Experts Enlighten Petroleum Engineering Students on 4D Seismic, Pressure Transient Analysis
A couple of experts in the oil industry have exposed budding engineers in the Department of Petroleum Engineering, Covenant, to the use of 4D Seismic Technology and Pressure Transient Analysis in oil exploration, production and field development.
Mr. Adeyemi Adeoye, a Geophysicist, and Dr. Victor Biu, a Reservoir Engineer, both from Total Nigeria Plc, delivered lectures on the topics, ‘The Value of 4D Seismic in Field Development Training’ and ‘Pressure Transient Analysis: Brainbox for Sound Reservoir Management and the Value of Time Lapse Seismic in a Maturing Field’, respectively, at a recent Town and Gown Seminar of the Petroleum Engineering Department.
Mr. Adeoye, in his presentation, said that 4D Seismic was used to compare the snapshots of a reservoir taken at two different times. According to him, 4D seismic was all about images and snapshots. His organisation, he said, was interested in real differences because before the commencement of field production and three/four years down the line when production had started, there were some real changes taking place in the reservoir. “Our goal in the whole 4D seismic processes is to amplify the real differences and minimise the fake differences so that whatever we are seeing on 4D seismic are exactly due to production effect in the river,” he declared.
While speaking about the Akpo field, located 200 kilometers south of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Mr. Adeoye said that the field, which started production in 2009, had its first snapshot before production; three years after production, there was another seismic data (second snapshot) and there were two more snapshots after that. He said that the operators of the field wanted to observe what had taken place in the reservoir at different times and, because of that, they were able to make use of people’s decisions about field development and minimise interventions.
He pointed out that there was a workflow established in Total for 4D seismic. “You don’t just wake up to say you want to do 4D seismic; you have to do proper feasibility study, how we are going to plan what we expect from 4D seismic. Is the seismic signal going to be visible or not? Will it be detectable? How do we go about the acquisition? Afterwards, we have the acquisition proper and after the acquisition, one thing that is very important is called geometrical repeatability,” he explained.
Repeatability, he said, was important because it helped to minimise fake differences and only amplified real differences. He added that it’s after that, that decisions could be made on field development.
Dr. Victor Biu, in the lecture on Pressure Transient Analysis, said that PTA was mainly used for reservoir characterisation in Exploration and Appraisal stage. He noted that it was about getting pressure data and rates and making good decisions, and to understand volume in the reservoir, which must justify the investment made.
The Reservoir Engineer, who raised a poser on whether being a Petroleum Engineer was still a career for the future, said that people were worried whether petroleum engineering would be relevant in 20-30 years’ time considering the evolution in energy.
While acknowledging that demand was going up in the short term, he averred that global increase in prosperity was driving demand like the huge demands from China and India. According to him, other factors responsible for increase in demand were mass movement of people from rural to urban areas and growing demand in terms of regions. He added that though countries like the United States no longer demanded, China was surging up.
He analysed that demand may be going down because countries were looking at renewables, however, by the year 2040, oil would still be in the mix. “But gas is the energy of the future as most companies were investing big in gas production. In advanced nations, most will move to electrical but countries in Africa and Asia would still be driving the demand for oil. So, there is still a future for petroleum engineering,” Dr. Biu stated.
His conclusion was that the demand would still be there because it would take a lot to completely move from one source of energy to another.