Since 1999, more than 120 wells in Saudi Arabia have been completed using multilateral technology (MLT). This paper will discuss case histories, associated technology improvements, and best practices in which dual-lateral completions, with and without pressure-isolated junctions (Technical Advancement of Multilaterals (TAML) levels 4 and 5), were developed and used to help ensure that each installation met the operator's objectives.
Advancements and improvements in multilateral technology has led to reduced risk and enhanced well production, while addressing the operator's well challenges of maximizing reservoir exposure and increasing the use of existing slots. This paper uses end-of-well and incident reports to identify areas for improvement, the subsequent implementation, and the results of system modifications. Focused planning of drilling operations, wellbore preparations, installation procedures, and development of contingency methods led to the success of the installations. The operator's commitment to using this technology has reduced non-productive time and provided incremental cost savings as process improvements were implemented over the 15-year period.
Multilateral technology in Arabian Gulf offshore fields has enhanced productivity using innovative techniques to fulfill the completion and intervention requirements of dual-lateral wells, with and without pressure-isolated junctions. Collaborative multidisciplinary teams comprised of engineers from the operator and multilateral service provider were assigned to help ensure the successful implementation of the technology. The system modification goals of improving consistency and enhancing the surface indications of downhole progress during the junction construction were met, thereby increasing the reliability and overall confidence in this technology. The multilateral systems were run in both new and existing wells, and the operator's objectives were met in each case. The successful implementation of this technology has expanded the use of multilateral completions in the Middle East.
This paper provides an overview of the evolution of advanced multilateral technology well-construction techniques and describes how overcoming challenges became a catalyst for innovation. This technology is now routinely applied to increase reservoir exposure and meet development and production goals.