Abstract

It is difficult to change the operating culture and its equilibrium in an oil field, especially when the price of oil and profits are high. This paper discusses the challenges faced while implementing a digital oilfield concept for production optimization at Joint Operations (JO) in Kuwait. The operations are in the onshore Partitioned Zone, an area between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. This operation is unique in that it is operated jointly under separate concessions from two countries, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and involves a private player working alongside a national oil company during day-to-day operations. The production is from fields bordering Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and is staffed and funded equally by Saudi Arabian Chevron Inc. (SAC) and the Kuwait Gulf Oil Co. (KGOC). Some of the Chevron employees that rotate every 3 to 5 years from this location are familiar with the concept of the digital oil field (DOF). JO has set up a control center in the field. Approximately 50% of the wells are ‘on SCADA,’ meaning that the data from these wells are monitored in real time. JO wanted to implement real-time optimization, which would provide the engineers a tool at their desktop to monitor and optimize their wells in real time. The foremost challenge was to get all employees to adapt to a DOF concept. Several strategies have been considered to gain greater acceptance and usage of the DOF, some of which have yielded short-term gains. There is an attempt to generate greater user interest by providing daily reports from the software to show wells that are down along with their alarms. These wells are not part of the differed oil production. This paper discusses such strategies in addition to creating a sense of urgency, a top-down management approach and individual one-on-one training sessions, among others.

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