Gas-lift technique plays an important role in sustaining oil production, especially from a mature field when the reservoirs’ natural energy becomes insufficient. However, optimally allocation of the gas injection rate in a large field through its gas-lift network system towards maximization of oil production rate is a challenging task. The conventional gas-lift optimization problems may become inefficient and incapable of modelling the gas-lift optimization in a large network system with problems associated with multi-objective, multi-constrained, and limited gas injection rate. The key objective of this study is to assess the feasibility of utilizing the Genetic Algorithm (GA) technique to optimize the allocation of the continuous gas-lift injection rate in a network system of a Middle Eastern oil field with 43 gas-lift injected wells through numerical modelling and simulation studies. Reservoir pressure and water cut sensitivity studies are performed to investigate the potential impacts of these parameters on well production performance and production life cycle of the field. Sample economics analysis are exercised to broaden the understanding of potential benefit of the implementation gas lift techniques in the field from both technical and economic viewpoint.
In addition, while application of GA is not a new idea, this paper elaborates the GA based optimization techniques for improving the oil production rate by implementing gas lift in a large Middle Eastern oil field. The optimization model is presented step by step, so it can easily be followed, and be used as a guide, especially by frontline production engineers involved in designing and development of gas-lift system towards optimally allocation of gas injection rate to individual well in a network system for a field with limited gas injection rate.