Over-simplification of the hydraulic component of the field production gathering network can often introduce serious errors in the reservoir simulation forecast. One principal problem involves determining the number of wells required to achieve a desired production target rate. Neither the engineer nor the automated drilling queue logic in the reservoir simulator can easily determine the effects of increased surface backpressure on existing wells caused by the connection of new wells to the surface gathering network.
The integrated simulation of the reservoirs and pipeline gathering network connecting wells to the 200 MMscfd (5635 E03 m3/d) Sexsmith, Alberta sour gas processing plant demonstrates an approach taken to provide answers to problems typical of gas production operations. The paper reviews alternate approaches pursued prior to committing to the integration of a reservoir simulator and a pipeline network model. A review of the history matching procedures conducted to "tune" the linked models to match historical production rates and pressure losses in the network are presented. Information which is "passed" between models is presented as well as suggested software improvements to the integration of the reservoir and pipeline network models.