Perforation is the commonly used well completion technology to establishing communication between the wellbore and hydrocarbon-bearing formations, this is critical for optimal production. The proposed new well completion in perforation technology utilizes high power lasers energy. The technology attracted the oil and gas industry due to its unique properties such as it is a non-explosive based perforation technology with precise control over the perforated tunnel's shape, size, and geometry. The laser energy also creates permeability in the perforated tunnel. The successful research effort led to field deployment strategy in the next two years. he laser completion system consists of the laser source to generate the energy, which mounted on a coiled tubing unit on the surface, fiber optics cable to transmit the energy to the downhole target and to the laser perforation tool. The principle of the tool is based on combining optical and mechanical components, the alignment of the optics inside the tool provides the ability to control and generate different beam shapes and sizes, these create the several perforated shots in any direction.
comparison made between the shaped charges perforation and the laser perforation, under the same conditions and same rock type. Pre and post-perforation measurements were conducted for comparisons. The tunnel that is perforated by the high power laser is clean with no compaction, deformation or melt, the result also shows the same in all rock types with improvement in the permeability along the perforated tunnels. Details analysis carried out using different methods such as imaging and thermal analysis.
High-power lasers provide controllable heat source while penetrating the formation that enhances flow properties especially in tight formation, continues efforts over the past two decades proven that laser perforation can create large perforation tunnels with a large diameter. Laser perforation applied on all types for rocks including unconventional tight sands.
The potential of the technology is that laser can be the next new smart perforation generation that will change current well perforation. The state-of-the-art high power lasers technology in downhole perforation provide an innovative and safe non-explosive technology. Precision in controlling the power, orientation, and the shape of the perforation beam are some of the properties of the technology that made it attractive for downhole applications.