Many oil and gas companies are joining the wave of forward looking operators implementing intelligent well and smart field technologies to improve their ability to optimise production, minimize expenses, and improve reserve recovery. Much has been written about the application of these technologies and steps to successful installation of the hardware. But the real value of intelligent wells and smart field systems come from the ongoing exploitation of the new technology in day to day operations. This paper compares the methods of reservoir surveillance and production optimisation in the "old world" to those of the next generation intelligent fields. Successful exploitation of the new technologies requires an understanding of information flow, control and automation capabilities, knowledge management, interpersonal communications, and decision processes to develop performance indicators, workflows, philosophies and protocols suitable for the fields of the future.

Three core elements are explored in the intelligent field workflow: the reservoir management philosophy, the production surveillance capabilities, and the operating guidelines. The requisite components of these elements are reviewed in the context of intelligent field capabilities. The concept of intelligent well and intelligent field optimization is explored examining the most recent developments in proxy modeling and feed-forward control technologies applied to well and reservoir management.

The value of these new optimisation tools will come not just from fine tuning of steady state conditions, but more likely from being able to react quickly to changes in operating conditions, whether reservoir, well or facilities related, to find optimum production solutions in near real time.

The concepts discussed in this paper are applicable to all intelligent well and smart field applications, particularly to those planning to implement "real-time" reservoir optimisation strategies. The information presented will provide a roadmap for the development of these strategies and protocols in the context of the smart field environment.

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