Inflow control devices (ICD) have been successfully deployed in Saudi Arabia, in both clastic and carbonate reservoirs, with the objective of creating uniform flow profiles across horizontal wells, delaying early water breakthrough, and preventing water coning and/or gas cusping. The ultimate objective is to increase the oil recovery.

ICDs have been deployed in horizontal wells drilled behind the flood front, in a large carbonate reservoir, in Saudi Arabia. Due to the remaining thin oil column behind the flood front, and their close proximity to injection wells, vertical producers in these areas of the field, normally, produce with high water cut, and consequently die. A campaign was initiated to sidetrack some of these wells and re-complete them horizontally at the top of the reservoir to recover the remaining oil at the top. The reservoir geology is characterized with fractures, which increases the chance for early water breakthrough, since horizontal wells are likely to encounter fractures.

With the utilization of external casing packers (ECP) and ICDs, it has been possible, in most cases, to successfully limit the effect of these loss circulation zones/fractures and enhances well performance. This paper will review some of these wells and will demonstrate the impact and value added resulting from introducing these technologies.

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