Technical Paper: Utility of Multiphase Production Logs in Optimizing Performance of Horizontal Wells Exhibiting Crossflow

Society: IPTC
Paper Number: 16819
Presentation Date: 2013


Horizontal wells are increasingly being completed with inflow control devices (ICDs) in order to equalize the flow profiles, avoid water coning, enhance oil production, and minimize or eliminate downhole crossflow. Evaluating ICD completions is important to assess well performance, water entry intervals, completion efficiency, and potential remedial actions. Advanced multiphase production logging tools can be employed to evaluate the effectiveness of ICD completions.

This paper examines case studies of two horizontal wells drilled along well trajectories with large heel-to-toe pressure differentials. These wells were drilled in a large carbonate reservoir with moderate fracturing in areas of high structural curvature, which added to the heterogeneity. Crossflow can occur under static and flowing conditions with sufficient contrast in reservoir pressure along the wellbore. Crossflow is undesirable especially when water enters the wellbore in one region and flows into the formation at another region, thereby reducing oil relative permeability in the latter region. This can adversely affect well performance and ultimate recovery. Advanced multiphase production logs and wellbore simulation are useful in the determining minimum well production rate required to avoid downhole crossflow.

Multiphase production logging profiles were obtained for the two ICD-equipped horizontal wells in this study. These logs demonstrate the efficiency of ICD completions in minimizing crossflow when wells are produced above critical flow rates. However, the problem of crossflow remains when such wells are shut-in or produced at rates below their respective critical rates.

These results show that comprehensive evaluation of wells exhibiting crossflow is necessary to minimize or mitigate crossflow and optimize well performance. Additional ICD design enhancements are recommended to control crossflow below the critical flow rate and to minimize undesirable gas/water production.

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