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A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words, Two Make a Textbook

Often in oil and gas, we find ourselves with more data than we know what to do with. RS Prism is a solution that highlights the importance of being able to visualize data in multiple ways. In doing so, we can quickly identify optimization opportunities we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

Figure 1 shows three adjacent steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) pads where laterals are colored by cumulative steam-oil ratio (SOR), with red equating to lower SORs and blue to higher. For SAGD wells, SOR is a commonly used efficiency benchmark as it is the ratio of barrels of steam injected to barrels of oil produced; lower SORs are better as less steam is required to recover more oil. The laterals in Figure 1 show a performance gradient, where SORs are low for Pad 1 but gradually increase to Pad 3. How do we determine if Pad 1 is outperforming Pad 3 because of geology or operations?

Figure 2 plots SOR for the same three pads over time. For the first two years of production, Pads 1 and 2 perform evenly, suggesting the two have similar reservoir qualities. After Pad 1 and 2 produced for three years, Pad 3 came onstream and the SORs in the other two started to deviate. This behavior suggests that the start of Pad 3 may have distorted the existing steam chamber of Pad 2, weakening its performance. The theory is further supported by Figure 1, where Pad 2 SORs are higher for well pairs closer to Pad 3.

Combining multiple visuals provides quick insights and allows more time for critical thinking. In this example, in minutes you are able to determine that offsetting start-ups for SAGD pads can lead to operating deficiencies. 

FIGURE 1 | SAGD Pads, Laterals Colored by SOR




FIGURE 2 | Pad SORs Through Time


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