Petroleum Experts’ Integrated Production Model (IPM) suite of software is widely used in the E&P industry especially for project evaluations that require integration of both surface and subsurface models. There is evidence in the literature to show diverse applications in field development planning, integrated forecasting, surveillance and production system optimization. Perhaps less reported are the lessons learned and best practices in using the IPM software. This paper focuses on these issues using Chevron’s IPM model for some of its largest gas fields.

The Non-Operated Joint Venture (NOJV) Subsurface Team began developing an IPM model for one of its biggest gas assets in 2005. With explicit modeling of critical components like compressors, dozens of wells and reservoir tanks, platforms, fluid characterisation, gas-water contact movement, pipelines, sub-sea manifolds and separators, this is arguably the largest and most complex IPM model in Chevron. The model continues to play a critical role in Chevron’s effective capital stewardship of the gas asset. The need to maintain the credibility of this model cannot be over-emphasized, and the model has undergone several phases of enhancement to ensure that it continues to meet business objectives.

This paper describes some of the best practices and lessons learned in constructing and maintaining a complex IPM model. It is intended as a resource for IPM practitioners. Examples cover all aspects of the IPM from the non-technical (e.g. framing the problem, case definition and naming convention) to the technical (e.g. model construction, model maintenance, software limitations, constraint violations, production optimisation and quality assurance checks).

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