To optimise production from complex field operation and systems, Shell Expro is developing a modelling toolkit where complete production system models (from the reservoir, through the wells and process facilities, to sale and export) can be quickly created and run. The Integrated Production Simulation Environment (IPSE) is a software development where a wide user community, from Sub-surface Engineering to Surface Engineering and Production Operations and Planning, can create production system models of any field. In a flexible graphical environment, IPSE will link existing discipline modelling tools and provide varying levels of modelling complexity to support the short, medium and potentially long term production system optimisation needs of Shell Expro.

This paper further describes the way in which IPSE is being developed and gives examples how IPSE will be used for optimising fields in Shell Expro.


What is Production System Modelling? A production system model, a PSM, is an integrated model and simulates the field from the reservoir, through the wells, pipelines, and process facilities, to sale or export. Using a model of a complete production system improves the understanding of complex production systems and provides an analysis tool to assist optimisation of the total system.

The Benefits of Production System Modelling. The PSM provides many benefits which are a result of focusing on the complete system, not just the individual components. The benefits are achievable throughout the development cycle, from the initial field development planning through to abandonment.

For example. a production system model can provide:

  • optimised field forecasts and activity plans.

  • quick assessments of alternate development scenarios.

  • accurate predictions of the gains from debottlenecking options.

A production system model can also assist system optimisation not only day to day for Production Operations, but also over the medium and long term planning periods for the Engineering disciplines. This will be described further with examples. Benefits in monetary terms proved to be hard quantify. Based on experience elsewhere the expected productivity gain is of the order of 1-5 % per annum.

Current Production System Modelling in Shell Expro. Integrating the discipline models is currently a manual and time consuming process, and as a result, modelling of the complete production system is uncommon. Each discipline individually models the components they are responsible for and there are few or no iterations with the other discipline models. For example, the process modelling is most often isolated from the reservoir modelling.

A production system modelling environment has not been developed previously in Shell Expro because of the complexity of developing one system with sufficient modelling functionality for all of the disciplines. However, there are a few specific production system modelling software developments in Shell Expro which each meet the need of one particular field, and often only one discipline. There is no multi-discipline tool which can be used by all fields.

As a result, some development and operational decisions are made with insufficient tools to quantify the impact on the entire system. IPSE will provide the tools to effectively support decisions and accurately predict, now and in the future, the impact of changes on the entire production system.

What is the Integrated Production Simulation Environment (IPSE)?

IPSE, the Integrated Production Simulation Environment, is a computer software development in Shell Expro. The IPSE development is creating a production system modelling environment where the user can quickly create a model of a production system.

A Toolkit Approach. IPSE will not be a purpose built production system model of one specific field or production system, but is a 'toolkit' which can be used to create a model of any production system or field. P. 191

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