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Simulation models have been extensively used in the downstream refining and chemical industry since the 1980s, lowering engineering and operating costs, maximizing throughput, improving reliability and increasing margins. Thus far, this technology has not been leveraged extensively enough in the upstream industry. However, leading upstream companies are successfully deploying simulation models and in the process “finding” new reserves and production.
Traditionally, E&P firms have focused on achieving growth through discovering and developing new reserves to increase their production rate. Today, there is greater emphasis on economically maximizing production from existing assets.
Achieving production growth through subsurface modeling and by enhanced recovery techniques are some ways to do it. However, there are other processes that impact production and reserve growth: the proper engineering and efficient operations of the surface facilities. Oftentimes, surface facilities are constraints on production. A proven way to understand and relieve these constraints is through the modeling of these facilities.
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