Many business cases for embracing technological improvements around Smart Fields®1 "oil fields of the future," or "e-wells" have been justified by predicting an increase in production; the industry-accepted figure is approximately seven percent. In this paper we want to examine the benefits that this new way of working brings to operators and to demonstrate what can be done to measure the directly related benefits as well as the "knock-on effect" that it has other areas.

We want to examine what happens when the value loop of physical assets, data gathering, models and decision making is closed, and to identify the underlying measurable benefits which can be seen at each stage of a production optimisation process.

Most benefits boil down to "faster, cheaper, better" and that is converted to value by:

  • Reduced elapsed time to arrive at desired result – know sooner

  • Reduced amount of effort involved – number of man hours – decide faster

  • Reduced cost of effort – cost of man hour – cheaper

  • Increased quality – reduce errors, improve performance – perform better.

There is a need to determine how improvement takes place and which production items need to be considered. This paper uses a framework for identifying these and attempts to measure benefit by:

  • Determining a baseline

  • Populating historical metrics

  • Identifying new perceived metrics

  • Comparing results.

Based on experience, we can now show value by identifying the problem and addressing a need in real time. This will be demonstrated by looking at implementations in Brunei, Norway, Louisiana and some cross-project observations.

"If we don't know what we don't know, how will we know what we need to know?"

That perhaps is the big question that the smart digital oil field of the future will answer for us if we embrace the foundations of integrated work flows, which include people, processes, and technologies. This will give us the wealth of data we need to model our results and optimise our production using collaborative decision making, and, as identified, we will discover hidden benefits along the way.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.