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Smart Completions, Smart Wells and Smart Fields – Challenges and Potential Solutions
The promise of fully automated and intelligent oil and gas fields is very tempting. Some envision turning reservoir management into an ultimate video game with engineers, scientists and managers sitting at their workstations in the office and guiding the hydrocarbon from the reservoir into the wellbore leaving almost nothing left behind. It all started with smart completions, and then came smart wells and now it has grown into the idea of smart fields. New hardware is manufactured and being improved routinely that can be placed downhole permanently and using fiber optics and wireless technology can send high frequency (almost real-time) data streams (pressure, temperature, flow rate, acoustic signals, …) into the office. This high frequency data is dumped into data warehouses at a rate of terabytes per day.
What are the challenges that our industry face in turning this data into information and then knowledge that can be utilized to make decisions and consequently turn the decisions into action? This needs to be accomplished through a robust feedback system in almost real-time. Where are the bottlenecks? Where can we look for solutions? How can they be implemented? Are we the only industry that has faced or is facing such challenges? To overcome these challenges we have to use the technology that others such as aerospace industry, manufacturing, and the financial market have used in order to solve similar problems, successfully.
SPE R&D Technical Section Web event - Evolution of Upstream Technologies ft. Saeed Al-Mubarak
May 14, 2013 at 8:30 AM CST
Reservoir management is a continuously evolving process that adopts various technologies and strategies, to achieve a mission of maximizing total asset value. The infusion of the various technologies into the upstream industries has significantly impacted the E&P business environment. In recent years, industry has heavily turned to horizontal and multilateral wells to greatly expand reservoir contact, and thereby maximize oil production with lower unit development costs. Moreover, the appropriate use of advanced well completions has extended well life, increased productivity, and reduced field development costs when compared to conventional completions. The advancement in reservoir monitoring technologies has significantly changed from monitoring saturations around wellbores to realtime monitoring reservoir fluid dynamics.
What will come next?
- Extreme reservoir contact wells with wireless downhole control, sensing and telemetry.
- Downhole power generation and storage.
- Nano agents to collect reservoir and fluid properties directly from the reservoir.
Applying these technologies on a fit for purpose basis has further enhanced the performance of wells in general, and will greatly enhance performance of wells with challenging reservoir conditions in particular. This presentation demonstrates the evolution of various upstream technologies and their applications. The presentation also highlights the uniqueness of some applications, their implementation approach, and their potential impact on field development and production strategy. The material of the presentation is based on real data, on field observations, and on rational speculation about future trends and advances in technologies and their implementation.