Intelligent fields, e-fields, i-completions, and digital fields are terminologies used to describe the use of real-time data to obtain the greatest results from wells, reservoirs, or fields. This achievement can be reached through transforming raw data into a most precious resource called "useful information." The analysis and use of the information in an effective control system leads to the desired optimization of a petroleum production system. This process is analogous to transforming a potential raw mineral into a precious jewel.
Many industries take increasing advantage of the digital era. Advances in hardware, software, and communications technology are used to improve performance. More specifically, the petroleum industry has proved that these paradigm shifts do pay off. In facing the challenge, it has been possible to meet the continuously growing demand for energy. Also, such challenges have led to successful operations in adverse conditions and locations throughout the world.
An adequate mindset to embrace this new technology from an operator's perspective will be decisive. To apply it successfully, companies must master the intricacies associated with the deployment of this new technology.
The concept of intelligent fields reveals a promising scenario for the future of the industry. The driving force is the potential for enhanced production, reduced operation expense, and improved safety. Nevertheless, these goals may be jeopardized, not because of unavailable technologies, but due to a lack of participation or integration of the various disciplinary teams.
The ultimate intelligent-field management will be achieved when we are capable of acquiring real-time data from an entire set of reservoirs, our main asset, completely closing the production automation cycle. Some intrinsic difficulties are bound to occur, although modest advances have been achieved in reservoir-data acquisition.