This paper presents a knowledge-based system (KBS) for the identification of problems in producing wells. The KBS is based on a general Well Problems Analysis (WPA) methodology that entails three main activities: verification of a problem's existence, identification of a preliminary set of possible problems, refinement of the most plausible problem(s). The relevant experts’ knowledge has been formalized by means of a classification approach based on the organization of all problems in a hierarchy of classes and, by associating the corresponding symptomatology with them. The system, validated at the company headquarters, is currently in use in the operating districts.

The system is a part of a more comprehensive project, called PROGRESS (PRoduction Optimization inteGRated Expert SystemS), aimed at providing a decision support system for well production optimization.

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