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Technical Paper: Real-Time Surveillance and Optimization of Wells with Intelligent Completions in Ecuador

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 185513
Presentation Date: 2017
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Abstract

Producing from mature oil fields in Ecuador introduces many reservoir challenges, including multizone oil production and artificial lift demands due to high water cut. Traditionally, dual-string completions with sliding sleeves and dual electrical submersible pumps (ESP) were used to access different reservoir layers and obtain back allocation with standard surface well testing.

One operator adopted intelligent completions (IC) well design with flow control valves and gauges that allowed single-string configurations, reducing the number of ESPs required to address lift issues. Production is commingled downstream from the flow control valves that independently adjust production from each layer. Unlike traditional dual completions, this intelligent completion is versatile and simplifies workovers, precluding the need to pull the entire lower completion.

High-frequency real-time gauge data acquired from intelligent completions is applied intermittently to analyze pressure build tests and estimate reservoir properties.

The paper outlines the pilot project implemented to realize the value of the intelligent completions by monitoring production parameters (layer flow rates, water cut, and productivity index) through 24/7 surveillance and periodic optimization using a software solution.

The software was connected to a real-time data source that gathered data from intelligent completions (downhole pressure and temperature gauges, and valve position sensors) and automatically calculated drawdown, fluid gradients, etc., in real time. It enabled users to study trends in real-time and historical data, and set alarms for unexpected well production variations like increasing water cut, scaling, and slugging. During the pilot project, optimization cases were performed and presented to the production team with recommendations about choke positions to achieve the highest oil production.

Production engineers responded to the changes by modifying ESP frequency, changing valve choke positions, and cycling valves to optimize production and improve operational efficiency.

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