Maximizing Petroleum Reservoir Production Using Gap Analysis

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M.A. Tuzovskiy, D.S. Wolcott, P.V. Belolipetsky, A. Bondarenko, Akadem Petroleum Technology Inc.; I.V. Frolenkov, Siberian Federal University



The primary goal of petroleum reservoir management is to produce wells and reservoirs at their potential in a most economical way. To achieve this goal E&P companies should calculate potential, identify and close the performance gaps. This as a routine is rarely done in the industry, because it requires a lot of data and without an automated system a lot of manual work. In this paper we will focus on the production cycle by using gap analysis to create a Well Enhancement List which is a ranking of the opportunities with the best on the top.

Methods, procedures, process

First, production potential is calculated. This is done based on Darcy's law and Nodal analysis given the well's fluid rates, pressures and reservoir transmissibility data. Potential is achieved by maximizing the drawdown in the Lift System and by maximizing the well's productivity index in the Completion System. Second, opportunities are identified by calculating the performance gap deriving from the difference between the potential and actual well rates. Then list of opportunities is ranked by production increments. As a result, the Well Enhancement List is generated with the best candidate on the top.

Results, observations, conclusions

The ideal, of producing and recovering at potential, is rarely obtained in practice. Reasons for this vary from company to company, but more often than not, the reason is well potentials are not known and therefore not managed. Gap analysis defines the potential and identifies the production enhancement opportunities to be pursuit first. It's a management tool which requires only readily available field data to run. E&P company that switch the focus on executing the opportunities identified by the Well Enhancement List starts managing to production potential. A results of such a transition to performance based organization are more production, improved reservoir recovery and increased earnings. We show the gap analysis is an effective tool on a pathway to maximizing the petroleum reservoir production worldwide.


Well Enhancement List compiles the proven to work technologies into a practical management tool. It's implemented as a programing code of algorithms. The code can be set up in the company database or in the cloud so that Well Enhancement List will be automatically calculated on a daily basis. Such implementation allows management and engineers know and manage the potential in real time.