Abstract

Traditionally, the optimization of well locations using a numerical simulator is time demanding and based on a manual trial end error process. This paper develops an automated technique to locate production wells.

The automatic process is based on an algorithm that combines a 3-D simulation model with an external optimization code. The process is genetic in nature. Starting from a maximum well count, it proceeds in steps selecting a set of wells at the end of each 3-D simulation forecast and stops when a desired number of producing wells is reached.

Two applications of the automatic well location process are presented.

The first example considers the Ekofisk field, the largest oil field in the Norwegian sector of the North sea, with more than 20 years of production, water and gas injection. In this case, 32 new well locations have been automatically identified. The second example applies the process to the Smorbukk field, a very complex sandstone reservoir with oil and gas condensate layers and dry gas reinjection. 18 well locations have been automatically defined and connected to 6 subsea templates.

In both cases, it has been possible to manage specific topics related to the field and to obtain a large increase in the economic value, accelerating the production and increasing the final field recovery significantly.

The total process run time does not exceed 24 hours.

This new methodology proved to be reliable and quick and is strongly recommended in studies where complex simulation work is required to optimize well locations and when different geological descriptions and development scenarios have to be verified in short time, such as geostatistical realizations.

The technical advantages of such a process are:

  • Consistent methodologies allow for true comparison between models.

  • Added value and reserves when compared to the traditional manual procedure.

  • Significant time saving.

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