Utilizing Machine Learning for a Data Driven Approach to Flow Rate Prediction

Alkhalaf, Ayman (Saudi Aramco) | Isichei, Obi (Saudi Aramco) | Ansari, Najmul (Saudi Aramco) | Milad, Rashad (Saudi Aramco)

OnePetro 

Abstract

In this study, we aim to demonstrate how machine learning can empower computational models that can predict the flow rate of a given well. Given current real-time data and periodic well tests, this new method computes flow rates using data-driven model. The computational model is based on analyzing the relations and trends in historical data. Relational databases include huge amounts of data that have been accumulated throughout decades. In addition, there is a large number of incoming operational data points every second that gives a lot of insight about the current status, performance, and health of many wells. The project aims to utilize this data to predict the flow rate of a given well.

A variety of well attributes serve as inputs to the computational models that find the current flow rate. Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) were used in order to build these computational models. In addition, a grid search algorithm was used to fine-tune the parameters for the ANN for every single well. Building a single unique model for every well yielded the most accurate results. Wells that are data-rich performed better than wells with insufficient data. To further enhance the accuracy of the models, models are retrained after every incoming patch of real-time data. This retraining calibrates the models to constantly represent the true well performance and predict better. In practice, Flow rate prediction is used by production engineers to analyze the performance of a given well and to accelerate the process of well test verification. One of the main challenges in building unique models for every well is fine-tuning the parameters for the artificial neural networks, which can be a computationally intensive task. Parameter fine-tuning hasn't been discussed in previous literature regarding flow rate prediction. Therefore, our unique approach addresses the individuality of every well and builds models accordingly. This high-level of customization addresses the problem of under-fitting in ANN well models.