Since the first day of production in the Salym fields, SPD has focused on regular monitoring of production/injection rates, watercut and bottomhole pressures to obtain key data for well performance analysis and well optimization.
Until recently, flow rates and watercut levels were measured on a daily basis at all well pads, and fluid samples were taken for laboratory measurements of watercut levels. Each production well had downhole pressure and temperature gauges to provide continuous measurements of flowing pressures and temperature. At key production wells, high-resolution permanent downhole gauges were installed. All production data as well as information obtained during well completion and workovers were fed into the oilfield data base.
However, the system has changed. Before, an oil production operator made regular visits to well pads and had an average 15 to 20 wells under his control, but now they spend most of their time in the office, controlling 30 to 40 wells each.
This has been made possible through the implementation of a comprehensive innovative technology of Smart Fields. The Smart Field project in an important part in SPD’s bigger Well and Reservoir Management (WRM) project, aimed at the development of a systemic approach and promoting sustainable development of the company’s reserves.
What is called a “Smart Field” is a set of innovative technologies allowing real-time transfer of data from the well pads to the control station. It allows a considerable reduction in the number of trips operators have to make to wells pads and ensures a quicker response to the behavior of downhole equipment. The technology helps the company to better manage its growing well stock, reduce operating costs, optimize water injection patterns, and enhance production. This improves planning and production within the field as a whole.
SPD started WRM project in 2008 by installing Smart Field technology on two well pads in West Salym. In 2009-2010, SPD became the first company in Russia and in the Shell group to implement the Smart Field technology on all wells of the field. The engineers of the project team successfully installed Fieldware Water Injection System technology on all injection and production wells to control the processes of water intake, injection and treatment. Now, every employee of SPD who has access to the Smart Field system domain can monitor and change the characteristics and levels of water injection and intake, the operation of water injection pumps and pressure. The system is accessible both in SPD’s Moscow office and field facilities in Salym.
A similar technology has been implemented in all production wells as well. A suite of new technologies, including Salym Fieldware Production Universe, Fieldware Well Test and Fieldware ESP, allows remote control and monitoring of the operation of ESPs, measuring well flow in real time with confirmation of measurement results and receiving real-time warnings where the flow deviates from the range of normal operational parameters.
To optimize production planning, the Smart Field team has successfully implemented an Integrated Production System Modeling technology covering all water intake and injection wells and production wells.
The project scope also included the development and implementation of the Andon information system to provide real-time warnings to operators of deviations from planned well performance using colour indicators. If a well goes beyond its normal production envelope, the system will immediately warn operators of any problems, allowing them to quickly work out corrective measures and eventually improve the water injection process and production availability.
Having implemented the Smart Field technology, SPD has created an integrated production model, which forms a solid foundation for other projects to enhance production. The system has completed the whole well and reservoir management cycle. SPD employees now get information in real time, process it using the integrated well management tools, adjust operating parameters and regulate the operation of each well using an automatic control system.
The Smart Field system in the Salym group of fields has optimized production, enhanced recovery and reduced operating costs. The Well and Reservoir Management project has allowed SPD to increase production by an average of 2-2.5% per year and reduce idle time. The mean time between failures of downhole equipment has increased. The technology has helped reduce the number of journeys that operators have to make to well pads, which not only brings down costs but also reduces the risks associated with operators driving on the infield roads. This contributed both to safety and higher productivity of field personnel.
SPD is now in the next stage of WRM project, where it installs automatic echometers on all production wells in the Salym fields. The technology will allow operators to remotely monitor the level of fluid in a well’s annulus, and, if it needs to be changed, adjust the operating parameters of the ESPs using the Smart Fields system. This technology will be even more efficient in addressing the challenges of optimizing oil production and reducing operating costs.