The high oil prices of the last five years have motivated operators to unveil less historically attractive hydrocarbon resources and to optimize production operations from existing fields. In fact, many operators of brown and mature fields around the globe plan increases in production of more than 100% during the next five years.

Optimizing production operations may — with the minimum effort— involve identifying opportunities for production increases from reservoirs, from individual wells, and from surface equipment. In addition, to sustain lean operations, production operations will require constant review of processes, management systems, adaptation of people, and applications of smart technology.

Often, decisions must be made despite uncertainties of well performance, subsurface response, equipment failure rates, and downstream demands. The heterogeneity of information and the complexity of current assets imply an iterative approach to identify viable opportunities. Opportunities require management of risk and uncertainty.

To accomplish such a challenging goal, it is necessary to estimate new capital investments for wells and facilities while considering both reservoir uncertainties and multiple scenarios for development. New capital investments are intended to increase the economic value of daily production operations.

We present a structured methodology for integrating reservoir forecasts with wells and with surface facilities and operational issues. We also present several case-studies. Operational issues include well performance, subsurface response, equipment failure rate, and downstream demands. The methodology considers the integration of reservoir production uncertainty, well performance, drilling schedule compliance, workover success, and varying surface facility variables, such as availability, uptime, and capacities.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.