High viscosity and weak cementation existing in heavy oil reservoirs present great challenge to us in rich heavy oil reservoirs in Northwestern Canada for production and well completion. On one hand, we attempt to increase the exposure of the reservoir to the well so that we can maximize the production potential. On the other, we must select an adequate strategy for well completion in order to maintain the integrity of the well during production. A well completion strategy by cavity-failure mechanism has been used for coalbed methane and heavy oil production during SAGD. The success of their previous operations leads us to investigate the feasibility of such a well completion strategy in both cold production and other enhanced production process in poorly consolidated heavy oil reservoirs. A coupled reservoir-geomechanics model is developed. A black-oil model is fully coupled to a Mohr-Coulomb type elastoplastic geomechanics model. An open hole condition with slotted liner is simulated. The wellbore pressure is rapidly reduced to create a massive dilation zone near the well so that the intact porosity can be mobilized. Consequently, an enhanced zone near the slotted liner with a higher permeability can be generated, leading to negative skin factor during the production. The field conditions reported in Cold Lake are used to evaluate our study and simulations.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.