Computational Geosciences

, Volume 18, Issue 3–4, pp 433–448 | Cite as

Simultaneous and sequential approaches to joint optimization of well placement and control

  • Thomas D. HumphriesEmail author
  • Ronald D. Haynes
  • Lesley A. James


Determining optimal well placement and control is essential to maximizing production from an oil field. Most academic literature to date has treated optimal placement and control as two separate problems; well placement problems, in particular, are often solved assuming some fixed flow rate or bottom-hole pressure at injection and production wells. Optimal placement of wells, however, does depend on the control strategy being employed. Determining a truly optimal configuration of wells thus requires that the control parameters be allowed to vary as well. This presents a challenging optimization problem, since well location and control parameters have different properties from one another. In this paper, we address the placement and control optimization problem jointly using approaches that combine a global search strategy (particle swarm optimization, or PSO) with a local generalized pattern search (GPS) strategy. Using PSO promotes a full, semi-random exploration of the search space, while GPS allows us to locally optimize parameters in a systematic way. We focus primarily on two approaches combining these two algorithms. The first is to hybridize them into a single algorithm that acts on all variables simultaneously, while the second is to apply them sequentially to decoupled well placement and well control problems. We find that although the best method for a given problem is context-specific, decoupling the problem may provide benefits over a fully simultaneous approach.


Production optimization Well placement Well control Particle swarm optimization Pattern search Joint optimization Black-box optimization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas D. Humphries
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald D. Haynes
    • 1
  • Lesley A. James
    • 1
  1. 1.Memorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

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