The Campos Basin in Brazil is one of the most challenging areas for completions in the world due to the lack of formation consolidation, the large percentage of fines present in the reservoir, the heavy oil, the low frac gradients, the low net-to-gross ratio, the low bottomhole temperatures and the requirement for pressure maintenance.

The development of the Albacora Leste Field in the ultra deep water Campos Basin was a key component of Brazil's drive to achieve petroleum self sufficiency by 2006.

Because of the challenges presented by the heavy oil and the large geographical extension of the reservoir, the decision was made to develop the field with horizontal openhole gravel packs for both producers and injectors. Fifteen production wells and eleven injector wells were drilled and completed in the field.

As a result of the perceived technical complexity of the development, and requirement to maximize completion efficiency, the operator chose to maximize the integration of the services by bundling their acquisition from a single integrated services supplier, rather than contracting the required well construction services in a discrete manner, as had been traditionally done in the Campos Basin.

Horizontal openhole gravel packs, as planned for the development of Albacora Leste, were already an established and successful completion technique in the Campos Basin. However, the Albacora Leste wells were amongst the longest attempted in the basin, and due to the combination of the ultra deep water and limited sediment thickness, had significantly lower frac gradients than previously experienced.

The challenges of minimizing placement pressures, accurate modeling of gravel placement, rat hole mitigation, and injection well clean-up all had to be addressed. The solutions developed to meet these multiple challenges will be presented in this paper.

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