Overturning the Rapid Production Decline of a New Infill Well Using a Permanent Downhole Gauge

Abdulhadi, Muhammad (Dialog Group Berhad) | Tran, Toan Van (Dialog Group Berhad) | Chin, Hon Voon (Dialog Group Berhad) | Jacobs, Steve (Halliburton) | Wahid, Muhammad Izad Abdul (PETRONAS) | Usop, Mohammad Zulfiqar (PETRONAS) | Zamzuri, Dzulfahmi (PETRONAS) | Dolah, Khairul Arifin (PETRONAS) | Abdussalam, Khomeini (PETRONAS) | Munandai, Hasim (PETRONAS) | Yusop, Zainuddin (PETRONAS)



Infill Well B-23, which was recently drilled in the CIII-2 reservoir located in the Balingian Province, experienced a rapid pressure and production decline. The production decreased from 2,200 to 600 BLPD within 1 year. Analysis of the permanent downhole gauge (PDG) data revealed that Well B-23 production was actually influenced by two other wells, B-20 and B-18, each located 2,000 ft away. This paper discusses the ensuing analysis and optimization efforts that helped reverse the Well B-23 pressure decline and restored its production to 2,200 BLPD.

Based on the typical causes of rapid production and pressure decline, operators initially believed Well B-23 was located in a small, separate compartment compared to Wells B-18 and B-20. Additionally, the Well B-23 behavior differed significantly from Wells B-18 and B-20. PDG data analysis provided clear evidence of well interference despite the significant distance between the well locations. Changes in the other wells immediately affected the Well B-23 pressure, thus leading to the conclusion that production from Wells B-20 and B-18 impeded the pressure support for Well B-23. To optimize Well B-23 production, Well B-20 was shut in while Well B-18 was produced at a reduced rate because of a mechanical issue.

The optimization initially resulted in more than 500 BOPD incremental oil from Well B-23. The well pressure decline was reversed, with PDG data showing a continuous increase of bottomhole pressure (BHP) despite an increase in the production rate. Subsequently, production was fully restored from 600 to 2,200 BLPD, and reservoir pressure returned to its predrill pressure. Going forward, the optimum withdrawal rate from the CIII-2 reservoir will be determined to ensure maximum oil recovery from both Wells B-18 and B-23. The case study proved the significant benefit of PDG data, which helped identify well interference as the actual cause of the rapid decline in Well B-23, instead of a reservoir or geological issue. Through in-depth analysis and thorough understanding of the reservoir, the operator restored what initially appeared to be a poor well to full production.

This case study shows the clear and strong effect of well interference and highlights how the subsequent results of the optimization effort were rapidly obtained. A comprehensive understanding of the reservoir behavior could not have been achieved at minimum cost without the pair of PDGs installed. The analysis and lessons learned from the Well B-23 PDG data provide valuable insight regarding the impact of well completions to the field of reservoir engineering.