Intelligent-Field-Infrastructure Adoption: Approach and Best Practices
- Dennis Denney (JPT Senior Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 102 - 105
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 66 since 2007
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This article, written by Senior Technology Editor Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper SPE 150066, "Intelligent-Field-Infrastructure Adoption: Approach and Best Practices," by Soloman Almadi, SPE, and Tofig Al-Dhubaib, SPE, Saudi Aramco, prepared for the 2012 SPE Intelligent Energy International, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 27-29 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
The drive toward implementing an intelligent-field infrastructure (IFI) is a continuous aim for operators. It requires the correct balance between technology, business drivers, and evolving implementation requirements. Successful implementation relies on a robust real-time field-to-desktop data-acquisition and -delivery system designed with clearly defined data-acquisition requirements. The challenge in achieving such an objective is made more difficult by the variables that must be considered when addressing an IFI integrated solution. Saudi Aramco’s experience and methodology of developing an IFI field-to-desktop data-acquisition and -delivery infrastructure for new fields is presented.
Typically, IFI deployment is carried out through different phases and time lines. The process begins after establishing an understanding of the reservoir, completing field-development-plan objectives, defining end-user requirements, and selecting the hardware and software to meet the intended objectives. The result is an integrated field-to-desktop data-acquisition and -delivery system (Fig. 1). The essential steps include, but are not limited to, establishing existing-technology base-lines, defining funding, and formulating optimal data flow. Then, the construction and end-to-end integrated testing steps begin, which may include sub-steps that affect the final infrastructure performance outcomes. Adopting an IFI requires a holistic end-to-end de-sign approach.
This approach involves steps of defining and planning data requirements, designing, and capacity planning of each of the IFI components involved in data acquisition and delivery. Also, end-to-end integration, reliability testing, and key-performance-indicator (KPI) definition are important. Some of these critical steps are carried out in sequence, while others are managed concurrently. Subject-matter expertise and full under-standing of the holistic workflows of the operation are integral to the process. Also, a survey of existing academic and industrial best practices is an essential continuous feed.
Planning. The planning stage begins after completing a comprehensive field-development plan aimed at optimizing development cost and maximizing the production-plateau duration and the recovery. The field-development plan dictates many strategic decisions (e.g., primary depletion, secondary immiscible flooding, and tertiary-recovery schemes), tactical decisions [e.g., well spacing and orientation, well type (vertical, horizontal, maximum-reservoir contact), and well completions using smart tools], and operational decisions (e.g., pressure-maintenance levels and gas-recycling fraction). Thus, the number, type, and location of the wells and their required intelligent-field technologies are determined at this point along with the field-production-operation and reservoir-management strategies.
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