Developing an efficient and optimized field development plan is a crucial and vital task that aims to increase the productivities as well as the recovery factors of oil and gas fields and hence increase the profitability in the most effective manner. In this paper, a novel algorithm has been applied for the first time in oil & gas industry to find the best optimum well location for maximum well productivity. The Imperialist Competitive Algorithm (ICA) is an evolutionary algorithm that mimics the social political imperialist competition. In this algorithm, an initial population that consists of colonies and imperialists are assigned to several empires. The empires then compete with each other and weak empires collapse and the powerful empires possess their colonies. The ICA performance was compared with the well-known Genetic Algorithm (GA) in three optimization scenarios: 1) a vertical well in a heterogeneous reservoir, 2) a vertical well in a channeled reservoir, and 3) a horizontal well in a channeled reservoir. In all three scenarios, it was observed that the ICA resulted in better solution compared to GA at a fixed number of simulation runs.

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