Sand control screens are typically installed with an internal string (washpipe) which, among other functions, provides a circulation path. In long horizontal wells, running a washpipe consumes considerable rig time and may limit ability to reach target depth. In cases where fluid losses are experienced after screen installation, isolating the open hole with a fluid loss control valve can take a long time. This paper describes a washpipe-free solution for screen installation using a check valve ICD.
ICD screens are commonly used to delay/restrict influx of unwanted fluids such as gas or water. The washpipe-free solution integrates a check valve with the ICD to prevent outflow through the screen during circulation and allow inflow through the screen when placed on production. This solution uses a check ball that seals against the ICD during circulation but falls back on a porous retainer plate during production. The check ball and retainer plate can be dissolved by spotting a reactive fluid inside the screen or made to erode over time with production.
Laboratory testing yielded the following results: 1) ICD with the check ball was shown to seal up to 5,000 psi, 2) Check ball and retainer plate can be dissolved by a reactive fluid which can be tailored to bottom hole temperature and required time of dissolution, 3) Pressure activation test demonstrated maximum differential pressure to seat the ball is less than 5 psi.
This check valve ICD solution has been applied worldwide in more than 35 wells, most of which were targeted to avoid running a washpipe. However, in two wells the technology was successfully used to set open hole packers with 5,000 psi setting pressure. Washpipe-free ICD screen installation with a dissolvable check valve and capability of setting hydraulic packer without washpipe or intervention in open hole are novel solutions presented in this paper.