Increasing yield by 40% in an unconventional way

ScienceDirect helps an E&P team create a predictive geological model for enhanced oil recovery in a limited amount of time and without significant capital investment

A team leader at an independent US-based oil and gas company explains how the vast wealth of field data on ScienceDirect enabled him to build a simulated model of an oilfield, predict the field’s future behavior, and generate actionable cost and profit estimates—all by having access to the research published by other teams around the world.

Increasing yield by 40% in an unconventional way - ScienceDirect | Elsevier


When a company’s Texas-based oilfield faced declining production and decreasing revenues, team members began to investigate the field and discovered their records were surprisingly out-of-date: they had no actual data from the core, no up-to-date logs of production and no pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) analyses of any well in the field. They needed new financing to drill more wells in the field, yet no one wanted to finance the project without clear data on the field’s performance.


The team’s research director searched ScienceDirect for publications on drilling and fracturing techniques, and reservoir and field productivity over the past six decades. Leveraging ScienceDirect’s ability to quickly scan through related papers, in only two months he discovered the relevant data on permeability, porosity and reservoir characterization—along with hundreds of case studies on drilling and fracturing for well pattern spacings, injection and reaction timing, and other elements of the drilling process, specifically in the type of tight sandstone found in their marginally performing oilfield. Equipped with this abundance of interrelated data, the team generated a simplified geological model of the tops and thicknesses of the oilfield, enabling them to create a reservoir simulation to match the production history of the field.

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Using ScienceDirect is a major part of my daily routine in the pre-execution phase of project. I’m able to discover actionable data in a fraction of the time I’d spend on other search engines—so I can deliver accurate predictions and recommendations before my competitors do.


The research director realized an instant cost savings of up to $50,000 by using ScienceDirect rather than hiring an outside consulting agency. More importantly, his simulation model predicted that the oilfield would generate a 40 percent yield improvement through the use of specific methods and techniques researched on ScienceDirect. Moreover, the model demonstrated that they could increase recovery from the field without the investment of significant capital expenses. The company was able to secure the financing needed to continue to develop the field, extending both the productivity and financial return from the field.

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I’ve built my entire workflow around ScienceDirect. It’s far beyond any other resource in terms of data availability, so it’s always my number-one choice when I need to assemble a large data set in the shortest time possible.

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