Many operators have struggled to determine an optimum draw down strategy during the initial production period (flowback). Most that we have encountered rely on an analysis of the data after the initial production period when it's too late to mitigate any loses in well performance. This paper will examine the use of an Automated Performance Diagnostic ("APD") application to detect changes in well performance in real time during the early production period and alert operators when there is a problem. Examples from multiple basins will show how the application is used in different reservoirs and how it can be connected to an automated choke system and artificial lift system to optimize both early time and late time well performance. Rate Transient Analysis will be applied to synthetic data generated from numerical models to demonstrate the correlation between observed loses in well performance using well known analysis methods and the APD application. Next, the APD application will be applied to field data with known decreases in well performance encountered during the initial production period. Finally, the APD application will be applied in real time during the initial production period to guide surface operations to optimize well performance. The APD application identified all known instances of well performance loses in both the synthetic and field data even identifying some that were previously unknown. In field testing the APD application was not only able to determine decreases in well performance to avoid production loses but it could quickly identify improving well performance which allowed some wells to have the choke opened faster than the operators had previously done. The APD application has been able to evaluate well performance in real time in all tested basins. It is the belief of the authors that the application should work in any basin globally. When combined with an automated choke systems and artificial lift the APD application can be expanded to field wide optimization.

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