Machine learning for recovery factor estimation of an oil reservoir: A tool for de-risking at a hydrocarbon asset evaluation

Ivan Makhotin, Denis Orlov, Dmitry Koroteev, Evgeny Burnaev, Aram Karapetyan, Dmitry Antonenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Well known oil recovery factor estimation techniques such as analogy, volumetric calculations, material balance, decline curve analysis, hydrodynamic simulations have certain limitations. Those techniques are time-consuming, require specific data and expert knowledge. Besides, though uncertainty estimation is highly desirable for this problem, the methods above do not include this by default. In this work, we present a data-driven technique for oil recovery factor (limited to water flooding) estimation using reservoir parameters and representative statistics. We apply advanced machine learning methods to historical worldwide oilfields datasets (more than 2000 oil reservoirs). The data-driven model might be used as a general tool for rapid and completely objective estimation of the oil recovery factor. In addition, it includes the ability to work with partial input data and to estimate the prediction interval of the oil recovery factor. We perform the evaluation in terms of accuracy and prediction intervals coverage for several tree-based machine learning techniques in application to the following two cases: (1) using parameters only related to geometry, geology, transport, storage and fluid properties, (2) using an extended set of parameters including development and production data. For both cases model proved itself to be robust and reliable. We conclude that the proposed data-driven approach overcomes several limitations of the traditional methods and is suitable for rapid, reliable and objective estimation of oil recovery factor for hydrocarbon reservoir.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Clustering
  • Conformal predictors
  • Machine learning
  • Oil recovery factor
  • Oil reservoir
  • Oilfield
  • Regression
  • Uncertainty estimation


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