Noble Energy produces and sells tens of thousands of barrels of oil a day in the Wattenberg field in northeastern Colorado, one of the largest natural gas deposits in the United States. This paper describes a new mathematical model that was built and implemented to support the company’s business decisions regarding its current and future sales, dispatch, and transportation operations. The corresponding multicriteria optimization model is formulated and solved as a multi-period, multi-objective mixed-integer program that considers the maximization of revenue and sales, and the avoidance of temporary production shut-ins and sell-outs to guarantee long-term contractual obligations with its partnering well owners, haulers, and markets. A theoretical tradeoff analysis is presented to validate model decisions with current operational practice, and a small computational case study on an original data set demonstrates the use of this model to find efficient dispatch schedules and gain further insights into the tradeoffs between the different decision criteria.
Oil load dispatch Production, transportation, and distribution logistics Multicriteria optimization model Multiperiod, multiobjective mixed-integer programming Tradeoff analysis Computational case study Wattenberg field Denver–Julesburg Basin Noble Energy
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The sponsorship by Noble Energy of the Spring 2012 Mathematics Clinic "Wattenberg Oil Load Dispatch and Hauling Optimization" in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver and the participation of several other students is gratefully acknowledged.
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