Overview: Intelligent Fields Technology (August 2007)
- Sam Gomersall (Digital Energy Exchange)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 46 - 46
- 2007. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Intelligent Fields Implementation: Why Is It Taking So Long?
We have been talking about intelligent fields or digital oilfield matters for some time, and while a significant number of papers have been written on the subject, mainstream application of the technology is patchy. Given the benefits from making better use of our data, why is it that the broad application of the digital oil field has not yet happened? Having been involved over the last 5 years or so, I see five inhibitors.
- Not enough focus on people and process—It is too easy to see the digital oil field as a new software product. In reality, how data is used in various processes, how workflows could change, and how people interact with data are fundamental to achieving the benefits of the digital oil field.
- Seeing the digital oil field as a single product—In reality, digital oil field is all about integration: integration of existing software, integration of data sources, and integration of data. This integration requires clarity of the architecture, the data flows, and the output requirements.
- Aiming for a fully linked integrated model before addressing fundamentals—It is key to start with appropriate instrumentation, data collection, surface control and data acquisition systems, and data conditioning to achieve early benefits from effective visualization and simple analysis. More-complex linking of integrated asset models should wait for “Phase 2.”
- Lack of scalability—Often, assets develop solutions to address the immediate local business need without giving due consideration to being able to scale the solution to other assets. I fully support business-unit-led developments, but a corporate guide is required to ensure that they fit with the overall strategy.
- Difficulty in sustaining momentum—Enthusiasm, commitment, and resources at build stage can fall away if a key individual moves. Even a fully implemented system can be difficult to sustain if it is not applied consistently across assets.
Being aware of these traps and working to address them provides significant opportunity for wider mainstream application of digital oilfield technology over the next few years. Like you, I look forward to it.
Intelligent Fields Technology additional reading available at the SPE eLibrary: www.spe.org
SPE 104161 “Advanced Production Monitoring” by Martijn Hooimeijer, Shell Global Solutions, et al.
SPE 104227 “Smart-Well Completion Utilizes Natural Reservoir Energy To Produce High-Water-Cut and Low-Productivity-Index Well in Abqaiq Field” by Nashi M. Al-Otaibi, SPE, Saudi Aramco, et al.
SPE 105374 “A Novel Approach of Detecting Water-Influx Time in Multizone and Multilateral Completions Using Real-Time Downhole Pressure Data,” by G.H. Aggrey, Heriot-Watt University, et al.
SPE 105618 “Smart Wells: Experiences and Best Practices at Haradh Increment-III, Ghawar Field,” by Ibrahim H. Al-Arnaout, Saudi Aramco, et al.
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