A comprehensive approach to the design of advanced well completions
Al-Khelaiwi, Faisal Turki Manee
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Advanced Well Completions (AWCs) employing Downhole Flow Control (DFC) technology such as Inflow Control Devices (ICDs), Interval Control Valves (ICVs),Autonomous Inflow Control Devices (AICDs) and/or Annular Flow Isolations (AFIs) provide a practical solution to the challenges normally encountered by conventional wells. Both oilfield operating companies and several researchers have developed workflows to identify the optimum well location and field development well configuration. However, all these approaches do not at present consider optimising advanced well completions employing DFCs. The objective of this thesis is to provide an automated, comprehensive workflow to identify the optimum advanced well completion design that ensures an optimum well performance throughout the well’s and field’s life. This study starts by describing the history of ICD, AICD, ICV and AFI development with emphasis on the (near and) fully commercially available types and their areas of application. The thesis then reviews the flow performance of available ICD, ICV and AICD types. It reviews the available advanced completion modelling techniques and their historical development. This allows provision of guidelines on how to model DFC technologies performance when combined with AFIs over the well’s life. It shows how the value of such well-construction options can be quantified using these tools. The thesis introduces a novel workflow outlining the process of designing ICD completions with or without AFIs for different well architectures applied in different reservoir types for production or injection purposes. The workflow incorporates: the ICD restriction sizing; the requirement for AFI, their frequency and distribution; the impact of ICD reliability throughout the life of the well, the effect of uncertainty on the design parameters, installation risks and the resulting economic value. This workflow is then extended to the design and evaluation of AICD completions, through identification of the optimum control of water and excess gas production. The value and applicability of the proposed workflow is verified using synthetic and real field case studies. The latter include three oil fields (H-Field, S-Field and U-Field), one thin oil column/gas condensate field (NH-Field) and a gas field (C-Field). These cases also illustrated the value which can be gained from the application of Downhole Flow Control technologies.