|Publication number||US20090125362 A1|
|Application number||US 12/266,766|
|Publication date||14 May 2009|
|Filing date||7 Nov 2008|
|Priority date||10 Nov 2007|
|Also published as||CA2705319A1, CN102007504A, EP2208173A2, EP2208173A4, EP2605191A2, EP2605191A3, US20110022435, WO2009061903A2, WO2009061903A3, WO2009061903A8|
|Publication number||12266766, 266766, US 2009/0125362 A1, US 2009/125362 A1, US 20090125362 A1, US 20090125362A1, US 2009125362 A1, US 2009125362A1, US-A1-20090125362, US-A1-2009125362, US2009/0125362A1, US2009/125362A1, US20090125362 A1, US20090125362A1, US2009125362 A1, US2009125362A1|
|Inventors||Laurence Reid, Michael Szatny, William Douglas Johnson|
|Original Assignee||Landmark Graphics Corporation, A Halliburton Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Non-Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (15), Classifications (8), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/987,066, filed on Nov. 10, 2007, is hereby claimed, and the specification thereof is incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention generally relates to systems and methods for implementing complex and disparate workflows and, more particularly, a flexible framework for workflow automation, adaptation and integration.
Hydrocarbon production operations commonly involve numerous workflows that are repetitive in nature and which are traditionally undertaken manually or semi-manually by the various participants who spend significant portions of their time operating technical applications, finding and entering data, conducting analysis and passing data between participants for various steps such as validation and approval, in order to execute such workflows.
Studies have shown, for example that about 70% of an engineers time is spent gathering, formatting, and translating data for use in these different applications. For standard production activities, i.e., workflows, this time can be drastically reduced by creating an automated system to execute the prescribed workflow. The automated workflow not only reduces the engineers valuable time doing these repetitive tasks, but also ensures consistency in methods, reduces the likelihood of input errors, and creates a repository for “best practices” that can be maintained long term as personnel (and their knowledge) is moved into and out of the production asset.
Additionally, it is common experience that participants in many workflows have different preferences for, and levels of, expertise on numerous applications, which they utilize at respective steps in common workflows. This diversity makes standardization and consistency difficult to achieve.
Furthermore, due to time demands placed by the various workflows, potentially valuable additional analysis options are not routinely undertaken nor are aggregate data sets routinely reviewed in order to learn from the results.
In other industries, and elsewhere in the exploration and production field, business process management systems and certain specific technical application based workflows are automated and orchestrated using different methods and systems from those described by the present invention. Due to the diversity of technology, applications and workflows however, the challenge of workflow orchestration has largely been unresolved.
For many years automated workflows have been a part of the design and production cycles in other industries like Aerospace, Automotive, and Industrial Manufacturing. These industries have been tying together applications and data sources along with using stochastic analysis methods and optimization to improve their overall productivity.
Today's oil and gas operators face daunting challenges. With rising global demand, declining production, growing data volumes, dwindling resources, mounting regulatory and environmental pressures, exploration and production companies must dramatically improve the management of their hydrocarbon assets. The automation of common workflows can help mitigate these challenges by providing a common, best-practice method of execution that can be sustained and measured.
Execution of these automated workflows also must be examined. As production operations become more complex, their associated workflows will also become more complex. It can not be assumed that the end-user of an automated workflow is an “expert” user and has the knowledge and experience to operate all the needed software application interfaces. Ideally, any platform for automating workflows should include ways for non-expert users to interact with and execute complex workflows that were authored by the domain experts.
Currently, oil and gas production workflow automation is typically done through custom integration of disparate systems often requiring engineers to coordinate data flows between a disparate number of applications. Some common workflows may include, for example:
The custom integration of multiple applications, however, has many deficiencies and would be better replaced by a more standardized framework of integration.
The advantages of workflow automation and integration of various applications are generally described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,266,619, 6,356,844, 6,853,921, and 7,079,952, which are assigned to Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. and incorporated herein by reference. These patents generally deal with a field wide reservoir management system. The system includes a suite of tools (computer programs) that seamlessly interface with each other to generate a field wide production and injection forecast. The system produces real time control of downhole production and injection control devices such as chokes, valves and other flow control devices and real time control of surface production and injection control devices. The system, however, does not address a flexible framework that encompasses automated workflows, adaptive workflows and synergistic workflows as defined by the present invention.
Therefore, there is a need for a flexible workflow framework that 1) automates various workflows and their routine execution between multiple participants; 2) provides a common operating environment for consistent execution of the workflows, which is capable of substituting applications at various steps in any workflow; and 3) allows additional steps to be introduced into and incorporated within any workflow.
The workflow framework must therefore, address the following:
The present invention meets the above needs and overcomes one or more deficiencies in the prior art by providing systems and methods for optimizing operational scenarios through a workflow, which i) automates various workflows and their routine execution between multiple participants; ii) provides a common operating environment for consistent execution of the workflows that is capable of substituting applications at various steps in any workflow; and iii) allows additional steps to be introduced into and incorporated within any workflow.
In one embodiment, the present invention includes a method for optimizing operational scenarios through a workflow, which comprises i) selecting an operating system platform, the operating system platform comprising a workflow application; ii) selecting a remote computing platform, the remote computing platform comprising a technical application for determining new operational scenarios, which is connected to the operating system platform by an application wrapper; and iii) selecting a system function to optimize the new operational scenarios, the system function being connected to the technical application by an application connector.
In another, the present invention includes a method for optimizing operational scenarios through a workflow, which comprises i) selecting an operating system platform, the operating system platform comprising a workflow application; ii) selecting a remote computing platform, the remote computing platform comprising a technical application for determining new operational scenarios, which is connected to the operating system platform by an application wrapper; and iii) selecting a system function to optimize a petrotechnical data model and test for new operational scenarios, the system function being connected to the technical application by an application connector.
In yet another embodiment, the present invention includes a method for optimizing operations scenarios through a workflow, which comprises i) selecting an operating system platform, the operating system platform comprising a workflow application; ii) selecting a remote computing platform, the remote computing platform comprising a technical application for determining new operational scenarios, which is connected to the operating system platform by an application connector; and iii) selecting a general workflow tool to optimize the new operational scenarios, the general workflow tool being connected to the technical application by an application connector.
Additional aspects, advantages and embodiments of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description of the various embodiments and related drawings.
The present invention is described below with references to the accompanying drawings in which like elements are referenced with like reference numerals, and in which:
The subject matter of the present invention is described with specificity, however, the description itself is not intended to limit the scope of the invention. The subject matter thus, might also be embodied in other ways, to include different steps or combinations of steps similar to the ones described herein, in conjunction with other present or future technologies. Moreover, although the term “step” may be used herein to describe different elements of methods employed, the term should not be interpreted as implying any particular order among or between various steps herein disclosed unless otherwise expressly limited by the description to a particular order.
The present invention may be implemented through a computer-executable program of instructions, such as program modules, generally referred to as software applications or application programs executed by a computer. The software may include, for example, routines, programs, objects, components, and data structures that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. The software forms an interface to allow a computer to react according to a source of input. AssetConnect™, which is a commercial software application marketed by Landmark Graphics Corporation, may be used as an interface application to implement the present invention. The software may also cooperate with other code segments to initiate a variety of tasks in response to data received in conjunction with the source of the received data. The software may be stored onto any variety of memory media such as CD-ROM, magnetic disk, bubble memory and semiconductor memory (e.g., various types of RAM or ROM). Furthermore, the software and its results may be transmitted over a variety of carrier media such as optical fiber, metallic wire, free space and/or through any of a variety of networks such as the Internet.
Moreover, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention may be practiced with a variety of computer-system configurations, including hand-held devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based or programmable-consumer electronics, minicomputers, mainframe computers, and the like. Any number of computer-systems and computer networks are acceptable for use with the present invention. The invention may be practiced in distributed-computing environments where tasks are performed by remote-processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed-computing environment, program modules may be located in both local and remote computer-storage media including memory storage devices. The present invention may therefore, be implemented in connection with various hardware, software or a combination thereof, in a computer system or other processing system.
Referring now to
The memory primarily stores the application programs, which may also be described as program modules containing computer-executable instructions, executed by the computing unit for implementing the present invention described herein and illustrated in FIGS. 2B and 4-12. The memory therefore, includes one or more workflow modules, which enable the workflows illustrated in
Although the computing unit is shown as having a generalized memory, the computing unit typically includes a variety of computer readable media. By way of example, and not limitation, computer readable media may comprise computer storage media and communication media. The computing system memory may include computer storage media in the form of volatile and/or nonvolatile memory such as a read only memory (ROM) and random access memory (RAM). A basic input/output system (BIOS), containing the basic routines that help to transfer information between elements within the computing unit, such as during start-up, is typically stored in ROM. The RAM typically contains data and/or program modules that are immediately accessible to and/or presently being operated on by the processing unit. By way of example, and not limitation, the computing unit includes an operating system, application programs, other program modules, and program data.
The components shown in the memory may also be included in other removable/nonremovable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media. For example only, a hard disk drive may read from or write to nonremovable, nonvolatile magnetic media, a magnetic disk drive may read from or write to a removable, non-volatile magnetic disk, and an optical disk drive may read from or write to a removable, nonvolatile optical disk such as a CD ROM or other optical media. Other removable/non-removable, volatile/non-volatile computer storage media that can be used in the exemplary operating environment may include, but are not limited to, magnetic tape cassettes, flash memory cards, digital versatile disks, digital video tape, solid state RAM, solid state ROM, and the like. The drives and their associated computer storage media discussed above provide storage of computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules and other data for the computing unit.
A client may enter commands and information into the computing unit through the client interface, which may be input devices such as a keyboard and pointing device, commonly referred to as a mouse, trackball or touch pad. Input devices may include a microphone, joystick, satellite dish, scanner, or the like.
These and other input devices are often connected to the processing unit through the client interface that is coupled to a system bus, but may be connected by other interface and bus structures, such as a parallel port or a universal serial bus (USB). A monitor or other type of display device may be connected to the system bus via an interface, such as a video interface. In addition to the monitor, computers may also include other peripheral output devices such as speakers and printer, which may be connected through an output peripheral interface.
Certain system components, which are well known in the art and may be used for implementing the present invention, include:
An exemplary system comprising such components is commonly referred to in the oil and gas industry as AssetConnect™, which is illustrated in
Although many other internal components of the computing unit are not shown, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that such components and their interconnection are well known.
An exemplary system architecture for implementing the present invention is illustrated in
Referring now to
The various technical applications (AB-AN) are able to be brought into the system from their remote IT platforms by means of Application Wrappers (WB-WN). Thereafter, within the unified operating environment, the technical applications (AB-AN) can be remotely operated within a workflow. The respective technical applications (AB-AN) provide their own functionality consistent with a step or steps in each workflow.
The various technical applications (AA-AN) involved in a workflow are able to be connected by means of Application Connectors (CA-CN). The connectors (CA-CN) allow the workflow author to map to and to connect to attributes within the technical applications (AB-AN) and to map to and relate these to another technical application (AA-AN), effectively mapping inputs and outputs from one step of the workflow to another. In this manner, the workflow logic can be determined to be consistent with the various steps, data and attribute flows within the workflow. In the simplest case, this enables automation of the workflow.
The workflows can also be modified to introduce new-value-added steps by either connecting to additional System Functions (FA-FN) within the workflow orchestration application (AA) or, alternatively, by introducing additional technical applications (AB-AN) not routinely used within the traditional workflows.
Using unique combinations of the system component capabilities in the manner illustrated in
Referring now to
Database (magnetic disc)
Multiple iterations of predefined process
Exemplary workflows utilizing the system architecture, according to the method illustrated in
Referring now to
Referring now to
Referring now to
Referring now to
Referring now to
Several embodiments of the workflows illustrated in
Production engineers are increasingly asked to optimize the performance of larger and more complex assets. Their well counts are getting higher and the amount of data they need to analyze is ever expanding. By automating the well performance data acquisition and analysis, the production engineer can better manage his field by exception and focus his attention on the areas with the most potential value.
In this workflow, field measured well head pressures and flows are regularly collected by the assets production database (e.g. EDM™). EDM™ is a commercial database application marketed by Landmark Graphics Corporation. On daily intervals, the automated workflow framework collects well pressures and current reservoir pressure(s) from the production database(s). The automated workflow uses a rigorous well model (e.g. Prosper™) to estimate the theoretical flow of each well. Prosper™ is a commercial software application marketed by Petroleum Experts. This theoretical rate is stored in the production database and can then be visualized against the measured flow on a regular basis. Wells which deviate significantly from its theoretical performance can be flagged to the production engineer for immediate attention.
Billions of dollars are spent annually on fracture stimulation operations. It is critical that these expensive operations be done right and on-time. Accurate and optimal designs are key to ensuring a successful facture operation. However, a successful design includes several technical components such as rock mechanics and properties, fluid properties and scheduling, frac conditions and placement, and economic conditions. Software applications exist for all of these to help engineers. One example of how these applications may be integrated in a workflow is illustrated in
In a preferred embodiment, the invention may be applied to a fracture design workflow. Fracturing is a technique applied to petroleum wells to establish or improve the flow of petroleum into a well completion for an extended period of time. The fracture treatment has a limited lifespan and is not inexpensive. Applying a fracture treatment to a well may well cost between Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00) and Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00), if not more, per treatment. The expected life of a treatment is between two and five years. As can be appreciated, the effectiveness of a fracture is dependent upon the characteristics of the reservoir rock and the design of the fracture. Often there is considerable uncertainty of the reservoir rock characteristics. In some cases, the uncertainty of reservoir rock may be mitigated by the fracture design. Thus the fracture design workflow has two basic functions: fracture design evaluation and fracture design optimization.
In a preferred embodiment, fracture design evaluation (FDE) is accomplished by three applications. The first application permits a user to review a well log record and to make an evaluation of the reservoir characteristics for the section or sections of the wellbore to be fractured. The results of this evaluation is shared with the second and third applications. This first application may be performed using Prizm™, which is a commercial software application marketed by Landmark Graphics Corporation, although other applications are available with similar capabilities. The second application permits a user to adjust the fracture design parameters and to estimate the expected fracture dimensions, namely fracture half length, fracture height, and fracture width. This second application may be performed using FracPro®, which is a commercial software application marketed by Pinnacle Technologies, although other applications are available with similar capabilities. Finally, a third application is used which uses the reservoir characteristics and fracture dimensions for a specific treatment design to make an estimate of the resultant well completion cumulative production over the expected life of the fracture treatment. This third application may be performed in an established tool known as Predict K™, which is a commercial software application marketed by Core Lab, although other applications are available with similar capabilities. After the workflow is developed using these three applications, the scope of the workflow may be widened to use other applications in a similar manner.
Fracture design optimization may use the basic FDE process to evaluate a set of fracture designs to determine which design gives the best cumulative production. Further, each design in the set may be evaluated over a range of reservoir uncertainty so that the fracture designs may also be optimized with regard to reservoir uncertainty.
This workflow automates all aspects of the design execute evaluate and learn (DEEL) loop for well stimulation and completion activities for a tight gas field. In order to maximize production and minimize completion costs many different disciplines and activities are needed; geology, geophysics, stimulation, and production people have to work collaboratively. It is common that each of these disciplines work singularly and serially passing work product between one another. Furthermore the teams cannot effectively review past results and easily incorporate any lessons. The digital completion optimization system creates a common platform for all activities. The design workflow incorporates well log analysis from a program such as Prizm® with geology stress analysis and production prediction (e.g. SWIFT®, which is a commercial software application marketed by Halliburton Energy Services Inc.) and a fracture design program (e.g. Stimplan™, which is a commercial software application marketed by NSI Technologies). The design workflow is explained in detail in the Frac Stimulation Design Optimization above. The execution workflow monitors the fracture job and automatically history matches the fracture design and well production predictions. The evaluate loop utilizes artificial intelligence algorithms such as neural networks and support vectors to mine the data generated from all of the design and execution workflows on all jobs from multiple databases. The analysis from the data mining workflow is used in an optimization system to update design parameters used in the design and execute workflows.
Gas lift is a popular method for enhancing production in heavier oil wells. However, increasingly the performance constraints of the downstream facilities are limiting the total amount of gas lift available. Making the right decisions on how much gas lift to send to which well is a complex process involving well performance models, flowline hydraulics and facility process performance. An example of a gas lift allocation and optimization workflow is illustrated in
In this workflow, individual well gas lift injection rates must be optimized based on overall production benefits and the availability of lift gas. On a regular basis, perhaps nightly, production data is captured and used as input for well, gathering network and facility models. Individual well gas lift rates can then be allocated across all the wells and optimized for maximum oil production while maintaining any applicable surface constraints.
This invention therefore, provides a flexible framework within which multiple and disparate workflows may be performed as an automated, adaptive or synergistic workflow using a common platform and domain. Each type of workflow adds value across a diverse range of workflows. Thus, lost time spent finding the data and operating the technical applications that underpin core workflows, which has been cited by some operators as consuming up to 75% engineering time, is reduced. The present invention therefore, enables:
While the present invention has been described in connection with presently preferred embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that it is not intended to limit the invention to those embodiments. It is therefore, contemplated that various alternative embodiments and modifications may be made to the disclosed embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention defined by the appended claims and equivalents thereof.
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|Cooperative Classification||G06Q10/0633, G06Q10/10, G06F8/30|
|European Classification||G06Q10/10, G06F8/30, G06Q10/0633|
|18 Nov 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LANDMARK GRAPHICS CORPORATION, A HALLIBURTON COMPA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:REID, LAURENCE;SZATNY, MICHAEL;JOHNSON, WILLIAM;REEL/FRAME:021851/0583;SIGNING DATES FROM 20080310 TO 20080326
|6 Nov 2011||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LANDMARK GRAPHICS CORPORATION, TEXAS
Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE ASSIGNEE PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 021851 FRAME 0583. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNORS:REID, LAURENCE;SZATNY, MICHAEL;JOHNSON, WILLIAM;REEL/FRAME:027181/0688
Effective date: 20110523