The Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (GUPCO) is a leading Egyptian petroleum company. GUPCO production is primarily dependent on gas lift with 90% of its producing wells utilizing this artificial lift method, consuming more than 450 MMSCF of gas per day. One of the main hindrances to maximizing GUPCO's production is insufficient gas supply which leads to shutting in many producers resulting in significant production deferrals.

GUPCO's Base Management Team (BMT) initiated an integrated system optimization project in 2013 which combined four different technical pieces of work. It was introduced for the first time in GUPCO to ensure gas is used efficiently in the Gulf of Suez (GoS) to maximize the value of GUPCO's old data, build trust in well and surface modelling and increase BMT capabilities. The main challenges of this project were data gathering and quality, engineering capabilities in the use of Prosper and GAP modelling and lack of integration between field and office technical personnel regarding the system optimization.

Working through these challenges created tangible value through enhanced understanding of the gas sy stem, identifying additional opportunities to save gas and increased oil production. This boosted the modelling capabilities of all team members. The BMT approach was divided into four different phases as follows:

  1. Gas balance study for better understanding of the gas systems in the different areas across the GoS.

  2. Prosper modelling for gas-lifted wells that resulted in 20 gas lift valve change opportunities that lead to increased production of 1000 BOPD.

  3. GAP modelling for the production system that resulted in a 7700 BOPD potential oil gain, 16.5 MMSCFD potential gas saving and debottlenecked pipelines.

  4. Creaming curves which became a very good tool to prioritize the GL wells with respect to gas availability, evaluating well work value, and quantifying the impact of surface facilities failures and/or repairs.

Until the time of this paper, the project was in the execution phase and has resulted in saving 7 MMSCFD from optimizing gas lift injection in 8 wells. The forward plan of the project is as follows:

  1. Continue the execution phase and ensure good communication between all teams.

  2. Install recommended meters/scanners to enhance data measurement in order to ensure sy stem balance.

  3. Complete GL optimization execution in SC GoS & share the outcomes.

  4. Install MPFM on some offshore platforms which will help in evaluating the optimization.

  5. Utilize a Portable Test Package for further enhancement of system evaluation & optimization.

The objective of this paper is to show the technical processes used to initiate an integrated gas lift optimization project in the GoS and how the opportunities created will add considerable benefits to the business.

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