Deloitte, Foroil develop ‘breakthrough’ cognitive capabilities to bolster recovery from brownfields

In an exclusive go-to-market collaboration with Foroil SAS, Deloitte Consulting LLP said it will use historic production data, “breakthrough mathematical modelling” and high-performance computing to help upstream clients increase production and reserves from brownfields — conventional oilfields with more than seven years’ operating history.

The collaboration brings together Paris-based Foroil’s patented, tested production-forecasting and field development engines with Deloitte’s array of consulting and implementation services to assist oil companies in making the most capital-efficient decisions at the field, portfolio and corporate level.

“This technology could have as much impact on the industry as 3D seismic,” Scott Sanderson, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, said in a statement.

“Foroil’s techniques are advanced well beyond typical big data or analytics capabilities. We believe the combination of breakthrough mathematics, reservoir physics, machine learning and massive parallel computing to create predictive and optimized results is unique in the industry,” said Sanderson.

Using techniques adapted from the nuclear, defense and other industries, Foroil’s solutions are mathematically derived from historic production data, including flow rates, pressure, phase and other diverse measurements; and physical equations. The mathematics describe the dynamic behaviour of the reservoir over time, which supplements existing geologic models to provide more accurate production forecasts and extremely rapid analysis.

Using seven or more years of production data, Foroil’s patented program forecasts and processes 15 million development plans overnight to help identify the optimal future development plan based on client-defined objectives and constraints.

Twenty per cent production and reserve increases have been routinely generated with little to no capital expenditures, said Deloitte, adding more aggressive capital programs have generated production and reserve growth greater than 50 per cent. Considering 65 per cent of the world oil production comes from conventional brownfields, “the financial implications of this capability are staggering,” the company said.

“Deloitte is constantly expanding its digital ecosystem to create greater value for clients,” said Janet Foutty, chairman and chief executive officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “With Foroil, we are collaborating with an organization that has a breakthrough approach for using cognitive capabilities to design actionable plans that increase oil production from developed fields while using capital efficiently.”

Because Foroil’s development plans are based on the actual response of the field, they are generally less risky, easy to use and run, said Deloitte. Therefore the plans can be used as a platform for speed and quality of decision-making across traditional silos from reservoir and wells to surface facilities. Major, national and independent oil companies have successfully deployed Digital Oil Recovery technology on dozens of programs worldwide and additional programs are ramping up this year.

“Our technology is based on the premise that past data tells a story of the dynamic behaviour of the reservoir,” said Hugues de Saint Germain, Foroil’s founder and chairman. “But it is an extraordinarily complex story requiring data, mathematics, reservoir physics and computing power. The industry needed a sort of Rosetta Stone to translate that story into actionable and reliable plans, and that is what we provide in a matter of weeks.

“As a leader in breakthrough digital technologies, Deloitte understands this, and we are excited about working with them to turn huge existing data sets collected for decades by our industry into digital assets, to create incremental production, reserves and shareholder value for our mutual clients around the world.”