This paper summarizes the evaluation and effects of completion alternatives on the productivity and economics concerning the redevelopment of the Uracoa field in Southern Monagas, Venezuela. It explains how horizontal gravel pack technology restored well productivity and improved longevity. Production from the Uracoa Field consists of heavy crude ranging from 11° to 16° API. The initial redevelopment completion scenario used horizontal wells with slotted liners in open hole. However, subsequent breakthrough of water caused catastrophic sand production that plugged the wells where slotted liners were implemented. In order to produce the Uracoa Field economically, it was necessary to perform a technical evaluation of in-field completion and drilling practices to resolve production issues for sand control, high CO2 production, 13-14% asphaltene content, well productivity, and well longevity.

After evaluating completion and drilling practices, horizontal gravel packing technology was used to restore well productivity and longevity. In order to achieve optimum productivity, it was necessary to do extensive fluids compatibility testing to determine the overall best drilling and completion practices. To date, over 65 horizontal wells have been gravel packed in conjunction with a large number of highly deviated wells. These gravel packs make use of water-packing techniques and maintain higher productivity even after water breakthrough.

The paper reviews completion and well experience with slotted liners, evaluates completion practices, and compares completion technologies implemented in the Uracoa Field to achieve economic productivity. Finally, data presented demonstrates the ability to maintain productivity even after water breakthrough.

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