To increase the production and recovery of marginal, mature, and challenging oil reservoirs, developing new inflow control technologies is of great importance. In cases where production of surrounding reservoir fluids such as gas and water can cause negative effects on both the total oil recovery and the amounts of energy required to drain the reservoir, the multiphase flow performances of these technologies are of particular significance.
In typical cases, a Long Horizontal Well (LHW) will eventually start producing increasing amounts of these fluids. This will cause the Water Cut (WC) and/or Gas Oil Ratio (GOR) to rise, ultimately forcing the well to be shut down even though there still are considerable amounts of oil left in the reservoir.
In earlier cases, Inflow Control Devices (ICD) and Autonomous Inflow Control Devices (AICD) have proven to limit these challenges and increase the total recovery by balancing the influx along the well and delaying the breakthrough of gas and/or water. The Autonomous Inflow Control Valve (AICV) builds on these same principles, and in addition has the ability to autonomously close when breakthrough of unwanted gas and/or water occurs. This will even out the total drawdown in the well, allowing it to continue producing without the WC and/or GOR reaching inacceptable limits.
As part of the qualification program of the light-oil AICV, extensive flow performance tests have been carried out in a multiphase flow loop test rig. The tests have been performed under realistic reservoir conditions with respect to variables such as pressure and temperature, with model oil, water, and gas at different WC's and GOR's. Conducting these multiphase experiments has been valuable in the process of establishing the AICV's multiphase flow behavior, and the results are presented and discussed in this paper. Single phase performance and a comparison with a conventional ICD are also presented. The results display that the AICV shows significantly better performance than the ICD, both for single and multiphase flow.
A static reservoir modelling method have been used to evaluate the AICV performance in a light-oil reservoir. When compared to a screen-only completion and an ICD completion, the simulation shows that a completion with AICV's will outperform the above-mentioned completions with respect to WC and GOR behavior. A discussion on how this novel AICV can be utilized in marginal, mature, and other challenging reservoirs will be provided in the paper.