Machine learning application in the oil and gas industry is rapidly becoming popular and in recent years has been applied in the optimization of production for various reservoirs. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the efficacy of advanced machine learning algorithms in reservoir production optimization.

A 3-D geological model was constructed based on permeability calculated using a machine learning technique which involved different architectures of algorithms tested using a 5-fold cross-validation to decide the best machine learning algorithm. Sensitivity analysis and a subsequent history matching were conducted using a machine learning workflow. The aquifer properties, permeability heterogeneity in different directions and relative permeability were the control variables assessed. Field development scenarios were exploited with the objective to optimize cumulative oil recovery. The impact of using a normal depletion plan to a secondary recovery plan using waterflooding was investigated. Different injection well placement locations, well patterns as well as the possibility of converting existing oil producing wells to water injection wells were exploited. Considering the outcome of an economic analysis, the optimum development strategy was realized as an outcome for the optimization process. Prior to forecasting cumulative oil production using artificial neural network (ANN) for the optimization process on the generated surrogate model, a sensitivity analysis was performed where the well location, injection rates and bottomhole pressure of both the producer and injector wells were specified as control variables. The water cut as part of the optimization process was utilized as a secondary constraint. Forecasting was performed for a 15-year period. The history-matching results from the constructed geological model showed that the oil rate, water rate, bottom hole pressure, and average reservoir pressure were matched within a 10% deviation from the observed data. In this study, the ANN optimizer was found to provide the best results for the field cumulative oil production. Using a secondary recovery development plan was observed to significantly increase the cumulative oil production. A machine learning based proxy model was built for the prediction of cumulative oil production to reduce computational time. In this study, we propose an approach applied to reservoir production optimization utilizing a machine learning workflow. This was accomplished by utilizing a surrogate model which was calibrated with a number of training simulations and then optimized using advanced machine learning algorithms. A detailed economic analysis was also conducted showing the impact of a variety of field development strategies.

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