Pressure maintenance support in mature fields where permeability heterogeneity is present requires proper distribution of injected water into the respective zones of interest. This process can be extremely challenging, if no method for allocating the proper amount of water into each zone is available. An operator in the South China Sea, who had initiated a water injection project using legacy single-string two-zone completion technologies, found himself in this predicament, since no selective control for pressure maintenance had been considered for the project.
During the past few years, the application of intelligent completion (IC) technology has increased rapidly. This acceptance has been due primarily to its proven capabilities for reservoir monitoring and corresponding optimization of well performance without well interventions. Historically, the majority of IC applications have been in production wells; however, an increasing number of operators have started adopting IC technology for their injector wells.
This paper presents a case study in which IC technology was successfully applied in an offshore field in the South China Sea to provide an efficient water-injection method for optimizing pressure support as well as sweep. The operator selected this technology, as it presented a solution for optimizing the water injection. In addition to eliminating problems experienced with the incapability of the legacy completion technology to monitor water allocation and pressure maintenance for each zone, the IC technology would allow selective well testing for each zone. By evaluating the reservoir properties and characteristics of each zone independently, an intelligent completion would provide another key benefit to the operator, since it would comply with the platform size restrictions for the pumping equipment.
The paper will discuss field objectives, the conceptual design, the design obstacles, and the operational challenges experienced during the job execution.
The explosive growth of shale gas production in the US has sparked a global race to determine which other regions from around the world have the potential to replicate this success. One of the main areas of focus is the Asia Pacific region, specifically Pakistan.
In this paper, real results from seven different US shale basins- Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Barnett, Woodford (West-Central Oklahoma), Fayetteville and Bakken- have been used to develop a comprehensive sequence of shale exploitation strategy for emerging shale plays. The study involves integration of shale gas exploitation knowledge reinforced by a decade of experience across most of the North American shale gas basins, with published data. Different reservoir properties have been compared to develop a comprehensive logic of the effective techniques to produce from shale-gas reservoirs. We have validated the sequence with real results from US shale production ventures, published case histories, and by global experts who have been directly involved in shale reserves evaluation and production.
Subsequently, several different reservoir attributes of Pakistan shale plays have been compared with US basins, in an attempt to identify analogues.
It is the intent of this paper to diminish the difficult and often expensive learning cycle time associated with a commercially successful shale project, as well as to attempt to illustrate the most influential factors that determine optimum production. A very few papers in the petroleum literature that provide an extensive and systematic approach towards shale exploitation strategy for given shale-reservoir conditions
Encouraged by the U.S. successful experience with shale plays, many Asia Pacific countries including China and India - having 1275 & 63 TCF of technically recoverable Shale gas respectively - have already started off with aggressive plans to exploit their vast shale reserves.
Pakistan is currently suffering an energy shortfall of 2.3 BCF and the energy demand is expected to increase further by 245% until 2022, as compared to 2008. As its conventional reserves deplete, there is a need to work on new frontiers of energy sources. Unconventional gas resources, such as shale gas, tight gas and coal bed methane, are the avenues that should be focused on, in the current scenario.
According to EIA estimates, Pakistan's total Risked Gas in Place is 206 TCF, while its Technically Producible Shale Reserves are 51 TCF. It is interesting to compare these postulations with the Sui gas field serving the energy needs of Pakistan for decades, and having an estimated original recoverable reserve of 12 TCF. However, efforts to develop this potential resource have been lacking perhaps due to the economic and technological challenges.
During drilling operations, downhole conditions may deteriorate and lead to unexpected situations that can result in significant delays. In most cases, warning signs of the deterioration can be observed in advance, and by taking proactive actions, drillers can avoid serious incidents such as packoffs or stuck pipes. A new analysis methodology, relying on an automatic real-time computer system, has been developed to detect those early indicator conditions. The methodology involves constantly computing the various physical forces acting inside the well (mechanical, hydraulic, and thermodynamic). These physical forces are coupled by an automatic model calibration, which then gives a reliable picture of the expected well behavior. Through analysis of the deviations between modeled and measured values, an estimation of the current state of the well is derived in real time. Changes in the well condition are an early warning of deteriorating well conditions. This paper precisely describes the real-time analysis and the results during some drilling operations. The software has been used for monitoring 15 unique wells located in five different North Sea fields. All major situations were signaled in advance at different event time scales: Rapidly changing downhole conditions (such as pulling a drillstring into a cuttings bed) were typically detected 30 minutes ahead of the actual event, medium-duration deteriorations were detected up to 6 hours before the incident, and slow-changing downhole conditions were signaled up to 1 day in advance. Several examples that illustrate the detected incidents over distinct time periods are described. The availability of good-quality real-time data streams makes it possible to implement such analysis tools in an integrated operation setup. Early symptom detection can be used to make decisions in a timely fashion, on the basis of quantitative performance indicators rather than subjective feelings and personal experience.
The Schoonebeek heavy-oil field was first developed by Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM) in the late 1940s. Because of economics, it was abandoned in 1996. In 2008, the Schoonebeek Redevelopment Project, using a gravity-assistedsteamflood (GASF) design concept, was initiated with 73 wells (44 producers, 25 injectors, and 4 observation wells). Steam injection and cool-down cycles subject a cement sheath to some of the most severe load conditions in the industry. Wellbore thermal modeling predicted that surface and production sections would experience temperatures in excess of 285°C (545°F) and considerable stress across weak formations. A key design requirement was long-term integrity of the cement sheath over an expected 25- to 30-year field life span. Complicating this requirement was the need for lightweight cementing systems, because lost-circulation issues were expected in both hole sections, particularly in the mechanically weak Bentheim sandstone. The long-term integrity challenge was divided into chemical and mechanical elements. Prior research on high-temperature cement performance by the operator provided necessary guidance for this project. Laboratory mechanical and analytical tests were conducted to confirm the high-temperature stability of the chosen design. In addition to using lightweight components, foaming the slurry allowed the density, mechanical, and economic targets to be met. A standardized logistical plan was put in place to allow use of the same base blend for the entire well, adjusted as needed, using liquid additives, and applying the foaming process when necessary. This single-blend approach greatly simplified bulk-handling logistics, allowing use of dedicated bulk-handling equipment. The first well was constructed in January 2009; all 73 wells have been successfully cemented to surface. The steaming process, initiated in May 2011, has progressed with no well integrity issues to date.
Abahusayn, Mishal (K&M Technology Group) | Foster, Brandon (K&M Technology Group) | Brink, Jason (ENI Petroleum U.S. Operating) | Kuck, Marc (ENI Petroleum U.S. Operating) | Longo, Joseph (ENI Petroleum U.S. Operating)
A 52-well heavy-oil field development that targeted shallow--a 3,400- to 4,000-ft true vertical depth (TVD)--sands on the North Slope of Alaska was initiated in 2008. Horizontal wells of 11,000- to 13,000-ft measured depth (MD) were drilled early in the program. These initial wells served as "data-gathering and technology-proving" opportunities leading up to the eventual 23,000-ft-MD wells. Key technical challenges include equivalentcirculating- density (ECD) and drag management. ECD management became essential in the 8 1/2-in. productionhole section of the longer wells. A relatively narrow (less than 600 psi) mud-weight (MW) window necessitated changes to casing, drillstring, drilling fluids, and operational parameters. Lighter-weight production casing allowed the drilling of a larger production hole (8 3/4-in. vs. 8 1/2-in.). A tapered drillstring, reduced mud rheology, and reduced flow rate all became a necessary part of the ECD management solution. Advanced drag-management techniques are required to install the 9 5/8-in. production casing, 5 1/2-in. production liner, and 4 1/2- x 3/1/2-in. intelligent inner-string completion. The 9 5/8-in. casing is installed by use of the "buoyancy assist" method (i.e., "flotation") so it may be "pushed" and reamed in the hole beyond the point of negative weight. The lower completion consists of a 5 1/2-in. slotted liner with swell packers. Centralizers on the liner were changed from nonrotating to fixed, which allowed breaking axial drag while reaming the liners to depth. Extensive torque-and-drag modeling was used to plan intelligent inner-string completions on the injector wells, which included injection control devices, swell packers, and a fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (DTS) to monitor injectivity. This full-length paper discusses the technical challenges, welldesign solutions, and operational practices that were trialed and implemented to enable extended-reach wells to be successfully drilled on the edge of the industry-experience envelope, with all wells meeting targeted objectives.
Newly developed drilling automation systems locate a computer interface between commands issued by the driller and instructions transmitted to the drilling machinery. Such functions are capable of faster and more precise control than can be achieved by an unaided operator and thus can help drilling within narrow margins. To ensure that these systems work properly in all circumstances, an advanced drilling simulator has been developed to enable testing under a wide range of simulated conditions. The environment described in this paper uses hardware in the loop (HIL) simulation to verify that the automation techniques being tested respond correctly in real time. Rigorously validated physical models of the drilling process simulate the response of the well to the commands given to the drilling machines. Abnormal drilling conditions (e.g., packoffs, kicks) and equipment or machine-related problems (e.g., plugged nozzles, power shortage) are convincingly recreated. The drilling simulator models the behavior of surface equipment such as the activation of gate valves to line up different pits or the flow in the mud return. It simulates changes in the drilling fluid properties when mixing additives to the mud. It is therefore possible to focus training sessions on cooperation between different groups at the wellsite. This is particularly useful when planning the introduction of drilling automation that involves new work procedures as a result of automation and adaptation of the drilling team to a new operational environment. Drilling operations are becoming more and more complex. Automation has the potential to provide large improvements in efficiency and safety, but automation technologies must be implemented correctly at the workplace. Just as the aviation industry has used simulated environments for decades, drilling simulation environments are the key to the safe and successful implementation of drilling automation and the development of crew skills to face future challenges.
In October 2010, the deepest-set sealed multilateral (ML) junction in the industry was installed at 6900-m measured depth (MD) in Oseberg South Well 30/9-F-9 AY1/Y2. The differential pressure across the junction in the well was expected to be in the range of 250 bar. To meet this pressure requirement, a junction system rated to 370 bar was identified. The high-pressure junction components and entire multilateral system have undergone an extensive testing and qualification program, including several component tests and a full-scale system interface and integration test. A 10 3/4-in. precut window was installed as an integral part of the 10 3/4-in. liner. The plan was to perform the milling operation through this window. A stuck-string incident during the 10 3/4-in. liner installation accidentally caused the liner to drop in the hole. The liner ended up at the wrong orientation, and the window could consequently not be used. The main bore was drilled to total depth (TD) at 8583-m MD, and the 7-in. liner was run and cemented. After the liner perforation, the BL operations started with the installation of an anchor packer and a latch interface assembly (LIA). The milling operation was performed in a two-step operation with milling of a first-pass window by use of a downhole milling machine before installing a whipstock and performing the second-pass milling operation. The lateral branch was drilled to TD at 8258-m MD, and a 5 1/2-in. screen completion was run and dropped off into the 8 1/2-in. open hole. The junction was finally stung into a completion deflector, simultaneously with an openhole seal stinger entering the top of the screen liner in the open hole, tying the branches together. A 6900-m upper completion string with inflow control valves was finally installed to allow for surface control of the two branches. Despite severe drilling problems in the transport sections of the well, the ML operations were deemed successful. Major risk and challenges with this well design involved orientation of the 10 3/4-in. liner (to position the premilled window) at this depth, debris management after milling operations, and general depth control during junction construction. Debris management in particular became essential as the backup ML solution meant milling steel rather than aluminum. Although the two different reservoirs could be drained by two conventional extended-reach-drilling (ERD) wells, this would be a less cost-efficient solution. Furthermore, the construction of an ML well means that the aforementioned challenges drilling the transport sections had to be handled only once. The successful installation at this depth has proved that ML technology is feasible for use in ERD wells, either to improve the total reservoir exposure or to reach multiple targets from one well.
Technology Update - No abstract available.
Acharya, Mihir Narayan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Kabir, Mir Md Rezaul (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-Ajmi, Saad Abdulrahman Hassan (Kuwait Oil Company) | Pradhan, San Prasad (Kuwait Oil Company) | Dashti, Qasem M. (Kuwait Oil Company) | Al-anzi, Ealian H.D. (Kuwait Oil Company) | Chakravorty, Sandeep (Schlumberger)
The deep, sub-salt reservoir complex is tiered with fractured tight carbonate at bottom and top, with the two sub-units of "upper unconventional kerogen?? and "lower inter-bedded kerogen-carbonate?? in the middle. This depositional setting is challenging for horizontal well placement where the thicknesses of respective sub-units are about 50 and 30 feet with varying geomechanical and petrophysical properties. Additionally, this complexity poses limitations in completions and effective stimulation of the Kimmeridgian-Oxfordian reservoirs in several gas fields at development stage in Kuwait.
A horizontal well is placed in the lower sub-unit of the laminated complex of unconventional kerogen and fractured carbonate reservoir as a Maximum Reservoir Contact (MRC) type well. A pilot mother-bore was drilled and logged to identify the lithological properties across the entire vertical domain - facilitates the optimization of horizontal drain-hole placement within the targeted reservoir units.
No wellbore stability issues in drilling were predicted based on the geomechanical understanding where core-calibrated logs from offset vertical wells were considered. However, this modeling method did not have the functionality to integrate the impact of drawdown on the laminated formation which became unstable and collapsed during the short open-hole drill-stem test (DST) plugging the tubing prior to the final completions. An alternative "book-shelf?? geomechanical model was considered at pre-drill stage for predicting the wellbore stability. Once the drilling was completed, the time-lapsed multi-arm caliper indicated the validity of the alternative methodology in predicting the unstable stack of laminations in kerogen-rich strata.
The paper discusses an optimization methodology to enhance the understanding of static and dynamic geomechanical stability through the use of BHI data. Objective of the proposed method is to help improve the effectiveness of completions where wellbore stability due to geomechanical complexity in stacked-pay reservoirs is a primary wellbore challenge in deploying the completions and executing a subsequent stimulation and testing campaign.
To optimize production from long horizontal wells, the completion design engineer must consider reservoir heterogeneity so that water breakthrough can be avoided. Reservoir heterogeneity is even more critical when combined with the presence of a strong aquifer; one of the methods commonly used to control this condition has been to have uniform water movement towards the horizontal well. Traditionally, inflow control devices (ICDs) have been used in horizontal wells to achieve this goal. However, design of the ICDs and now autonomous inflow control devices (AICDs) to achieve optimum productivity from the horizontal well can only be achieved by properly linking the ICD and AICD design to reservoir characteristics. Unfortunately, operators and service companies have often applied ICDs without adequate methods to verify completion efficiency over time, since available tools to quantify reservoir complexities and their effects over time have not been readily available.
In this paper, a methodology and a numerical simulation approach that are designed to improve the success ratio of mechanical conformance treatments is presented. This approach combines a comprehensive solution for determining ICD and AICD effects on the wellbore behavior with a reservoir numerical simulator. The methodology considers the following:
• Placement techniques
• Annular flow control
• ICD flow size, rate, and number of ICDs
• Reservoir fluid properties
• Reservoir permeability distribution effects
• Fluid-property changes including prediction of water and gas breakthrough over time.
A numerical simulator that couples the wellbore and reservoir characteristics has been developed that can provide an efficient means for optimizing ICD/AICD design and initialization. Simulated examples are given for basic conformance phenomena such as coning and channeling. Field cases will be presented that demonstrate the application of this method and how it designed an optimum ICD/AICD completion solution.
This method reduced risks associated with ICD design and optimized the system designs through more accurately predicting water and hydrocarbon production.