Controlling sand has been one of the most difficult challenges in oil production in Upstream Malaysia operations. Conventionally, Cased Hole Gravel Packs (CHGP) or Open Hole Gravel Packs (OHGP) are installed to prevent sand from being produced with the oil to the surface facilities. However, both methods require massive operations and high cost which impact the overall economics of the project.
This paper summarizes the technology evaluation of Shape Memory Polymer (SMP). This includes the working philosophies, candidate selection, risk identification and mitigation plan, and success criteria developed for this technology. Common gravel packing technique is accomplished by packing gravel in the annulus between the screen and formation sand face, where the gravel acts as a barrier preventing the migration of the formation sand. The new technology does exactly the same task by expanding SMP which conforms to the sand face. The only difference, in gravel packing, the contact medium with the sand face is the gravel whereas in this technology the contact medium is the SMP. The operational sequence is very similar to the installation of Open Hole Stand Alone Screens (OHSAS). From the evaluation, one well was identified by the team at BS field for piloting this technology. The well will be part of a development campaign executed in Q2 2020. Details of the well design and scope will be shared briefly, as well as a commercial comparison between conventional sand control methods and SMP.
The pilot test at BS field will be discussed including technology evaluation, candidate selection, well completion design, risk mitigation and others. Several case histories and current available field implementation are also taken into consideration to properly plan the pilot test. The success criteria outlined would help to oversee the performance and continuous monitoring of the system before it can be declared a success. Potential candidates for replication of this technology have also been identified within the Operator's company in the near future.
The possible pilot test for this technology is the result of strong and good collaboration between the Operator and Service Company. If it is a proven success, this technology will become a game changer for downhole sand control in the petroleum industry which will be able to maximize production and save operational expenditures, while ensuring the highest reliability.