With the rapidly increasing costs of field development, one of the many challenges for any green or brown field development is to optimize the number and locations of development wells that would yield maximum sweep efficiency and recovery. A full field simulation model is generally constructed to assist in optimizing the development plans and in many occasions initial well planning is based on fixed well length, well orientation, well spacing, etc., before any iterative sensitivity runs are performed. It is recognized that in most cases, the decision was heavily influenced by a single reservoir property, such as permeability, without considering the effect of other inter-related parameters, such as movable oil volume, fluid viscosity, hydrocarbon pore volume, reservoir permeability-thickness and residual oil saturation. The need to analyze these variables in a structured and logical manner is therefore a challenge to ensure a technically sound decision making process. In this paper a modified approach, based on techniques already established (Molina et al., 2009), hereinafter called "Simulation Opportunity Index" (SOI) is introduced. It provides an innovative view on how a development strategy is addressed, and subsequently forms the basis of well placement optimization. All steps and equations to generate the desired indexes are discussed in this paper. We have successfully utilized industrial geological modeling software to perform the calculations and eventually generate the three main index properties in a 3D reservoir model. Using an in-house well planning tool, we can place new wells to optimize field development. This paper also presents a case study for a major oil field development in Saudi Arabia. Comparison between conventional approach and this modified technique clearly showed an improved field recovery performance.

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