Abstract

The wells in the "A" geothermal field located in the Philippines, have high bottomhole temperature (BHT) of 600°F and bottomhole flowing pressure (BHFP) of 2,000 psi. The productive section in this field has "shallow" and "deep" reservoirs which are separated by a low-permeability formation. The interaction between the reservoirs is hence limited except through the wells resulting in intrazonal flows under shut-in conditions. As observed with time, these flows have been upflows making the overall production very stable. However, in recent years, it has been found that the cooler fluid inflow from the shallow reservoir has relatively increased, causing reduction in production levels. Under flowing conditions, this has resulted in both flow instability and downflows in wells, which in turn have decreased the individual well production capacity. In order to activate and enhance well production, coiled tubing (CT) nitrogen lift operations were required to be performed to unload the cold water in geothermal wells, hence enhancing steam production.

The wells in this field are completed with large completion sizes (7-in., 9.625-in., and 13.375-in.) and have high BHT (600°F), which makes conventional coiled tubing operations highly challenging. Because the coiled tubing operations in geothermal wells are limited as compared to the conventional operations, planning and executing these for the first time in the "A" field was challenging operationally and technically. As such, surface equipment failure risk was high, putting at risk successful coiled tubing operations.

To gain further understanding of operations in high temperature and cold water downflow environments, CT simulations were combined with simulations from the geothermal reservoir to overcome modeling limitations. The outcome helped designing a new cooling loop system and allowed optimizing the nitrogen lift technique. As a result, two large-diameter geothermal wells were lifted safely with 2-in. coiled tubing in the Philippines.

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