This study investigated the feasibility of coupling a subsurface numerical reservoir simulator (POWERS) with a surface network modeling simulator, to assist in making better field management decisions according to business need. Coupled simulation models have two advantages over uncoupled models. First, interdependence of the reservoir and surface facilities are properly modeled in coupled simulation models to accommodate rapid variations in production strategies. Coupled simulation models are likely to give more accurate production forecasts compared with modeling the reservoir or the surface separately. Second, given that most surface network modeling tools have a built-in optimizer, it is possible to allocate rates among wells based on a user's objective optimizing function, — e.g., reducing or maintaining a water-cut level for a given production target — taking into consideration any system production constraints applied on a well, a group of wells or trunkline levels. To improve the quality of simulation results, a new algorithm is implemented in POWERS to calculate the inflow performance relationship (IPR), based on drainage pressure, i.e., a reservoir pressure calculated as the average of several neighboring cells in the simulation model as opposed to the single cell pressure. The current study shows that it is feasible to run coupled POWERS-surface network models and gain the benefit from the optimization algorithm of the surface network modeling tool.

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