Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) launched the Kuwait Integrated Digital Field GC1 (KwIDF-GC1) pilot project in 2009 as an investigation into how a cross-functional and cross-domain infrastructure could be established to aid in the achievement of corporate goals set for the following two decades. The company’s vision for 2030 includes a philosophical shift in the way that the country’s workforce accomplishes its tasks, employing the latest technologies and work processes. The project solution integrates field instrumentation, workflows automated in software, and focused collaboration. The Burgan oil field, the second largest in the world and the largest clastic reservoir, was discovered in 1938 and commercial oil production from it began in 1946. Production peaked in 1972 at around 2,400,000 barrels per day, and declined to around 1,700,000 barrels per day by 2005 [Croft 2013, Cordahi and Critchlow 2005]. Management of the reservoir has become increasingly challenging, partly due to damage that was incurred as the Iraqi invaders set fire to the wells during their retreat in 1991. This project is a first in the State of Kuwait to instrument oil wells with pressure and temperature gauges, multiphase water cut meters and remotely automated chokes. Automation of the field was the first step in providing the advanced technology required of this project, realizing tangible advantages in minimizing the health, safety and environmental (HSE) exposure of field personnel. Wellsite data can be read, and choke positions can be set, remotely at the gathering center without the need for field personnel to enter hazardous areas. Work processes were converted into automated digital workflows supported by advanced network modeling and nodal analysis software in a state-of-the-art collaboration center. The collaborative teams use optimization and visualization software to contribute in real time to production operations that optimize production gains. Integration of multidisciplinary teams such as field development, sub-surface, production operations and maintenance in a real-time work environment enables proactive and reliable decisions to be made much more quickly than in traditional environments with disparate work teams. This paper describes how the various technologies and work processes are used by the collaboration teams during the pilot project to increase efficiencies in oil production.


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