Unconventional/complex reservoirs

Reservoir Software Developer: RTA Had Its Day, Hybrid Modeling Now the Way

Founded by former analytics experts for a large US independent, Xecta Digital Labs is proposing a new analysis method for horizontal wells. Adopting it means turning the page on some old habits.

Oil Drill, field pump jack silhouette with setting sun and worker.
Source: Getty Images.

Rate transient analysis (RTA) is defined as the science of analyzing and forecasting production data. But in its application to ultratight reservoirs, it’s also been likened to an art form.

There is no unified approach for reservoir engineers to follow in RTA, and as such, its solutions are nonunique. In other words, the accuracy of the analysis lies in the eye of the beholder.

Ardent practitioners argue that none of this is a revelation, nor negates the value that RTA can deliver when used by a skilled reservoir engineer. Those closer to the middle of the spectrum will add that RTA is “good enough.”

Another camp holds that the analysis method originally designed in the 1970s for forecasting in conventional reservoirs has reached its useful end in unconventional reservoirs.

Among those turning the page on RTA, along with more traditional decline curve analysis (DCA), is a startup called Xecta Digital Labs.

Founded in 2019 by a team of experienced oil and gas technologists, the firm has proposed a proprietary hybrid model as the way forward.

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