Maximum-Reservoir-Contact-Wells Performance Update: Shaybah Field, Saudi Arabia
- Salam Phillip Salamy (Saudi Aramco) | Hassan Khalifah Al-Mubarak (Saudi Aramco) | Mohammad Saad Al-Ghamdi (Saudi Aramco) | Drew E. Hembling (Saudi Aramco)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- November 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 439 - 443
- 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2 Well Completion, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.8.7 Carbonate Reservoir, 3 Production and Well Operations, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.6 Natural Gas
- improved performance, smart controls, maximum reservoir contact (MRC)
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This paper is an update on previous SPE technical papers (Saleri et al. 2003; Saleri et al. 2004) highlighting the results of 25 maximum-reservoir-contact (MRC) wells drilled in the Shaybah field either as new wells or as part of a workover strategy to convert existing weak 1-km single-lateral wells to MRC wells with reservoir contacts ranging from 5 to 9 km.
Shaybah field in Saudi Arabia, a low-permeability reservoir overlain by a large gas cap, was developed initially in 1996 with 1-km single-lateral horizontal wells to drain hydrocarbon while reducing gas coning effectively. A step-development approach of increasing reservoir contact to improve well productivity and performance was the basis for the MRC concept. To date, results from 25 MRC wells have indicated a four-fold increase in well productivities and a three-fold decrease in unit-development cost when compared to the 1-km single-lateral wells. A useful byproduct of MRC drilling is the enhancement achieved in reservoir characterization.
In addition to MRC wells, smart technologies such as downhole-flow-control systems (smart completions), expandable liners, and production equalizers were deployed in Shaybah field. These technologies have improved well performance and recovery greatly. Smart controls assisted in optimizing production from each lateral in a multilateral (ML) well in the event of premature gas or water coning. In addition, downhole smart completions improved well productivity in ML wells with a better well-cleanup process. Production equalizers that were deployed in high-gas/oil-ratio (GOR) wells reduced gas coning and improved well productivity. To date, more than 21 expandable liners have been deployed as enablers to a workover strategy to convert single-lateral wells to ML/MRC wells, thereby providing a platform for installation of downhole-flow-control systems.
The MRC-well concept that was started in early 2002 by Saudi Aramco was based on the horizontal-well technology as a disruptive technology (Saleri et al. 2003) to challenge the current practice with the objective of improving well performance and ultimate recovery. An MRC well is defined as a well with a minimum aggregate reservoir contact of 5 km either as a single-lateral or ML configuration. The concept that was first tested in the Shu'aiba carbonate reservoir of the Shaybah field has been extended to cover several fields and rock types in both onshore and offshore environments. The majority of MRC wells were drilled initially as trilateral configurations; this configuration is now being challenged. Quad- and pentalateral well types are being drilled to improve well performance further by increasing well productivity index (PI) and, thus, lowering the drawdown pressures, resulting in high well potentials and improved long-term performance of sweep and recovery.
Just as in the mid-1990s the oil and gas industry began using horizontal-well applications as the norm; today, Saudi Aramco is leading the way in deploying MRC wells across several of its fields to ensure improved well performance and ultimate recovery. In this paper, we discuss the performance of Saudi Aramco MRC wells over the past 4 years, including the different implemented technologies, and assess future uses of smart completions.
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Dossary, A.S. and Mahgoub, A.A. 2003. Challenges and Achievements ofDrilling Maximum Reservoir Contact (MRC) Wells in Shaybah Field. Paper SPE85307 presented at the SPE/IADC Middle East Drilling Technology Conference andExhibition, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 20-22 October. doi: 10.2118/85307-MS.
Hembling, D., Salamy, S., Qatani, A., Carter, N., and Jacob, S. 2006. Swell Packers: Enabling OpenholeIntelligent and Multilateral Well Completions for Enhanced Oil Recovery.Paper SPE 100824 presented at the IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling TechnologyConference and Exhibition, Bangkok, 13-15 November. doi: 10.2118/100824-MS.
Salamy, S.P., Al-Mubarak, H.K., Hembling, D.E., and Al-Ghamdi, M.S. 2006. Deployed Smart Technologies Enablersfor Improving Well Performance in Tight Reservoirs--Case: Shaybah Field, SaudiArabia. Paper SPE 99281 presented at the Intelligent Energy Conference andExhibition, Amsterdam, 11-13 April. doi: 10.2118/99281-MS.
Saleri, N.G., Salamy, S.P., and Al-Otaibi, S.S. 2003. The Expanding Role of the Drill Bitin Shaping the Subsurface. JPT 55 (12): 53-56. SPE-84923-MS.doi: 10.2118/84923-PA.
Saleri, N.G., Salamy, S.P., Mubarak, H.K., Sadler, R.K., Dossary, A.S., andMuraikhi, A.J. 2004. SHAYBAH-220:A Maximum-Reservoir-Contact (MRC) Well and Its Implications for DevelopingTight-Facies Reservoirs. SPEREE 7 (4): 316-320.SPE-88986-PA. doi: 10.2118/88986-PA.