Intelligent wells are widely used around the world and they have the potential to significantly improve oil production or control water production of wells and fields. However, in many cases, the definition of the number and position of valves is still made considering only the well without evaluating if the decision to use them can change other important aspects of the production strategy. This article presents a study to evaluate some relevant aspects of the inclusion of intelligent wells in a more global study of production strategy selection. Such inclusion is an important step in the precise evaluation of the benefits of intelligent valves. The methodology comprises the economic optimization of a production strategy under different limits of platform flow capacity, the optimization of the number and position of valves (intelligent wells), including and excluding conventional well operation. This study was applied to the UNISIM-I-D benchmark case, starting with a previously optimized production strategy, regarding type, number and position of wells, well-opening sequence and platform flow capacity in 9 different geological scenarios. The optimization methodology uses a complex workflow to test different strategy alternatives using a genetic algorithm and a methodology to optimize the number and position of valves. We showed that the use of intelligent wells can significantly alter the water flow capacity and the operational design of wells. However, for this specific case, the use of intelligent wells was not able to modify oil production and water injection flow capacity. Intelligent well application was viable for 7 out of 9 geological scenarios with the number of valves varying from 1 to 14. The intelligent-well application improved the total NPV from 0% to 1.5%. The platform water flow capacity could be reduced by at least 30% if intelligent valves were implemented. These results are quite different when a less precise optimization methodology is applied, yielding an overestimation of an intelligent well. To conclude, the application of intelligent wells was viable for most of the scenarios. Although intelligent wells present low impact on NPV, they can modify the design of platform capacity significantly. This fact suggests that the optimization of intelligent wells must be combined with the optimization of the platform water flow capacity and the conventional well operation optimization. This work provides important information for reservoir engineers who use reservoir simulation to optimize production strategy. Currently, in many cases, intelligent wells are only evaluated after the selection of the platform design. We have proved that the combined optimization can yield a different production strategy design. In addition, we have also proved that the evaluation of intelligent wells viability without an adequate optimization of conventional well operation overestimated the number and the value of valves.

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