Smaller Type
Default Size Type
Larger Type
Print This Page
Email This Page

Reservoir management


Reservoir management efforts are focused upon generating long-term development plans for our assets. Integrated reservoir characterization is one of Marathon Oil’s strengths. We focus on delivering integrated solutions that describe our reservoirs in detail, from broad basin settings to localized variations in individual formations. We emphasize solutions that integrate state-of-the-art technologies in areas ranging from seismic imaging, geologic modeling, petrophysics, reservoir modeling, and production optimization.

Key activities include reservoir simulation, pressure transient analysis, and fluid modeling. Single- and dual-porosity studies are conducted on conventional and unconventional reservoirs. Black oil and equation-of-state simulations are used to predict ultimate recovery, rate versus time, and facilities requirements over the life of an asset. Reservoir simulation activities span deepwater, fractured carbonates, enhanced oil recovery, tight gas, coal bed methane, and unconventional reservoirs.

An area of innovation for Marathon Oil is development of software that significantly reduces run times for reservoir simulators, using multi-scale algorithms and detailed modeling of fractured unconventional reservoirs. This faster computing method allows the modeling results to be quickly fed into the front end of the geologic modeling process to confirm or guide modification of the geologic descriptions. This capability results in additional iterations on the geologic description which improve the results of our modeling efforts.


Integrated solutions are especially important to formulate development plans for today’s ever more challenging reservoirs. Examples of ongoing reservoir characterization efforts include unconventional plays, deepwater deposits, and fractured carbonates. Marathon Oil currently holds substantial positions in the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Woodford and Haynesville plays. Our approach in unconventional resource plays focuses on the entire life-cycle of well development and integrates technologies for optimal well performance and field recoveries.


Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are important technologies for unconventional plays. However, while the ability to drill horizontal wells almost two miles long and place 30 or more separate fracture treatments is important, other technologies play key roles in successfully exploiting unconventional resources.

Marathon Oil is working closely with a variety of industry partners to develop new technologies for these resources. These efforts include higher resolution seismic to identify localized features that contain more natural fractures, software that better predicts performance of unconventional reservoirs, and fundamental research on the depositional subtleties of shale reservoirs.

Internally, proprietary technology on rock mechanics is also integral to designing better hydraulic fracture stimulations and predicting where natural fractures are more likely to occur. Other internal technology efforts, such as improved hydraulic fracture placement techniques, artificial lift and production measurement options support our goal of designing wellbores optimized for their entire life-cycle.

By continuing to develop and integrate technologies in subsurface characterization, rock mechanics, drilling, completion, artificial lift and production measurement, Marathon Oil looks beyond initial production rates and focuses upon long-term development of our unconventional reservoirs.