The increasing complexity of natural gas extraction because of reducing reserves, complex behavior and more intricate contractual rules (due to liberalization of the West European energy markets) creates a need for more effective production efficiency. In order to deal with these challenges Wintershall is realizing a real-time monitoring system to optimize production for its (Southern) North Sea fields.

As part of this initiative Wintershall and TNO Science and Industry are developing a model-based advisory tool that uses real-time production monitoring data to optimize production. This paper describes deployment of that tool to optimize production from reservoir to export of one of Wintershall’s North Sea assets. The tool is being used for early event detection, intelligent condition monitoring and support of operators and engineers to make informed decisions that have direct added value to operations.

The cases in the paper show the system’s applicability for early detection of deviation of the measured productivity indices from the mass balance controlled dynamic model predictions and optimizing downtime of wells by mitigating effects of salt precipitation and optimal water washing procedures.

Next to the case data, data preprocessing and validation, two key aspects of the development of the tool will be discussed. Firstly, we will discuss how (dynamic) models are used in model-based monitoring methods that provide the operator with crucial information about production. Secondly, the paper will present a framework that was used to create distinct levels of production monitoring functionality. Next to this, the paper will present application results and validation of the results obtained.

E&P is nowadays getting more familiar with the potential benefits of integrated asset modeling, intelligent monitoring, production optimization and integrated operations – while at the same time it is experiencing many challenges associated with its successful implementation. We feel the work presented in this paper underlines these benefits and offers valuable lessons learned about a successful implementation case.

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