The aims of every oil & gas operator to optimize production, increase oil recovery, and minimize operating cost are driving the industry to look for innovative completion and production solutions. This is true for brownfields where operators are looking to rejuvenate reservoirs that still have reserves in place as original completion efficiencies deteriorated over time.

A workover offshore Malaysia was conducted in a field to recover oil from a multilayered, high water/oil contact reservoir. The objective was to increase production and recovery volumes in a cost-effective way and reduce rig time. The original completions lacked the ability to control and choke the flow from each zone independently, and thus could not optimize comingled production and water cut, resulting in limited oil recovery from the reservoir.

For this reason, an intelligent completion with downhole variable flow control valves and real-time pressure and temperature gauges was considered. The objective was to design an intelligent completion that is both cost effective in a marginal field and that can fit inside an existing cased-hole wellbore that requires sand control. Because of the many challenges faced in combining the multizone gravel-pack system and the intelligent completion components, both had to be re-engineered to allow for a perfect interface. This resulted in the first intelligent completion installation inside a shunt-tube gravel pack with multizone packers.

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