Employing Smart Flow Control Valves for Fast Closed-Loop Reservoir Management

Published: 06/12/2023

Schlumberger Oilfield Services


Traditional reservoir management relies on irregular information gathering operations such as surface sampling and production logging, followed by one or several treatment operations. The availability of both diagnosis and the prescribed remedial operations can cause severe delays in the reservoir management cycle, increasing unplanned downtime and impacting cash flow. These effects can be exacerbated in remote and offshore fields where well intervention is time-intensive.

A new, innovative, all-electric, flow control valve (FCV) is now a reality for smart completions. This can support any well penetration scenario including multiple zones per lateral in maximum reservoir contact wells and multitrip completion in extended-reach wells. Each zone is equipped with a permanent intelligent flow control valve, allowing real-time reservoir management and providing high-resolution reservoir control. Valve actuation is semi-instantaneous and field data has shown that the frequency of updating such valves is at least 50 times compared to conventional valves, enabling near continuous closed-loop reservoir management. However, such a high-frequency optimization demands computational efficiency as it challenges existing optimization applications, particularly when multiple realizations are considered to account for reservoir uncertainty.

In this paper, we present a framework to support fieldwide implementation of smart FCVs and hence maintaining a fast closed-loop reservoir management. The framework consists of history matching using Ensemble Kalman Filters (EnKF), where smart FCV data is assimilated to condition a suite of representative reservoir models at a relatively high frequency. Thereafter, a reactive optimizer utilizing a nonlinear programming method is applied with the objectives of maximizing instantaneous revenue by determining the optimal positions of the downhole valves under user defined rate, pressure drop, drawdown, and setting constraints. This optimization offers production control planning suggestions with the intent of immediate to short-term gain in oil production based upon the downhole measurement and the performance of the near wellbore model. At the same time, a proactive optimizer can be used to determine valve-control settings for longer-term objectives, such as delaying water/gas breakthrough. The objective of this optimization is equalization of the water/gas front arrival times based upon generation of streamlines and time-of-flight (TOF) analysis. Both modes of optimization are performed efficiently, such that a single optimization run is sufficient per geological realization. We use the OLYMPUS reference model, a water flooding case, to demonstrate the workflow. The reactive optimization shows an increase of 25% in the net present value through minimizing water production and increasing injection efficiency, while proactive optimization delays water breakthrough time by 2-4 years. The paper showcases the effectiveness of complementary workflows where high-frequency reactive and proactive optimizations support a near continuous closed-loop reservoir management.

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