Preventing water or gas breakthrough and equalizing flow are two of the primary challenges that must be resolved when producing from horizontal slimhole wells. This paper presents a "first-of-its-kind" concept that was used in a well operated by a major Middle Eastern operator to prevent/delay water/gas breakthrough and to equalize the flow across a 3-7/8-in. horizontal open hole. Inflow-Control Device (ICD) completions often are used in slimhole horizontal redrills, and the new design used in wells discussed in this paper combined the ICD concept with four swellable packers to compartmentalize the hole.

Swellable packers use rubber around the packer that will expand when introduced to hydrocarbons or water so that the annulus is permanently sealed. The well, completed in the Middle East carbonate formation where natural fracturing is commonplace, employed a 2-3/8-in. pre-perforated liner and two swellable packers with blank pipe between to isolate a fracture. This fracture, had it been allowed to produce, would have been detrimental to well performance and would have led to a costly workover operation.

An additional swellable packer was included in the liner to compartmentalize the reservoir section below the fracture. The completion assembly was run into the open hole with a hydraulic disconnect tool, which included a fourth swell packer above to provide isolation inside the previous casing.

The paper describes swellable packer technology and the well completion from concept evaluation to execution of the final completion. In addition to the background information, the discussion will include the post analysis that used well rates and reservoir pressure to gauge the effectiveness of the final concept.

The completion design was developed by a multi-disciplinary team that had been assembled to review the latest technologies and to successfully bring the concept to reality. The initial performance of this well met the operator's goals for good oil production with a stable water cut.

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