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Technical Paper: Advanced Intelligent Completion Solution for Extended-Reach Wells

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 176768
Presentation Date: 2015
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Abstract

Extended-reach drilling (ERD) wells can be extremely long and technically challenging from drilling through completions, cleanup, stimulation, and production optimization. This paper will focus on the key challenges associated with ERD well completion, real-time cleanup, and production monitoring and optimization and will present an advanced intelligent solution enabled by new technologies to handle these complex challenges. 

As fields become more mature, there is an increasing requirement for real-time flow profile understanding and interventions to correct unwanted flow profile anomalies—such as water production, gas breakthrough, etc.—to have better production and reservoir management. Combining real-time data monitoring and active control with optimal zonal isolation along the wellbore has been proven to be one of the most efficient and effective completion strategies in the industry for the above-mentioned requirements. The operator can proactively manage production and eliminate or reduce interventions and associated production downtime, well costs, and risks. However, getting the inventionless permanent intelligent completions to the total depth (TD) of ERD wells is one of the major challenges and hence, very long horizontal ERD wells are typically completed partially, leaving stretches of reservoir section unmonitored and uncontrolled. Also, conventional intelligent completions have clear limitations on number of flow control valves and sensors that can be deployed in a well, mainly limited by the maximum number of control lines that can be deployed with the completion. The limitation comes from the feedthrough port limitation of critical completion tools, such as the tubing hanger, production packer, etc. and also from the completion deployment challenges faced with increasing number of control lines. This limits the ability to have an optimal segmentation along the wellbore in many cases. 

Another important challenge that our industry faces is in effectively using real-time monitoring data to make informed decisions and take required actions efficiently. Traditionally, the whole process of data gathering from downhole tools to decision making and taking reasonable action is long-ranging, from months to years, and requires multidisciplinary expertise. As a result, well controllability, reservoir management, and hence production optimization are compromised due to technology solutions limitation. 

The new, all-electrical solution with reliable downhole wet connects and integrated answer product software for data management and analysis of real-time data presented here is a key intelligent end-to-end solution. This paper gives details of this new-generation technology solution that addresses the above-mentioned challenges.

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