Oil and Gas

Drilling challenges.

The 21st century problems of oil and gas industry, such as exploration in harsh environments and enhancing recovery from mature reservoirs, defy conventional engineering approaches.

Advances in technology alone are not sufficient. In fact, they can add further layers of complexity: for example, “smart” well technology has increased the information flow into the production control room to the point where the ability of the operators to utilise it can be critically compromised — at a time when the industry is under increasing regulatory scrutiny and public criticism.

Working in a close relationship with major oil and gas operators, ThinkTank Maths (TTM) tackles these emerging challenges through a new mathematical lens.

Enhanced recovery strategies — increasingly strategic for mature oil fields such as those in the North Sea — require a new understanding of hydrocarbon reservoir behaviour to be successful. In the context of the mathematical foundations of reservoir modelling, seismic data interpretation and history matching, TTM is creating novel representations that efficiently capture the variability of rock formations and reduce both computational effort and uncertainty.

Applications of ThinkTank Maths’ Trusted Reasoning Architecture in the oil and gas sector range from automated drilling and fast-loop production control to system-level situation awareness. Decision aids based on this Architecture help to avoid the risk of information overload, enabling human operators to focus on the most critical decisions, with significant advantages in terms of cost, safety and environmental impact.

Future multi-party energy value chains will link oil and gas offshore facilities to renewable energy systems. For example, the use of wind turbines to power a subsea compression system and CO2 sequestration injection into ageing reservoirs — at the same time disposing of greenhouse gases and enhancing recovery. However, creating such value chains that are both technically and commercially viable is a complex problem that calls for a novel, systemic approach. TTM is currently developing mathematical foundations for systems architectures that have the potential to resolve such conflicting priorities.

Mathematics underpins nearly all of today’s oil and gas activities — and the task of recovering and managing Earth’s hydrocarbon resources in an efficient, responsible and safe manner, demands radical mathematical reformulation of the technologies used on an unprecedented scale.


InnovOil features ThinkTank Maths’ radical research for the ADNOC “R&D Shield” at ADRAC 2014.
ADNOC R&D Oil Sub Committee awards ThinkTank Maths the “R&D Shield” at ADRAC Conference and Exhibition 2014.
ThinkTank Maths’ “unusual” talk at SPE Aberdeen featured here.
InnovOil features ThinkTank Maths as innovator for oil and gas.

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