Integrated Digital-Oilfield Project - San Ardo, California
- Dennis Denney (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 43 - 44
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 126 since 2007
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This article, written by Technology Editor Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper SPE 99548, "Implementing Chevron's i-field at the San Ardo, California, Asset," by J. Ouimette, SPE, Chevron Energy Technology, and K. Oran, Chevron North America E&P, prepared for the 2006 SPE Intelligent Energy Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, 11-13 April.
This article is a case study of an integrated “digital oilfield” project. The Chevron San Ardo, California, i-field Project seeks to transform how the San Ardo steamflood is operated, focusing on better decision making for the asset and streamlined work processes for heat, well, and water management.
The San Ardo field, shown in Fig. 1, is in Monterey County, California. The field produces from the Aurignac and Lombardi unconsolidated heavy-oil (12.5°API gravity) sandstone reservoirs. The field was discovered in 1947, and Chevron has produced 257 million BO of the field total 453 million BO by use of primary, cyclic-steam, and steam-drive operations. Chevron currently produces approximately 3,000 BOPD.
Plans include increasing San Ardo production through a major capital project, which would add additional wells and associated infrastructure. The development plan comprises dewatering and depressurizing the reservoir while simultaneously expanding the number of steamflood patterns. A commercial reverse-osmosis plant would be constructed to process produced water.
The San Ardo project design focuses on automated, optimized workflows resulting in better integration, enhanced decision making, and reliable field execution. New technology is critical. The approach is as follows.
- Identify critical outcomes for success.
- Identify key work processes that need to occur in heat, well, and water management.
- Identify input/output “connectors” between these work processes for which integration and collaboration are critical to reliable execution in the field.
- Identify specific behaviors that drive results.
- Use a “trajectory and signpost” approach for optimizing short-term decisions with longer-term reservoir-management tools.
- Identify preferred alternatives for transforming each key work process. For each work process, include necessary hardware, instrumentation, decision-support software, collaboration, change management, and new-technology requirements.
- Sustain competitive advantages that result from project innovations by systematically securing intellectual-property rights.
- Create a phased-execution plan to capture value in time for the major field-development project.
- Integrate R&D efforts where technology gaps exist.
- Share lessons learned to accelerate change at other locations.
The most important value measures for this project include the following.
- Safety—injury- and incident-free operations.
- Production—increasing production while minimizing lost or deferred production.
- Operating-expense-per-barrel reduction—savings related to performing the same task or arriving at the same decisions but with lower operating expense, improved capital efficiency, and improved well/facility use.
- Workforce capability—developing capability for the field to enhance business performance for the current- and next-generation workforce.
Results to Date
The project team created preferred alternatives for transforming 21 work processes. For each work process, the project team included recommended necessary hardware, instrumentation, decision-support software, workflow automation, collaboration, management change, and new-technology requirements. The work processes are divided as follows.
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