To maximize well productivity, Saudi Aramco embarked on a technology-driven strategy and began converting existing weak horizontal producers into maximum reservoir contact (MRC) wells. Many of these wells were completed with downhole smart systems to control flow from multiple laterals. Saudi Aramco also employed this strategy to convert dead vertical wells to single horizontal producers or power water injectors. A key driver in the success of this strategic approach has been the installation of solid expandable liners that have enabled zonal isolation and provided a conduit for any necessary smart-completion systems. Five wells to date have been successfully worked over with new 5 1/2 in. solid expandable liners that have been cemented when installed in the Shaybah, Ghawar and Abqaiq fields. Production data is projected to confirm the wells have achieved planned production gains.
This paper will discuss the successful application of an alternative solid expandable technology, characterized by seamless expandable tubulars, robust and gas tight metal-to-metal seal connections, collapsible expansion cone, and lower-required expansion pressure; all of which provide technical improvements to more effectively meet application needs. This paper will also explain how an expandable system, when used as a production liner, offers additional benefits such as delivering extended-reach 5 1/2 in. laterals by using available technologies of geosteering, rotary steerable systems, and smart completions in the reservoir.