Operational conditions in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea bring a multitude of challenges including complex geology, steep jungle terrain, extreme rainfall, a sensitive ecosystem, a variety of landowner cultures, ageing facilities, mature reservoirs, and fraught logistics. These factors conspire to increase the complexity of production forecasting well beyond just reservoir performance.

After missing production targets for a number of years, a significant improvement in forecasting was needed to fully capture the uncertainties, both identified and unforeseen. A probabilistic forecasting tool using Monte Carlo simulation has been developed which incorporates assessments of all major variables and takes account of historical performance and system changes.

Successful implementation has resulted in the generation of realistic targets which have been met within four per cent for three years. Further, a clearer understanding of potential threats and opportunities combined with their impact on production has been achieved. These results have delivered material benefits to business planning, decision making and company reputation. Data to be presented on the forecasting tool will describe the quantification of uncertainty for each major variable including reservoir and facility performance, incremental production opportunities, project schedules and major unplanned downtime.

This approach could be applicable to E&P companies operating in difficult conditions worldwide, where unreliable production targets have a major business impact. It is flexible enough for both short and long term forecasts, tracking and reporting, and adaptation to new or changed operating conditions.

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