Open hole gravel packing (OHGP) is one of the primary completion techniques in sandstone reservoirs with sanding tendencies. As companies are becoming more experienced with these operations they are starting to explore the options for completing more challenging wells; including longer open holes and more tortuous trajectories. Conventional techniques have limits when it comes to the maximum length and angles that can be gravel packed based on a defined set of parameters. In order to ensure the success of the gravel packing operations in these challenging wells new techniques need to be adopted.
This paper includes a review of the methods that can be utilised to extend the operating limits of open hole gravel packs, so that they can be used in the long geosteered wells that are becoming more common in the North Sea. It includes a case review of the first well gravel packed in the North Sea using Ultra-Lightweight (ULW) proppant, which was also the first ever combined use of ULW proppant and diverter valves. These technologies were required due to the long interval length, 4,880ft, and high angle, maximum 103°. A history match of the gravel pack model was also performed to evaluate the performance of the ULW proppant during a long horizontal gravel pack.