Multilateral Wells Placement Optimization via Transshipment Approach

Technology #d-1059

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Mohamed Soliman
Ghazi D. AlQahtani
Noah E. Berlow
Managed By
David McClure
Director Licensing 806-834-5899
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending

Multilateral wells are a new evolution of horizontal wells in which several wellbore branches radiate from the main borehole. Multilateral wells placement problem consists of finding the best well locations and trajectories for multilateral wells in a hydrocarbon reservoir to boost the later productivity and recovery. The problem of placing multilateral wells can be subjugated by the number of wells capped, length of the wells, and cost threshold to place multilateral wells in part or in whole.  

This technology introduces a novel method for multilateral wells placement in hydrocarbon reservoirs utilizing transshipment network optimization approach. Using this method generates multiple numbers of wells with different designs honoring the optimum completion points in a reservoir. Also, new algorithm associated with this technology was developed to find optimum location and trajectories for multilateral wells in local and global terms followed by the utilization of a partitioning algorithm to reduce the computational cost of the optimization process. The proposed method will not only create different multilateral designs, it will justify the trajectories of every section generated. 

Reference Number: D-1059 

Market Applications:

  • Oil & Gas Companies
  • Hydrocarbon Reservoir Well Modeling 
  • Reservoir Simulation  

Features, Benefits & Advantages: 

  • Eliminate simple multilateral well trajectory with practical one that ensures contact with most profitable hydrocarbon pockets
  • Generate large number of multilateral wells in a timely effective manner
  • Create unique multilateral well designs that accommodate reservoirs complexity and heterogeneities which in turns dictates variability in performance at different spots in the reservoir
  • Propose mathematically proven optimum multilateral wells using mixed integer programming approach 

Intellectual Property:

  • A U.S Patent Application ( serial no 14/330,510) was filed on 07/14/2014.  

Development Stage:

  • From the invention disclosure this technology has not been reduced to practice in the field yet. 


  • Mohamed Y. Soliman, Ph.D, Petroleum Engineering Department, Texas Tech , Lubbock , TX. 
  • Ghazi D. AlQahtani, Ph.D Candidate, Petroleum Engineering Department, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
  • Noah E. Berlow, B.S.E.E, B.S.C.S, Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering, Texas Tech university, Lubbock, TX 

Keywords: Wells placement, Optimize(ation), Transshipment, Multilateral wells, Mixed Integer programming.