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  • Writer's pictureAmi Tharayil

Oil & Mining

An oil firm approached RCOR with the goal of using Excel to model the drilling of their wells stochastically, rather than relying on expensive specialist software. The company had already developed a number of Excel calculators to help their drilling engineers predict drilling windows by entering physical variables such as reservoir depths. However, to finalize their predictions, they needed to run multiple simulations using random variables. RCOR began by using the existing calculators as a starting point. They hid the sheets containing the formulas to prevent them from being damaged by users, and then built a new front end that allowed users to define the statistical distributions of the different input variables. Using Visual Basic, they were able to randomly generate inputs and perform calculations in the hidden sheets. From the user's perspective, the solution comprised a single input screen in which they could define variables and click a button to run the stochastic model. An Excel chart would show the engineer the most likely set of drilling outcomes. By storing all the simulations in a single table, RCOR was able to plot the statistical distribution of various output variables and allow the operator to explore outliers. Overall, the solution developed by RCOR has helped the oil firm model the drilling of their wells more efficiently, using Excel rather than expensive specialist software.

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