Production Engineering Experience with the First I-Field Implementation in Saudi Aramco at Haradh-III: Transforming Vision to Reality
- Ibrahim H. Al-Arnaout (Saudi Aramco) | Rashad Al-Zahrani (ARAMCO)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Intelligent Energy Conference and Exhibition, 25-27 February, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.8.7 Carbonate Reservoir, 3.2.2 Downhole intervention and remediation (including wireline and coiled tubing), 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.3 Completion Monitoring Systems/Intelligent Wells, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.6.11 Reservoir monitoring with permanent sensors, 4.4.2 SCADA, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation
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Over the recent years, the concept of the Intelligent Fields (I-Field) has continually been gaining an increasing attention by virtually all oil fields operators. This comes as a natural outcome of the increasing complexity of newly developed wells that provide better solutions to arising reservoir and production engineering challenges. Intelligent Fields are justified by their ability to provide solutions to minimize well intervention, optimize field performance and improve the decision-making and work efficiency. Although, uncertainty still exists as to what actual values can be realized.
Saudi Aramco has recently implemented the I-Fields concept at Haradh-III, a newly developed field within the giant Ghawar field. In the planning stage, the simulation studies have shown the performance superiority of multilateral wells equipped with smart completion. So the field was developed mainly with multilateral smart wells with permanent downhole monitoring systems and surface multiphase flow meters on each well. These systems were perfectly supplemented by a Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system making the field the first of its kind within Saudi Aramco with the ability to remotely monitor the real-time data and control both the surface and downhole valves.
This paper details the Saudi Aramco Production Engineering experience with the realized I-Field benefits both operationally and economically citing several field case studies. The I-Field has revolutionized the routine production engineering functions like well integrity and production allocations. It has created a new synergy and flow between various sectors in the Company enabling real-time assessments of operations as they are being undertaken. Also, the I-Field enabled taking the advantage of wells' nonproductive time for regular maintenance to conduct important surveys on these wells.
The experience described in this paper represents the transition between the visionary phase to the implementation phase of the I-Field concept. It will help appreciate how convergence of employed technologies is manifested in real field situations.
For the past decades, the notion of I-Fields has been rapidly developed and deployed virtually among all oil field operators. Industry-wide, companies are starting to realize that the way forward to cope with the existing, as well as future, production challenges is though the implementation of promising technologies and better integration of the huge influx of data these technologies provide.
Chevron CTO, Don Paul, defined1 the term i-field as follows, "the basic idea of the i-field is to have an instrumented, integrated, information-intensive environment for operating oil fields. As you increase the number of sensors and controls, it allows you to connect the reservoir down the value chain and, in a sense, make the oil field look more like a factory more than it has historically been viewed.??
Despite the variant names that different operators attach to I-Fields, they all share the three fundamental components2: technology, data and people. Also and in principle, all the operators share most of the following primary objectives of implementing the I-Field concept.
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