Abstract

An effective approach for enhancing production and improving hydrocarbon recovery has been to integrate production engineering with drilling strategies to design well programs that optimize all aspects (hole sizes, casing sizes, well positions, etc.) for the long term exploitation of reserves.

This paper describes the use of such a multi-faceted approach in North Dakota Bakken wells and West Sak heavy oil sands in Alaska, both of which require long horizontal wellbores to be completed with multiple swell packers and/or liners. For maximum production, a smooth, well-conditioned, gauge hole is vitally important to enable the largest, most-effective and highest number of packers to be run.

Successfully getting liners to bottom so as to achieve optimum completions in these wells requires a repeatable process that is effective 100% of the time; therefore, requirements of both the drilling and production groups were combined in a strategy that integrates technologies specifically for improving the success of landing the liner on depth and helping drill a cost-effective, smooth, gauge hole.

In addition to the type of packer design / reamer/ centralizers / T&D equipment utilized, the paper describes how Torque & Drag (T&D) modeling in both the drilling and liner running intervals of these wells provided a number of strategic options for achieving a useable, quality wellbore that would facilitate running liner/packers into hole without damage. When these reaming while drilling techniques are used, excellent hole quality can be achieved without the need for dedicated clean out runs.

Demonstrating its effectiveness and applicability, this integrated approach has been employed on more than 100 wells to date, with more than 2 million feet of reamed hole alone, and more than 1,000 packers run on variety of wells, including runs in excess of 20,000 ft and laterals exceeding 10,000 ft in tri-lateral and penta-lateral wells.

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