For decades, computer simulation has been an inevitable part of hydrocarbon reservoir development. 3D reservoir models of productive reservoirs and gathering system pipeline models exist for almost all operated fields.

The recent concept of digital oilfield relies much upon performing computer simulation in order to automate the development process. Operational field development management is one of the processes that can be automated within this concept. However, conventional computer simulation techniques based on the above-mentioned 3D reservoir models are ill-suited for automation of operational development management. This can be attributed to the fact that creating, history matching, updating, and calculations of such integrated models are very time-consuming.

Integrated models based on simplified models of productive reservoirs can be regarded as a basic means of operational field management. A case in point are models built on material balance equations. However, this approach has its drawbacks. The main problem lies in having to do double the work. One has to have two models for each productive reservoir: one model for operational development management (simplified model) and the other for conventional modeling (3D reservoir model). This paper considers solving the stated problem by transforming a conventional 3D reservoir model of a productive reservoir into a material balance model and provides comparative analysis of both modeling approaches.

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