The Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon potential has confounded "naysayers," who once called it the Dead Sea. The planned development of the ultra deepwater lower-tertiary play is the latest chapter in the Gulf of Mexico's ongoing viability as a major hydrocarbon basin. To economically develop this challenging lower-tertiary play requires new completion technology to handle the long, stacked pay intervals. This has generated renewed interest in multi-zone completion technology. This technology is viewed as a method that hs the potential to increase completion efficiency as well as reduce overall completion cost. These systems were once considered too complex and risky for deepwater operations; but the hope that the technology could provide increased completion efficiency and alleviate some of the issues inherent with stacked completions in deepwater has again renewed interest in pursuing this technology. Thus, the latest generation of robust, cased-hole single-trip multiple-zone frac-pack completion systems has been developed. The renewed interest for development of these systems has also been the driving force for development of an openhole multiple-zone frac-pack completion system that could ultimately provide reductions in well construction cost.

This paper will provide the reader with a brief development history of cased-hole, single-trip multiple-zone completion systems and then the focus will shift to the latest generation of tool systems. The discussion will also include the reasons why the previous systems have not proliferated globally as an accepted mainstream sand-face completion technique. The sand face is one part of the completion equation. The methodology of integrating the uphole completions to the multizone sand-face completion will be briefly discussed.

The improved functionality of the newest multizone systems will be described and compared to the previous-generation systems. The presentation will cover the integration testing to qualify the newest multiple-zone system and will cover trial well installations. Deepwater case histories will be presented, if available by presentation time.

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