Intelligent Fields Technology

What is taking so long? Well, more than a decade into the intelligent-fields initiative, this is a question that remains prominent. That a clear business case supports investments in the area was settled years ago for most; but, within the variety of tactics an operator takes and even greater diversity in the particular products and services providers develop within this space, we have seen a mixture of results. Furthermore, leveraging success from a demonstration project into sustained value delivery and across multiple assets or divisions can be elusive. So, it is understandable and healthy when managers challenge a sustained expense that fails to provide the value that was promised. What then are the markers of an initiative that should be started or sustained?

  • Are you solving the right problem? Choose a problem that allows your company to learn while delivering incremental value over multiple applications. In my company, we were able to deliver a great return by deploying a relatively simple analytics solution globally to most of our oil production over 5+ years, delivering incremental value while working through the organizational changes.
  • Is it a good fit for your people? Is your organization able to learn and change to make it work, and do you have the right people who can stay with it until the business owns the change? When key people move after an early declaration of success, fragile changes often falter.
  • Can you commit to making it work? You can drive value from, and even turn around, a struggling initiative (even one employing a suboptimal solution) when you give the right people the space to learn and deliver against the right problem. There will be bumps, so count the costs up front and ensure that the organization is ready for the challenges.

This Month's Technical Papers

Complex-Event Processing for the Intelligent Field

Optimal Well-Workover Scheduling by Use of Genetic Algorithms

A Fully Completed Solution With Zonal Isolation in Norway

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE 167821 A Smart Flow for Smart Wells: Reactive and Proactive Modes by G.A. Carvajal, Halliburton, et al.

SPE 164348 Smart Well With Autonomous Inflow-Control-Valve Technology by Haavard Aakre, InflowControl/Telemark University, et al.

SPE 166507 Prototype Test of an All-Electric Intelligent-Completion System for Extreme-Reservoir-Contact Wells by Brett Bouldin, Saudi Aramco, et al.

John Hudson, SPE, is a senior production engineer with Shell. He has more than 25 years of experience in multiphase-flow research, flow-assurance design of deepwater production systems, and development of model-based real-time operations decision systems. Since joining Shell, Hudson has held technical and managerial positions in Europe and North America, including leading a team that developed a model-based cloud computing solution that was deployed globally to gas plants with a total production capacity in excess of 10 Bcf/D. He currently provides production-engineering support for the development of a next-generation simulator. Hudson holds a PhD degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. He serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.

Intelligent Fields Technology

John Hudson, SPE, Senior Production Engineer, Shell

01 May 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 5