As gas fields mature and water production increases, understanding and managing the dynamic flow behaviour of the well and production system are critical for maintaining, and even optimising, production. This knowledge could be the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful attempt at re-starting a wet gas well after it is shut-in. When a well is in production, choking the well to optimise stable facilities operation and maintain water production within the water handling constraints of the facilities can be a fine line between achieving continuous stable production and the well ceasing production due to high liquid loading.
This paper describes the successful kick-off and unloading of two high-water producing gas wells within the operational constraints of the offshore facility. Transient multiphase flow models were developed for a platform well and a subsea well to simulate the wellbore flow dynamics during start-up. The models were tested over a range of values for parameters such as reservoir pressure, inflow performance and water gas ratio for different kick-off strategies but always honouring the facility's water surge management constraints.
The outcome of these simulations facilitated the development of tailored bean-up strategies for each high-water producing gas well, which provided a mechanism to engage with key stakeholders and demonstrate confidence in the execution of these strategies. Dedicated procedures were developed and subsequently executed successfully to re-start the two wells with the wells continuing to produce after kick-off and unloading, operating within the water surge management limits of the facility. Similar strategies are being developed for other high-water producing gas wells including those with material sand production.
This paper demonstrates strategic capability to realise additional value using dynamic modelling to kick-off mature high-water producing gas wells through proactive development of mitigation strategies which avoid production disruption.