Wellbore completions are a key well component and could have a positive or a negative impact on productivity, thus designing a suitable completion and implementing it properly must be a priority for production engineers. Consequently, well productivity indices related to specific completion designs have received much attention in the literature, with analytical and numerical models used for simulating various completion properties. The completion impact on wellbore skin effect, however, is seldom documented.

This paper looks at the effect of completion and reservoir characteristics on skin factors, and focuses on perforated, gravel-packed and frac-packed wells. For this study, a commercial black oil simulator was used to simulate different reservoir conditions and completion strategies, and the resulting skin effects were estimated by well test analysis of the corresponding synthetic pressure and rate data.

Results show that decreasing perforation density and tunnel length leads to high skin values due to wellbore flow restrictions. Moreover, it shows how a damaged gravel-pack completion coupled with a highly permeable formation results in high skin values that range between 1 and 100. Finally, in frac-pack completions, it is important to find the right balance between formation permeability and proppant permeability in the fracture as well as the permeability contrast between the proppant and the gravel as this dictates how a frac-pack will perform. Thus, depending on permeability of proppant and gravel-pack, skin values for frac-pack completions range between -2.5 to 15

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