Informed production optimization in hydrocarbon reservoirs
van den Hof, P.M.J.
The exploitation of subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs is achieved through the control of production and injection wells (i.e., by prescribing time-varying pressures and flow rates) to create conditions that make the hydrocarbons trapped in the pores of the rock formation flow to the surface. The design of production strategies to exploit these reservoirs in the most efficient way requires an optimization framework that reflects the nature of the operational decisions and geological uncertainties involved. This paper introduces a new approach for production optimization in the context of closed-loop reservoir management (CLRM) by considering the impact of future measurements within the optimization framework. CLRM enables instrumented oil fields to be operated more efficiently through the systematic use of life-cycle production optimization and computer-assisted history matching. Recently, we have proposed a methodology to assess the value of information (VOI) of measurements in such a CLRM approach a-priori, i.e. during the field development planning phase, to improve the planned history matching component of CLRM. The reasoning behind the a-priori VOI analysis unveils an opportunity to also improve our approach to the production optimization problem by anticipating the fact that additional information (e.g., production measurements) will become available in the future. Here, we show how the more conventional optimization approach can be combined with VOI considerations to come up with a novel workflow, which we refer to as informed production optimization. We illustrate the concept with a simple water flooding problem in a two-dimensional five-spot reservoir and the results obtained confirm that this new approach can lead to significantly better decisions in some cases. © 2019, The Author(s).
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Optimization and Engineering