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Release Date: November 4, 2004

 
Interactive Website Pinpoints Areas to Recover More Oil, Gas

TULSA, OK - A software program that projects how much oil or natural gas lies in a reservoir, and how much more can be recovered, has the potential to save millions of dollars while increasing our Nation’s oil and natural gas supplies. And it’s free.

The program, known as GEMINI (Geo-Engineering Modeling through Internet Informatics), is an interactive, integrated website that provides the framework for reservoir modeling. Developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, the program can boost domestic oil and gas production, increasing national energy security and decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. 

This powerful program can pinpoint areas that were bypassed when drilling ended and may still contain oil and natural gas. In addition to revealing how deep in the Earth the oil lies and how much is there, GEMINI can analyze rock formation along with a host of other reservoir characteristics; it can also suggest additional drilling locations.

For natural gas exploration, GEMINI has a program that acts like the FBI’s computerized fingerprint system, using well logs instead of fingerprints. Well logs have specific characteristics that enable them to be identified like fingerprints. Using a pattern-recognition-based program, GEMINI can “look” in wells and identify zones that may have been bypassed when they were originally drilled. Companies can then decide if it is cost-effective to bring the resource to the surface.

Anyone can use the tool, but it is particularly beneficial to small companies that cannot afford costly software programs that perform the same analyses. Compared with the additional barrels of recovered fossil fuel that may otherwise be lost, the project price is miniscule.

GEMINI has been available for about a year, but it has been continually refined. All of the project’s programs are now operational, and the website is regularly accessed.

The project stems from an earlier effort between the Energy Department and the State of Kansas called the Digital Petroleum Atlas, which shows all the oil and gas production in the state, and identifies which areas are the most productive. In the last century, Kansas produced 6.1 billion barrels of oil and 36.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The whole software package consists of 11 integrated tools and databases. GEMINI’s analytical components include assembling fluid and rock parameters, basic and enhanced wireline log interpretation, data mining, spatial analysis and visualization, volumetrics, material balance, and parameterization formatting of results for reservoir-simulation software. Analyses on one or multiple wells can be conducted. 

The program also creates password-protected virtual reservoir analysis which examines core data, calibrates and analyzes wireline logs, analyzes drill stem tests, calculates oil-in-place, compares oil-in-place with material-balance calculations, and downloads results for presentation or further analysis in other software. GEMINI even tracks the user’s progress to help review and revisit a project.

In addition to examining company data, and data from the Kansas Geological Survey, the software will eventually be able to analyze information from other public domains. The GEMINI website is also being used to convey Kansas Geological Survey research results, serving as a platform for distance learning and technology transfer.

GEMINI’s total cost, including federal funding and cost-share monies from the state, amounts to $1.17 million over three years. In addition to the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, project collaborators include the Kansas Geological Survey, Phillips Petroleum, Murfin Drilling, Mull Drilling, Pioneer, British Petroleum and Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

 

Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646