The simple and most economical multilateral option in the production of heavy oil with optimum solids control is to employ either level 3 or level 4 junctions to access and drain oil bearing sand bodies.

This paper presents an innovative junction design which when fully deployed, can be left as a level 3 construction, or it can be turned in to level 4 by conventionally cementing the junction. In practice the isolation provided with the level 3 construction far exceeds the capabilities of conventional alternatives, and when cemented as a level 4, provides a junction with stability beyond that afforded by conventional methods. In either scenario, access to the main bore below the junction and to the lateral bore is maintained.

Once the junction is in place, conventional completion equipment can be run after drilling the lateral to facilitate the production.

In addition, this innovative junction offers other advantages. Among those are, (1) Milling or washover of excess liner is not required when constructing a level 4 junction because there is no excess liner left in the main bore during the junction construction. (2) The lateral liner can be deployed simultaneously with the junction for both level 3 and level 4 junctions. (3) The platform allows full re-entry capability into main and lateral bores in a single or stacked junction configuration.

The paper will also discuss in detail, recent field installations and developments of this innovative design in level 4 complexity in 9-5/8" 40 lb/ft casing.

Major system components and their functions are described, as well as running procedures and lessons learned.

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