Intelligent well completions have introduced a step-change technology that improves project economics by permitting the operator to actively manage the reservoir. This aspect of asset management is especially important in those wells requiring sand control, often located in remote geographic locations or extreme operating environments, such as deepwater and ultra-deepwater, where the reserves base is high and the subsurface complex. Combining sand control technology with intelligent well technology can be a significant challenge, particularly when producing fluids from multiple, unconsolidated, high productivity zones.

To-date, the successful intelligent well completions that have been completed with sand control have been limited to a maximum of two productive intervals with full time monitoring and control. The limitation has been a result of the architecture of a gravel packed completion, requiring that the interval control valves (ICVs) and pressure and temperature gauges be placed above the zones of interest. While valuable to the asset where employed, some operators have expressed a need to have the control and monitoring equipment placed at or in the completion itself, or to have the capability of adding additional sand control completions to the wellbore.

Design solutions exist that may permit the operator to stack three or more gravel packs in a single wellbore and achieve full intelligent completion functionality. This paper will discuss those solutions and present several examples and case histories.

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