Abstract

Maximizing production and profitability is imperative in heavy oil operations using steam-assisted-gravity-drainage (SAGD), as well as in other thermal operations. Effective downhole flow technology plays an important role in increasing the net present value of a SAGD operation. Conformance improvement for the injection well, utilizing outflow control devices (OCDs), can potentially increase production, and as a result, profitability of the SAGD process. On the producer well, operators prefer to have a uniform inflow production profile to recover more in-situ oil. This can be achieved through installing inflow control devices (ICDs) in the producer well. ICDs also help to mitigate the negative effect of baffles and barriers on the production well. To properly model both ICDs and OCDs, there are several methodologies and approaches available in the oil and gas industry. Each approach can be helpful to address specific questions and examine certain attributes of downhole flow technology. Depending on the objectives of the analysis, a specific software program or workflow can be used. The tool itself has a particular importance for the analysis and we would like to understand the physics behind the tool. The performance attributes of each downhole flow control device (FCD) will vary based on dimensions and design factors. Other analyses focus on design and optimization of the completion tool. Some studies use software programs to only focus on wellbore hydraulics and follow a simple and quick analysis for modeling, while other studies involve multiple software programs and complicated methodology to model and optimize the entire process. This paper shows some of the different options that are available to analyze and model both ICDs and OCDs. It will examine the pros and cons of each method, as well as the limitations of each software/methodology. Some examples will be shown to investigate the details of outputs and objectives of each approach. At the end, a guideline will be introduced for completion, reservoir, and production engineers to understand how these models can help them to evaluate flow control devices and their applications.

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