(733g) Dynamic Optimisation of Water-Injection Wells Operation for Enhanced Oil Production from a Mature Oil and Gas Field | AIChE

(733g) Dynamic Optimisation of Water-Injection Wells Operation for Enhanced Oil Production from a Mature Oil and Gas Field


Epelle, E. - Presenter, University of Edinburgh
Gerogiorgis, D., University of Edinburgh
Field engineers in the oil and gas industry are constantly faced with the challenge of maintaining profitability amidst several operational constraints whose effects span a wide spectrum of timescales. Given the inevitably high environmental and financial stakes associated with the exploration and production of an oil and gas prospect, there is a strong incentive to enhance hydrocarbon recovery and production via systematic, model-based optimisation approaches [1-3]. In further response to this challenge, the application of sophisticated simulation methodologies to comprehensively ocapture the reservoir behaviour, multiphase flows (in wellbores and flowlines) [4-5] and gas-oil-water separation in the processing facilities is of exceptional industrial as well as academic interest. Liquid loading in gas wells and artificial lift design considerations, reservoir pressure maintenance via water injection, gas/water coning during production from deviated wells, pressure drop and liquid holdup of multiphase mixtures in highly deviated flowlines are some of the specific features of the problem which are frequently encountered and known to affect its complexity.

Simulation of these prevalent subsurface and surface phenomena does not always guarantee an accurate prediction of the onset of these problems, let alone the trouble-free operation of an existing petroleum field. In order to tackle the shortcomings and thus improve the fidelity of the currently employed models, it is necessary to also combine robust optimisation methods with these oil and gas CFD simulations [6-7]. This combination of simulation and optimisation algorithms increases the order of complexity due to model nonlinearity, non-convexity and the presence of discrete variables. There has been an increasing number of contributions in the application of optimisation techniques to field production, and this can be attributed to the advances in the development of specialised algorithms and accompanying computational power. To date, most of these attempts have focused on fields undergoing primary production through predominantly vertical wells [1-3].

This paper advances the state of the art in this field by formulating a production optimisation problem, via simultaneous consideration of production and injection wells with both vertical and deviated (inclined/horizontal) well geometries. A field undergoing secondary production (Enhanced Oil Recovery, EOR) is considered in this study. We use multiphase flow and reservoir simulation software in order to compute flowrates and pressure drops in wellbores and flowlines of the considered production network; extra measures are taken to ensure all flowlines are free from hydrate and wax at the prevalent temperature and pressure conditions. The problem is solved as a nonlinear program (NLP), comprising an economic objective function and several constraints to ensure operational feasibility. The adopted optimisation technique yields a reasonable increase in oil production compared to the usual and direct application of a black-box simulator. This also translates to an increased NPV with the current oil price, thus demonstrating the efficiency of the proposed method as a value addition tool.


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