Hydrocarbon production optimization is essential in pursuing the best scenarios for economic outcomes. But because of complex and multi-dimensional nature of production processes, thousands of scenarios are possible. Extensive data collection may allow uncovering patterns still unidentified. With on-site computing power increasing, cloud availability, and artificial intelligence evolution, mathematical optimization methods are becoming powerful and accessible. Data type-tailored models are implemented for history matching and prediction of operational efficiency of the asset. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis and comparison of three data type-tailored reservoir modeling methods and their optimization process for waterflooding field cases.

The mathematical techniques used were Data-Driven Capacitance Resistance Model (CRM), Numerical Simulators (Data-Physics) coupled to Smart Algorithms Optimizers, and Hybrid Model (Machine Learning Physics-Based). They were compared to 1-identify the benefits of mathematical optimization techniques, 2-illustrate the methods developed to sort out time and computing capacity restrictions, and 3-validate the techniques by comparing the forecast with actual results.

The six study cases of different reservoir types in Argentina, Venezuela, and the USA, had different types data availability. Four had no static model. In two cases, field results were available to confirm the accuracy of the forecasted injection and production. The forecasted increase in Net Present Value (NPV) and cumulative oil production (Np) ranged to 30%, and optimized water injection rates decreased by 50%.

Traditional modeling techniques yielding unreliable result in one field with hundreds of producing layers and unknown lateral and vertical continuity were solved using a machine learning technique. In some cases, they pointed toward non-intuitive infill drilling sequence and injection water redistribution. Also, they pointed to options that reduce economic risk. The methods yielded many better economic scenarios and increased the flexibility of operationalizing plans. In one field requiring excessive computing power, using time horizons reduction and successive year-by-year optimization yielded 4 times the NPV of the base case. This approach solves objections related to long computing time and system instability. With the three mathematical techniques, the asset value could be continually maximized by a novel implementation of a heuristic decision-making approach that continuously challenge the current scenario. It makes a systematic formulation of conceivable new scenarios, competing through an objective function determining the probity of compared scenarios.

The optimization also resulted in an up to 50% decrease in water injection requirements and the same percentual CO2 emissions reduction.

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