Drilling, completion, and production monitoring and control of multilateral wellbores in highly unconsolidated sandstone formations have been successfully achieved both technically and operationally in the recent past, helping to ensure that planned production rates and reserves are achieved.
Gravel packing lateral branches on multilateral wells is no longer challenging. Sound isolation of the main branch can preserve the mainbore of debris when milling the window and drilling the lateral, helping ensure seamless gravelpack operations. Stable junction isolation exists to support sand placement and subsequent reverse-out gravel pack operations in the main and lateral branches.
With respect to multilateral wells, one of the key factors in terms of determining whether or not a multilateral wellbore might be suitable for a given project is the size and type of sand control completion and technique that might be necessary. The use of conventional standalone screens combined with multilateral technology has a long and highly successful history. Where more sand control reliability is necessary, the use of gravel packs or frac packs in combination with multilateral wellbores, technology is now available and beginning to develop its own successful history.
In its current form, when combining advanced sandface completions with multilateral completions, gravel pack operations are subsequently followed by the installation of the multilateral and upper completions. As a result of a newly developed system, the junction completion can now be interconnected with the sand control operations in a single seamless operation.