Risk analysis in Project Management of Exploration Prospect

Experienced personnels (geologists, petroleum engineers, geophysicists and other analysts) are assets for oil and gas companies.  Major oil and gas companies spend thousands of dollars to develop personnel skills. However, a personnel turnover is unevitable. When experienced personnel is gone, sometimes the less experienced personnel who is assigned to continue his job is not capable to use the analysis or evaluation for other projects or new prospects. To anticipate of losing their valuable arts, all their analysis or evaluations could be put in one place and weighted. And then a system is built. This is the idea in the risk analysis  in project management in exploring a prospect by using weighted analysis or evaluation.

Figure 1: Flowchart for Risk analysis in project management of exploration prospect

There are four specific reservoir evaluation tools in the risk analysis and uncertainty in project management of exploration prospect (Figure 1):

  1. Reservoir amplitude evaluation tool,
  2. Reservoir seal capacity evaluation tool,
  3. Reservoir volume and visualization evaluation tool,
  4. Hydrocarbon charge evaluation too.

Each evaluation tool has questions which must be answered from several weighted answer which is from analysis and evaluation of experienced analysts. Those tools are put in one framework where only certain people can have an access. The tools will generate risk and uncertainty scorecards. Based on scorecards generated, the decision maker will choose which prospect will be explored first.

Figure 2: Risk analysis in reactivation well project

In project management for reactivating tens of production wells in South Sumatra, the weighted method to assess many variables in the oil field is used to minimize risk and ambiguity and also to help on risk evaluation. The flowchart in Figure 1 is modified to accommodate the risk analysis in reactivation well project as depicted in Figure 2. The project management team defines all variables related to well reactivations. There are 7 variables (inside white rectangular) in Figure 2 to be considered. Each variable has a score between 1 and 10 where a smaller number is less risky or more preferable. For subsurface variables, a high recoverable oil has a score of 1. For surface variables, good access to the wellhead has a score of 1. The oil well that has fish might have a score of 10. In the final decision, the wells with the lowest total number will be chosen to be reactivated.  The risk analysis process using scorecards turns qualitative risk analysis into quantitative risk analysis.

Table 1: Scorecards in risk analysis

For illustration, after screening tens of wells, there are five wells with the lowest number in Table 1. Based on total scorecards, well#5 will be reactivated first followed by well#2 and well#1. Even well#3 and well#4 have high recoverable oil and high estimate production, both have fish in the well which is riskier than other wells.

Recommended reading:

Author: admin

The Admin is a professional in the oil and gas field operation and management. He has a degree in petroleum engineering and he is also a certified Intellectual Property consultant. He has more than 20 years of experience at various levels of his carrier. He has published more than 40 articles related to his professional experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *