Offshore oil and gas investment is identified with high investment. Considerable incentive therefore exists to reduce investment to improve field profitability. A computational method has been developed to optimize field development by minimizing investment.

Investment can be reduced through an optimal choice and arrangement of production facilities. The selection, size, and location of major facilities; such as platforms, templates, or subsea manifolds, heavily affect capital investment. The allocation of field wells to these facilities affects costs of drilling and completion. There exists an extremely large number of feasible development options that may result in a wide range of economic outcomes. Choosing the option that minimizes investment can be a major computational problem.

The solution of extremely large economic problems of this nature has not previously been reported. An integer mathematical programming computational, tool, using a method called "zero-one implicit enumeration", was developed for modeling and solving this problem. This new technique allows for efficient problem solution on the computer.

A model of an example field development was formulated. This model contains a mathematical function representing the investment to be minimized and includes design restrictions inherent to the development project. The model contained nearly 10190 combinations of development options. The application of a branch and bound algorithm allowed an optimum development choice to be selected in a relatively short time on a computer.

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