Modeling Your Surface Network to Match the Subsurface Reservoir

You’ve completed the subsurface simulation runs on your reservoir, and you’re satisfied with the accuracy of the model you’ve built. Now let’s configure your surface network to match what equipment you’ll need to handle the oil/gas/water you’ll be producing as you deplete the reservoir.

Whether your production will be onshore, or on a floating or fixed platform offshore, you need to design your network to include all the appropriate equipment. This can be a challenging task, what with various devices required for the multiple stages involved in separating, reinjecting, compressing and routing the produced gases and liquids.

To accomplish this mammoth task, you’ll need the data from your reservoir simulation software, as well as the results you gleaned from your network simulation software, plus you might need an integration package that can “translate” and exchange information between the two. Three different software programs to do one job? Sounds like a really expensive and time-consuming proposition: The surface model needs to wait for data from the subsurface model; it’s deciphered by the integration software; and only then can the surface model take that data and do its stuff, sending new constraints down to the waiting subsurface model. It is a slow process. And it can oscillate.

Fortunately, software is available that integrates reservoir simulation, integration and network simulation, and mix-n-match workflows are common. One of these programs was built in the 1980s, and most are 20th-century technology that is complicated, very costly and it can be a budget-buster for all but the largest E&P projects.

But relax. There is a better, affordable alternative, a fully integrated software program for surface network modeling. It’s called Network Designer, and it’s part of the tNavigator® software suite. Unlike other software options available, Network Designer was designed and built less than 10 years ago, and it is still evolving, expanding and being enhanced. Updates to the tNavigator suite are issued at least quarterly.

“Finally we have found an excellent tool for the simulation of complex fields, saving time and money in the reservoir management of the field development and exploitation.”
Mirta Córdoba de Galacho, Technical Director, MG&A Oil & Gas, Buenos Aires


Maybe best of all, Network Designer’s price is right. You don’t have to pay a high price for more software than you need. In fact, Network Designer currently includes the tNavigator PVT Designer fluid-modeling package and the tNavigator VFP Designer well-modeling package at no extra charge.

Network Designer: fully coupled and fully implicit software to model reservoir depletion

Modeling reservoir depletion effects on the surface network requires long-term planning. Water and gas handling can be straightforward in the initial stages of production when little water and gas is being produced. But what happens after nine or 10 years into production when produced fluids need to be compressed and reinjected? Retrofitting is usually a very expensive option at this time – especially offshore.

But reservoir and production engineers often tell us using Network Designer for the job is a dream come true. Complex well- and field-development scenarios that used to take weeks or months to run can now be completed in a fraction of the time; Network Designer’s speed and accuracy are unmatched by any other program. It’s easy-to-use, completely intuitive and best of all, fully coupled and fully implicit because it was built that way from the ground up.

In no time at all you’ll be modeling your surface network in 3D, right down to the most intricate flow lines, within a drag-and-drop GUI environment. Your field development planning team can now collaborate more effectively on how to deplete the reservoir more efficiently and diminish the chance of costly mistakes.

Network Designer is so easy to use, one of our clients told us, “It’s a bit like building blocks — my 8-year-old son could build a surface network with Network Designer!”

Everything is integrated within tNavigator, and it is so robust and time-saving you’ll wonder how you managed designing surface networks before. Should you discover a hitch in your reservoir model and need to change a subsurface configuration or two, Network Designer is so accommodating it can make the needed surface modifications on-the-fly.

We hear you thinking about technical support…

When you’re coping with such a formidable computer task as implementing a fully integrated subsurface to surface network, you might need tech support from your software provider. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably discovered, calling product support can be grueling — most energy software companies hire new grads right out of school and start them off sitting at a phone bank handling customer product-support calls, which they know nothing about yet.

Not so with tNavigator Technical Customer Support! We employ dozens of highly experienced, knowledgeable professionals to handle support calls from our clients in our offices around the world. Even our CEO picks up support calls – he likes to hear what’s important to our clients, and what they have to say about tNavigator.

To learn more, and try tNavigator yourself, request a demo or visit the Contact Us page and call one of our 20 offices located throughout North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Australasia.