Design space exploration (DSE) is a common yet complex workflow in oilfield asset development. The "design" of an oilfield refers to a set of decisions about aspects ranging from well locations and number to facility sizing for optimum production. Evaluation of alternate designs – based extensively on reservoir simulations – corresponds to the evaluation of alternate development scenarios in face of uncertainty about subsurface structure and properties. The outputs of DSE influence many decisions in the development phase of an oilfield as well as operational decisions in a producing asset. In this work, we design and implement a generic framework to support DSE workflows in oilfield asset development. Our framework provides tools and services to allow rapid specification and evaluation of multiple design candidates using multiple realizations. The framework also supports hierarchical DSE workflows that allow users to first explore a large design space using proxy models and selectively refine the simulation quality of a smaller subset of designs via fine grained, detailed simulations. The usefulness of this framework is demonstrated through a case study that considers the design problem of selecting a drilling schedule for wells in an offshore oil and gas field.

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