This paper describes the integrated approach adopted to optimize the gravel pack completion design and fluid selection for the North Coast Marine Area (NCMA) development project, offshore Trinidad. This resulted in the development of a uniquely engineered gravel pack completion design and associated procedures, incorporating a number of novel fluid-related and equipment technologies. Key challenges to the project were: wellbore stability, due to narrow mud weight windows and shale reactivity; effective sand control; productivity; and minimal rig space, leading to an ‘intervention less completion design' philosophy, and an accelerated project schedule. These challenges are interdependent and rely heavily on fluid selection and optimization, not only for drilling operations but also for gravel packing and clean-up operations.
Through effective tendering and subsequent teamwork, the completion design has resulted in high productivities and cost savings amounting to some US$ 5.5 million.