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ERE Spring Seminar Series-Jef Caers

Speaker:  Jef Caers
Associate Professor
Energy Resources Engineering
Stanford University
Title: Possibility, sensitivity and rejection: defining subsurface uncertainty

Abstract: Most engineering fields basically have three elements in common: definition, quantification and optimization. We define fundamental axioms and laws (mathematics/physics), we quantify variables through experiments and data collection and we optimize a system based on these quantities. In this presentation I will argue that, when it comes to engineering subsurface uncertainty, the very definition of the problem is either ignored, poorly understood or just plainly incorrect. I will argue that the use of Bayesian probability theory has many shortcomings and that theory is in fact divorced from current practice. Therefore, I will propose an alternative use of Bayes-Popper through a customized sensitivity analysis and method of geological scenario exclusion through rejection. I will also formulate an alternative definition of the problem using possibility theory. A case study involving the planning of a costly new production platform of the West-Coast of Africa is used as illustration of these ideas.

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Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 4:15pm
McCullough 115 Stanford
Event Sponsor: 
Energy Resources Engineering
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