This paper describes case histories of a successful drilling and completion experience of two tri-lateral Maximum Reservoir Contact (MRC) wells that were recently completed in Haradh field, Saudi Arabia. Equipping these two wells with down-hole monitoring and lateral flow-control, combined with the introduction of new completion practices, provided effective reservoir management solutions. A number of different MRC well designs were drilled and completed in different fields in Saudi Arabia, however, the subject two MRC wells were the first to provide minimum inter-lateral separation distance of three hundred meters. Moreover, these two MRC wells were the first to be completed with seven inch tubing string and tree, and equipped with per-lateral flow control option to selectively shut-in any water baring lateral in order to extend the life of such wells.
The objective behind the introduction of this new class of well design, the so called (MRC), which is generally defined as well with reservoir contact of five km and beyond, was to improve individual well productivity and hence reduce the unit development cost and to better develop hydrocarbon assets1.
Various reservoir and drilling challenges were encountered during the planning and execution phases of this project. Meeting the required minimum inter-lateral separation distance, expected production rate, and providing selective flow-control form each lateral were the main drivers for the current well design. Other challenges such as loss circulation, torque and drag limitations, well control, and formation damage were encountered while executing the project and were overcome successfully using different creative techniques that are also discussed in depth in this paper.
The Haradh area of Ghawar field, discovered in 1949, in the southern most portion of the Ghawar field, is approximately 11 miles (18 Kilometers) wide and 47 miles (76 kilometers) long. Regular oil production began when GOSP-1 come on-stream in 1964. The Arab-D reservoir produces Arabian Light crude.
Haradh, part of the greater Ghawar field, is divided into three increments (Figure 1). Increment-1 was put on production in 1996, Increment-2 was being developed at the time this paper was written and is the subject of discussion in this paper, and Increment-3 is yet to be developed.