During periods of low oil prices, profitability of field developments drops drastically. To help with this difficulty, we offer a cost-effective method of boosting hydrocarbon recovery by optimizing well locations.

A new software program has been developed to optimize vertical well placements based on the Simulated Opportunity Index (SOI). SOI is an intelligent method to identify zones with high potential for production. The production potential of an oil & gas field area is empirically calculated from basic rock and fluid properties, and from reservoir pressure as its energy capacity. In order to obtain the best results, the original SOI formula (Molina et al., 2009) was extended to both oil and gas fields.

With the new SOI software, it is possible to rank the best layers in each areal location, resulting in appropriate vertical well locations and perforated intervals in multilayer reservoirs. Furthermore, the developed software can account for the effects of existing wells and sealing faults to accommodate infill programs in brown fields and compartmentalized reservoirs.

This paper describes how the software helps in obtaining optimal solutions with better accuracy than previous studies resulting in the highest recovery for three different case studies in an oil and gas field located in offshore Indonesia. The sensitivity analysis that was performed shows a strong relationship between SOI value and recovery factor. It validates that the higher SOI values selected by the software give higher recovery factors.

The developed software could boost field development projects even in the period of low oil prices. On one hand, the proposed method could save money by minimizing the required number of wells. On the other hand, it could maximize profit by maximizing recovery.

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