Field development planning comprises a very complex decision making process. Due to the restricted amount of information available in this initial stage, a great amount of parameters must be estimated and analyzed to propose an adequate and profitable recovery strategy. Therefore, it is very important to develop fast and flexible methodologies with a low computational cost that into account the uncertainties related to economic circumstances to assess the risks in the decision making process.
This paper shows a new approach applied to field development planning with horizontal wells using reservoir simulation to provide coherent production/injection forecasts for the field performance assessment. In order to achieve good quality solutions, different financial scenarios must be included in the optimization procedure, regarding constraints previously imposed to the project. An economic sensitivity analysis is performed to evaluate the influence of the dynamic behavior of parameters like oil price and interest rates in the results obtained with this methodology. The procedure is applied to some selected cases with different natural drives and the results obtained will be presented.
The proposed methodology does not offer a unique solution, but a set of good alternatives to be analyzed by the management. It helps the management to identify field recovery alternatives that are less affected by changes in the economic scenario thus presenting lower risk. The procedure is fast, requiring an adequate number of simulation runs and can be easily adapted according to the characteristics and restrictions defined for each project. It can also be automated to reduce the global time required for the process.