Over the last two years, the implementation of Intelligent Well Systems (IWS) has grown tremendously. In this time period IWS has progressed from being utilized only in niche cases to a wider range of applications where other completion technologies are currently utilized to maximize productivity of the well. Multi-Laterals, Sand Control and Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESPs) are the three most widely utilized technologies with which IWS must be integrated.
A number of worldwide installations have been conducted to date, with many more planned, which will necessitate integration of each of these key technologies with IWS. From the most complex Sub-Sea Deepwater IWS and Multi-laterals to the least sophisticated ESP completion, this paper will address the major technical hurdles associated with these integrations.
Intelligent Well Systems (IWS) have been available since the 1990's with many successful documented case histories1.The basic intent of an IWS completion is to provide the ability to independently and remotely monitor and control production from each zone of a multi-zone well. In essence each zone can be treated as an individual well with the ability to continuously monitor production and then make decisions about choking back or shutting off production without significantly impacting production from other zones. This capability has been well documented to enhance well economics.
An IWS completion consists of the following basic components:
Remotely Operated Control Valve
Permanent Downhole Gauges
Production and Isolation Packers
Surface Control System
The Remotely Operated Control Valve provides the basic control functionality and can be remotely controlled from surface to open, close or choke a given interval.
The Permanent Downhole Gauge (PDG) System provides the data that is necessary to make control decisions. In the most basic systems the PDG will provide single point pressure and temperature, but in more sophisticated systems, mutil-point pressure/temperature, mass flow, water cut, density, distributed temperature and even phase flow measurements can be utilized.