Innovative Experimental Design Workflows for Coupled Models

Swarbrick, Thomas (Chevron Australia Pty Ltd) | Muller, Mathieu (Chevron Australia Pty Ltd)



The Wheatstone and Iago gas fields, located approximately 110 km northwest of Barrow Island in the Carnarvon Basin, are developed through a common subsea and offshore platform infrastructure. The production forecasts for the Wheatstone Project are generated using reservoir simulation models for both fields coupled to a shared production network model. This ensures the appropriate representation of boundary conditions on the production system, such as well back-pressures. Typical forecasting workflows in a greenfield environment include running experimental design (design of experiments) to generate probabilistic forecasts of field responses. However, conventional experimental design workflows are based on simulations of a single field and are often completed without coupling the reservoir model to a production network model.

This paper will discuss the improvements to conventional simulation workflows made by the Wheatstone Reservoir Engineering Team. These refinements, which enabled running experimental design with both reservoir models coupled to a production network model, allowed responses to be generated and reviewed at the project level. This approach accounted for field interference through the production network and afforded the opportunity to understand the production interactions and relationships more accurately and thereby establish a vantage point for improved optimisation. The improvements were necessary to overcome some of the commercial and in-house software limitations constraining the workflow and results.

This type of simulation workflow had not been achieved to this extent previously within Chevron Corporation. The approach described here allowed the direct generation of project level responses, such as timing of future drilling campaigns, which would not have been practical or reliable otherwise. Future improvements of this modelling workflow will consist of standardising the workflow within the Corporation, using it for history matching later in life as well as decreasing cycle time on more routine simulation work.