A significant challenge facing companies implementing digital oilfield technologies is integration. Instrumentation delivers vast quantities of high frequency downhole and surface real-time data over the life of a well. Integrating this data into engineering applications and workflows to capture its value is often a manual, time-intensive process. This is particularly true when data needs to cross functional boundaries or disciplines, such as integrating production data gathered by real-time systems into reservoir simulation and history matching processes. Currently, field-specific or even engineer-specific processes lead to inefficient use of real-time data.

We describe the development and implementation within BP's Field of the Future Program of a software application for automatically transforming real-time production data into a simulation-ready format for reservoir management. The web-based application allows access to multiple, different databases and data files that store measured or derived dynamic subsurface data. It provides a sustainable, standardized process by streamlining the most common activities of updating simulation models, including data access, retrieval, merging, transformations, quality control, and formatting. The application is built on principles of service-oriented architecture and component-based, plug-in technologies, providing well-defined boundaries and interfaces between application components and extensibility for adding new simulation data sources, formats, and workflows.

The application has been implemented for nine BP assets in 2009. It has been used by reservoir engineers to increase the update frequency of simulation models with production data, and has reduced the time required for updates to minutes compared to days in previous manual processes. Expansions to functionality and automation, and further at-scale deployments are ongoing.

By automating data access, retrieval, quality control, and formatting, the time required to update simulation models with historical data is greatly reduced, giving reservoir engineers more time to focus on critical engineering tasks. The shortened time for data preparation enables more frequent model updates, mitigating risks associated with decisions based on outdated reservoir model predictions. In addition, the application provides a consistent, sustainable process for model updating and data quality assurance. Typical benefits of a standardized tool are also realized, including reduced training requirements and access to a defined workflow.

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