Optimal Waterflood Management Using Rate Control Conference Paper uri icon


  • Field scale rate optimization problems often involve highly complex reservoir models, production and facilities related constraints and a large number of unknowns. All these make optimal reservoir management via rate and flood front control difficult without efficient optimization tools. Some aspects of the optimization problem have been studied before using mainly optimal control theory. However, the applications todate have been limited to rather small problems because of the computation time and the complexities associated with the formulation and solution of adjoint equations. Field-scale rate optimization for maximizing waterflood sweep efficiency under realistic field conditions has still remained largely unexplored. We propose a practical and efficient approach for computing optimal injection and production rates and thereby manage the waterflood front to maximize sweep efficiency and delay the arrival time to minimize water cycling. Our work relies on equalizing the arrival times of the waterfront at all producers within selected sub-regions of a water flood project. The arrival time optimization has favorable quasilinear properties and the optimization proceeds smoothly even if our initial conditions are far from the solution. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the arrival time with respect to injection and production rates can be calculated analytically using a single flow simulation. This makes our approach computationally efficient and suitable for large-scale field applications. The arrival time optimization ensures appropriate rate allocation and flood front management by delaying the water breakthrough at the producing wells. Multiple examples are presented to support the robustness and efficiency of the proposed optimization scheme. These include several 2D synthetic examples for validation purposes and a 3D field application. In addition, we demonstrate the potential of the approach to optimize the flow profile along injection/production segments of horizontal-smart wells Copyright 2006, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

author list (cited authors)

  • Alhuthali, A., Oyerinde, A., & Datta-Gupta, A.

citation count

  • 17

publication date

  • January 2006


  • SPE  Publisher