Worldwide water production from hydrocarbon wells vastly exceeds the oil production rate causing an operating cost to the industry of over $40 billion per year. Worse than that, water is now severely limiting hydrocarbon production rates and recovery factors. The expertise required to tackle water control issues is multi-disciplinary, experience and methodology are scattered, and feedback on success ratios is generally poor. The result is that water remains unmanaged or, worst still, inappropriate treatments are performed forcing the industry into a vicious circle of failure to control water. The successful application of proven technology to suitable wells is possible but the knowledge required to achieve this is not widespread. To address the problem of knowledge management and the requirement for increased success rates, a novel software system has been developed using the power of Case Based Reasoning (CBR). The CBR system, WaterCASE, is designed to help in diagnosing problems and designing remedial well intervention. This allows engineers to solve problems using the accumulated expertise and experience of a number of specialists. It provides the senior production engineer a reference methodology while it gives the novice user a process for the acquisition and analysis of relevant data.

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