Upstream petroleum production systems are usually quite complex consisting of many wells, pipelines and processing units. The figure below shows a sketch of the Troll West oil field with more than 50 wells feeding the pipelines and downstream processing units. Optimization is performed on the life-time horizon of the hydrocarbon reservoir, typically many years, as well as on shorter time horizons. In this study we focus on short term optimization in the range of days and weeks. This requires models of each well and the pipeline system. Downstream processing equipment is not included in the present study.
The presentation will first discuss appropriate well models, and pressure drop models for flow in pipe sections. An important issue in the Troll West case is the inclusion of gas coning effects, a phenomenon which can limit production significantly. Second, alternative formulations of the optimization problem will be discussed and assessed. These include a nonlinear programming problem and a mixed integer formulation. Third, alternative solutions methods are discussed with emphasis on the Dantzig Wolfe decomposition technique which has certain merits because of the network structure of the present problem.
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