4D Book of Knowledge Chapter 1 – Managers and technical leaders, how do you establish 4D expertise in your corporation?
Are your 4D competencies lagging behind the current leading 4D players in the industry?
Back in 2007, some of the super-majors were trying to improve their technology maturity and corporate capability in 4D seismic. Most of them realized the gaps and opportunities as tabulated below as 10-year development targets.
And it is now 2017.
If your organization cannot meet the 2017 targets as laid out on the right of the table, then it is likely you and your organization might have been left behind by the 4D industry leaders. This situation is particularly critical for those newly acquiring mature assets from the super-majors with inherited 4D data but who lack an experienced 4D workforce – true 4D experts are very rare and valuable in the industry. Ignoring or putting off 4D projects means that you may be giving up, on average, 7-15% uplift in your total recovery.
Where should you place your own 4D team in the organizational chart?
Application of 4D tools and workflow processes can be daunting without an efficient engagement interface at the organizational level. According to the Project Management Institute, (PMI), a projectized organization has the best blend of functional and projectized characteristics and the flexibility to bring in 4D when one asset of your portfolio requires it. If this approach is followed, it is the most efficient way that a 4D Project Coordination (4D PC) team can be endorsed and deployed with complete 4D functionality, directly within the existing asset team. Assigning key 4D resources, expertise and tools calls for a 4D Project Director. These individuals are skilled 4D project professionals who are a one-stop shop for fit-for-purpose application of the 4D processes/tools an individual project will require.
What should a 4D PC team consist of?
Successful 4D projects require deep integration of rock physics, geophysics, geology, reservoir engineering, and even data science knowledge and expertise. However, simply putting together experts with the correct individual backgrounds doesn’t make for an integrated 4D team. A good 4D team will be asked to carry out tasks such as:
- processing 3D seismic cubes, while bearing in mind 3D geology and 4D repeatability, in the data library;
- interpreting 4D seismic while integrating geologic concepts, and required reservoir engineering products;
- Predicting seismic signal based on rock physics models and production scenarios;
all of the 4D projects require sound knowledge and hands-on experience in more than one discipline from an individual 4D scientist. This is why competent 4D experts are so rare and valuable in the industry. It takes companies decades to organically grow such an expertise.
If you are lucky enough to have experienced 4D hands, then the next challenge is to supply them with dedicated 4D tools, to allow them to efficiently carry out 4D projects. There are currently very few commercial options available from vendors, because the largest 4D players have all chosen to invent their own in-house toolbox.
When should you opt-in and opt-out of your first 4D project?
There is a simple answer to this question. All of your fields need to consider 4D unless one of the factors listed below applies.
- Added value – there is no economic value to be gained
- Detectability – there is no 4D signal large enough to be detected
- Repeatability – there is no way to repeat your baseline reasonably well
To accurately assess the points listed above, you should at least carry out a 4D feasibility study.
Dedicated 4D support will save you billions in CAPEX/OPEX
In delivering a 4D project, there are three types of roles, each varying in the degree of control and influence.
- Asset and 4D project directors are in controlling roles providing support and ensuring compliance through a variety of means. Compliance may involve adopting project management frameworks or methodologies, using specific forms and tools, or conforming to governance standards.
- Supportive. 4D project directors and staff are in supportive roles providing a consultative role in the 4D project by supplying workflows, test practices, training, access to information and lessons learned from other 4D projects. This type of management role serves as a project repository.
- Asset managers and 4D staff are directly involved in the 4D technical project execution, taking control of projects by directly applying 4D tools/workflows to deliver results.
With good add-on and support from the 4D Project Coordination Team, a slightly higher initial cost at the preparation phase will lead to a significantly reduced CAPEX / OPEX during the project execution and closing phases, while adding more value to the asset.
- 4D offers an additional 5 – 15% uplift in overall recovery in the case of a prolonged asset lifecycle;
- Every field should at least consider a 4D feasibility study;
- Building a 4D team requires deep integration of multiple disciplines;
- Well supported 4D projects will result in much-improved execution, cost efficiency, and deliverables;
- Commercial support is vital for new 4D players.
Signing up the iRes – Geo 4D PC Team
iRes-Geo is offering an exclusive scheme for new 4D players. With extensive commercial and academic 4D experience, iRes-Geo’s expert team can be subscribed on a daily basis to work in-house with you. Our teams are capable of filling in the expertise and capability gaps in your organization if you are
- New to 4D project operations
- Facing customized 4D challenges
- Looking to grow your organizational capability in 4D
Using our subscription service is a much more efficient way to engage a 4D team by comparison to a conventional consulting service:
- Flexibility – saving time on project scoping and execution
- Cost effective – saving on hiring permanent staff
- Readiness – saving time and money on workflow and tools R&D
- OE growth – saving on coaching and training, work on-site with our team to develop your staff!
Meet the Chapter Authors
Dr. Sean Tian is a reservoir geophysicist by background, most known for his work in innovative 4D interpretation approaches. He received his M.Sc with Distinction in Petroleum Geoscience from Heriot Watt University and has a Ph.D in 4D reservoir geophysics from the world-class 4D research consortium Edinburgh Time-Lapse Project. He worked with Chevron, deploying 4D QI workflows before he joined iRes-Geo. As a leader in the field, he is managing lots of 4D projects and delivering practical 4D solutions to meet clients’ challenges.