Saudi Aramco's drilling strategy witnessed a change in year 2002 from drilling horizontal wells to more challenging and extended reach maximum reservoir contact (MRC) wells in Shaybah field. The objectives behind this change were to achieve the following: Improve the well productivity by providing maximum reservoir contact, reduce the unit cost of drilling ($/ft) and production ($/bbl), and to utilize the limited space more efficiently in the Sabkhah (flat areas between huge sand dunes). Different types of MRC wells were drilled, such as fork and fishbone in both open hole and cased hole to allow installing of intelligent completion packers for controlling the rate of production from each lateral. The reason for drilling different types of wells is to evaluate the impact of a well's type on the performance of the reservoir. The longest reservoir exposure ever drilled in Saudi Aramco was achieved by combining between the fork and fishbone in one well reaching up to 12.3 km (7.6 miles). Up to April 2003, eight MRC wells of different types and with 67.4 km (41.9 miles) of reservoir exposure were drilled in Shaybah field.

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