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Reservoir Simulation

Interview with Olivier Houzé, KAPPA Managing Director, and Jean Burrus, Chairman and Ceo of Beicip-Franlab

July 2018

In December 2017, IFPEN, Beicip-Franlab and KAPPA Engineering signed a partnership contract to offer industrial players an advanced and complete reservoir simulation solution.
 This contract follows a first collaboration initiated in 2016 between Beicip-Franlab and KAPPA on the commercialization of the PumaFlow dynamic reservoir simulation software.


Could you tell us a little about KAPPA’s and Beicip-Franlab’s activities?

O. H. : KAPPA was created in 1987 by two former Schlumberger engineers who specialized in well tests: Dominique Bourdet and myself. KAPPA very quickly focused on the development and marketing of software solutions in the reservoir and production fields. KAPPA employs around one hundred people, half of whom are based in France, with the remainder working out of our six regional offices. KAPPA develops and markets seven software solutions, four of which are leaders in their respective segments.
J. B. : Beicip-Franlab, an IFPEN subsidiary, was established 50 years ago as an independent consultancy firm and software editor. Our scope covers the exploration-production chain, from regional exploration, field delineation, production and enhanced oil recovery, through to the optimization of surface installations. Supported by its network of international subsidiaries, Beicip-Franlab advises numerous customers around the world, which include major national companies. Our software solutions include petroleum system modeling, stratigraphic modeling, the modeling of naturally fractured reservoirs and reservoir simulation.

What are the expectations of the reservoir simulation market?

O. H. : It’s an extremely competitive market, with long-established players and new arrivals who are relatively aggressive. The cards are being reshuffled and the sector is undergoing radical technological changes (Cloud, Automation, Big Data), the impact of which will be substantial, albeit still unclear at the moment. There are also “endemic” expectations: faster, more reliable, more models, etc.
J. B. : In addition to these major technological changes, there is an absolute need, when it comes to reservoir simulation, to establish a better integration between well engineering and reservoir engineering. This stems from the strategic importance for our customers to increase and optimize short-term production, without losing sight of the importance of the reservoir context. New workflows are needed to address these requirements.

Why a KAPPA/Beicip-Franlab/IFPEN partnership?

O. H. : The 2015 crisis led us all to rethink our model. This partnership allows KAPPA to extend the scope of its activity to reservoir simulation for which we did not have the critical mass required. This is all about capitalizing on the respective strengths of the partners: KAPPA in the field of software; IFPEN in the technical field; Beicip-Franlab as a reservoir specialist.
J. B. : Initially, the idea was to forge a partnership that was merely commercial. But dialog with our respective customers convinced us that together we could deliver new solutions making better use of our respective strengths. Hence the idea for a new product incorporating the best of each partner and providing a solution that is more attractive for users. It was important for Beicip-Franlab not only to continue to provide a reservoir simulation solution for its existing customers, but also, and above all, to deliver a competitive edge over the market standard.

To what extent does the 2017 partnership go beyond that of 2016?

O. H. : There is no comparison. The 2016 partnership amounted to using KAPPA as a commercial vector for IFPEN’s software solutions, with the creation of a number of technical bridges at the margin. In this new partnership, KAPPA will re-write the application component of these software solutions and connect to IFPEN’s calculation modules. The results will be KAPPA products ‘powered by’ IFPEN.
J. B. : We are now aiming at creating a new reservoir simulation platform. This platform will offer the performance and quality of the current PumaFlow simulator in the fields of the physics and numerical computing, as well as an enhanced capacity to integrate well interpretations, dynamic and monitoring data, as well as the potential offered by the cloud. Beicip-Franlab will continue to share its professional expertise in the definition of product and support services for its long-standing customers.


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Interview with...

Olivier Houzé
KAPPA Managing Director
and Jean Burrus
Chairman and Ceo of Beicip-Franlab

           French   /   English