Abstract

Advances in drilling and well construction technologies have enabled extended-reach horizontal and multilateral wells to increase reservoir contact and improve recovery. Completion systems with passive inflow control devices (ICD) or intelligent wells are used to optimize and control inflow from the compartments or laterals. ICD completions are passive systems with torturous paths or orifices designed to choke back inflow from dominant zones and equalize influx along the wellbore. ICDs combined with openhole packers provide very fine compartmentalization of the open hole and it is common to have completions with 40 inflow compartments in some extended-reach wells. ICD completions require well intervention to close zones with high water or gas. Intelligent completions, on the other hand, have downhole valves that can be remotely operated from surface. The requirement for downhole control lines and penetrations at the wellhead and packers has limited the number of downhole valves to a maximum of six in a well. This limitation excludes a significant number of applications where greater compartmentalization can yield superior well performance. The industry has recently developed innovative completion systems that increase the number of surface-controlled downhole valves while minimizing the number of downhole lines. These technologies improve completion design while overcoming limitations like the number of control lines, feedthrough ports on packers and wellhead.

Saudi Aramco has recently installed an all-electric intelligent completion with 8 downhole active flow-control devices (AFCD) controlled via a single downhole control line. This installation is currently the world record for the highest number of inflow control valves installed for an intelligent completion. This paper presents details of technology development, evaluation, completion design, installation and in-well testing of the all-electric intelligent completion system in a multilateral well. The paper presents the novel completion design with redundancies, system components, advantages of the chosen technologies and the completion method. The section about the planning phase of installation highlights steps taken to ensure successful execution of the job while minimizing operational risks associated with the deployment of the new technology. Finally, the execution phase of the installation is presented with special emphasis on procedures and actions during installation to improve operational efficiency and minimize health and safety (HSE) risks. Thorough design, planning and execution of the job yielded the successful installation of an advanced and complex intelligent completion system in an efficient and safe manner.

All-electric intelligent completion systems capable of controlling multiple downhole valves are anticipated to increase well life and recovery through improved downhole monitoring and control. This system can control as many as 27 AFCDs on a single electric control line.

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