PETRONAS completed Well H16 in BS field, East Malaysia with a Digital Intelligent Artificial Lift (DIAL) – an improvement to the current applied gas lift system in the field for production optimization system. This DIAL installation represents the first ever successful installation of the technology in an Offshore oil well for Dual String production. This paper provides the details of the installation planning, designing stages, operational process, well unloading and production undertaken to achieve this milestone.

DIAL is a unique technology that enhances the efficiency of gas lift production. Downhole monitoring of production parameters informs remote surface-controlled adjustment of gas lift valves. This enables automation of production optimization removing the need for well intervention which will be challenging in high deviation well (more than 60-degree deviation). With remotely operated, non-pressure dependent multi-valve units, the technology removes the challenges normally associated with gas-injected production operation in a dual completion well i.e., gas robbing and multi-pointing.

DIAL introduces a paradigm shift in design, installation and operation of gas lifted wells. This paper will briefly highlight the justifications of this digital technology in comparison with conventional gas lift techniques. It will consider value added from the design stage, through installation operations, to production optimization. Digitization and automation have become the new concepts in managing the operations in order to boost efficiency that reflected in long-term cost savings especially in Operating Expenditure (OPEX).

This paper focusses on a well completed in November 2020, the fourth well to be installed with the DIAL technology across PETRONAS Assets. The authors will provide details of the well strategy, installation process and production phases: system design, pre-job preparations, improvements implementation, run in hole and surface hook-up. The results of well unloading while utilizing the DIAL system to start up the well and lifting the completion brine will be explained in detail in this paper. For each phase, challenges encountered, and lessons learned will be listed together with observed benefits.

Despite the additional operational & planning complications due to COVID-19 restrictions, the well was completed with zero Non-Productive Time (NPT) and Loss Time Injury (LTI). Once brought online, this DIAL-assisted production well can be remotely monitored and controlled ensuring continuous production optimization, part of PETRONAS’ upstream digitization strategic vision.

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