The ConocoPhillips Xijiang field in the South China Sea requires multilaterals to increase oil production from a limited number of available platform slots. Further development in this area depends heavily on slot recovery to maximize production and minimize hole collisions caused by frequent sidetracking in cluster wells.

This paper discusses a novel method used to install low-risk multilaterals on these wells. This method reduced the risk and time associated with TAML (Technology Advancement of Multilaterals) Level 5 multilateral completions. By definition, a TAML Level 5 multilateral provides hydraulic isolation at the junction by using straddle tubular run as part of the final completion. In the past, constructing Level 5 junctions required the lateral liner to be cemented and later washed over in order to remove the portion of lateral liner left in the mainbore. This complex and time consuming process created additional debris, which had to be managed, along with potentially unstable junctions. The method discussed in this paper eliminates the need for this risky washover operation, resulting in lower risk and less installation time.

This new Level 5 multilateral installation method is based on proven tools and techniques currently used to create Level 3 multilaterals. This further reduces the potential risk and specialized equipment requirements of the multilateral system. This new type of Level 5 multilateral was designed to allow for maximum flexibility of the final completion assembly. The completion design provides for control of the laterals via slickline by making the Level 5 system compatible with the 2 7/8-in. bypass tubing around an electrical submersible pump.

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