Waterflood Surveillance and Supervisory Control

by Asoke De, Dmitriy B. Silin, Tadeusz W. Patzek
Year: 2000


De, Asoke, Dmitriy B. Silin, and Tad W. Patzek. "Waterflood surveillance and supervisory control." In SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium. Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2000.


A successful waterflood depends on the proper operation of individual wells in a pattern, on maintaining the balance between water injection and production over the entire project or field, and on preventing well failures. The problems with waterflood are further aggravated in tight rock, e.g., carbonate, chalk or diatomite, where injector-producer linkages, uncontrolled hydrofracture growth, and water breakthrough in thief layers are often encountered. For optimal operation of a waterflood, it is mandatory that field engineers routinely acquire, store and interpret huge amounts of data to identify potential problems and to address them quickly. The cost of an error can be extreme; failure of only one well may cost more than the entire surveillance-controller system described here. As in preventive health care, it is important to diagnose the problems early and to apply the cure on time. Our solution is to design a multilevel, integrated system of surveillance and control, which acquires and processes waterflood data, and helps field personnel make optimal decisions. Our upper-end systems will rely on the satellite radar interferograms (InSAR) of surface displacement and the new revolutionary micro-electronic mechanical systems (MEMS) sensors. Many intermediate configurations are also possible. In the near future, the next generation of smart, reliable and cheap sensors will revolutionize field operations of small independents and majors alike. We think that the impact of the new technology on the independents will be proportionally larger.