A numerical simulator is often used as a reservoir management tool. One of its main purposes is to aid in the evaluation of number of wells, well locations and start time for wells. Traditionally, the optimization of a field development is done by a manual trial and error process. In this paper, an example of an automated technique is given.

The core in the automization process is the reservoir simulator Frontline. Frontline is based on front tracking techniques, which makes it fast and accurate compared to traditional finite difference simulators. Due to its CPU-efficiency the simulator has been coupled with an optimization module, which enables automatic optimization of location of wells, number of wells and start-up times.

The simulator was used as an alternative method in the evaluation of waterflooding in a North Sea fractured chalk reservoir. Since Frontline, in principle, is 2D, Buckley-Leverett pseudo functions were used to represent the 3rd dimension.

The areal full field simulation model was run with up to 25 wells for 20 years in less than one minute of Vax 9000 CPU-time.

The automatic Frontline evaluation indicated that a peripheral waterflood could double incremental recovery compared to a central pattern drive.

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