Reliable measurements of production/injection flow rates for each well is of paramount importance for many reservoir engineering disciplines: RTVFM (Real Time Virtual Flow Meter) is an innovative tool able to estimate flow rates even in absence of conventional physical technologies and it exploits the oil field digitalization process. This paper presents the methodology of an innovative virtual meter tool and the results obtained in a real application for water injection estimation and monitoring.

Two RTVFM models have been developed and successfully applied: the first uses the VLP and it is based on the pressure drop across the entire well; the second uses the Choke Calculator and the localized pressure drop across the valve. The models are linked to available database and run in the framework of in-house built algorithm, capable of processing data in real time. Models are calibrated based on available data like total network injection rate.

Two case studies are presented in this paper. The first case study deals with an injection well test, where the contribution of the RTVFM significantly supported the PTA interpretation results: a decrease of injectivity was discovered due to thermal effects in the near wellbore zone. The second case study deals with the simulation of the injection history of an offshore network, made up of 10 wells injecting water into 4 different fields, where only the total FPSO injection rate is physically measured. RTVFM allowed to improve the quality of back-allocation at well level compared to the current one, based on sporadic well injection potential evaluation, thus impacting on the quality of 3D model history matching. Virtual meter, if kept updated in real-time, can provide a useful guidance for a better day by day reservoir management, helping in maintaining the fields cumulative VRR close to the desired target and impacting positively on injection/production optimization actions and final recovery.

This paper contains an innovative approach of robust and flexible virtual metering tool able to consume the huge amount of data coming from smart fields and provide added value. The tool is able to estimate injection rates in absence of dedicated flow meters and switch between VLP and choke calculator according to sensor data reliability. A novel approach of reverse engineering has been used to retrieve the choke performance curve in absence of official datasheet.

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