Technical Paper: Implementation of Next Generation Intelligent Downhole Production Control in Multiple-Dipping Sandstone Reservoirs, Offshore East Malaysia

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 145854
Presentation Date: 2011
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The "S" field, located offshore East Malaysia, consists of multiple-dipping heterogeneous sandstone reservoirs with unconsolidated formation. These multi-stacked reservoirs have an overall 40m thick oil column with marginal Oil-Initial-In- Place (OIIP). A large gas cap, i.e. twice the OIIP equivalent, also exists. Scenarios of zonal gas-out leaving huge oil bypass and moderate aquifer strength with inevitable water invasion cautioned the asset team to consider intelligent zonal flow control especially in its horizontal producing wells.

Two of the 14 horizontal producer wells in this marginal field have been screened to apply the modular integrated intelligent completions system (IICS) to actively control and permanently monitor zonal inflow for optimal production. Future selective production control and data surveillance enabled by the IICS are essential to fulfill the needs for delicate downhole zonal flow balance for ultimate oil incremental and recovery. It provides control against the aggressive gas cap expansion at the heels while addressing the moderate aquifer coning-up problems from the dipping toes as the field depletes.

This paper highlights the successful implementation of the next generation intelligent completions system in a complicated, highly-dipping, multi-layered sandstone reservoir with commingled production. In this multi-zonal production solution, the conventional surface-controllable downhole zonal flow control valves are now integrated with data surveillance gauges, intelligent sensors and isolation packers all into one single completion joint, instead of the precedent multi-joints system (i.e. splicing required up-to 3 joints per zone conventionally). This single modulated joint system has reduced installation time substantially in comparison to conventional intelligent completions installations. The risk of surface completions make-up damage before run-in-hole is also greatly reduced with less connecting components. This robust yet compact system has made on-site completions tally adjustment easier and is enabled with LWD data update while drilling. As a result, intelligent completions design becomes more flexible and responsive to actual reservoir challenges and drilling surprises—providing an all together "intelligent" solution.

This paper also discusses the screening process from simulation performed for candidate evaluation to the resulting impact on production post-installation. Future applicants of such technology with similar fields’ nature and risks can benefit from the discussed lesson-learnt; best-practice workflow and seamless teamwork and coordination between the project team and service providers in delivering an advanced fit-for-purpose solution.

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