Abstract

Inflow Control Devices (ICDs) have been adopted for commercial steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) production for nearly ten years and yet the function they serve is not well understood, and field data evaluating their performance remains scant. Thus, the purpose of the current study is twofold: Firstly, the study derives a simplified analytical model demonstrating how increasing the dP across ICDs acts to improve conformance along a producing lateral. The resulting equation of the analysis acts as a simple rule of thumb for determining an appropriate pressure drop across ICDs to achieve conformance. Secondly, the study evaluates the performance of ICDs that had been installed in four wells, two of which had ICDs installed prior to circulation and two that adopted ICDs later in their lifecycle. The field data shows that ICDs increase production rates and improve conformance along the lateral. These improvements are achieved by an increased drawdown facilitated by the ICDs. This part of the study highlights how early-life results may differ between ICD bearing wells compared to their conventionally completed (slotted liner) offsets: ICD bearing wells exhibit improved conformance and an ability to develop more challenging reservoir resulting in different oil production profiles and composite SORs.

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