Many wells across the globe have been installed with Inflow Control Device (ICD) technology to balance the production across the production interval, addressing some of the challenges associated with horizontal and deviated wells. Nevertheless, ICDs have limitations with restricting unwanted fluids upon breakthrough. Autonomous Inflow Control Valve (AICV) technology functions similar to an ICD initially (i.e., balancing flux across the length of horizontal wells, effectively delaying breakthrough) but provides the additional benefit of shutting off the flow of unwanted fluids upon breakthrough. This paper will present comprehensive AICV completion design workflow along with multiple case histories highlighting the reservoir management benefits of the AICV technology in mitigating un-wanted inflow of water and gas and delivering improved oil production and recovery.

Like other AICDs (Autonomous Inflow Control Device), AICV can differentiate the fluid flowing through it via fluid properties such as viscosity and density at reservoir conditions. However, AICV's performance is much more effective due to its advanced design which provides further benefits using both Hagen-Poiseuille's and Bernoulli's principles. AICV technology is based on the difference in the pressure drop in a laminar flow element (LFE) compared to a turbulent flow element (TFE) and has a capability to shut-off the main flow autonomously when an unwanted fluid such as water or gas breakthrough occurs. Thus, reduces well water cut (WC) and/or gas-oil ratio (GOR) significantly. Rigorous single-phase and multiphase flow-loop tests have been conducted covering a wide range of fluid properties to characterize the AICVs flow performance. Extensive plugging testing and accelerated erosion tests have also been conducted. This paper presents some of these flow performance analysis and testing results. Furthermore, the paper will also discuss in detail a reservoir-centric AICV completion modelling and design workflow.

Finally, this papers also discuss in detail AICV well performance installed in a light oil as well as in heavy oil reservoirs and how operators achieved higher OPEX saving as well as higher ultimate recovery (UR) from the wells due to prolonged as well as significant reduction in water cut and/or lower GOR.

The AICV design methodology and performance evaluation analysis is presented through several case studies. The analysis takes into account the whole cycle: from flow loop testing to characterization, reservoir modelling, optimized AICV completion design and post-installation well performance to evaluate the AICV technology benefits.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.