Petroleum Reservoirs Modelling


The CMRP – Center for Modelling Petroleum Reservoirs – is now the Petroleum research group of large center CERENA, Center of natural Resources and Environment. CMRP has a broad experience covering the main areas of exploration and production of the oil and gas and industry, with a particular focus in: the characterization of petroleum reservoirs based on mathematical modeling; geostatistical modeling;  integration of seismic reflection data into subsurface Earth modeling (seismic reservoir characterization); reservoir engineering; and reserves evaluation.

The research and development activity of the CMRP is mainly funded by “Joint Industrial Agreements” with international oil & gas companies such as Petrobras, Partex Oil & Gas, CGG, ADCO, Sonangol, Galp E. &P. among others. In the Middle East several R&D projects were undertaken in fields from the region to ADCO, PDO , BAPCO , Saudi Aramco and KOC . The research team was directly involved, in collaboration with Partex Oil & Gas, in designing, implementation and development of three-dimensional numerical reservoir models for Simsima ASAB and Shah fields in Abu Dhabi , Oman Zauliyah field , Awali field in Bahrain , Sabyriah and large fields of Burgan in Kuwait.

The center has also developed studies of modeling and reservoir characterization for oil companies on the West African coast and in the Brazilian offshore, including the fields of pre-salt from Santos basin. These Brazilian research projects have been developed in close collaboration with Petrobras and Galp E.&P.. Some of the algorithms developed by the center, resulting from the different partnerships, are already in implementation phase at Petrobras to be applied as part as the in-house workflows for reservoir characterization and modeling.


The CMRP staff is the main support of research, coordination of MSc. theses and teaching of main educational programs in petroleum: MEP – MSc in Petroleum Engineering and DEEP-PhD in Petroleum Engineering.

In addition, CMRP has also programs of short courses for the industry (in-house formation) in characterization of oil reservoirs, seismic reservoir characterization and reservoir engineering, including geostatistical history matching.

The research staff of the center has also being trained on the most standard industry software such as ProMAX, Decision Space Desktop and Petrel®.

IST-Oil and Gas

The CMRP leaded the school initiative of creation, in 2012, the IST Oil and Gas, a network of 14 research centers of IST, which main activity is direct or indirectly related with the Exploration and Production of Oil and Gas. IST Oil and Gas covers all range of subjects of E&P (see in annex the portfolio of projects of IST Oil and Gas).

Research Projects and Studies

The R&D activity of CMRP can be summarized in the following list of main projects for Oil & Gas companies:

  • Geostatistical Modelling of Asab Field (Abu Dhabi) (1986)
  • Stochastic Modelling of Sha-Simsima (Abu-Dhabi) (1991/1993 e 1994/1995)
  • Stochastic Characterization of Fluvial Sand Channels of Zauliah field (Oman) (1996)
  • Reservoir Characterization of Kokongo Field (Angola) (1997)
  • Reservoir Characterization of Sulele Field developed for Texaco and Sonangol (Angola) (1998/1999)
  • SERPICO – Stochastic Simulation of Complex Oil Reservoirs (1997/2000)
  • Sabyriah project (Kuwait) (2001)
  • Great Burgan project (Kuwait) (2002)
  • Optimization of Production of Awali Field developed for ABCO in Bahrein (2001/2002)
  • GSI – Global Stochastic Inversion (2004/2005). Development and implementation of an acoustic geostatistical inversion methodology.
  • GSI (software) in parallel computing platforms (2006)
  • GSI – Global Stochastic Inversion. Tests on Middle East and Brazilian Fields (2006/2007)
  • Characterization of Fracture Fields Conditioned to Production Data (2006/2007)
  • Multi-point statistics for stochastic inversion of seismic (2006/2008)
  • Non-linear classifiers for the characterization of fractures patterns of seismic images (2006/2008)
  • Global Seismic Inversion of a Brasilian field (2007)
  • Fracture Fields Characterization and Geostatistical History Matching  (2008/2010)
  • Geostatistical Elastic Seismic Inversion (2008/2010). Development and implementation of an elastic geostatistical inversion methodology.
  • Geostatistical history matching: integration of dynamic production data in stochastic modeling (2008/2009)
  • Natural Fractured Reservoir Characterization (2008/2009)
  • Modeling and characterization of fractured reservoirs (2010)
  • Integration of Seismic as Soft Data in Oil Reservoirs Characterization – Brazilian pre-salt reservoir (2010)
  • Global Seismic Inversion of an Angolan field (2011)
  • Direct Seismic Inversion of Porosity/Lithofacies (2010/2012)
  • Integration of Geological Uncertainty in History Matching Projects (2011)
  • GEI – Global Elastic Inversion – real case studies on Middle East and Brazilian Fields (2012)
  • GEI – Global Elastic Inversion – real case study for reservoir characterization of a deep-offshore Brazilian field on the Campos Basin (2013)
  • Geostatistical acoustic inversion on a Middle East onshore reservoir (Oman) (2013)
  • Geostastical Seismic AVO Inversion. Inversion of pre-stack data in a real deep-offshore East African reservoir (2013)
  • Geostastical Seismic AVO Inversion. Inversion of pre-stack data in a real deep-offshore reservoir from the Campos Basin (2014)
  • Geostatistical seismic AVO inversion directly to facies. Inversion of pre-stack data for facies in a real deep-offshore reservoir from the Campos Basin (2014)

Main Strategic Lines

The CMRP strategy is currently focused in the following research lines: Smart Fields; Global Geostatistical Seismic Inversion and Geostatistical Seismic Elastic Inversion; Direct Inversion of Porosity; Seismic AVO Inversion (geostatistical inversion of pre-stack data); Multi-Phase Simulators; Dynamic models: Geostatistical History Matching; Integration of production data in seismic inversion; 3D geomechanical models with integration of seismic reflection; Prediction Model of Pore Pressure; Enhanced Oil Recovery; Flow Assurance.

Plugins development  in CMRP

One of the important fields in research and development of the Center for Modeling Petroleum Reservoirs is the development and implementation of new stochastic sequential simulation algorithms, geostatistical seismic inversion methodologies and history matching methodologies for more reliable integration of seismic and production data in reservoir characterization. At the moment these algorithms are mainly developed in prototype environments such as Matlab and Python and, after testing in real datasets from CERENA’s sponsors, the final version is converted to C/C++ and distributed as executables.

The software is usually developed in the frame of research projects for the industry. Afterwards, it can be used in house by the oil companies that support the research programs of our center and also in the teaching practice of some advanced courses of MSc and PhD of Petroleum Engineering programs of Instituto Superior Técnico.

One of the main drawbacks, of the implementation of our own software,  is the lack of link with the most standard industry modeling software, such as Landmark’s Decision Space. By including Decision Space as part of the development environment of the center one can take profit of the integrated tools of Decision Space system. Moreover, it will allow decreasing the need of so many user-defined parameters of our software and take advantage of the geological models created within Decision Space. Also it can be integrated in  the classes of the MSc and PhD programs. Finally, the use of this new development environment will allow an easier spread of this leading edge technology to other companies of the oil and gas industry.

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