Abstract

Smart completion allows higher operational flexibility for the development of petroleum fields than the conventional completion. However, the real benefits of this technology are not always clear. In order to compare advantages and disadvantages of each type of completion in the exploitation of oil fields, it is necessary to optimize the production strategy for both options. This paper presents a methodology to optimize strategies with reactive and proactive control valves in smart wells; the same methodology is applied to conventional wells in order to compare the different behaviors. This methodology aims to help the manager in the decision of choosing between conventional or smart wells in developing an oil field. An evolutionary algorithm was coupled to a commercial simulator to search for the maximum of the objective function, the Net Present Value (NPV), determining the optimum water cut of producer smart wells for each valve (proactive control), for all valves (reactive control) or for a whole producer conventional well. Then, a fair performance comparison between both types of completions is done. The case studies are simple in order to make clear the difference between the cases. They are classified in reservoir models regarding different heterogeneities, type of oil and under economic uncertainty. Uncertainties in oil prices and in water production cost are considered through three economic scenarios: optimistic, probable and pessimistic. Results show that smart wells are able to increase production time, cumulative oil production and the NPV, also decreasing water production and injection in some cases. The results show higher benefits in using smart wells in high heterogeneity and light oil reservoirs to increase oil production and maximize NPV. Smart wells differ greatly from the conventional ones in pessimistic economic scenarios, where there are operational restrictions due to the unfavorable scenario.

Introduction

Nowadays, smart wells (SW) can be considered to improve oil recovery in petroleum fields, justifying the necessity of studies to verify the applicability of this type of wells. In SW, completion has parkers that allow partitioning of the wellbore, downhole inflow control valves (ICV) and a variety of sensors, especially those that monitor flow, pressure and temperature, installed on the production tubing. The smart completion allows greater operational flexibility in developing the field, enabling them to take action over time of production, capable of responding to (or preventing) undesired events, avoiding a costly intervention in the well during production. However, many companies today still do not feel fully confident in investing in a more expensive technology, because the real benefits of this technology are still not clear. Part of this lack of confidence is because there is no consolidated methodology that shows the advantages and disadvantages of SW in relation to conventional wells (CW).

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