All companies have a culture that reflects the style and type of work they do, and the clients that they serve. This is what makes a company unique. Listed below are some of the differences that ARE believes are important:
ARE believes that petroleum engineering problems require a multi-disciplinary approach. The principal of ARE is a geological engineer by training and geology is the foundation of petroleum engineering. ARE often prepares its own geological models and has purchased Petrel to do the geological modelling for projects. The company has also maintained HDS log analysis software and has often done log analysis for simulation studies. ARE also maintained a copy of Fekete’s FAST well test package and on a number of studies went back and analyzed all of the previous well tests on a consistent basis.
Reservoir simulation is an extremely powerful tool. It requires an enormous amount of input and often much of the input is not well known. This means some educated guesses are often required. These estimates improve greatly with experience. Sometimes the difference between a good and a great study is digging out government data from offsetting reservoirs.
Because most SPE papers are specifically published to show something novel, this leads to the impression that good results require brilliant insight. ARE believes that for the majority of projects consistency and checking are vastly more important. At technical conferences, the biggest audiences are usually for case studies. Good results are obtained by checking results against offsets, plotting results and analyzing what they mean. Predicting future performance improves with practical experience. The principal of ARE spent a lot of his earlier career doing production decline analysis and performance forecasts for economic evaluations.
There are lots of projects where additional expertise is necessary. In this case, ARE relies on other independent consultants, who operate similarly to ARE. Working cooperatively has enabled ARE to prepare for large government hearings, such as the Chard-Leismer Gas Over Bitumen Hearing and present a full panel that included a geologist, two geomechanics specialists, a thermal reservoir engineer, and a geostatistician.
Significant Computing Hardware
ARE believes that having sufficient computer resources is important. The quality of simulation normally improves with more detailed grids and having sufficient “horsepower” gives better results. Computing resources have improved greatly over the years and have dropped significantly in cost. None-the-less computing continues to be a bottleneck, particularly in thermal reservoir simulations. Current Intel based workstations feature multiple CPUs, lots of memory and storage, and a high-speed architecture (memory bus). In the past, ARE utilized Unix workstations with the following:
- MIPS RS2030
- Silicon Graphics Indigo
- Silicon Graphics Indigo2
- Silicon Graphics Octane
These machines represented significant investment.
The underlying issue is confidence. How the work was done, what assumptions were made, and quality control on input data are all very important. A reservoir simulation that has an apparently perfect history match may not provide a good estimate of future performance. (See “What you should know about assessing simulation results for economic evaluations, Part 1 and 2″ under Publications). For instance, primary production is not greatly affected by layering whereas a waterflood is greatly affected by layering. An apparently perfect history match may provide an estimate of waterflood performance that is completely wrong. A perfect simulation is therefore of limited value if the client can’t understand what went into the simulation.
The results of a study is therefore a product of how well the report was done times a communication factor. A perfect study with no communication gets a (1.0*0.0) or 0 %, and a half right study, half communicated (0.5*0.5) gets a failing 25 %. A study 80 percent right and 80 percent communicated (0.8*0.8) gets a passing 64 percent. A good report is just as important as doing the work. Reports should include:
- An Executive Summary
- An explanation of the study methodology
- Research done on offset properties and papers reviewed
- A review of input data and quality control screening
- Details of how key decisions were made, such as a history match log
- Good quality graphs
- Recommendations based on experience with operating companies
- A copy of the data files
- Good quality hard and electronic report copies
ARE provides a cost effective service. We keep non-technical overhead to a minimum and this is reflected in our hourly billing rate. We are very competitive with larger international consulting firms.
ARE believes that technical expertise is the foundation of a technical consulting company and a career in the petroleum industry. ARE’s principal benefited from extensive training programs when he started in the industry and continues to benefit from experience that is shared in technical papers.
To be successful one must actively continue to learn from others and one should also pass on one’s experience to others. ARE does this through:
- Teaching courses
- Presenting papers and presentations
- Preparing a textbook
- Attending conferences and courses
- Volunteering and contributing financial support for technical societies
Presenting courses means one has to learn the material even better, and find ways of expressing it succinctly. The primary courses that ARE teaches are:
- Reservoir Management
- Reservoir Simulation
- Advanced Reservoir Simulation
- Thermal Reservoir Simulation
- Basic Reservoir Engineering
- Fractured Reservoir Engineering
Technical papers and textbooks are listed under Publications
ARE has volunteered for the following:
- Board of Directors Petroleum Society of CIM (twice)
- Corporate sponsor SPE, CHOA and CIM
- Technical Program Chairman CIPC
- CWLS Financial Statement Auditor
- Forum Chairman – Gas Condensates – League City
- Panel participant – developing a consulting business