Oil & gas companies leverage value of information to deliver asset performance from their portfolio to achieve their strategic targets. This requires a transparent, consistent, and balanced reporting of any subsurface project's technical evaluation. To undertake such quality assurance and to build confidence in any evaluation, peer reviews are an essential element of the generally accepted industry standard procedure. Peers aim to review work to identify deficiencies due to inadequate technical investigation, recognize cost effective opportunities and advise for any additional technical work.

Any international upstream oil & gas company will deal with various subsurface challenges, especially for a new field. A standardization of peer assists and peer reviews by qualitative analysis has been designed, starting with development projects. Checklists help quality assurance in a structured manner by organizing the facts into a framework, and they are intended to serve two main purposes: (1) Assist the systematic review of the subsurface work to request further technical assistance if necessary, and (2) Aid the review of various subsurface disciplines to ensure that the data supports the appropriate conclusions.

It is important to streamline the technical assurance process within any organization. Ideally, informal peer assists concentrate on specific discipline interactions before a formalized technical peer review. A set of review checklists has been developed to aid Geophysicists, Geologists, Petrophysicists, and Reservoir Engineers in their review of subsurface projects. The checklist for a field development project consists of 213 subsurface standards in total: 60 Geophysical, 36 Geological, 62 Petrophysical and 55 Reservoir Engineering standards. Each discipline review is then followed by two key recommendations: (1) further work is required or not, and/or (2) a recommendation to proceed to the next phase is made or not. Because of the high level of detail for the analysis of each subsurface discipline, it is recommended that the checklists be used as part of an informal peer assist rather than a formal peer review. For each discipline, a summary of the outcome is agreed between the project member and the peer (typically a subject matter expert). The use of such qualitative analysis is a big step in the right direction to resolve issues of detailed technical assurance before the formal peer review. Such integration of the subsurface approach drives better business decisions.

A case study is presented to show how this systematic approach was used and how the results are consistent, comparable, encompassing and objective. This paper outlines a clear and concise method that has been tried and tested and that allows for relevant technical work to be presented at the correct decision gates and thereby allow data evaluation to be done in a more ordered and efficient way, and this would be of interest to organizations that are required to undertake several review steps prior to project execution.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.