Accurate individual well production rates are essential to meet corporate production target plans, optimize reservoir performance and make reservoir management decisions that may require well intervention. Short of installing rate measurement devices on each well, a "back allocation" method is generally employed to assign well production rates, using multiplying factors based on well tests conducted the month before. Apart from the inherent errors, based on the assumption that the wells produce at the same rate throughout the month, the process is also not suited for real-time field management that requires production rates to be known much more frequently.

This paper describes the implementation of a system that automates the calculation of individual well production rates using real-time pressure data from permanent sensors installed on the wells. The system, based on integrated physical models of the reservoir, well and surface network, has been successfully used to implement crude blend management in a large Saudi Arabian field, producing from three different reservoirs. The paper also describes how the system is used to automate the validation of well test measurements, allowing the engineers to focus their time on problem wells while ensuring that all wells are reviewed. In addition, field models are kept evergreen and can be utilized by different disciplines for production forecasts.

Application of the system could result in significant cost savings, due to reduction in the requirements for physical metering of well production. The system also provides unique optimization opportunities, allowing the engineer to determine the optimum settings to maximize production or revenue. Other benefits include, faster resolution of production problems due to early problem detection, focus on exceptions rather than bulk and massive troubleshooting, and zero-latency application-assisted decision making, all combining to bring real-time field management and optimization to the engineer's desktop.

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