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Advanced well completions have proven to be an effective method of moderating gas breakthrough while producing a thin oil rim when placed in a heterogenous, carbonate reservoir. In addition, several studies have proven that the application of autonomous inflow control devices (AICDs) acts as a type of insurance policy against geological and dynamic reservoir uncertainties to reduce the risk and variation in the expected oil production profiles.

During 2019 and 2020, Sarawak Shell Berhad conducted development campaigns in the central Luconia province in a thin oil rim carbonate reservoir offshore Sarawak, Malaysia. The horizontal, approximately 6,000-ft development wells were expected to intersect with different geological layers with varying rock properties, resulting in an uneven reservoir influx toward the wellbore. Oil production from these wells was expected to suffer severely from early gas and water breakthrough.

To produce the oil rim without the risk of early gas production, global production optimization specialist, Tendeka, incorporated FloSure AICDs in the lower completion design at the reservoir interface along the horizontal section of the wells. As an active flow control device, the technology delivers a variable flow restriction in response to the properties of the fluid entering the wellbore and the rate of flow passing through it to help manage gas coning/cusping risks. The fluid is then lifted to surface with natural in-situ gas lift built into the upper completion. A three-phase development was planned for the field, and to date, two phases have been completed.

New-Generation ICD

The first AICD completion was installed in Norway in 2008 and widely implemented in the Troll field in 2013 with very encouraging results (SPE 159634). However, its use is relatively new to both the Asia Pacific region and this type of application.

Similar to a standard ICD which balances the influx of reservoir fluids, the FloSure AICD will delay the production of unwanted effluents prior to their breakthrough (proactive solution). However, once a breakthrough occurs, the device restricts the production of unwanted effluents with lower viscosity, such as gas (in light oil applications) and both gas and water in viscous oil production (reactive solution) (OTC 30403, OTC 30363, SPE 193718).

The device delivers a variable flow restriction in response to the properties of the fluid and the rate of flow passing through it. Flow enters the device through the nozzle in the top plate of the body. This impacts the disk and spreads radially through the gap between the disk and the top plate, then turns around the top plate and is discharged through several outlet ports in the body (Fig. 1).

The overall geometry of the device is critical to its ability to balance these forces effectively and create the desired fluid-dependent pressure drop.

Field A employed 7.5-mm AICD valves to match the performance of the devices to the potential well flow rate. The oil, water, and gas viscosities are 0.40 cP, 0.27 cP, and 0.018 cP, respectively, at downhole flow conditions.

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