Abstract

The first hydraulically operated completion was installed in Australia in 2004 (Guatelli et al 2004). Since then, a number of intelligent completions have been installed in offshore Australia. The remoteness of offshore Australia, particularly in the Timor Sea area, means intervention vessels are not readily available and well interventions are costly operations. For this reason, intelligent completion is considered to be an attractive alternative, by providing a down-hole solution to actively manage the reservoir production life and delay potential water breakthrough.

The Kitan oil field is remotely located in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) between East Timor and Australia. The Kitan oil field production facilities consist of three vertical producing wells, subsea flowlines, risers, and one Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility. The wells were completed with an intelligent design and cleaned up using a rig before the FPSO arrived on location.

The intelligent completion design consists of two multi-stage hydraulic down-hole Flow Control Valves (FCVs) and three Down-Hole Gauges (DHGs) to independently control and monitor two different production zones. The FCVs have a total of 8 positions (fully opened, fully closed and 6 intermediate choke positions).

It is planned to close the lower FCV to shut off water production from the lower zone while the upper FCV remains fully opened over the field life. The different FCV choke positions were utilized during the field startup and during the early stages of production while the water cut was still low, to overcome unforeseen technical limitations in the production system, and to optimize hydrocarbon production.

This paper describes various aspects of the Kitan oil field intelligent well completion from design through installation and field startup to early stage of production operations, and includes technical problems encountered during the field startup as well as lessons learnt.

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