Flow profiles of horizontal wells in heterogeneous or fractured reservoirs are usually nonuniform and are frequently characterized by high flow capacity from streaks in high permeable zones or fractures. The nonuniform flow usually causes early water breakthrough that ultimately undermines well productivity. In homogeneous reservoirs, water (or gas) breakthrough commonly occurs at the heel of the lateral section. In either case, whether in homogeneous or heterogeneous reservoirs, achieving uniform flow along the wellbore in horizontal wells to improve sweep efficiency and maximize oil recovery, requires application of advanced well completions that are guided by effective reservoir evaluation and management practices.

Optimizing inflow profiles in horizontal wells requires good understanding of multiphase flow mechanisms, where the flow regimes are usually complicated due to stratification, slug flow, mist flow and/or other complex flow behaviors. Achieving better understanding of this multiphase flow mechanism was facilitated with the availability of the multiphase production logging tool (MPLT), which has been utilized extensively in this case study.

This paper presents a summary of the results of a case study of 31 horizontal wells completed in a large carbonate onshore field, with the main objective to improve understanding of horizontal well inflow profiles and performance. For this case study, the areas of focus are inflow profile types, production performance and temperature log response. This paper concludes with lessons learned and practical recommendations to be considered for field development.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.