DownHole Flow Control (DHFC) is a technology that was originally developed to remotely control the production from multiple reservoirs in the same well. BP recognized the value of using this capability in injection wells to manage the injection of water into separate reservoirs. BP's Field of the Future program worked with service providers to develop the capability of "choking downhole flow-control for water injectors" that allows one well to serve the role of two injection wells thereby reducing the number of injection wells required for field development.
At Intelligent Energy 2008, BP reported on development and qualification of DHFC technology for high rate water injection (SPE Paper No. 112143). Since then, BP has implemented the newly developed DHFC technology in two fields with over a dozen installations. BP has achieved its goals in one field and not achieved its goals in another field. This paper reviews the key learnings associated with both the successes and the failures.
A summary of key learnings:
The DHFC technology is very reliable, although difficulties have been experienced with some of the associated multizone completion technologies.
Remotely operating the valves to vary the injection rate has proven to be a straightforward operation.
Higher than expected injection pressure in excess of the maximum differential pressure rating of the open hole isolation packer in one field is preventing the DHFC system from achieving its objective.
In summary, DHFC application for high rate water injectors is considered a success. Development engineering continues on open hole isolation packers to allow deployment of DHFC in fields with high injection pressure requirements.