ERE Spring Seminar Series-Jef Caers
Speaker: Jef Caers
Energy Resources Engineering
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.