Over the recent years, the concept of the Intelligent Fields (I-Field) has continually been gaining an increasing attention by virtually all oil fields operators. This comes as a natural outcome of the increasing complexity of newly developed wells that provide better solutions to arising reservoir and production engineering challenges. Intelligent Fields are justified by their ability to provide solutions to minimize well intervention, optimize field performance and improve the decision-making and work efficiency. Although, uncertainty still exists as to what actual values can be realized.
Saudi Aramco has recently implemented the I-Fields concept at Haradh-III, a newly developed field within the giant Ghawar field. In the planning stage, the simulation studies have shown the performance superiority of multilateral wells equipped with smart completion. So the field was developed mainly with multilateral smart wells with permanent downhole monitoring systems and surface multiphase flow meters on each well. These systems were perfectly supplemented by a Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system making the field the first of its kind within Saudi Aramco with the ability to remotely monitor the real-time data and control both the surface and downhole valves.
This paper details the Saudi Aramco Production Engineering experience with the realized I-Field benefits both operationally and economically citing several field case studies. The I-Field has revolutionized the routine production engineering functions like well integrity and production allocations. It has created a new synergy and flow between various sectors in the Company enabling real-time assessments of operations as they are being undertaken. Also, the I-Field enabled taking the advantage of wells’ nonproductive time for regular maintenance to conduct important surveys on these wells.
The experience described in this paper represents the transition between the visionary phase to the implementation phase of the I-Field concept. It will help appreciate how convergence of employed technologies is manifested in real field situations.