Full field optimisation is a key element of BP's FIELD OF THE FUTURE technology strategy aimed at delivering a capability for remote operation and remote performance management of BP's upstream producing assets. Field of today, Valhall, is a BP operated asset in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea with a track record of applying model-based optimisation technology to support production delivery.

In 2002, Valhall identified the potential business prize from using model-based optimisation technology to support operation of the Valhall platform. The opportunity arose out of the complexity of the Valhall facilities together with the potential to optimise CO2 emissions taxation as well as production. Initial application of this on-line, advisory optimisation technology indicated significant benefits yet, paradoxically, usage of the optimiser fell away gradually after approximately a 6 month period.

In 2004, in order to capture learnings for BP's FIELD OF THE FUTURE programme, the BP Exploration and Production Technology Group, together with the Valhall asset embarked on a field trial of the optimisation technology. The objectives of the field trial were two-fold:

  • To demonstrate measurable value delivery from the optimisation technology.

  • To establish the federal requirements for sustainability of the technology and associated value delivery.

Optimisation of an upstream producing asset is a cross-disciplinary process requiring close team-working and ownership of optimiser advice from all engineering disciplines, reservoir management, well performance and facilities, through to operations and commercial staff.

Working with the FIELD OF THE FUTURE business process transformation team, the field trial focused on all aspects of the people, process and technology required to deliver sustainable value. The paper discusses key conclusions from the field trial and also how the learnings will influence the way forward for this technology in BP.

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