The development of any marginal field is a difficult process when the operator is faced with the challenge of maximizing hydrocarbon recovery with a minimum investment, when at the same time, the highest HSE standards must be achieved. This paper summarizes the challenges faced by an operator in Malaysia, who successfully completed two (2) oil-producer wells in a developmental field using a single-trip stand-alone screen (SAS) completion system. The improved system enabled the operator to save up to 24 hours per well during the completion phase using a jack-up rig, when compared to running conventional dual-trip completions. This system eliminated the need for a liner hanger or gravel-pack packer and mule shoe. It also allowed wash-down capability via a permanent inner string that eliminated extra runs that would have been required using wash pipes in a conventional dual-trip completion. Both wells were selected as candidates for this pilot project based on the guidelines below:

  • Simple completion design

  • Shallow depth < less than 2500 m measured depth drill floor (MDDF)

  • “J-type” wells with low deviation < 450

  • Short openhole length < less than 500 ft

  • Initial single-target zone.

Potential risks identified during the operation were discussed in depth with the complete project team. A service/engineering company's software program that included a comprehensive set of engineering tools for analysis, well planning, modeling, and well-operation optimization was used to simulate the completion string performance in the actual downhole conditions. The simulation results helped determine the risk of undesirable incidents that might occur during the completion installation. This concept was proven later by the successful deployment of the completion string.

Packer selection for this type of completion design was also critical. With a wide variety of packers offered in the current market, the completion designer proposed that a specific hydraulic-set retrievable production packer be used. The selected packer provided heavy hang-weight capability with easy installation and retrievability for future work overs. The packer's hydraulic setting mechanism comprised an anti-pre-set system that would prevent the packer from prematurely setting due to friction pressures on the completion tubing during openhole displacement operations.

The success of the completion installation on the first well gave the operator enough confidence to apply the same operational approach to a second well that included an additional pay zone, which was isolated using a swellable packer; the second completion was successfully deployed as well. A total of 48 hours, equivalent to 28 percent of rig-time savings, optimized the overall completion efficiency for this campaign. This pilot project will be used as a bench mark for future stand-alone screen applications on wells with similar characteristics.

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