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SPE 39754

D . .

Society of Petroleum Engineefe

“Survival of the Fittest” an Optimised Well Location Algorithm for Reservoir Simulation
G. Santellani, AGIP S.p.A., B. Hansen, Norsk Agip, and T. Herring, Norsk Agip

Copyrfght 1998, Socieiy of Petroleum Engin-rs, ~ls pawr Integrated 1e98. was prepared for presenta!lon Mcdelling for Asset Management


at the 1998 SPE Asia Pacific Conference on held In Kuela Lumpur, Malaysia, 23-24 March

geological descriptions and development scenarios have to be verified in short time, such as geostatistical realizations. The technical advantages of such a process are: . Consistent methodologies allow for true comparison between models. . Added value and reserves when compared to the traditional manual procedure. . Significant time saving. Introduction Currently, the use of a 3D reservoir simulator is recognized as one of the primary tool in defining the optimum production strategy in complex fields. Simulation is the only way to describe quantitatively the flow of multiple phases in heterogeneous reservoirs. The 3D simulator proves to be particularly important when it comes to the planning of number of production wells and their locations. Unfortunately, this process normally means a tedious and costly trial and error process, where the final result depends on the ability of the reservoir engineer to fully understand the reservoir behavior and the operational Iimits. This paper presents an alternative approach to the manual optimization of the production well locations in a 3D simulator model. This approach is automated and combines the simulation model with an external optimization code. The code follows a procedure similar to the natural selection and applies the principle of survival of the fittest to all the vertical production wells that is possible to generate in the simulation grid. The selection process works in steps. At the end of every step, a fitness function is defined for each production well based on results of a production forecasts. Automatic well location routine The optimization program has been built in connection with the in house 3D simulation model, however the code is general in nature and could be adapted to any commercial simulator changing the reading format of the data. The routine is a combination of FORTRAN codes and simulation runs. A UNIX script controls and execute the FORTRAN codes and simulation runs. The optimization 255 process is divided in three phases:

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Abstract Traditionally, the optimization of well locations using a numerical simulator is time demanding and based on a manual trial end error process, This paper develops an automated technique to locate production wells. The automatic process is based on an algorithm that combines a 3-D simulation model with an external optimization code. The process is genetic in nature. Starting from a maximum well count, it proceeds in steps selecting a set of wells at the end of each 3-D simulation forecast and stops when a desired number of produci ng wells is reached. Two applications of the automatic well location process are presented. The first example considers the Ekofisk field, the largest oil field in the Norwegian sector of the North sea, with more than 20 years of production, water and gas injection. In this case, 32 new well locations have been automatically identified. The second example applies the process to the Sm@rbukk field, a very complex sandstone reservoir with oil and gas condensate layers and dry gas reinfection. 18 well locations have been automatically defined and connected to 6 subsea templates. In both cases, it has been possible to manage specific topics related to the field and to obtain a large increase in the economic value, accelerating the production and increasing the final field recovery significantly. The total process run time does not exceed 24 hours. This new methodology proved to be reliable and quick and is strongly recommended in studies where complex simulation work is required to optimize well locations and when different

No wells were completed in the mature water flooded areas of the field and in the surrounding aquifer. The ‘~tness function” has to be defined by the reservoir engineer according to the final purpose of the reservoir study. simple constraints were introduced during the well generation phases I and 11: 1. At the end of the production forecast the wells are ranked according to a ‘~tness finction” and a new simulation input file is written deleting a defined number of wells according to the well ranking then a new run is submitted. This third phase is the real optimization phase where the final selection is made. or more complex functions. It can simply be function of the well final hydrocarbon recoveries or function of the discounted well production rates.optimization code The 3D model is constructed in 33 X 40 X 12 grid and takes approximately 45 min. does not have other production wells within a maximum well distance R it has to be kept for the next run The Fust condition avoids deleting a well when its production is reduced due to nearby wells and allows a double check in poor production areas. like the fluid saturations. Several parameters.reservoir description The Ekofisk field was discovered in late 1969 . At the end of phase I.3 or reducing below 4 the number of layers open for each wells. Both conditions were chosen on the base of a series of sensitivities runs. During this phase the process is completely automatic without any manual intervention once it starts. Phase III. It then generates all the possible vertical production wells connecting the selected grid blocks. in the list of wells that have to be deleted. For instance. Optionally. can be selected by the user to determine if a block should to be open to production. As the 3D models are updated based on the new results from the completed wells new locations are also be reviewed for drilling.2 G. for each active block of the grid. the water cut. In order to assure an acceptable two subroutines verify that: areal distribution of the wells if in the list of wells that have to be deleted there are more than one well within a given interference radius r the ‘~ttest” is kept for the next run. Ekofisk field . Both conditions could be turned off assuming the radii r and R smaller than the minimum grid block dimension. based on and potential production petrophysical properties performances. No significant changes in the final well locations were demonstrated by starting from a larger number of wells using a water saturation limit lower than 0. a selection based on well properties could be introduced to reduce the number of vertical wells to be processed during the third phase. wellgeneration. with the purpose to avoid an early water breakthrough and to reduce the number of wells and consequently the CPU time required during the 3D simulation runs. dynamic optimization. static wel[ screening. The current Ekofisk II redevelopment entails the installation of two new platforms at the Ekofisk complex. 2. HANSEN AND T. The second conditions guarantee a minimum well distribution. . Because it was the fwst application of the process. One new wellhead platform with 50 slots..3 could be open to production. Penalties related to excessive water or gas production can be add in the function to match the field production constraints. the well selection could be based on a minimum number of layers open to production or the well production potential. At least 4 layersblocks should be completed for each well. methods are required to quickly reevaluate well locations based on current reservoir characterization. At the end of this first phase an input file for the simulation model is built and a grid map displaying the new well locations is generated. B. Only the grid blocks with a water saturation less than 0. The main objective of this phase is to reduce CPU time and computer memory required during Phase III. This was the underlying challenge which is addressed in this work. CPU run time for the forecast case. if the field does not have any production history. AII the information needed at this stage are read. During the redevelopment with 50 new wells to be drilled. SANTELLANI. from the output files at the end of the initialization process. q If a well. At the end of this phase a new input file for the simulation model is built and a grid map displaying the well locations is generated. All wells are open . During this phase thecode makesa ~“d blocks selection according to given constraints. during the production forecast. Phase II. During its lifetime the field has undergone various phase developments from initial natural depletion to full field water injection. at the same time to allow a fair selection. the gas oil ratio or the gas water ratio. Ekofisk field . and one new Processing platform. HERRING q SPE39754 Phase I. for instance the production potential. The iteration process stops when a pre-defined number of wells is reached. the user can optionally decide to start directly the third phase of the process or to enter the second phase. Figures 1 shows the simulation grid with the 562 vertical well locations obtained at the fist step of the process. either from the 3D simulation output files at the end of the history match or. 18 of the original 50 wells have already been approved for drilling and 11 of these are in production. No new wells are completed in blocks already containing existing wells to avoid calculation problems. A simulation run is submitted with the production well locations resulting from the previous phases.

Manually moving the automatic optimized well locations in the surrounding grid blocks led. Although. located in nearby grid block cells. The 3D simtiation forecasts were run until December 2030. for each step of the process. Figures 2 to 8 show the optimal well locations determined at each of the eight steps of the process. in all cases. The dynamic well selection phase was run in parallel for each of the six production templates. To complete the automatic well location routine 9 steps. injection removingladding injectors were conducted. is located approximately 200 Km of the cost of Mid-Norway. For instance. At least 4 layers/blocks should be completed for each well. result of a seismic Iithology study. a subroutine was written to automatically connect.reservoir description The Sm@rbukk field. compared with the previous well locations. in the simulation model. Figure 9 presents the comsponding field recovery factors versus number of wells. The field production strategy-is divided in two stages. The manual methodology took approximately 2 man months to obtain the same locations. Using the automatic well location process. The reservoir study focused essentially on optimizing the future production well locations for each subsea template and to verify the total number of wells for a complete exploitation of the field. Four drilled wells were considered fixed as the ~=~ . Thus not only verifying the methodology used but also providing confidence in past Iocation decisions. 2. and to run the field production forecasts under surface production limits. We refer to them as: “Deterministic”. The 18 wells which had previously been approved and completed all were located within 200-300 meters of the optimum location of the code. In this way it has been possible to properly simulate the production constraints associated to each subsea template. well generation and static screening: 1. Figures 11 12 and 13 present the final well location generated by the automatic well location process for each of the tree To verify the location routine several tests were made. during the gas export phase. During this phase. with a high oil and gas recovery acceleration. Only the grid blocks with a water saturation equal to the irreducible water saturation were open to production. were required fir a total running time of about 20 ~U hours. “Seismic”.optimization code Phase I and II. over 450 possible locations. discovered in 1985. like the production start up time. considerable reducing the overall time to perform the simulation study” and increasing the net present value of the project. Figures 10 shows the Sm@rbukk field simulation grid with the vertical well locations obtained at the fist step of the process. avoiding an early water production and gas breakthrough. each well to the closest subsea template and to assign the corresponding well flow performance table. for each of the three different geological models. In addition. The remaining 18 wells have previously been approved for drilling. The major difference is that using the optimization code the results were available within 24 hours. could be effectively replaced by a single advanced well. Two production templates will be added and aIl the injection wells will be converted to producers. “Stochastic”. When this number is reached the process automatically ends. 32 vertical wells have been located with a large increase in the 3D model final field recovery compared with the old manual locations. With these constraints. 450 production vertical wells were generated in the 3D simulation grid. A maximum number of four wells can be connected to each subsea template. At the end of the production forecasts the wells belonging to each subsea template were ranked separately. to a final recovery lower than that of the optimization code.SPE 39754 “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” AN OPTIMISED WELL LOCATION ALGORITHM FOR RESERVOIR SIMULATION 3 With the purpose to maximize the final field recovery. a watercut limit of 90% was used as shut-in criteria for the production wells. manually defined. Smarbukk field . the were choose equal to the well final ‘~tness function” hydrocarbon recovery expressed in barrels of oil equivalent (BOE). however sensitivities of well locations. The first stage is a liquid production phase with four subsea production templates. inclusive of 3D simulation forecasts. Because of the high geological uncertainties three different geological models were incorporated in the 3D simulation grid. In figures 7 and 8 several vertical wells. Using the automatic well location process. or equal to a combination of the well final oil and gas recoveries. classical parameters mapping based on well data. No wells could be located in the two nearest blocks surrounding existing gas injection and production wells 3. 18 new vertical well locations have been defined. during the initial liquid production phase. based on a ‘fitness function” set equal to the well final oil recovery. most of produced gas is reinfected in the field for pressure maintenance. A plot of hydrocarbon recovery versus number of wells was obtained for the entire field and for every production subsea template allowing an easy display of the incremental recovery associated to each production well and consequently an objective way to define the final number of wells required for the field development. Sm@rbukk field . It was possible to obtain a good indication about possible horizontal or multilateral well paths identifying the areas with a high production potential from the vertical well location maps. only vertical wells could be generated. In addition to this verification an additional case was made starting from the original 50 wells to be drilled in Ekofisk. The second stage is mainly intended for gas export. This result is actually not entirely surprising as the analysis is based on the same 3D model. The find number of well locations was set to 32. one of the most probable realizations of a geostatistical study.

D.W. Rian D.. 3< presented at the 1994 SPE International Petroleum Conference Veracruz. . SANTELLANI. The wells with consistent locations are the wells with less associated risks and were recommended to be prioritized in the drilIing list. Norsk Hydro Production AS. Fina Expiration Norway SCA.. Elf Petroleum Norge AS. Use of the method in various geological realizations leads to a prioritization of low risk ~’ells ‘which are consistently obtained in similar locations. and Exhibition.: “Field Development Planning Using Simulated Annealing ‘ Optimal Economic Well Scheduling and Placement. The well locations which are selected have proven to be correct in the since that the same locations have been selected using traditional methods... Beckner B. ... Sen. and Song X. 3. Discussion The results of this work are of a very practical nature. HERRING WE 39754 different geological models. HANSEN AND T. ....” paper SPE 28716 \ Fig.... Phillips Petroleum Co. Obviomly the locations are only as accurate as the simulation model used to define them. . . The opinions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the partner companies.A. MrinaI. .. .. 1 .: “Stochastic Reservoir Modeling Using Simulation Annealing and Genetic Algorithms.. B.’ paper SPE 24754 presented at the 1992 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. The question of whether or not well locations defined with our automatic routine are truly the optimum in a rigorous sense is valid and has not been addressed..A..S. TOTAL Norge. Mexico. 22-25 October. Lake L. K. . The time savings of the method is significant and allows well optimization to be utilized on a much larger scale.. . 4.... Akhil Datta-Gupta.. and Pope G.A.. U.. .. and this wilI remain the weakest link. References 1.L. Washington. The objective of improving the efficiency of locating wells has been met leading to increased value of the asset..C. An automated technique to optimize vertical production well locations in 3D simulation models as been defined proving to be a powerful and robust tool 2. few production wells were obtained in the same location in all the geological modeIs. Neste Petroleum..’ paper SPE 30650 presented at the 1995 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. . 258 well locations. ... Automatic . .Ekofisk field..L. Conclusions 1.T and Hage Asmund: “Automatic Optimization of well bcations” in a North Sea Fractured Chalk Reservoir Using a Front Tracking Reservoir Simulator. Statiol..S. 10-13 October. vertical well location process step 1.. Mobil Exploration Norway. TX. 2. Due to the large differences in the permeability distribution and absolute values. Dallas. Saga Petroleum for permission to publish this paper..m .4 G. Stoffa P. 4’7 October. It is recommended that this procedure be used in connection with geostatistic realizations in order to evaluate well risk and overall reserves in alternative reservoir descriptions.. Acknowledgments The authors wish to thank the management of the Ekofisk and Sm@rbukk fieId partner companies.... Verification using traditional methods confirms the validity of the results.. U..

Ekofisk field.Ekofisk field... well locations..... vertical well location process step 2.. . i. Automatic .. 2 .. .. .. well locations. Automatic .. 5 ... .. 4.Ekofisk field..... vertical well location process step 5.. vertical wetl location process step 3. well locations.SPE 39754 “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” AN OPTIMISED WELL LOCATION ALGORITHM FOR RESERVOIR SIMULATION 5 .. Fig. Automatic Fig.. 259 well locations...{~&.... 3 .i.* .. Automatic Fig... .. . vertical well location process step 4.. ““”””’””””””””’””””PWJ Fig..Ekofisk field..

...... 8 .. : ... 7 . well locations.....6 G.. vertical well location process step 7. .. Final hydrocarbon recovery. Automatic Fig..: :. expressed in barrels of oil equivalerit (BOE)...Ekofisk field..Ekofisk field....... well locations. HANSEN AND T.. HERRING SPE 39754 *“” .. AUTOMATIC WELL LOCATION PROCESS 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 . final vertical Automatic well location process step 8... .. Fig.. and final O-ii recovery versus number of wells... SANTELLANI.+ . EKOFISK FIELD. W’T “’”~-~... B... 6 . Automatic 260 Fig...... ..... 9 . ... well locations.. + ...Ekofisk field.Ekofisk field. .. ..’’” NUMBER OF WELLS Fig.. vertical well location process step 6...

. F]g..Smorbukk field. As a result of the automatic well iocation process applied to the “Stochmtlc” model.Smarbukk field. Fig.SPE 39754 “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” AN OPTIMISED WELL LOCATION ALGORITHM FOR RESERVOIR SIMULATION 7 .. As a result of the automatic weil location process applied to the “Deferminhtic” geological model. final vertical well Iocations. .lI location process step 1. M m. 10. final verticai well iocations. Areas belonging to different subsea production templates.. Fig.. . As a result of the automatic well location process applied to the “Seismic” model.Smarbukk field. vertical well locations. Automatic w. 11. 12. Fig..Smarbukk field.. final verticai weli locations. . “. L“ 9C 1 . 13. .