The use of horizontal and multilateral wells in heterogeneous reservoirs has become well established over the last 10–15 years and has resulted in improved recovery and increased field life. Due to the non-uniform influx from these wells, less than 1/3 of the lateral contributes the bulk of the production from the well. The presence of an aquifer or gas cap can significantly shorten the well life and make it uneconomical. This is especially true for offshore fields where well intervention is difficult and expensive.

The use of ICD's or inflow Control Devices is becoming more prevalent and can result in significantly increasing the economic life of a well. Most of the devices currently in use are passive and once set, cannot be changed or modified. ICD's can be used for both producers and injectors and are very effective when used in conjunction. Prior to completing a well with ICD's, considerable design work needs to be done to determine the optimal settings for the life of the well. In order to properly design the ICD configuration, extensive simulations are required from the newly drilled well properties. A poorly designed well can result in choking production from good reservoir sections or resulting in early breakthrough. This paper discusses the different types of ICD's available and the process to properly design the well completion. The different modeling tools available are presented and the implementation process in the field reviewed. Two field examples are given and the results from these installations presented. A process for the proper design and common issues are also presented. The use of screens coupled with ICD's for sand control is also discussed.

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