Horizontal wells are widely used in Balder and Ringhorne fields. Wells drilled during the first and the second development campaign were completed with standalone sand screen (SAS). However, wells drilled during the latest drilling campaign in Balder field (Balder phase III, 2013) were completed with passive nozzle ICD (Inflow Control Device).

Field production data reveal that wells completed with passive nozzle ICDs (4x4mm) yield lower water production and longer water breakthrough time, approximately 4 – 7 months. This is a significant delay when compared to wells with SAS completion, where water breakthrough typically happens within 2 – 4 weeks.

Conventional reservoir simulation for Balder and Ringhorne wells completed with ICDs showed an insignificant increase in oil production and a trivial reduction in water cut, when compared to SAS wells, this seems to contradict production data. In order to optimize ICD completions for Balder and Ringhorne, an alternative approach to perform well inflow modelling using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was adopted. The paper demonstrates the use of CFD modeling to improve well and completion design. Specific, key results from the CFD modelling are:

  • A robust implementation of Darcy's law into CFD model was demonstrated.

  • Smaller ICDs near the heel yield a more even inflow profile and this positive effect outweighs the small reduction in well PI.

  • Changes in oil viscosity, liquid rate and permeability have low impact on inflow profile along the wellbore for the optimized completions selected

  • Optimized ICD configurations were identified for various well lengths: 500m, 1000m, 1500m, and 2000m.

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