A novel command activated sandface valve was developed that has significantly improved productivity by enabling improved wellbore clean up, particularly in high angle and open hole completions. The sandface valve technology has now seen 35 valves installed with a functional 100% success rate. Further wells are planned for a North Sea field utilizing this technology. The command activated sandface valve development was taken from concept to installation in 5 months including operator engineering reviews.
Inefficient wellbore clean up of highly deviated completions is common in production wells. Current solutions include Smart well technology or time consuming clean up procedures that are both expensive and difficult to implement. Poor clean up can lead to loss in well productivity, restricted access to reserves and in some cases a requirement to sidetrack the well.
An operator in the UK had observed no flow from the toe of the well while experiencing high drawdown at the heel section due to the dominance of high productive intervals.
The command activated sand face valve was developed from an operator’s requirement for more time control when selectively cleaning up/flowing the reservoir sections. The key objectives of the valve were to allow sequential clean up of the reservoir section from the toe to the heel without intervention or incremental rig time. The valve would be activated by a pressure recognition signal and also had to deliver the functionality of a sliding side door for future water shut-off capability along the well bore. The paper will present an overview of the technical challenges, detail development of the tool and processes used for assurance, and include results of the field trials.
The valve design combines a field proven timer activation mechanism, a transducer and conventional sliding sleeve technology. The tool was developed without external resource and cost often required for product development. Development of the valve was closely monitored by the operator which included a technical assurance review and failure mode and effects analysis process. The result is a successfully field proven completion tool that is the basis for a new completion technique that has application in high angle wells in all oilfield applications.