Many small oilfields in poorly sorted and highly non-uniform unconsolidated formations with high fines content cannot be developed economically using the preferred sand control method, gravel pack. ‘J’ Field in Malaysia is a small oilfield with marginal economics that was developed successfully using stand-alone screen (SAS), a cost-effective open hole (OH) sand control method. Deployment of SAS in ‘J’ Field does not meet the industry-accepted criteria for sand control methods but provided the operator adequate sand control while fulfilling its economic needs. Recent advances in OH sandface completion technologies such as multi-layer mesh screens, inflow control devices (ICDs), and zonal isolation using swellable packers provided improved performance and reliability of recent SAS installations.

This project marks a few firsts in sand control screen technology:

  1. World's first installation of multi-layer mesh screen

    Multi-layer mesh screen is the current state-of-the-art in premium mesh screen technology. It uses several layers of woven metal mesh filters of gradually decreasing micron rating and diffusion-bonded together, which creates a filter that provides better plugging resistance and solids retention capacity.

  2. Malaysia's first installation of tube-type ICD

    ICDs are passive flow control devices that are used in OH horizontal (Hz) wells to delay the onset of water breakthrough and minimize its effect by balancing inflow from toe to heel or between high-perm and low-perm zones. ICDs are integrated with sand control screens for use in unconsolidated formations. Swellable packers are used in ICD completions to provide compartmentalization.

This paper highlights the recent success of utilization of these cost-effective OH sandface completion technologies in the development of ‘J’ Field.

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