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The need for monitoring individual well production in unconventional fields is rising. The drivers are primarily related to accurate reporting for production allocation between wells. The main driver in North American operations for a meter-per-well flow rate monitoring has been the need for accurate per well production accounting due to the complexity of the land-owner interest.
There are additional benefits from the monitoring of early decline and determination of the transient evolution of the reverse productivity index (RPI) to evaluate the well performance. The availability of long-term rate transient data supports decline analysis and rate transient analysis, leading to better understanding of the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR), which may drive the selection of infill drilling locations. Finally, the identification of interference between flowing wells can help mitigate the issues of parent/child wells.
A specific case in the Eagle Ford is the systematic deployment of full gamma-spectroscopy multiphase flowmeters at well pads. This intelligent pad architecture consists of one multiphase flowmeter per well and a production manifold that enables commingling of the production to a single flowline connected to the inlet manifold of the production facility.
The rationale of the decision for the installation of such solution in lieu of a metering separator per well is based on the evaluation of the impact of this technology on capex and opex reductions.
Several lessons learned are provided. They include a discussion of the change management issues related to the installation of the meters, the modifications necessary to the production facility at the receiving side, and the data management and data analytics that were enabled from the gathering of systematic, continuous, and high-resolution measurements.
The impact of the installation of the meters in the field is noticeable and quantifiable. with several prior wells used as a benchmark. The effects are not limited to cost reduction, but also lead to an increase in production related to the release of operational crews from daily well testing tasks that used to be necessary. The data quality and coverage are also increased.
A few suggestions are made concerning optimization of the deployment and use of remote monitoring options for enhanced efficiency. Automated data workflows are also discussed.
The reduction of HSE risks through a better management of field operators is also assessed.