Interview - Indy Chakrabarti, Paradigm

Paradigm senior VP product management and strategy talks to Oil IT Journal about the collaboration with GE Oil & Gas and on production optimization in the low price environment. Paradigm’s Skua/Gocad flagship and GE’s FieldVantage combine with third party tools in 'vendor-agnostic’ solution.

In your presentation at the 2016 GE Oil & Gas event in Florence you described the deal between Paradigm and GE as a move into production optimization. How is this to be realized?

The new joint reservoir-driven production optimization initiative between GE and Paradigm is going to investigate how production operations can be tailored for the current low cost environment. Today’s production engineers work without good intelligence as to what is happening in the reservoir. Current analysis and optimization is carried out on a well by well basis. We want to extend this to field-wide optimization so that production optimization decisions are done in a true 3D, geological context.

OK but when we think of production optimization, we think of the use of a reservoir fluid flow simulator. Paradigm doesn’t have one!

That’s a fair comment but this is a combined service offering that includes hardware and software. We can and do use third party tools such as a fluid flow simulator. Our workflow is supplier-agnostic. But the fact is that we are dealing with a different problem from that which is handled by the fluid flow simulator. Optimization with simulator is usually carried out at sporadic intervals by reservoir engineers. The simulator is not an operations tool. The present use case is more concerned with daily operations. These include decisions taken by the production engineer on matters like injection pressure, choke size and gel treatment sizing. Currently, operators may have occasional conversations with geologists and they may decide to try one thing or another. We want to make this conversation more fruitful with a formalized approach centered on the earth model.

So what is Paradigm’s tool of choice for this kind of activity?

It is Skua. Skua provides a comprehensive geological model of the reservoir complete with producing horizons, faults and so on. This can allow engineers for instance to visualize the proximity of different horizons and spot where a water influx might be coming from, relating production variance to geology.

So you can overlay production data – bubble charts etc. in Skua?

Absolutely and in real time. Skua can display production data, logs and more.

We have always considered Skua as more of a geologists’ plaything...

It was in the past but it has evolved to include much more reservoir engineering and production information. It is not Eclipse but it can now be seen as a post processor for the simulator and indeed it has been used like this for some time.

Who will be rolling the solution out?

We have built a team of people from Paradigm and GE to develop the solution. We are working with the Field Vantage folks and with GE’s services unit which provides expert engineers with specialist domain experience of artificial lift and production engineering.

Some still see GE as a provider of big iron with point digital solutions attached...

That is not what I heard in Florence. All in GE, from Immelt down are very keen to weave the digital thread into the workflow.

Will the Paradigm-GE solution be Predix-based then?

Not initially, but that is where we are heading. We certainly see the benefits.

Read the Paradigm blog here.

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