Sour gas injection operation has been implemented in Tengiz since 2008 and will be expanded as part of a future growth project. Due to limited gas handling capacity, producing wells at high GOR has been a challenge, resulting in potential well shutdowns. The objective of this study was to establish an efficient optimization workflow to improve vertical/areal sweep, thereby maximizing recovery under operation constraints. This will be enabled through conformance control completions that have been installed in many production/injection wells.

A Dual-Porosity and Dual-Permeability (DPDK) compositional simulation model with advanced Field Management (FM) logic was used to perform the study. Vertical conformance control was implemented in the model enabling completion control of 4 compartments per well. A model-based optimization workflow was defined to maximize recovery. Objective functions considered were incremental recovery 1) after 5 years, and 2) at the end of concession. Control parameters considered for optimization are 1) injection allocation rate, 2) production allocation rate, 3) vertical completion compartments for injectors and producers. A combination of different optimization techniques e.g., Genetic Algorithm and Machine-Learning sampling method were utilized in an iterative manner.

It was quickly realized that due to the number of mixed categorical and continuous control parameters and non-linearity in simulation response, the optimization problem became almost infeasible. In addition, the problem also became more complex with multiple time-varying operational constraints. Parameterization of the control variables, such as schedule and/or FM rules optimization were revisited. One observation from this study was that a hybrid approach of considering schedule-based optimization was the best way to maximize short term objectives while rule-based FM optimization was the best alternative for long term objective function improvement. This hybrid approach helped to improve practicality of applying optimization results into field operational guidelines.

Several optimization techniques were tested for the study using both conceptual and full-field Tengiz models, realizing the utility of some techniques that could help in many field control parameters. However, all these optimization techniques required more than 2000 simulation runs to achieve optimal results, which was not practical for the study due to constraints in computational timing. It was observed that limiting control parameters to around 50 helped to achieve optimal results for the objective functions by conducting 500 simulation runs. These limited number of parameters were selected from flow diagnostics and heavy-hitter analyses from the pool of original 800+ control parameters.

The novelty of this study includes three folds: 1) The model-based optimization outcome obtained in this study has been implemented in the field operations with observation of increased recovery 2) the hybrid optimization of both schedule and operation rule provided practicality in terms of optimization performance as well as application to the field operation 3) provides lessons learned from the application of optimization techniques ranging from conventional Genetic Algorithm to Machine-Learning supported technique.

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