Prediction performance advantages of deep machine learning algorithms for two-phase flow rates through wellhead chokes

Hossein Shojaei Barjouei, Hamzeh Ghorbani, Nima Mohamadian, David A. Wood, Shadfar Davoodi, Jamshid Moghadasi, Hossein Saberi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two-phase flow rate estimation of liquid and gas flow through wellhead chokes is essential for determining and monitoring production performance from oil and gas reservoirs at specific well locations. Liquid flow rate (QL) tends to be nonlinearly related to these influencing variables, making empirical correlations unreliable for predictions applied to different reservoir conditions and favoring machine learning (ML) algorithms for that purpose. Recent advances in deep learning (DL) algorithms make them useful for predicting wellhead choke flow rates for large field datasets and suitable for wider application once trained. DL has not previously been applied to predict QL from a large oil field. In this study, 7245 multi-well data records from Sorush oil field are used to compare the QL prediction performance of traditional empirical, ML and DL algorithms based on four influencing variables: choke size (D64), wellhead pressure (Pwh), oil specific gravity (γo) and gas–liquid ratio (GLR). The prevailing flow regime for the wells evaluated is critical flow. The DL algorithm substantially outperforms the other algorithms considered in terms of QL prediction accuracy. The DL algorithm predicts QL for the testing subset with a root-mean-squared error (RMSE) of 196 STB/day and coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.9969 for Sorush dataset. The QL prediction accuracy of the models evaluated for this dataset can be arranged in the descending order: DL > DT > RF > ANN > SVR > Pilehvari > Baxendell > Ros > Glbert > Achong. Analysis reveals that input variable GLR has the greatest, whereas input variable D64 has the least relative influence on dependent variable QL.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Petroleum Exploration and Production
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Deep versus machine learning
  • Large field datasets
  • Overfitting considerations
  • Two-phase oil/gas flow rate
  • Wellhead choke-influencing variables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy(all)

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