ConocoPhillips operates Surmont, which is the first Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project to implement Flow Control Devices (FCDs) in producer wells. This study was conducted to evaluate the production performance of different liner completion strategies. The analysis compared well pairs completed with slotted liners (SL) to producers completed with FCDs, both liner deployed (LD-FCD) and tubing deployed (TD-FCD), and investigated the impact of FCDs in injectors.

An extensive analysis was conducted using available production and temperature data along the wells. The wells were completed using various fixed-resistance FCD settings, while some wells were completed using variable setting designs. As time went on, several of the slotted liner producer wells were retrofitted with tubing-deployed FCD completions. One of the key objectives of the study was to determine the success rate of tubing-deployed FCDs and their performance relative to liner-deployed FCD wells. Another objective was to evaluate the impact of retrofitting slotted liner SAGD injectors with tubing-deployed FCD completions.

In this study, a grading system was established based on the reservoir quality along the well for both injector and producer. For similar graded well pairs, LD-FCDs had better production performance than TD-FCDs. Considering similar graded reservoir quality, FCDs consistently performed better than slotted liners, in both conformance and production acceleration. The production analysis showed that the FCD flow restriction was a major controller of the conformance, but considering the self-choking phenomenon of the reservoir, most FCDs can perform positively in different circumstances. In this study, the self-choking effect of the liquid pool is discussed and explained for different reservoirs and variable subcool.

Generally, if erosion is not a factor, FCDs can create a more controlling system than liquid-pool dominant systems. In these cases, both conformance and production acceleration is enhanced if operators yield lower subcools and greater draw-down pressures.

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