Extended reach wells with thousands of feet of open hole reservoir contact and multilateral wells with 8-10 laterals are becoming common practice as the industry develops tight and difficult reservoirs. Over the years, drilling and well construction technologies have made significant advances in the field of geosteering, multilateral junctions, etc. to make these complicated wells a reality and commonplace. The industry has recently introduced several new well completion technologies for the downhole monitoring and control inflow of these extended reach and multilateral wells. Over the last 10 years Saudi Aramco has drilled and completed hundreds of multilateral wells with intelligent completions for real-time downhole monitoring and remote valve operation to control inflow from each laterals. These technologies have improved well performance and reduced well intervention.
The paper presents the case study for the design, planning, installation, and operation of Saudi Aramco's first intelligent completion that is operated with combined electro-hydraulic control system. New technologies like these are expected to improve the operation and inflow from the new generation multi-compartment wells. Conventional intelligent completion systems uses downhole valves that are operated by hydraulic pressure and the pressure is supplied from surface through dedicated hydraulic lines to each of the downhole valves. The wellhead and operations equipment has a maximum limit of eight downhole lines and this limits the number of downhole valves in a completion to five. The system in this case study uses a electro hydraulic control module at each of the downhole valves and can control of up to 12 intelligent completion tools with the use of only two hydraulic lines and one electrical line from surface. Technologies like these allow inflow control from each of the laterals and enhance the performance of the completion.