Reservoir monitoring can be applied on small fields but has been (to date) mainly applied on large fields and deepwater operations where its impacts have such a large potential impact that economic justification is easy. The field development planning and operations management of such fields is now almost invariably assigned to integrated asset teams comprising reservoir and production engineers, geologists, geophysicists and other specialists such as geomechanics and petrophysics experts. The expertise for the technology of reservoir monitoring is often best known by subsets of this team. While the production or completions engineer may best understand downhole measurements, the petrophysicist may be the expert in production logging, the geophysicist in 4D seismic, the geologist in the static model construction and the reservoir engineer in pressure transient analysis and reservoir simulation.
The following table illustrates typical roles of various disciplines in modern asset teams focusing on reservoir management. In many cases specialists such as production chemists or even petrophysicists may only participate on an “as needed” basis. The asset team must work in conjunction with field personnel and those charged with operating the field. Some operators subcontract much of the operations and only review smaller assets occasionally.
Increasingly, service companies and specialized consultancies are taking active roles in reservoir monitoring and management. This is particularly the case with National Oil Companies (NOCs) that have decreased their reliance on International Oil Companies (IOCs) for technology and personnel. This approach is combined with indigenous staff working closely with the service companies whose services may or may not be bundled with the support for reservoir monitoring and management.