With the advances made in drilling long horizontal wells over the past decades it has become economically attractive to produce oil from thin oil rims. However, the production from these types of reservoirs presents several challenges. Gas coning is one of the most important ones. Horizontal well drilling traditionally helps to improve the oil recovery and avoid problems of premature gas/water breakthrough. In Bouri field, offshore Libya, the main concern of the operator was to establish an advanced method of controlling gas and water encroachment in a fractured carbonate reservoir characterized by high vertical permeability. This paper describes the first Inflow Control Device (ICD) installation for Mellitah Oil & Gas, and the first such application in Libya Offshore field. It was an integral part of a well completion aimed at evenly distributing inflow in a horizontal well, and at limiting the negative effects after occurrence of expected gas breakthrough. Due to small clearances involved, the ICD deployment presented a significant operational challenge. Despite the higher initial completion costs associated with ICDs, they can provide a cost-effective way to reduce long-term operating costs and increase yield. Production targets are achieved with longer, but fewer wells, maintenance and overhead. From a reservoir management point of view, ICDs can improve the productivity index (PI) by maximizing reservoir contact, minimizing gas coning by operating at lower drawdown, and increasing overall efficiency. Swellingpackers were used to compartmentalize the horizontal and build sections, allowing better drawdown control and eliminating crossflow issues. The completion required re-thinking of the established acid-wash treatment procedures, ultimately improving the overall well clean-up. Integrated analysis methods using steady-state wellbore hydraulic and 3D dynamic simulators were performed to generate flow profiles and calculate ICD pressure drop along the horizontal section. The models were updated using results from logging-while-drilling (LWD) and with real-time modifications to the initial design.
To verify the inflow profile along the length of the ICD completion, production logging (PLT) was conducted. The inflow profiles compared favorably with those predicted by the models.