Optimization of a Massive Waterflood
Application of a Combination of Machine Learning and Reservoir Physics to Increase Production in a Mature Waterflood Field in the San Jorge Basin in Argentina
This paper presents the process and results of the application of Data Physics to optimize production of a mature field in the Gulf of San Jorge Basin in Argentina. Data Physics is a novel technology that blends the reservoir physics (black oil) used in traditional numerical simulation with machine learning and advanced optimization techniques. Data Physics was described in detail in a prior paper (Sarma, SPE-185507-MS) as a physics-based modeling approach augmented by machine learning. In essence, historical production and injection data are assimilated using an Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) to infer the petrophysical parameters and create a predictive model of the field. This model is then used with Evolutionary Algorithms (EA) to find the pareto front for multiple optimization objectives like production, injection and NPV. Ultimately, the main objective of Data Physics is to enable Closed Loop Optimization.
The technology was applied on a small section of a very large field in the Gulf of San Jorge comprised of 134 wells including 83 active producers and 27 active water injectors; up to 12 mandrels per well are used to provide with selective injection, while production is carried out in a comingled manner. Production zonal allocation is calculated using an in-house process based on swabbing tests and recovery factors and is used as input to the Data Physics application, while injection allocation is based on tracer logs performed in each injection well twice a year.
This paper describes the modeling and optimization phases as well as the implementation in the field and the results obtained after performing two close loop optimization cycles. The initial model was developed between October and December 2018 and initial field implementation took place between January to March2019. A second optimization cycle was then executed in January 2020 and results observed for several months.