Intelligent Well (IW) Technology combines zonal production control using Interval Control Valves (ICVs) together with installation of appropriate flow monitoring devices to improve well and field performance management. Zonal flow control can maximise produced oil value, minimise unwanted fluids or a combination of both objectives.

We have previously shown1  that a minimum degree of un-evenness of an invading fluid front is needed for effective ICV control. This work studies scenarios to identify when "Proactive" rather than "Reactive" ICV choking policy can add greater value. Reservoir scenarios were created in which inter-zone connection, permeability contrast between zones, zonal length and other reservoir parameters were systematically varied. The interaction between the aquifer and reservoir was observed when producing these reservoirs with a horizontal IW using a range of "Reactive" and "Proactive" choking policies.

An example of successful "Proactive Control" is when the wellbore is intersected by a high-permeability channel. Here, early water or gas breakthrough leads to unwanted fluid being produced along with reduced volume of oil. Too early choking (or being "too Proactive") can result in losing oil as the "Good Water" is also blocked. "Proactive Control" will also be successful when reduced water or gas inflow is required due to tubing or surface handling limitations.

The key factor in successful Single Well "Proactive Control" is that other zone(s) can compensate for the loss of fluid from the choked zone(s). Its value thus increases when Artificial Lift is installed.

The value of "Proactive Control" is well known in multiple well scenarios. Here, value creation requires even-flood front management of an injected fluid at the field level. There is also the opportunity for other wells to supply extra oil production capacity when a (single) well is choked.

The results from this study can be used to screen for scenarios suitable for "Proactive Control", increasing the range of Intelligent Well Technology applications.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.