Well testing could be described as a process required to calculate the volumes of (oil, water and gas) production from a well in a bid to identify the current state of the well. Amongst other things, well testing aims to provide information for effective Well, Reservoir and Facility Management. Normally, as a means of well performance health-check, reconciliation factor (RF) is generated by comparing the fiscal production volume against the theoretical well test volume. Experiences from the Coronavirus pandemic has brought about the new normal into well test execution. In deepwater environment, the process of well testing is more challenging and this paper aims to address these challenges and propose optimum well test frequency for deepwater operations.
It is usually required that routine well test be conducted once every month on all flowing strings, this is for statutory compliance and well health-check purposes. However, in deepwater environment, it is difficult to comply with this periodic well test requirement mainly due to production flow line slugging, plant process upset and/or tripping resulting in production deferment and operational risk exposure. Furthermore, to carry out well test in deepwater operation, production cutback is required for flow assurance purpose and this usually results in huge production deferment. In this field of interest, this challenge has been managed by deploying a data-driven application to monitor production on individual flowing strings in real-time thereby optimizing the frequency of well test on every flowing well. Varying rate well test data are captured and used to calibrate this tool or application for subsequent real-time production monitoring. This initiative ensures that all the challenges earlier mentioned are managed while actually optimizing the frequency of testing the wells using intelligent application which serves as a ‘virtual meter’ for testing all producing wells in real time.
As mentioned, well testing in most deepwater assets remain a big challenge but this project based field experience has ensured effective well testing operation resulting in reduction of production deferment and safety exposure during plant tripping whilst optimizing frequency of testing the wells. Following this achievement of the optimized well test to quarterly frequency in this field in Nigerian deepwater, recommendation from this paper will assist other deepwater field operators in managing routine well testing operation optimally.