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Optimization of well placement geothermal reservoirs using artificial intelligence

This research proposes a framework for determining the optimum location of an injection well using an inference method, artificial neural networks and a search algorithm to create a search space and locate the global maxima. A complex carbonate geothermal reservoir (Kizildere Geothermal field, Turkey) production history is used to evaluate the proposed framework. Neural networks are used as a tool to replicate the behavior of commercial simulators, by capturing the response of the field given a limited number of parameters such as temperature, pressure, injection location, and injection flow rate. A study on different network designs indicates that a combination of neural network and an optimization algorithm (explicit search with variable stepping) to capture local maxima can be used to locate a region or a location for optimum well placement. Results also indicate shortcomings and possible pitfalls associated with the approach. With the provided flexibility of the proposed workflow, it is possible to incorporate various parameters including injection flow rate, temperature, and location. For the field of study, optimum injection well location is found to be in the southeastern part of the field. Specific locations resulting from the workflow indicated a consistent search space, having higher values in that particular region. When studied with fixed flow rates (2500 and 4911 m(3)/day), a search run through the whole field located two locations which are in the very same region resulting in consistent predictions. Further study carried out by incorporating effect of different flow rates indicates that the algorithm can be run in a particular region of interest and different flow rates may yield different locations. This analysis resulted with a new location in the same region and an optimum injection rate of 4000 m(3)/day). It is observed that use of neural network, as a proxy to numerical simulator is viable for narrowing down or locating the area of interest for optimum well placement. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.