Intelligent digital oilfield (iDOF) operations include the transfer, monitoring, visualization, analysis, and interpretation of real-time data. Enabling this process requires a significant investment to upgrade surface, subsurface, and well instrumentation and also the installation of a sophisticated infrastructure for data transmission and visualization. Once upgraded, the system then has the capability to transfer massive quantities of data, converting it into real information at the right time.

The transformation of raw data into information is achieved through intelligent, automated work processes, which are referred to here as "smart flows," which assist engineers in their daily well surveillance activities, helping make them more productive and improve decision making. A major oil and gas operator in the Middle East has invested in such an infrastructure and is developing a set of smart flows for key activities and work flows for its production operations, with the ultimate goal of improved asset performance.

The project includes a smart flow to monitor, diagnose, and optimize wells that include electric submersible pumps (ESP); 50% of the wells in this field use ESPs. The ESP smart flow includes leading-edge technologies, such as: variable speed drive controller, subsurface equipment and sensors, advanced diagnostics based on artificial-intelligence agents, analysis of sensors signals, and automatically identifying ESP optimum operating conditions.

Using a steady-state nodal-analysis model combined with an artificial intelligent technique, the ESP smart flow is designed to provide rapid diagnostics and optimization in real time, generating actions, such as decreasing and increasing the pump frequency and choke setting. The ultimate benefit is to detect the signals that foresee unexpected well downtime and predict ESP system pump failures. The paper describes the main functionalities of the ESP smart flow as a powerful optimization tool that is capable of providing an interactive monitoring system that can assist operations personnel in managing ESP-operated wells.

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