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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1266

Computer Simulation of Reservoir Depletion and Oil Flow from the Macondo Well Following the Deepwater Horizon Blowout

By Paul A. Hsieh

ABSTRACT

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This report describes the application of a computer model to simulate reservoir depletion and oil flow from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Reservoir and fluid data used for model development are based on (1) information released in BP’s investigation report of the incident, (2) information provided by BP personnel during meetings in Houston, Texas, and (3) calibration by history matching to shut-in pressures measured in the capping stack during the Well Integrity Test. The model is able to closely match the measured shut-in pressures. In the simulation of the 86-day period from the blowout to shut in, the simulated reservoir pressure at the well face declines from the initial reservoir pressure of 11,850 pounds per square inch (psi) to 9,400 psi. After shut in, the simulated reservoir pressure recovers to a final value of 10,300 psi. The pressure does not recover back to the initial pressure owing to reservoir depletion caused by 86 days of oil discharge. The simulated oil flow rate declines from 63,600 stock tank barrels per day just after the Deepwater Horizon blowout to 52,600 stock tank barrels per day just prior to shut in. The simulated total volume of oil discharged is 4.92 million stock tank barrels. The overall uncertainty in the simulated flow rates and total volume of oil discharged is estimated to be ±10 percent.

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Suggested citation:

Hsieh, Paul, 2010, Computer simulation of reservoir depletion and oil flow from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon blowout: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1266, 18 p.



Contents

Abstract

Background

Reservoir Model

History Matching

Simulation Results

Conclusions

References Cited


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