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Intelligent Surviellance Tools Improve Field Management Efficiency

Authors:

Abstract

With today's high cost of exploration and development, oil and gas companies are seeking to maximize hydrocarbon recovery from their existing fields. Some have turned to integrated oilfield solutions as a means to increase production and more efficiently meet growing energy demand. One key objective is realizing truly integrated operations in an automated environment. This objective presents a new challenge to many operators who must first remove existing barriers that could potentially interfere with bringing people, processes and technology together. Although still in the early stages of development, integrated oilfield technologies and methodologies have evolved in recent years to the point where they are actually becoming standard business practice. The implementation of “intelligent” technology tools that streamline and automate routine oilfield management tasks make daily operations more efficient, as well as leading to more productive reservoirs and a more productive workforce.
Ageing workforce worries Bahrain
Oilfield services to ‘bounce back’
Unstable demand impedes refining
Why Libya needs a new oil law
Saudi Arabia - open for business
Optimising Omani field assets
Buoyancy returns to gas markets
Intelligent surveillance tools aid
field management efficiency
Integrated operations -
the missing link
The importance of proper QHSE implementation in an
international workplace is discussed on page 70.
LNG sector
boosts Qatar
Vol 13
Issue Four 2010
UK £10, USA $16.50
Oil Review Middle East - Volume 13 - Issue Four 2010
ORME 4 2010 COVER_Layout 1 03/06/2010 12:18 Page 1
Oil Review Middle East Issue Four 2010
W
W
ITH TODAY’S HIGH
cost of
exploration and development, oil
and gas companies are seeking
to maximize hydrocarbon
recovery from their existing fields.
Some have turned to integrated oilfield
solutions as a means to increase production
and more efficiently meet growing energy
demand. One key objective is realizing truly
integrated operations in an automated
environment. This objective presents a new
challenge to many operators who must first
remove existing barriers that could potentially
interfere with bringing people, processes and
technology together.
Although still in the early stages of
development, integrated oilfield technologies
and methodologies have evolved in recent
years to the point where they are actually
becoming standard business practice.
The implementation of “intelligent”
technology tools that streamline and automate
routine oilfield management tasks make daily
operations more efficient, as well as leading to
more productive reservoirs and a more
productive workforce.
Overriding goal
Saudi Aramco adopted this emerging trend in
an effort to standardize and automate its
workflow processes for reservoir management
and surveillance.
An overriding goal was to facilitate
collaboration and improve decision-making
among reservoir engineers, production
engineers and the Exploration and Petroleum
Engineering Center Advanced Research Center
(EXPEC ARC).
Specific business goals included the
improvement of production data monitoring,
providing online access to hydrocarbon phase
behavior and integrated petrophysical data,
and managing large amounts of well test
information. It was no longer practical to have
reservoir and production engineers spend large
amounts of time searching, collecting,
checking and integrating data when they
needed to focus their attention on analysis and
intervention. Instead, they needed to leave the
tasks of well problem detection and various
types of diagnostic procedures to automated
techniques.
The digital oilfield project succeeded in
automating, updating and validating data
pertinent to the production analysis process. In
addition to improving its field management
practices, Saudi Aramco minimized the risk of
human errors and thus improved the quality of
its data by standardizing technology tools and
processes.
Implement a digital oilfield solution
Reservoir engineers are responsible for
managing a reservoir as efficiently as possible,
to prolong the life of the asset, while
maximizing hydrocarbon recovery.
Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS)
Saudi Aramco adopted this
emerging trend in an effort
to standardize and automate
its workflow processes for
reservoir management and
surveillance.
Technical Focus
74
Customized oilfield management templates and automated processes aid production
engineers in the early detection and quick resolution of well performance problems, as
Dr. Saud M. Al-Fattah of Saudi Aramco, Mohammed M. Dallag and Colin Smith of
Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS) explain.
Intelligent surveillance tools improve field
management efficiency
Intergrated reservoir analysis tools.
S10 ORME 4 2010 Tech Focus Features_Layout 1 03/06/2010 12:27 Page 74
consultants employed the OFM* well and
reservoir analysis software to automate and
dynamically integrate Saudi Aramco
engineering requirements for production
optimization. This included the design of
streamlined reservoir and production
engineering workflow processes, taking into
account the required data and computing
needs of a diverse, multidisciplinary team.
They also created customized OFM templates
that were combined with daily workflows
designed to improve both reservoir
management and surveillance activities.
The integrated oilfield solution employed a
set of automated systems specifically targeted
for production data monitoring, remedial well
analysis, water management and integrated
reservoir analysis, as well as for heterogeneity
index calculation and formation damage
indication.
Introduce fit-for-purpose
technology tools
Having access to production data daily is
critical for monitoring the performance of
wells. An integrated surveillance system
provided Saudi Aramco with fast, real-time
access to daily production data—allowing easy
visual identification of underperformance or
potential issues before they became
problems.
Other features of this
production data monitoring
system included real-time data
retrieval, visualization and
analysis of reservoir production
data; rock and fluid data
analysis; hydrocarbon phase
behavior analysis;
petrophysical data
analysis; well test data
management; and
access to all historical
production data for all
wells to date. The
automated updating
of daily production
data made this a
dynamic
surveillance tool.
A candidate
recognition
system enabled
quick
identification
and flagging of
wells that
required
Oil Review Middle East Issue Four 2010
75
A grid map of the
formation damage index.
S10 ORME 4 2010 Tech Focus Features_Layout 1 03/06/2010 12:27 Page 75
“immediate” remediation. This tool also
provided the ability to identify and track the
occurrence of production logs, workover and
stimulation jobs, in addition to the occurrence
of well pressure build-up and fall-off tests,
with an explanation of well events that took
place.
Various analytics were built in to anticipate
the onset of problems (such as high water cut,
low productivity or injectivity issues) by
leveraging existing information from
surrounding wells. The practice of early
intervention and resolution will make it
possible for Saudi Aramco to avoid
unnecessary costs associated with full-scale
problems.
Enabling diagnostic interpretation
A water management tool provided strategies
that allowed rapid screening of the entire field
for high water-producing wells and cyclic
production wells. This enabled reservoir
engineers to recommend the best reservoir
management practices for candidate wells
(e.g., water shutoff, stimulation, rate restriction
or sidetracking). Another water diagnostic
technique was employed to help identify and
control wells with high water production by
locating the source of excess water (whether it
was due to channeling or coning) and
recommending the best practice.
A Heterogeneity Index (HI) tool was used as
a convenient means of comparing individual
well performance to that of a defined group of
wells. The HI can be automatically calculated
for any dynamic variable, such as production
rate or water cut. To account for noisy or hard-
to-analyze production rates, a cumulative HI
was introduced for smoother curve results,
from which quick interpretation could be
made.
As part of daily surveillance, the HI tool
allowed Saudi Aramco engineers to rapidly
identify over- and under-performing wells and
recommend the best completion practices.
A formation damage indicator was
introduced to spot production problem areas
and damaged wells. Calculation of the skin
factor indicates the wells that have formation
damage problems using a steady-state flow
equation.
For wells with limited pressure data, the
equation is correlated with the formation
damage index (FDI). If a well has formation
damage problems, it will produce at a lower
rate even though the formation has high
storage capacity to deliver.
With these calculations, Saudi Aramco
engineers were able to quickly and easily
identify and quantify all damaged wells in a
given field - in much less time than traditional
methods.
Improved field management
efficiency and user productivity
The newly integrated reservoir analysis
capabilities allowed Saudi Aramco engineers
to view, report, map and analyze reservoir
performance and production data.
They could also analyze reservoir
performance through historical
production/injection data, production forecast
using decline curve analysis, single and
multiple production well logs, stratigraphic
cross sections, well deviations and wellbore
schematics of a particular well or group of
wells in a given field.
Additionally, the same technology could be
used for waterflood management, using
geochemical water analysis and also by
monitoring flood front movement and studying
water encroachment by mapping fluid contact
movement through time.
The implementation of digital oilfield
technology enabled Saudi Aramco to better
manage its oil and gas fields throughout the
E&P lifecycle. As a result of the project, daily
workflow processes were fully automated to
serve the needs of reservoir and production
engineers, as well as research scientists.
They were given the ability to easily access
critical data in real time, which enabled close
monitoring of well performance, instantaneous
prediction of oil and gas production rates,
early detection of production problems and the
ability to track compliance with reservoir
management guidelines.
This led to quicker, more cost-effective
reservoir analysis, and also enhanced
collaboration and decision-making among
multidiscipline teams. Historical production
data was fully utilized, serving as another
valuable method for improved reservoir
analysis and forecasting.
Overall, Saudi Aramco realized considerable
time savings with pertinent data being
automatically updated, validated and used in
the production analysis process, minimizing
the risk of human errors and leading to
improved efficiency in its field management
practices.
*Mark of Schlumberger
References:
1.S.M. Al-Fattah, M.M. Dallag, R.A. Abdulmohsin,
W.A. Al-Harbi, and M.B. Issaka, Intelligent
Integrated Dynamic Surveillance Tool Improves
Field-Management Practices, paper SPE-99555
presented at the Intelligent Energy Conference
and Exhibition, 11-13 April 2006, Amsterdam,
The Netherlands. Also in Saudi Aramco Journal
of Technology (Summer 2008).
Oil Review Middle East Issue Four 2010
Technical Focus
76
Water diagnostic plots using water/oil ratio and water cut derivatives.
A formation damage
indicator was introduced to
spot production problem
areas and damaged wells.
Calculation of the skin factor
indicates the wells that have
formation damage problems
using a steady-state flow
equation.
S10 ORME 4 2010 Tech Focus Features_Layout 1 03/06/2010 12:27 Page 76
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