While many factors in the reservoir cannot be controlled, there are three controllable factors in field development that make a significant impact. More reservoir contact leads to more oil produced. Controlling sand and water means lower treatment costs, and in-situ reservoir management leads to higher cumulative production. While the underlying technologies have been around for up to 20 years, it is only recently that their synergies and true value are understood. This paper will demonstrate the effect each of these technologies has on increasing overall production rates, improving recovery, and reducing the cost per Barrel of Oil Equivalent (BOE).
The successful implementation of multilaterals in the North Sea will be analyzed. Since 1996, over 300 multilateral junctions have been installed on the Norwegian continental shelf fields with currently approximately 30 junctions completed each year.
Additionally, simulations will be used to demonstrate the incremental improvements in oil recovery that can be obtained by using properly designed advanced completions that include multilaterals, sensors, and passive/active flow control equipment.
The paper will evaluate production performance of a vertical well field development base case against scenarios using horizontal and multilateral wells. It will show how fields can be optimized, leading to increased oil and decreased water production.
Production rates can be significantly improved by combining multilaterals with other advanced completion techniques, such as intelligent completions and inflow control devices. The subject field simulation can be further optimized to manage gas and water production.
With a tailored multilateral field design, combined with properly designed advanced completions systems, the simulation succeeds in terms of achieving maximum contact with the oil reservoir and meeting improved ultimate recovery objectives.
It can be concluded that as reservoir contact is increased, a reduced decline in production rate is observed leading to both a higher Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR) and optimized drawdown profile distributions. Additionally, results will be presented that have considered oil production and a method to lower production of unwanted fluids or gas.
This paper also demonstrates the value of field development design from the perspective of reservoir simulation. It is through reservoir insight that a level of understanding is created that can help define the optimum well and completion design to meet field expectations.
Advanced multilaterals continue to grow in popularity with many operators, and it therefore becomes important to evaluate the value of different field development methods. This knowledge can aid operators in unlocking new reservoir targets and optimizing field development, and ultimately will improve recovery factors and overall field economics.