In fulfillment of the Saudi Aramco Intelligent Field development initiative, more than 15,000 Permanent Measurement Systems (PMS) have been installed and are transmitting real-time data from both surface and subsurface to the corporate database. However, the full benefits of this investment can only be realized if systems and workflows are put in place to transform the massive amounts of data into actionable information to improve field development and performance.

This paper presents a holistic approach to the utilization of data from PMS to enable real-time field management and optimization. We show how Saudi Aramco is integrating this data into the current practices and workflows of well testing and reservoir characterization. Examples of real-time well testing workflows are presented.

The workflows take advantage of unplanned shut-ins to characterize the well and reservoir under dynamic conditions. The implementation encountered several challenges in the PMS data transmission, availability, sampling, standardization, storage, and retrieval, which are discussed. We also share our experience in resolving change management issues that arose from our attempt to synchronize the activities of various entities involved in the capture, transmission and transformation of PMS data.

The paper demonstrates how a major oil and gas company is leveraging high frequency data from Intelligent Fields to enable field management and optimization in real-time. Application of the workflows presented could result in significant cost savings, due to a reduction in the number of planned shut-ins for pressure buildup tests. In addition, the use of long production history data captured by PMS, enables the determination of not only reservoir boundaries and hydrocarbons in place, but also permeability and skin damage, which normally would require well shut-in, and consequently, loss of production from a few days to a few weeks.

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