Located in Eastern Venezuela the Santa Ana Field is part of the most important gas province of Venezuela: Anaco District. Its main productive zones are the Merecure and San Juan formations, which are sandstones characterized by their high permeabilities (100 - 500 md) and low pressures (1200 - 2200 psi).

The wells in Anaco District are normally perforated using conventional static underbalanced techniques. The productivity of these wells was evaluated using nodal analysis techniques coupled with perforating performance simulations. The quality and amount of data was recognized to be limited. However, a qualitative diagnosis of these results indicated that the static underbalanced condition and the shaped charges used were not enough to effectively clean the perforation tunnel and surpass the near wellbore damaged zone.

Dynamic underbalanced perforating coupled with high performance charges was selected as the technology that would improve productivity in the challenging wells of Santa Ana. This technology has been applied in similar scenarios across the industry in recent years, although no documentation was found on its use in such low pressure environments.

This paper describes how dynamic underbalanced perforating was deployed successfully, while pushing the limits of its application envelope. To obtain a dynamic underbalanced condition in such a low pressure environment, the shot density had to be reduced to 2.5 spf, raising concerns about its effect on well productivity. Two wells were selected for this field trial. They were perforated using a TCP/DST string, which allowed the well to be tested immediately after perforating. Details of the diagnosis, planning, execution and evaluation phases of this project are described.

The resulting gas production and zero perforation skin represented more than a two-fold productivity increase compared with the target reservoir average well production. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique under borderline conditions, and promote its application in similar scenarios worldwide.

This project shows the importance of production and perforating diagnosis, leveraging technology application and pushing the limit of dynamic underbalanced perforating in order to increase productivity in mature/low pressure assets.

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