Ever since horizontal drilling became prominent decades ago, it has been the goal of oilfield operators to find an effective mechanism for controlling the toe-to-heel flux into the production liner to delay and/or reduce the inflow of unwanted fluids such as water, gas and steam, in order to maximize sweep efficiency and oil production/recovery.
Inflow Control Devices (ICDs) are basically flow restrictors installed along the completion string to alter the pressure drawdown on the reservoir by choking back the high permeability/high mobility zones while allowing more influx from the lower permeability/lower mobility zones. In steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) production wells the primary goal is to operate at lower subcool while minimizing live steam production. The pace of ICD technology adoption has accelerated amongst the operators since its benefit was made prominent in the Surmont field (Stalder 2012).
PetroChinaCanada (formerly known as Brion Energy) recognized the technical opportunity and commenced implementation of an ICD technology trial at its MacKay River asset. The technology selection, ICDs sizing and performace prediction was conducted in 2013 (Becerra et al). In 2014 two SAGD production wells, each located on different pads, were selected to evaluate if ICDs could have a beneficial impact on performance.
The purpose of this paper is to present preliminary results of the two ICD producer wells which, as of November 2017, have shown superior performance to their non-ICD neighboring wells after about 6 months of production.