Injection of cold fluid is injected into hot reservoirs and rocks undergo contraction due to temperature difference. This contrast in temperatures causes the in-situ stress to reduce considerably. When the Minimum Horizontal Stress (σhmin) falls below the Bottomhole Pressure (BHP) due to temperature changes, fractures may initiate and/or propagate. Fractures resulted from thermal processes is referred as Thermally Induced Fractures (TIFs). TIFs can cause highly non-uniform distribution of the injected water flow in the wellbores, reduction in the sweep efficiency, and early water breakthrough in the nearby production wells. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of Inflow Control Device (ICD) to mitigate these fractures in water injection wells.
A real field history matched sector model with evidence of TIF occurrence is utilized in this paper using a 3D reservoir thermal simulator coupled with a 2D TIF model and a geomechanical model. The impact of different completions in injection well with TIF modelling under different scenarios is investigated.
The added value of ICD was quantified and proved to be effective in controlling TIF initiation and propagation as well as in improving the wellbore flow performance. The selected ICD size should be neither too big (no control) nor too small (over-restriction of injection rate).
TIFs mitigation method proposed in this paper is practical, efficient, and strongly contribute to the research aimed at improving waterflood performance in oil fields. Recommendations and guidelines can be utilized in waterflooding operations during modelling, designing, and planning stages.