Sand screens with flow control devices (FCDs) have demonstrated significant potential in improving recovery in a Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) well pair. The premium wire-mesh sand control screens would have the capability to prevent sand flow into the liner in the event of a steam break-through. In addition the FCDs would improve steam conformance along the wellbore in the early time, and allow the producers to achieve higher production and lower Steam to Oil Ratios as well as restricting steam production if and when breakthrough at the producer occurred.
To better understand FCD behavior in SAGD operations, modeling of the different FCD designs has been attempted and has shown that steam breakthrough can be more effectively controlled utilizing devices that promote water flashing as fluids pass through them. With tools providing this type of control, steam breakthroughs in the producer can be more effectively restricted resulting in a better-produced fluid distribution along the wellbore. This also allows the producers to be operated with lower subcool margins without fear of sand production and the potential liner damage.
In order to validate the theory of improved performance and better thermal efficiency, a wellbore model coupled to a thermal reservoir simulator has been enhanced to more accurately model the impact of flow control devices on the reservoir/well performance. A collaborative effort has been initiated with the Computer Modeling Group (CMG) to develop a reservoir simulated FCD solution that will allow the user to enter characteristic performance curves for a variety of FCDs.
The development of the new keyword associated with ConocoPhillips FCD's mechanistic modeling has shown to be an improvement to the way that FCDs are currently modeled helping to unveil their potential for in SAGD and thermal recovery applications. Results from FCD pressure loss predictions and modeling of FCDs in the reservoir are provided to demonstrate the benefits of FCD use in SAGD operations.