E&P operators are looking at innovative solutions to control water production in horizontal oil well producers, to maximize their assets’ value. The operators are putting greater emphasis on maximizing oil production from the existing assets instead of performing sidetrack or drilling new wells. Completing wells with equalizer completions; inflow control device (ICD) separated by openhole packers is one such solution.
Two kinds of equalizers are used for entry of wellbore fluids; Active ICDs and Passive ICDs. For wells completed with Active ICDs, a shifting tool can be used to close the water producing ICDs. However, for wells completed with passive ICDs, plugs with cement can be used, which will isolate the section below, leaving much of the oil behind. For wells in which the heel or the middle section starts to produce water, there was no solution, but to live with it or re-sidetrack the well.
Recently, a new technology of expandable steel technology has been selected, and specifically customized for ICDs isolation purposes. The patch is corrosion resistant alloy (CRA) material, which was selected to cope with the harsh corrosive environment. Pipe geometry had to be adjusted to enable "Patch thru Patch" capacity. Despite the tight restrictions of the well, the use of this technology allowed to keep enough clearance after installation to pass another Patch thru later on, if required.
Prior to performing the isolation of the ICD, production logs of the horizontal section were carried out to analyze the production and locate precisely the high-water producing zones. Three (3) Patches were successfully deployed rigless using smart coiled tubing. The real time monitoring enabled accurate positioning and smooth down hole pressure control.
Post patch installation, wellbore path remained clear, enabling production from the bottom zone. The well performance improved with substantial reduction in water production and consequent incremental increase in the oil production. Isolating the dominating water contributing ICDs, contributed to increase the oil contribution from the other ICDs. This was confirmed by another production log performed post patch installation. This was the first installation of Xpandable Steel Patch across ICD's worldwide.
This paper will highlight the technology and its application, solution selection process and the operational deployment of the Xpandable Steel Patch including real-time monitoring capabilities of instrumented Coil tubing (CT) which can be leveraged to accurately install the patches.