Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC) is facing challenges to sustain their production, which has been declining at the rate of 15% (approximate) annually. Major part of production is sustained by drilling infill wells re-completion. Pipeline network plays important role in delivering the production from wellhead to Field Processing Facility (FPF). Bottlenecks in pipeline can cause rise in wellhead pressure, which can have impact on production substantially. To identify these bottlenecks and reduce backpressure effect on network GNPOC initiated a project for de-bottlenecking of production pipeline network nine fields. A high fidelity Surface Network Model was developed for all field of GNPOC, which have more than 400 producing wells.

This surface network model will help to quickly identify and accurately quantify bottleneck and other opportunity to reduce backpressure on the system and improve production. This model will also help in further field development, pipeline tie-in / lineup, best nearby Oil Gathering Manifold (OGM) to tie-in new wells etc. The approach of building model is kept simple, robust and scalable. Scalable model will helps GNPOC to add-in well model and integrated this production model to reservoir simulator, facility model and real time data easily and quickly. The model would also assist in evaluating field operation and development plan and expedite the engineering decision process. The identified bottleneck has been ranked in order or priority (which needed immediate attention).

A totally new approach was adopted in the study in terms of the location, training and technology transfer in Sudan. The project engineer worked in close association with operation engineers from field and office. Also actual work has been partially carried out in field as well as office. This approach has given more opportunity to field operation engineers to interact with current modeling tool and technology and increase confidence level.

This paper describes the development of the surface network model for nine fields of GNPOC, technical & project management challenges faced and the way ahead. The model includes the production and transportation networks. This paper also includes major de-bottleneck areas in the production network of GPNOC and How to make effective use of this model for engineering analysis.

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