 0305-8719
SP - 25
TI - Reservoir compartmentalization: Get it before it gets you
UR -
ER -