Energy consumption and demand are steadily increasing. Hydrocarbons have been an important energy provider for several decades, but production from mature oil and gas producers is declining. Great effort is put into improving oil and gas reservoir recovery to meet this rise in energy demand.
In the subject reservoir where the pay zone is a thick, multi-layered limestone, characterized by low-permeability; conventional techniques yield lower than expected production results.
To improve production and the ultimate recovery of the field, extended-reach drilling (ERD) wells with long horizontal multilaterals (Quad and Penta-laterals well types) were drilled to attain maximum reservoir contact (MRC), ranging from 10 to 14 Km. These wells equipped with intelligent completions, enable uniform contribution along the extended horizontal intervals. This contribution is achieved through better flow management of the different sections of reservoir contact, reducing operational drawdown pressures, and delaying gas and water breakthrough. The result is high well potentials, improved long-term performance of sweep and recovery, and increasing net worth of the drilling investment.
This paper presents the lessons learned from hundreds of ERD multilateral wells drilled in the field, including integrated operations, progressive approaches and innovative applications, improved drilling practices on a continuous basis, and the tools and techniques used to drill and complete the wells safely and efficiently.
These efforts achieved a milestone record rate of penetration (ROP) in the Middle East of 5,000 feet per day, and as a direct result contributed to minimizing well delivery time by 35 % and average 25% reduction in well cost in an always challenging drilling environment.
The design approach, job execution and evaluation of drilling performance are presented in this paper; as well as key technical challenges and risks encountered during planning and execution stages and how these were mitigated and overcome for MRC improvement and optimization.
Well construction was challenged to meet the complex multi-lateral with long cantilever sections.
The MRC optimization schemes applied in the field resulted in dramatically reduced days of drilling operations that led to millions of dollars in project savings and the achievement of world class drilling records.