Petrozuata, C.A is a joint venture (JV) company between Conoco Orinoco Inc. and PDVSA. This JV is developing extra heavy crude in a 74,000-acre block in the Zuata field in the western portion of the Faja del Orinoco in Venezuela.

After the initial single lateral wells were brought on production an opportunity was identified to change the development program to multilateral wells in order to increase production rates. The geometry of multilateral wells is designed to fit the actual sand distribution and depositional environment that ranges from subarial fluvial to marine tidal systems. The various forms of multilateral wells drilled by the JV include stacked dual lateral, stacked triple lateral, gullwing dual lateral, gullwing triple lateral or crow's foot, and pitchfork dual lateral wells. In addition a fishbone multilateral concept consisting of a "spine" or main lateral with liner connected to many ribs or fishbones without liners has been used in single lateral and multilateral configurations. The geologic and geographical reasons for drilling these different types of multilateral wells are reviewed. The result has been an increase in production rate per well that is nearly proportional to the effective lateral length connected to the well bore at a lower cost than possible with single lateral wells of the equivalent length.

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