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Virtual Metering and Wellbore Optimization Through Physics-based Wellbore Models

March 2, 2022 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


The Canadian Heavy Oil Association (CHOA) and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Calgary Chapter are pleased to announce their collaboration in cross-promoting select upcoming events to benefit the members of both associations. We believe that we are stronger, together. This CHOA – SPE partnership will promote innovation, building and sharing knowledge to ignite and drive advances, and cross-industry collaboration to inspire our current and future leaders. With the combination of CHOA’s heavy oil and oil sands focus and SPE’s breadth including its data science Special Interest Group, members of our industry and beyond will have access to an enhanced range of events, information, and networking. Result: More opportunities to evolve and thrive in our continuously changing business environment.

Part of the CHOA-SPE event cross-promoting collaboration:

Virtual Metering and Wellbore Optimization Through Physics-based Wellbore Models

Are you looking to improve production without the high capital tied to drilling more wells or expanding facilities? In 2021 Suncor and Madala Software, with the support of Alberta Innovates, conducted a project to deliver an automated Digital Twin pilot for production optimization. The objective was to deploy full-physics models of SAGD production wells in an online, cloud-based environment, using parameter estimation to calibrate the models to real-time production data and nonlinear optimization to provide automated surveillance and production optimization advice.

Three gas-lift wells of varying vintages and instrumentation levels were selected for the project. Production increases from 11% to over 50% were realized, along with accurate virtual flow measurement and recognition of failed well tests. Based on a $30/bbl netback and 5% uplift on a 30,000 bbl/day field, this becomes a 16 million increase in profit!

Join Madala, Suncor and the CHOA community in a discussion on the project scope, automated workflows, detailed results and next steps.

The presentation is moderated by Angie Wong, Senior Engineer – GLJ.


  • Udoka Nwabuike, MacKay River Production Engineer – Suncor Energy
  • Dr. Damien Hocking, Chief Technology Officer – Madala Software

Damien Hocking

Damien Hocking is the CTO at Madala Software. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and has been specializing in simulation software for the O&G value chain for 29 years. Before Madala was founded in 2015 he held a variety of positions at Hyprotech, Aspen Technology, KBC, Computer Modelling Group and consulting roles at MEG Energy, Honeywell, HTRI and Aucerna. When not arguing with simulations he enjoys trying new recipes in the kitchen.

Udoka Nwabuike

Udoka Nwabuike is a production engineer (EIT) with the MacKay River resources team at Suncor Energy. He holds degrees in chemical engineering and computing technology and has just under 3 years of experience in process and sub-surface engineering roles in the SAGD industry. In his free time he loves to play or watch the beautiful game of football (soccer).



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March 2, 2022
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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