Reservoir teams obtain a better understanding of well production when real-time well monitoring data can be acquired and visualized in context of the geologic formations and changing reservoir conditions. Based on this information, engineers can assess the effectiveness and efficiency of current production strategies and continually make adjustments to optimize recovery. Reservoir teams can gain an even greater understanding of the factors that influence production when well monitoring data is visualized and animated to show changing reservoir conditions over time.
To illustrate the value of integrating real-time well monitoring data with other relevant subsurface information, below we describe several use cases. We make the assumption that production data is acquired digitally in the field then relayed to database servers for easy access and immediate integration into 3D and 4D (time series) visualization and analytic tools.
Real-Time Well Monitoring of Production
Depicting production data spatially linked to specific wells, can gives production engineers an immediate understanding of recovery efficiency, allowing comparisons of results across wells, and even across fields. Three-dimensional vertical “production towers” reflect changing production data for each well and can optionally include quantitative data alongside. By default, towers are positioned at the bottom of well paths. As production data changes from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, the towers grow and shrink vertically.
Visual alerts can be included to call attention when specific thresholds have been reached in a well. For example, when daily production drops below a long-term average, when oil cut exceeds a certain percentage, or when pressure falls below a well-specific value. The ability to immediately depict real-time well monitoring data in relation to nearby wells enhances the understanding of performance across a reservoir.
Monitor Injection and Production Wells
Real-time well monitoring of injection operations helps production engineers quickly determine the sweep and effectiveness of injection methods. Visualizing water or steam injection that drives well production allows geoscientists to compare production and injection volumes and determine which production wells are performing better or worse, according to when the injection well is on- or off-stream (i.e., injecting or not injecting).
In some oil fields, on-and-off injection cycling (‘huff-and-puff’) is done to allow time for the oil to flow to the producing well(s) to avoid over-pressurizing the reservoir and possibly causing formation damage. With water injection being costly and steam injection even more so, cyclic injection can reduce costs and increase long term production. By visually monitoring the injection process geoscientists watch injection progress to see the fluid production begin in the adjacent wells. The quantities of the fluids going in and out of the reservoir can easily be graphed for comparison. This aids greatly in making sure wells are performing as expected and is an enormous benefit in identifying underperforming production wells that need remediation.
Visualization of production data gives reservoir teams greater insight when assessing the effectiveness of production operations. When real-time well monitoring data is displayed in context of current reservoir conditions, geoscientists and production engineers can readily evaluate the interplay of geologic, petrophysical, and recovery techniques and their impact on production. Visual analysis can confirm the effectiveness of current production methods or identify anomalies and determine the reasons for the problems, allowing production engineers to make needed operational changes.
The 3D visualization below compares production data and seismic response with a dynamic gas saturation model to show where water injection is replacing oil. Long, narrow hardening signals indicate water replacing oil along four injection wells, confirming an effective water injection process. Volumes of water injected are indicated by vertical (light) blue towers.
Improve the Accuracy of Simulation Models
Production data can be used to improve the accuracy of reservoir simulation models, with the goal of refining reservoir simulations that match production volumes. When predicted production data no longer corresponds with actual production data, the reservoir simulation model needs to be updated. For example, when production volumes cause fluid contacts to change over time, the reservoir simulation model needs to be updated.
Time-Series Analysis of Real-Time Well Monitoring Data
Real-time well monitoring data enables production engineers to continually evaluate well performance and make changes, when necessary, to further enhance productivity. Real-time well monitoring data can provide even greater value in showing how development and operational decisions have affected well performance over time.
Real-time well monitoring data enables production engineers to continually evaluate well performance and make changes, when necessary, to further enhance productivity.
When snapshots of production data are visualized and animated in context of reservoir conditions that change over time—geological models, offset wells, injection locations, and oil/water and/or gas/oil contacts—geoscientists and production engineers can determine how operational decisions have positively or negatively impacted production during the course of well development. Lessons learned from these analyses can be applied to similar geologic formations or subsurface conditions to optimize productivity.
A Unique Software Solution for Data Integration, Visualization, and Analysis
All of the capabilities described above—integration of a wide variety of production and subsurface data types, including real-time well monitoring data and rich 3D and 4D (time series) visualization that facilitates collaborative decision making and analysis across the reservoir team—are available in CoViz 4D. Powerful data integration, visualization, and analysis capabilities help reservoir teams obtain the maximum value from real-time well monitoring data and apply the insight to make well-informed reservoir development and operational decisions.