This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper IPTC 20201, “Improving Completion Reliability by Integrating ESPs, Intelligent Completion, and Zonal Downhole Monitoring With a Compact Horizontal Wellhead,” by Suresh Jacob, SPE, Maithem Al-Nakhli, SPE, and Muhammad Munir, SPE, Saudi Aramco. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2020 International Petroleum Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.

The complete paper presents an oilwell completion integrating multilaterals, intelligent completions, permanent downhole monitoring systems, electric submersible pumps (ESPs), and a horizontal wellhead system. The paper discusses the completion drivers and design, individual equipment, preparation, field experience during installation, and performance of the system during production. The completion has been installed successfully and its lessons are being applied in the design of future installations.


The well was drilled in a field comprising two main stacked reservoirs separated by a thick nonporous impermeable mudstone barrier. The two reservoirs are in an asymmetrical anticline structure sharing the same oil/water contact. The two reservoirs have a common pressure gradient and similar crude oil properties while having different petrophysical properties, with one reservoir having twice the productivity of the other. Both reservoirs were developed simultaneously using peripheral water injection with horizontal injector and producer wells. Dedicated producer and injector wells targeting individual reservoirs were drilled because of the differences in productivity and the areal extent between the reservoirs. ESPs were installed in all producers to increase rates and to transport fluid to surface facilities.

Multilateral wells were drilled to increase production rate and to decrease pressure drawdown. These wells were drilled as TAML Level 2 wells, with openhole laterals drilled from a cemented liner. An intelligent completion allowed the production from each lateral to be controlled remotely from the surface.

While both ESPs and intelligent completions are widely used in the industry, the integration of these technologies in the same well is rare because of the difference in operating cycles for the two systems. A well with both ESPs and intelligent completions should be designed to allow periodic ESP workovers while retaining the intelligent-completion equipment within the wellbore for the life of the well. The downhole-disconnection tool is a key enabler in the integration of ESPs and intelligent completions. However, the high level of operational planning and precision required to reconnect the control lines after ESP workover and the absence of downhole sensors in the intelligent completion prompted the design of an ESP/intelligent-completion integration without the downhole wet-connect tool.

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