In unconsolidated sand reservoirs, proper sand control completion methods are necessary to help prevent reservoir sand production. Failure due to sand production from surface equipment damage to downhole equipment failures which can ultimately result in loss of well integrity and worst-case catastrophic failure. Gravel Packing is currently the most widely used sand control method for controlling sand production in the oil and gas industry to deliver a proppant filter in the annular space between an unconsolidated formation and a centralized integrated screen in front of target zones. Additional mechanical skin and proper proppant packing downhole are the most critical objective when implementing gravel packs as part of a completion operation.
This paper presents a case history of Well SX that was designed as single-trip multi-zone completion 7-inch casing, S-shape well type, having 86 deg inclination along 1300 meters, 4 to 5-meter perforation range interval and 54 deg inclination in front of the reservoir with total depth of 3800 mMD. The well consists of 4 zones of interest which had previously been treated with a two-trip gravel pack system. While Well NX was designed as single-trip multi-zone completion in 7-inch casing, J-shape well type, 8-meter perforation interval and 84 deg inclination in front of the reservoir with total depth of 3300 mMD. The well consists of two zones of interest which had previously been treated with a single-trip gravel pack system. Both wells are in the Sisi-Nubi field offshore Mahakam on East Kalimantan Province of Borneo, Indonesia. This paper discusses the downhole completion design and operation as well as the changes to the gravel pack carrier which overcame challenges such as high friction in the 7" lower completion and the potential for an improper annular gravel pack due to the lack of shunt tubes in a highly deviated wellbore. In vertical wellbores, obtaining a complete annular pack is relatively easy to accomplish but in highly deviated wellbores, the annular gravel pack is more difficult to achieve and can contribute additional skin. Tibbles at al (2007) noted that installing a conventional gravel pack could result in skin values of 40 to 50, mostly due to poor proppant packing in perforation tunnels.
Therefore, operator required to find a reliable gravel pack carrier fluid optimization for typical highly deviated wells to overcome the potential sand production issues by applying a single-trip multi-zone sand control system across both zones (without shunt tubes) along with the utilization of a high-grade xanthan biopolymer gravel pack carrier fluid.
Laboratory testing was conducted to ensure that the gravel pack fluid could transport the sand to the sand control completion, large enough to allow for a complete annular pack and still allow the excess slurry to be circulated out of the hole. Electronic gravel pack simulations were performed to ensure that rate/pressure/sand concentration would allow for a complete gravel pack. All four zones in Both of Well SX and NX were successfully gravel packed with a high rate, relatively high sand concentration slurry. The well has not exhibited any sand production issues to date. The current production from both wells is above expectation and are comingled from the two primary zones.
Multiple factors were considered during the design and operation of the sand control treatment. Those factors will be described in this paper, starting with candidate selection, completion strategy, operational challenges and treatment execution along with production monitoring of the well.