Early water and/or gas breakthrough is one of the main challenges in oil production which results in inefficient oil recovery. Existing mature wells must stop the production and shut down due to high gas oil ratio (GOR) and/or water cut (WC) although considerable amounts of oil still present along the reservoir. It is important to develop technologies that can increase oil production and recovery for marginal, mature, and challenging oil reservoirs. In most fields the drainage mechanism is pressure support from gas and/or water and the multiphase flow performance is particularly important. Autonomous Inflow Control Valve (AICV) can delay the onset of breakthrough by balancing the inflow along the horizontal section and control or shut off completely the unwanted fluid production when the breakthrough occurs. The AICV was tested in a world-leading full-scale multiphase flow loop located in Porsgrunn, Norway. Tests were performed with realistic reservoir conditions, i.e. reservoir pressure and temperature, crude oil, formation water and hydrocarbon gas at various gas oil ratio and water cut in addition to single phase performances. A summary of the flow loop, test conditions, the operating procedures, and test results are presented. In addition, how to represent the well with AICVs in a standard reservoir simulation model are discussed. The AICV flow performance curves for both single phase and multiphase flow are presented, discussed, and compared to conventional Inflow Control Device (ICD) performance. The test results demonstrate that the AICV flow performance is significantly better than conventional ICD. The AICV impact on a simplified model of a thin oil rim reservoir is shown and modelling limitations are discussed.
The simulation results along with the experimental results demonstrated considerable benefit of deploying AICV in this thin oil rim reservoir. Furthermore, this paper describes a novel approach towards the application of testing the AICV for use within light oil completion designs and how the AICV flow performance results can be utilized in marginal, mature, and other challenging oil reservoirs.