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SEC/SPE Seminar: John Kuzan (ExxonMobil) "Robust Decision Making under Subsurface Uncertainty in Upstream Oil and Gas Business"

Date and Time: 
March 15, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:40pm
Green Earth Sciences Building, Room 365 (3rd Floor) 367 Panama Street Stanford, CA 94305
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Event Sponsor: 
Energy Resources Engineering

John Kuzan, ExxonMobil

"Robust Decision Making under Subsurface Uncertainty in Upstream Oil and Gas Business"

Subsurface uncertainty makes prediction of field performance for development and depletion planning purposes very challenging. The full characterization of subsurface uncertainty and its impact on reservoir performance predictions is essential to robust decision making in the Upstream. This is especially true for large projects in complex geologic settings. However, despite decades of research in reservoir modeling and simulation, reliable quantification of the impact of subsurface uncertainty remains difficult in practice. In this talk, I will give an overview of the upstream oil and gas business, the high-impact decisions we make in field development, and the challenges we face in making those decisions. Then, I will highlight recent advances in the development of an integrated, high-performance reservoir modeling and simulation platform and discuss its impact on improved decision making at ExxonMobil.

John is currently the manager of the Reservoir Function in ExxonMobil’s Upstream Research Company. The Upstream refers to the segment of the industry that produces crude oil and natural gas from hydrocarbon reservoirs. The Reservoir Function supports most aspects of oil and gas production, especially rock & fluid characterization and reservoir fluid mechanics.

In addition to reservoir engineering, the projects in the Reservoir Function include capabilities in experimental measurements, field measurements, geology and geologic modeling, technical software engineering, high-performance computer science, mathematical modeling of physical processes, and computational & applied mathematics.

John’s portfolio spans the full suite of technologies used in ExxonMobil’s development and depletion planning for oil and natural gas reservoirs world-wide. In particular, the portfolio contains a major integrated project that has merged geoscience and engineering technologies for reservoir modeling and simulation.

John began his career with ExxonMobil in 1990 as a reservoir engineer performing special core analysis, which means making fluid mechanics measurements on reservoir rock samples and analyzing the results for use in predicting fluid flow in reservoirs. He has held a variety of positions within ExxonMobil that include supervising and managing various reservoir engineering and computational sciences groups. John also served as the Breakthrough Research Manager in the Upstream and as the Transition Manager for ExxonMobil's partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in Zakum field.

He retired from the U.S. Army in 2002 after 25 years spent in the Reserve and on active duty. He held Company and Battalion command positions and spent a significant period at the Ballistic Research Laboratory working in supersonic flow and rocket dynamics.

John is a Chemical Engineer by training and his PhD is from the University of Illinois, where his primary work was in experimental turbulent fluid mechanics. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Notre Dame. John and his wife of thirty-five years, Gail, live in Houston.

Snacks will be provided!

SPE Stanford Chapter: Cindy Ni, Grecia RO, Haoli Guo, Matthias Cremon, Mehrdad Yousefzadeh, Soheil Esmaeilzadeh

SEC Oil & Gas Community: Cindy Ni, Haoli Guo, Laura Dafov, William Thompson-Butler