Technical Paper: High Water-Cut Production Remedy by Inflow Control Solution in Challenging Intermittent Channeled Sands Oil Recovery in Gulf of Thailand Offshore

Society: IPTC
Paper Number: 16971
Presentation Date: 2013


Oil production in Gulf of Thailand Offshore has always been hijacked by high water cut. Field recovery suffers with most sand RFs <10% due to premature water breakthrough and bypassed oil. Connecting sand pockets of varying sand quality and huge heterogeneity contrast for commingled inflow have further worsened nonbalanced production, especially in the progressive development toward horizontal well production. However, the deployment of downhole flow control (ICDs) in field BY as pilot, has revolutionized conventional surface-choke-controlled production toward inflow and drawdown control via downhole nozzles. The ICDs pilot, BY-A, is selected based on its strategic comparison value to an existing horizontal well, BY-B, completed with stand-alone sand screen (SAS) in the same sand and over about the same horizontal length. An “apples-to-apples” comparison of postjob production over the same production duration between the ICDs case and the SAS base case demonstrated that the ICDs pilot has prevailed in many production factors and completion strategies: 

  1. ICDs well BY-A delayed water breakthrough by ~2 months, unlike BY-B, which experienced instantaneous water breakthrough with 40% water cut in the same period.
  2. BY-A production has exceeded that of BY-B by >50,000 barrels of oil during the first 7 months.
  3. Application of ICDs has freed up conventional surface choking-back control on breakthrough. Instead, more liquid rates are pumped at controlled water cut that transformed previous production to more rates with more oil.
  4. ICDs design and modeling, updated with LWD-derived data in near real-time, has optimized the completions cost. Effectively, lower ICD-screen completions are applied only at sand contact.

In brief, the entire ICDs design and support together with the postjob production monitoring and optimization will be discussed. This work provides an insight into transforming an otherwise ordinary horizontal well with typical high water-cut constraints into a guiding, successful ICDs well that has warranted the application of more ICDs in the operator's other nearby field developments.

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