Non-equalized production influx along the horizontal or inclined wellbore is believed to be responsible for early water/gas breakthrough in oil production wells. Non-equalized water injection distribution has been recognized to cause poor sweep efficiency in waterflooding. The non-equalized fluid flow is attributed to reservoir heterogeneity and frictional pressure drop along the wellbore. A practical means of minimizing the problem is to use inflow control devices (ICD) between isolation packers to adjust the production influx or injection distribution within the isolated compartments. However, the ICDs are passive devices, i.e., once they are set in place in a completion string they cannot be adjusted to ensure equalized flow when reservoir conditions change during oil production or water injection. This paper introduces a new technology called Multi-Node Intelligent Well System (MNIWS) that is under development and will be soon available to the industry.

Starting with analyzing the data from an existing horizontal well with an ICD installation, we derived a new completion design for oil production wells using the MNIWS. Computer modeling of well performance shows that the MNIWS technology suite can equalize production influx and delay water breakthrough into the horizontal wellbore more effectively than conventional ICDs; in particular when inflow conditions change during the well's life.

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