Production Engineering and Technology

Our long-established research is focused on combining production and reservoir simulation, and modelling skills to design, monitor and optimise production from advanced wells (including intelligent or smart wells). The continuous, underlying purpose of our multidisciplinary research theme is to quantify the "Added Value" from advanced wells.

Advanced wells are becoming commonly used worldwide in the development of complex geology and/or unfavourably saturated, reservoirs. Notable examples include thin oil rim reservoirs like Troll field offshore Norway, water-flooded heavy oil reservoirs like Peregrino field offshore Brazil, multi-reservoir fields like Golden Eagle field offshore UK, and many more.

All major, international operators and service companies use and/or develop advanced well completions, and a vast number of smaller companies do so too.


The Group currently runs the Value from Advanced Wells (VAWE) Joint Industry Project exploring the areas of design, monitoring, and optimisation of wells with sandface, flow control and monitoring completion.

Areas of expertise

  • Advanced, smart, intelligent wells
  • Modelling of downhole flow control completion performance
  • Optimisation of design and control of advanced wells
  • Evaluation of added value from advanced well completions
  • In-well monitoring, data sampling, well test design
  • Real-time, in-well measurement interpretation methods for advanced wells

Research impact

  • Intelligent field evaluation study done for one of the North Sea, offshore, green fields influenced the multi-million decision to develop it with intelligent completion. The bespoke, production optimisation algorithm was developed, applied to the field, and later generalized for universal use.
  • Cross-European project was completed with the HWU as one of the contributors. New well control technology (AICVs) was developed, tested, evaluated, and marketed.
  • A bespoke, intelligent well modelling and optimisation algorithms were implemented in one of the major petroleum software packages, IPM, used as a standard software worldwide.
  • Novel methodology of in-well data interpretation in advanced wells has been developed, internationally recognized, and applied on smart wells.
  • The researchers actively help forming the advanced well technology by routinely contributing to the organization, review, knowledge exchange, and steering of the relevant conferences, forums, and publications.


The Advanced Wells group currently comprises approximately 10 members (excluding MSc students). We are actively collaborating with industrial R&D and P&O departments, petroleum software developers, innovative SMEs and academic researchers. This helps us to routinely verify and apply our solutions to real field/well cases; promote implementation of the technology and best practices within the oil companies as well as in major software programs; contribute to the improvement and innovation of the flow control and monitoring technology.

Prof. David Davies

David has taught Production Technology at Heriot-Watt University since 1996. He started the Advanced Wells project in 2001, and has published in excess of 125 conference papers and 50 peer reviewed papers.

He has extensive industrial knowledge and experience with Shell Chemicals UK, and Shell International working in both Technology Development, and Operations in the areas of Drilling and Production. His research interests today remain relevant to these essential oil & gas industry activities.

For over 40 years he has been an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), serving on many committees, and editorial boards.

Prof. Davies holds a BSc. in Chemistry and a PhD in Theoretical and Experimental Chemical Physics from Exeter University, U.K.

Dr Khafiz Muradov

Khafiz is an Assistant Professor in Production. His research interests include advanced well completion technology, downhole production monitoring, well control, temperature transient analysis. He has authored multiple publications.

Before joining Heriot-Watt University he worked in scientific and petroleum research organisations.

He has served on numerous SPE committees; in 2012 he won SPE's Cedric K. Ferguson Medal for the best paper written by a young member.

He holds BSc and MSc degrees in Physics and MSc and PhD degrees in Petroleum Engineering.


Previous researchers working in the Advanced Wells group are now enjoying very successful careers, both in industry and academia.


Our current research partners include:

If you are interested in supporting our research project, or developing a bespoke project for your company, please do not do not hesitate to contact Khafiz Muradov.

Consultancy & CPD courses

We can provide a range of specialist one-on-one consultancy/research projects around advanced well completion control, modelling, monitoring, and evaluation.

We deliver the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) 5-day course: Introduction to Production Engineering and Operations delivered at the Heriot-Watt Edinburgh Campus or can be arranged at a company's premises.

Please contact Dr Khafiz Muradov for further information to discuss new opportunities for CPD courses and one-on-one consultancy/research projects.

Key information

Professor David Davies

Dr Khafiz Muradov