Formation damage created during drilling or workover operations significantly reduces the performance of many wells. Long, horizontal and multilateral wells crossing heterogeneous, possibly multiple, reservoirs often show greater formation damage than conventional wells. This is partly due to the longer exposure of the formation to the drilling and completion fluid due to the well geometry as well as to the greater overbalance pressure often applied during drilling such wells and poorer cleanup.

The typical well clean up process involves flowing the well naturally or aided by artificial lift to remove the external and internal mudcake and flow-back the mud filtrate. This process can be effective in conventional wells but is not adequate in long horizontal and multilateral wells suffering from increased frictional pressure drop along the wellbore and heterogeneity. The cleanup efficiency is improved by employing Advanced Well completions. Inflow Control Valves (ICVs) control the contribution from individual laterals or a specific zone along the extended horizontal wellbore. Inflow Control Devices (ICDs) equalise the contribution along the (long) completion length. In addition, Autonomous ICDs can manage the influx of unwanted fluids.

This paper studies the cleanup performance of such wells completed with these advanced, downhole flow control technologies. It provides valuable insights into how these completions improve the well cleanup process and compares the ability of (A)ICD and ICV technologies to provide the optimum:

  • Drawdown to lift off the filter cake formed by different mud systems (without causing sand production).

  • Recovery rate of the invaded mud filtrate.

Guidelines for Advanced Well Completion cleanup along with simulated results of synthetic and real field cases are included.

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