Inflow-Control Device, Inflow-Control Valves Aid Kuwait's First Smart Multilateral Well

Wilson, Adam (JPT Editorial Manager)


This article, written by Editorial Manager Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 159261, "Novel Design and Implementation of Kuwait's First Smart Multilateral Well With Inflow-Control Device and Inflow-Control Valve for Life-Cycle Reservoir Management in High-Mobility Reservoir, West Kuwait," by Om Prakash Das, Khalaf Al-Enezi, Muhammad Aslam, Taher El-Gezeeri, and Khalid Ziyab, SPE, Kuwait Oil Company; and Steven R. Fipke and Steven Ewens, Halliburton, prepared for the 2012 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 8-10 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.

Kuwait’s first smart Level-4 multilateral well was completed in the Burgan reservoir by combining a Level-4 junction with stacked dual-lateral completion with a customized viscosity-independent inflow-control device (ICD), two customized inflow-control valves (ICVs), downhole gauges, a wide-operating-range electrical submersible pump (ESP), suitable wellheads, a tree, and integrated surface panels for real-time data monitoring. The smart multilateral well has assisted in addressing premature water breakthrough, has enhanced water-free oil production, and has facilitated uniform depletion, which results in improved hydrocarbon recovery.


The Minagish field in west Kuwait (Fig. 1) is a north/south-trending anticline with hydrocarbon contained in six major reservoirs (sandstone and carbonate) ranging in age from Early Jurassic to Late Cretaceous. The Burgan sandstone reservoir lies at the crest of the Minagish field.

The lower section of the Burgan sandstone reservoir consists of a braided river system with stacked-channel sand bodies that have very high horizontal and vertical permeability (on the order of a few darcies) and are associated with an underlying active aquifer. The combination of high oil viscosity, oil-wet reservoir characteristics, and very high water mobility associated with very high permeability and the presence of fault networks connected to the aquifer accelerates water movement inside the reservoir and results in premature water breakthrough in existing vertical and horizontal wells, despite maintaining highest standoff from the oil/water contact.

Smart-Multilateral-Well Architecture and Design

The smart-multilateral-well design was customized for ICD completion at the sandface for both the main-bore and upper-lateral intelligent completion including two ICVs, downhole gauges, feed-through packers, and a Level-4 cemented junction to provide fullbore access to the main bore and upper lateral. A schematic of the smart multilateral well is shown in Fig. 2.

ICD Selection and Design

The following objectives were considered for completion of the horizontal open-hole section of the main bore and upper lateral of the smart multilateral wells:

  • Facilitate uniform inflow across the entire horizontal production section of both the main bore and upper lateral.
  • Control water production from relatively high-permeability layers upon water breakthrough.
  • Allow automatic adjustment to compensate for changes in well-inflow profile over the production life of wells.
  • Provide uniform sweep efficiency across sandface.
  • Minimize annular flow.
  • Minimize pressure drop through ICD housing to improve flowing bottomhole pressure (FBHP) in main bore and upper lateral.
  • Minimize bypassed-oil regions, and maximize oil recovery.
  • Maximize production life of wells.

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