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Reservoir interpretation solutions: the five questions to ask - part two

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Oilfield Technology,


In the second part of this two-part article, Derek Crombie, Lloyd’s Register, introduces the final three questions that need to be answered when choosing petrophysics analysis software.

Part one is available to read here: https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/special-reports/07042020/reservoir-interpretation-solutions-the-five-questions-to-ask--part-one/

3- Is it independent and interoperable?

There is something tempting about software that is optimised for a single measuring device or family of devices. It intuitively feels that if hardware and software are designed to work together, it may get the best results.

But that is not the case here. When both components come from the same vendor, you can end up with confirmation bias in the results: the software confirms that the hardware is ‘correct’, and the hardware doesn’t deliver the measurements that challenge the software.

It can also limit your choices when it comes to data inputs from other vendors, when the existence of more interoperable solutions means there is no need to do so. After all, this is fast moving business where flexibility can be key to a successful outcome.

4- Does it offer surety of insight?

How confident can you be in your solution? How much of your business do you want to bet on its output? In other words, how much surety of insight do you have?

It is a tough question to answer, but one of the best assessments you can make is to look at who developed it and their values and approach. Data, modelling, machine learning, and advanced analytics are not exclusive to the oil and gas industry. There are plenty of software developers who specialise in these technology areas, but not necessarily the vertical sectors that use their products.

The best reservoir and petrophysical analysis tools are developed by those who work in the field, who have sat on the stressful end of that 3 a.m. demand for an interpretation, and who can encapsulate that experience into the product. These are the providers who can make the link between what is going on in the reservoir and what it means for the E&P business as a whole. Those specialist providers will have a decades-old – even centuries-old – content library of data and experience that only adds to the richness and quality of their output, and the confidence that operators can have in their insights. Moreover, the values and principles that ground them shine through in their approach and interaction with customers.

The second assessment to make is how open is your solution? If the developer lacks transparency and hides their assumptions in a black-box model, you are taking a risk on their expertise. Instead, choose vendors who value transparency – that way your expertise and theirs can test each other and work together for better outcomes.

5- Is it future proof?

This is perhaps the most important question of all. The point at which technology meets oil and gas exploration is continuously moving, because both sides of that relationship are in a period of mutually interdependent and rapid change. Just as neural networks, machine learning algorithms and AI are on the cusp of delivering predictive models that improve as they absorb more data, E&P is facing an unpredictable future of energy transition, changing public opinion and new cost pressures.

How this will play out is a known unknown. But investing in the right software ensures that while you remain rooted in experience you and your organisation can innovate for the future. The very best solutions will come from those providers that are primed – with sector expertise, commitment and curiosity – to take that innovation journey with you.

This is part two of a two-part article. Part one is available to read here: https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/special-reports/07042020/reservoir-interpretation-solutions-the-five-questions-to-ask--part-one/

Read the article online at: https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/special-reports/08042020/reservoir-interpretation-solutions-the-five-questions-to-ask--part-two/

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