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Rapid Quantification of Uncertainty in Permeability and Porosity of Oil Reservoirs for Enabling Predictive Simulation

Abstract. One of the most difficult tasks in subsurface flow simulations is the reliable characterization of properties of the subsurface. A typical situation employs dynamic data integration such as sparse (in space and time) measurements to be matched with simulated responses associated with a set of permeability and porosity fields. Among the challenges found in practice are proper mathematical modeling of the flow, persisting heterogeneity in the porosity and permeability, and the uncertainties inherent in them. In this paper we propose a Bayesian framework Monte Carlo Markov Chain simulation (MCMC) to sample a set of characteristics of the subsurface from the posterior distribution that are conditioned to the production data. This process requires obtaining the simulated responses over many realizations. In reality, this can be a prohibitively expensive endeavor with possibly many proposals rejection, and thus wasting the computational resources. To alleviate it, we employ a two-stage MCMC that includes a screening step of a proposal whose simulated response is obtained via an inexpensive coarse-scale model. A set of numerical examples using a two-phase flow problem in an oil reservoir as a benchmark application is given to illustrate the procedure and its use in predictive simulation.