The Extended Reach Drilling (ERD) field re-development of a giant offshore field in United Arab Emirates (UAE) from four artificial islands predominantly requires the use of artificial lift (gas lift) to assist in unloading the wells post-completion operations and enhance reservoir production recovery rates. The vision was to achieve a well completion that allows for intervention-less unloading via gas lift using shearable Gas Lift Valves (GLV) and Remote Actuated Barrier Devices (RABD). The key principals in developing a solution to achieve this vision were to reduce rig time by avoiding critical path unloading, minimize post-rig activity to install live gas lift valves, and eliminate HSE exposures. Historically producer wells were completed with dummy gas lift valves and a frangible barrier device to facilitate the required completion pressure testing and provide barriers for rigging down from well. Coil Tubing (CT) was used to break the barrier device and kick off the wells with nitrogen. Once gas lift is available, the wells would be shut in, and a series of wireline interventions carried out to replace the dummy valves with live GLVs. This time consuming and costly process increases in cost when subsequent rig location covers the well that needs intervention; critical path rig time has been needed to unload wells with CT, in some cases requiring up to seven (7) rig days. This resulted in increased construction cost of each well and additional HSE exposure associated with the rig-less interventions required.

A method was developed to deploy the upper completion with live, barrier qualified Tubing Pressure Shearable GLV’s (TSGLV) and a RABD, which enables all necessary well-construction integrity tests to be performed, and subsequently convert to a production configuration to allow unloading, gas lift and production of wells. Post-completion, well unloading and gas lift is immediately available without incurring critical path rig time or rig-less interventions.

In this paper, the authors will demonstrate the technology that was developed, the qualification and testing program that was implemented, and final solution that enabled the Company to deliver wells successfully with remotely actuated unloading and production without the need for intervention.

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