Techbits: Horizontal, Multilateral Well Advances Addressed in Malaysia
- _ JPT staff (_)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 36 - 37
- 2009. Copyright is held partially by SPE. Contact SPE for permission to use material from this document.
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Horizontal and multilateral wells took center stage at an SPE Applied Technology Workshop (ATW) held earlier this year in Penang, Malaysia. The workshop, titled “Maximizing the Value of Horizontal and Multilateral Wells: New Challenges, Technologies, and Approaches,” gathered 70 participants from around the world for discussions aimed at addressing new applications of multilateral and horizontal well technologies.
The ATW included sessions reviewing lessons learned in drilling horizontal and multilateral wells, as well as the new technology offerings that promise to maximize oil and gas production from them. The specific range of topics included field-development planning, reservoir evaluation, the use of intelligent technology for efficiency gains, drilling and completion issues, and stimulation.
The ATW’s opening session provided an overview of the development history of horizontal and multilateral wells within Saudi Aramco. Current well practices are built upon learnings from past experiences in the areas of reservoir characterization, well placement, well-structure optimization, and intelligent completions to yield maximum production benefit. The opening session also encouraged attendees to focus on tackling the challenges of applying this technology in today’s energy and economic environment.
The industry organization Technical Advancement of Multilaterals (TAML) opened the technology overview session with a review of its programs designed to promote global development and utilization of multilateral technology within the industry through open dialog and information exchange.
Apache Corporation next provided an operator’s perspective of development strategies in planning horizontal and multilateral wells. Emphasis was placed on ways to maximize hydrocarbon recovery while also keeping costs to a minimum. Investment and asset development were analyzed through the entire asset lifecycle, from discovery to decommissioning. An operator considering a horizontal or multilateral completion solution must carefully evaluate the suitability of the design concept for each asset, from both a cost-effectiveness and safety/risk point of view.
Drilling and Completion
While discussing specific drilling- and completion-related issues, attendees agreed that a thorough understanding of how a particular drilling or completion design scheme may impact other disciplines is vital. For example, during the development plan for a multilateral well it is important to consider the geology and condition of the reservoir, as well as future plans for production, stimulation, and intervention. Field examples from both an operator (OMV New Zealand) and a service provider (Baker Oil Tools) illustrated the importance of having a multidisciplinary team work together to consider the various factors in their drilling and completion design, which are not limited to:
- Debris management
- Depth control and orientation
- Contingency plans and risk assessment
- Intervention and plug/abandonment
- Send control screen, openhole gravel pack or cased-hole fracture pack
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