One of the major challenges in mature oil fields is to improve recovery from existing fields by developing and implementing new technologies that make operations efficient and cost effective. For a reservoir with a water or gas drive mechanism, the mobility ratio between oil and water or gas becomes more critical due to the lower viscosity of water or gas. Observably, breakthroughs can occur within relatively short periods of production time. Once breakthrough occurs, gas or water production can rapidly dominate production prompting well intervention or the shutting-in of production, leaving unrecovered oil behind.
Inflow control device (ICD) and autonomous inflow control device (AICD) have shown oil production and recovery can be increased significantly with better inflow control/pressure regulation along the lateral, which to some degree has resulted in breakthrough delays. However, neither ICD nor AICD are able to shut off unwanted gas and water production completely. The autonomous inflow control valve (ICV) offers the functionality of conventional ICD and can actively shut off unwanted fluid completely.
The paper describes the development of Autonomous ICV, experimental test results, and preparations prior to the completion installation. The main challenges and conclusion from the field tests are presented and discussed based on the initial flowback data where the functionality of Autonomous ICV was verified, i.e., by shut-off of low viscosity fluid, such as water, and opening for oil with higher viscosity.