Technology Focus: Multilateral and Complex-Trajectory Wells
- Bernt S. Aadnøy (University of Stavanger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 71 - 71
- 2019. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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When students ask me about the most important way to maximize recovery, my answer is long directional wells. These wells have revolutionized the oil industry and are drilled under conditions never imaginable years ago. One outstanding example is the Troll field in Norway. The field consists of large, very thin reservoirs, down to 30 ft thick, which are drained by multibranch horizontal wells with horizontal departures approaching 18,000 ft. Not only have many drilling challenges been overcome, but also, from a production perspective, the wells are equipped with intelligent technology such as autonomous gas stop to maintain the pressure drive for the oil. Initially of no commercial interest because of a lack of technology, this field has been a very important driver for the current state of the art for long horizontal wells. Troll has been Norway’s largest oil producer in recent years. This has been made possible by the development of long-horizontal-well technology.
The oil industry is currently undergoing a technological transformation that will add value, improve processes, and reduce cost. Future drilling engineers will have knowledge of robotics, automation, and organizational efficiency, which is highly appealing for recruitment. A prerequisite for this step change is the industry’s high level of technology.
The selected papers address various aspects of horizontal wells. A field case of how to plan and drill through highly depleted reservoirs is given in paper OTC 28517. Three depleted zones must be penetrated before drilling into the untapped reservoir with a low drilling margin. This is a good example of drilling an extended-reach well using an integrated approach between various disciplines. Another example is given in paper SPE 191436, which shows how a complex U-shaped well path from old wells can be used to obtain good reservoir exposure to drain depleted wells further. Equipment is continuously improved, and paper SPE 189947 presents new ultrasonic technology to evaluate the state of multilateral junctions.
Recommended additional reading at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
SPE 191271 Extended-Reach Wells in Unconsolidated Sands in Bolivia by Gabriel Dordoni, Pluspetrol Bolivia
OTC 28971 Correlation of Numerical Simulation and Digital-Image-Correlation Strain Measurements for a Multilateral Junction While Subjected to High Internal Pressure by Aihua Liang, Halliburton, et al.
SPE 192672 Wireline Tractor Conveyance—A Technology Game Changer for the Gulf of Thailand by Sarunya Jongnarungsin, Mubadala Petroleum, et al.
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