This study objective was to design a functionally integrated digital enhanced oil recovery (ID-EOR) solution enabling pseudo-real-time optimization of injection and production networks to help improve asset performance and maximize net present value.
ID-EOR indicators for each business process (e.g., injected fluid-to-oil ratio, productivity index, and recovery factor), automation opportunities, workflow logic and characteristics, flow diagrams, and mathematical models were identified and mapped for injection and production processes. A swim lane- based approach was selected to structure the various automated workflows. The swim lanes are (i) injector well short-term diagnoses and network regular update, (ii) reservoir model, (iii) production network regular update, and production well short-term diagnoses. A set of engineered workflows would perform a series of tasks delivering outputs that ultimately provide the users with diagnosis and/or recommendations. Workflows can be run individually or in tandem, and goals can be met by making decisions at the well, network, and reservoir levels, or with all the levels integrated.
One of the challenges to further advance ID-EOR solutions is the lack of quantitative data. Based on proprietary information, literature research, and stochastic analysis, 20 to 60% cost or resource reduction in fuel, power, maintenance and operations can be realized using digital workflows and automation. Stochastic analysis pointed to positive P50 present value of hundreds of millions of dollars, and negligible risk of unprofitability. In other words, the results obtained provided realistic expectations of benefits from digitalization and automation in the short, medium, and long terms.
ID-EOR solutions offer a path to increased profitability while reducing economic and operational project risks. The sensors, data transmission, processing, and storage technologies necessary are available, and most methods have been tested individually and/or partially integrated. The next step is a full integration trial in the field.
While almost fully integrated digital solutions have been previously implemented for waterflooding, this new concept design introduces a novel integrated digital solution to gather and diagnose data and make timely operational and engineering decisions to meet planned injection and production targets in EOR projects, and maximize the economic benefits.