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Mike Christie

Mike has devoted his career to computer simulation of the flow of fluids through oil and gas reservoirs, and using computer modelling to gain insight into the critical aspects of reservoir fluid flows that affect business outcomes.

Mike worked for BP for 18 years in the area of reservoir simulation until 1999, holding positions in both the UK and USA. His work was characterised by a desire to understand technology at the highest level and use that understanding for practical application. He was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 1994/95 with a talk based on one of the earliest uncertainties studies on a real field. While in the USA, Mike interacted with Los Alamos National Laboratory, and developed novel upscaling techniques that were applied to various fields, including Cusiana in Colombia. Mike joined Heriot Watt University at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering where he has focused on uncertainty quantification in complex systems using computer simulation.

Mike consults for the petroleum industry in reservoir simulation, history matching and uncertainty quantification. He was awarded the SPE Ferguson Medal in 1990 for his work in 3D simulation of viscous fingering.

More recently, he has been accessing uncertainty quantification techniques from a variety of areas, including the aerospace, nuclear industries and computational biology areas to apply to the petroleum reservoir system understanding – particularly the question of how complex to make a model. This led to a book, published in 2011, on “Simplicity, Complexity and Modelling”.
He has also founded a spin-out company from Heriot-Watt to commercialise 10 years of research into uncertainty quantification and optimisation methodologies.

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