Innovative creation of gravel bridges to divide the annulus provides a solution
To ensure full, uniform gravel packing across the entire interval, Schlumberger recommended a completion using the OptiPac service with
Low-friction-pressure ClearPAC XD fluid addressed the pressure limitation of the shunt tubes while the diverter valves ensured that the formation fracture pressure was not exceeded. Reverse circulation was used for cleanup, with fluids pumped down the washpipe and back up the annulus with the help of the 10K openhole antiswab service tool (ASST) to avoid activating the one-way diverter valves.
During gravel packing, the gravel-pack carrier fluid pumped down the openhole annulus flowed through the screen and along the screen-washpipe annulus. The higher annular fluid pressure opened the first diverter valve (located in the heel section), reducing the length of washpipe through which the returning fluid had to flow on its way back to surface and consequently reducing friction pressure on the formation.
The fluid diversion caused a bridge to form at the diverter valve; the bridge was bypassed with the help of the shunt tubes. As gravel packing progressed from heel to toe, two more bridges were intentionally formed at the remaining diverter valves. Using bridges to effectively divide the gravel-packed annulus into four shorter zones and divert slurry into the shunt tubes reduced the annular flow path of the slurry—and hence friction pressure—at any given time.
Operator gains more than 4,000 ft of reservoir access with one well
The 4,347-ft openhole interval was successfully packed, providing access to both sections of the reservoir and saving the operator USD 60 million by eliminating the need for a second well. The job established a new record for the world’s longest openhole gravel pack using Alternate Path technology.
The engineered fluid design minimized the amount of prepad that had to be pumped to remove viscous brine from the open hole at the start of the operation, saving time, reducing expense, and simplifying pit management.
The 10K ASST enabled constant hydrostatic pressure in the open hole, eliminating the swabbing effects of hardware movement and hence ensuring filtercake integrity before gravel placement. When gravel packing was complete, the service tool enabled spotting of filtercake removal treatments, eliminating a cleanup run and further reducing rig time and costs.