Over the last several years Saudi Aramco embarked on a technology driven strategy to maximize well productivity and total oil recovery by converting existing weak horizontal producers or dead vertical wells to MRC (maximum reservoir contact) wells. Another application is drilling new MRC wells from surface, many of which, if required by reservoir management, were installed with downhole smart systems to control flow from each lateral. Most of these wells were drilled with cemented 7" conventional liner or worked over with 5-1/2" expandable liner for zonal isolation as well as conduit for smart completion in the reservoir.

This paper will present an alternative to convert existing old wells to smart MRC wells equipped with hydraulically controlled downhole valves and swell packers or feed-through open hole packers as zonal isolation in open hole environment. So far four such wells have been successfully worked over and completed with open hole smart completion. Production data shows that not only these wells have achieved significant production gains, but also confirmed that the downhole isolation packers and flow control valves functioned as planned. This paper will also highlight the cost saving advantage of open hole smart completion as well as operational optimization process that led to successful field implementation.

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