Uncertainty Quantification in Reservoir Prediction: Part 1—Model Realism in History Matching Using Geological Prior Definitions

Dan Arnold, Vasily Demyanov, Temistocles Rojas, Mike Christie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)


Bayesian uncertainty quantification of reservoir prediction is a significant area of ongoing research, with the major effort focussed on estimating the likelihood. However, the prior definition, which is equally as important in the Bayesian context and is related to the uncertainty in reservoir model description, has received less attention. This paper discusses methods for incorporating the prior definition into assisted history-matching workflows and demonstrates the impact of non-geologically plausible prior definitions on the posterior inference. This is the first of two papers to deal with the importance of an appropriate prior definition of the model parameter space, and it covers the key issue in updating the geological model—how to preserve geological realism in models that are produced by a geostatistical algorithm rather than manually by a geologist. To preserve realism, geologically consistent priors need to be included in the history-matching workflows, therefore the technical challenge lies in defining the space of all possibilities according to the current state of knowledge. This paper describes several workflows for Bayesian uncertainty quantification that build realistic prior descriptions of geological parameters for history matching using support vector regression and support vector classification. In the examples presented, it is used to build a prior description of channel dimensions, which is then used to history-match the parameters of both fluvial and deep-water reservoir geostatistical models. This paper also demonstrates how to handle modelling approaches where geological parameters and geostatistical reservoir model parameters are not the same, such as measured channel dimensions versus affinity parameter ranges of a multi-point statistics model. This can be solved using a multilayer perceptron technique to move from one parameter space to another and maintain realism. The overall workflow was implemented on three case studies, which refer to different depositional environments and geological modelling techniques, and demonstrated the ability to reduce the volume of parameter space, thereby increasing the history-matching efficiency and robustness of the quantified uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-240
Number of pages32
JournalMathematical Geosciences
Issue number2
Early online date23 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Classification
  • Fluvial geology
  • Geostatistics
  • Inverse problems
  • Model calibration
  • Natural analogues
  • Prior knowledge
  • Reservoir modelling
  • Support vector
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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