The objective of this paper is to communicate operational and engineering process enhancement and cost saving initiatives in advanced well completions. The initiatives were identified following a detailed review of industrywide advanced completion best practices standardized over the past decade. Several operational and engineering best practices involving inflow control valves (ICVs), inflow control devices (ICDs), zonal isolation (mechanical and swell packers), multistage fracturing (MSF) and sand control technologies were examined. In addition, downhole pressure relief requirements were also considered to introduce new ways of enhancing well integrity by preventing casing corrosion.
A standard research and development methodology was utilized for this review. The methodology was based on collecting and documenting industrywide actual operational and engineering challenges in advanced well completion deployments for both oil and gas fields. These challenges resulted in either lost time at the rig site, necessitated workovers, or rigless operations. Examples of such challenges include extreme frictional forces during ICD deployments, repetitive solids removal practices prior to running ICVs, coiled tubing milling requirements for MSF, wash pipe deployments for downhole sand screen circulation, and calcium carbonate scale deposition in sand screens. The research also encompass a literature review for identifying further advanced completion challenges across the industry.
The review resulted in identifying several areas of potential improvement. As a result, multiple engineering and operational process enhancement initiatives were recommended. This includes the utilization of centralizers to reduce frictional forces in ICD deployments. Also, the application of isolation valves to eliminate wash pipe requirements in screens or ICDs. Moreover, running downhole annular relief check valves to preserve tubular integrity by eliminating casing-to-casing annular (CCA) pressure communication and utilization of mono-bore ball seat technology to eliminate milling in MSF. Finally, the utilization of sacrificial completion accessories to improve ICV cleanup practices and save rig time in addition to several other relevant initiatives across the industry.
In summary, the paper provides a deep dive into several technical advanced completion challenges across the industry. Also, several new initiatives are proposed with the objective of achieving significant cost savings. It is intended for these initiatives to be adopted as new advanced completion best practices. Not only to yield significant cost savings, but also to supplement the existing best practices body of literature in the areas of ICVs, ICDs, zonal isolation, MSF, well integrity and sand control technology.