Passive Inflow Control Device (ICDs) Application in a Horizontal Wells Completions in the Rubiales Area Heavy-Oil Reservoir

Gomez, Max (Pacific Rubiales Energy) | Florez Anaya, Alberto (Pacific Rubiales Energy) | Araujo, Ysidro Enrique (Pacific Rubiales Energy) | Parra Moreno, Wilson (Pacific Rubiales Energy) | Bolanos, Viviana (Pacific Rubiales Energy) | Landaeta, Libia (Pacific Rubiales Energy)


Rubiales and Quifa are the Colombia’s major heavy oilfields (oil gravity ranges from 11.3 to 14.4 °API) with a current oil production of more than 260 MSTB with an oil viscosity ranges from 370 to 730 centipoises. Horizontal well technology is used to drill through unconsolidated sandstones with an active and strong aquifer, under primary depletion. Since 2006, 604 horizontal producer wells have been drilled and completed using slotted liner in open hole.

The high water production rate from the beginning of the operation in the horizontal wells is the main problem to be controlled in the Rubiales and Quifa fields, due to the high cost of produced water treatment and other factors. Water production is inevitably associated with the oil production; however one of the biggest challenges is to delay the water production as much longer as possible.

Rubiales and Quifa actually have a large number of closed wells that have reached its economic limits, mainly by high water production. This production imbalance is being addressed in the new horizontal wells, using inflow control devices (ICDs). The ICDs is placed in each screen joint to balance the production influx profile across the entire lateral length and compensate the permeability variation and therefore the productivity of each zone.

In 2012, a pilot test has been designed and implemented in Rubiales field with three horizontal wells using passive ICDs completion. The performance of the ICD’s is found to reach the highest cumulative oil production compared to neighboring wells. The main purpose of this paper is to detail the selection process design and results evaluation for the use of the passive ICDs in horizontal wells at Rubiales and Quifa Fields, heavy oil reservoirs.