Field measurements and surveys are taken routinely and the data stored for future retrieval and analysis. However, often this information, collected with some degree of difficulty and expense, is not used effectively because the production analyst is lacking a straightforward means of organizing and interpreting the data.

This paper presents the design and application of an automatic production monitoring system that provides the user with a completed ‘first pass’ screening of the producers in a field. The review results in a list of the opportunities to improve production. Wells are sorted according to the type of rate restriction and, where possible, prioritized using ranking criteria. This simple and powerful tool quickly quantifies the potential production increases that may be realized by working over candidates in a typical oil field, and identifies where the analyst should begin focusing their efforts.

The program is set up on a spreadsheet using the existing system's data operation and graphical capabilities. It is operated from a central control panel that consists of a series of buttons, each supported by a macro or module that manages data I/O, graphics generation, and technical analysis. A special feature that allows the analyst to perform more detailed technical analysis to support the conclusions of the screening review is the program's ability to do multi-scale plotting and field-wide mapping.


Today's competitive business environment requires that decisions be made at an ever-increasing pace. As a first step in accommodating these demands, advances in computer technology have provided for improved graphics capabilities and comprehensive spreadsheet applications. These developments now allow for the manipulation and plotting of large amounts of data. However, the analytical skills of a trained individual are still required to enable any meaningful conclusions to be made. The situation is complicated by the conundrum that as the volume of available data increases, the more difficult it is to derive its benefits due to the time required for review and evaluation.

The objective of the automatic production monitoring system is to provide a program that will replicate the preliminary steps which the typical analyst would take in doing a performance review of an oil field. That is, the system retrieves the data, presents it in a logical and concise manner, and then reviews each well for indications that it is performing in a less than optimum manner. Once each well has been reviewed, workover candidates are identified and, where possible, ranked in order of their potential contribution to improvement in oil rates. The analysis is performed automatically and presented to the user for further review and verification.

The program also has the capability of presenting commonly collected information such as pressure and production data in a logical easy-to-view format using multi-scale plotting and field-wide mapping techniques.[1] Time permitting, once the initial screening has been completed and summarized, the analyst can use these additional facilities to assist in further detailed technical evaluation to confirm the conclusions from the screening review.

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