Over a few short years surface control of the reservoir by intelligent well technology has become a reality allowing improved efficiencies and economics by well documented measures. Downhole control valves have evolved from simple open/close zonal control to downhole chokes that allow metering of fluid rates from or to multiple producing zones. Complementary instrumentation of the wellbore provides real time data for pressure, temperature and flow. These capabilities along with computational and communication technologies provide the necessary ingredients to allow remote control of production in a variety of settings. In addition to remote control, the opportunity also exists to automate production even to the extent of closed loop control. As the complexity of surface controlled reservoir control valves has increased, so has the frequency of operators selecting microprocessor controlled surface hydraulic control systems to manipulate the valves. With microprocessor control in place at the well location, remote control options become the next logical step in the evolution of intelligent wells. Once remote operation has been chosen, the options for system architecture and communication are quite extensive. Successful implementation is a matter of effective interface engineering between the operator and the various service providers. Lessons learned in developing remote control solutions will be presented along with an outline of the remaining steps that will be needed to implement closed loop control.

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