Intelligent wells that can be monitored and controlled remotely are a powerful reservoir management tool. At the heart of intelligent wells are surface-actuated downhole valves for regulating flow from individual zones and permanent downhole temperature and pressure sensors. Saudi Aramco engineers drilled and completed a maximum reservoir contact well that was put on production with minimal water production. In less than one year, water cut had reached about 23%. Available drawdown and overall production were reduced, and treatment and disposal costs rose. The operator needed a solution to control water production. Schlumberger designed and deployed an intelligent completion system with multiposition, downhole flow control valves and surface flow-rate measurements to selectively manage water production from each of the three zones. Through optimization of the downhole control valves, water cut was reduced from 23% to almost zero. Saudi Aramco engineers reported that without the intelligent well approach, the well would have watered out and ceased production.
Evolving intelligent completion technologies are enhancing reservoir management, recovery, and productivity and decreasing the need for interventions.