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WISH: a unique tool for automating the design and placement of wells

A project presented by Pierre Bergey, Martin Cyrot, Nor-Eddine Daoud, Nicolas Eberlé and Maddalen Lepphaille

A breakthrough innovation based on generative design, TotalEnergies’ WISH software allows users to test the distribution of hundreds of well models in a very short turnaround time. By selecting the best ones, this intuitive tool optimizes the per-well cost, the production platform, hydrocarbon recovery and greenhouse gas emissions.

Best Innovators 2021 - WISH - Well Improvement Scheme – Exploration & Production – TotalEnergies

The next generation of well models

Designing well models is a long, complex and tedious process in which both reservoir uncertainty and drilling constraints must be taken into account. Until recently, these producing wells or injectors were still mainly placed “by hand”. But with this conventional method, only a few models could be tested, so engineers ran the risk of having a non-optimal development plan with too many wells, which lowered the recovery rate.

WISH changes all that. For the first time in the Oil & Gas industry, this computer-assisted well placement design and optimization solution makes it possible to automatically generate hundreds of models in a very short period of time, and then to rapidly test and select the most promising placements and trajectories.It can be used in greenfield and brownfield projects, and is also good for optimizing underground carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) facilities.

A unique generative design solution in Oil & Gas

WISH automates well architecture with an iterative design process commonly used in the aerospace industry. The software uses a heuristic method, starting with one or more reservoir simulation models, via advanced optimization algorithms.

The tool follows six intuitive design criteria that are controlled entirely by the engineers, in particular allowing space between wells to prevent interference and positioning the wells in areas with the greatest productivity or hydrocarbon volume. It can also take into account drilling trajectory constraints and the uncertainty of the reservoir model.

WISH is fully integrated into our reservoir modeling suite. The performance is evaluated using TotalEnergies’ next-generation Intersect reservoir simulator based on its Pangea supercalculator. The data is entered and results are viewed on our proprietary platform Sismage-Cig. 

A breakthrough solution with a competitive edge

A patented innovation, the solution gives the Group a significant advantage:

  • The limited number of parameters and their intuitive nature mean that WISH is very flexible and easy to use and yields results in a short period of time.
  • WISH offers well distribution models that are up to twice as effective as those generated with the conventional manual method, according to a qualification study conducted in the Umm Shaif gas field in the United Arab Emirates.
  • It reduces the number of wells, and therefore the related greenhouse gas emissions, by half, with the same production profile.
  • WISH also lowers the cost per well. The system may cut drilling expenditures by 10% and increase the final recovery of hydrocarbons in new developments by 3%.
  • By reducing uncertainty, WISH also indirectly lowers the risks associated with drilling operations.

Generic and versatile, this iterative design software can be applied in other areas, such as submarine production system design. WISH has been widely available at TotalEnergies since January 2021.

The project team