Field Implementation of Gravel Packing Horizontal Wells Using a Solids-Free Synthetic Fluid With Alpha-/Beta-Wave Technology
- Atila F.L. Aragão (Petrobras S.A.) | Agostinho Calderon (Petrobras S.A.) | Rosana F.T. Lomba (Petrobras S.A.) | J. Nuno Moreira (Petrobras S.A) | Andrea de Sá (Petrobras S.A.) | Andre L. Martins (Petrobras S.A.) | Lirio Quintero (Baker Hughes) | Eliabe M. Moura (Baker Hughes)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- December 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1 - 7
- 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2 Well Completion, 1.6.1 Drilling Operation Management, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 2.2.2 Perforating, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.8 Formation Damage, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.6.7 Geosteering / Reservoir Navigation, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 4.2.4 Risers, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 1.7.7 Cuttings Transport, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.11.4 Solids Control, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.4 Drillstring Design, 2.1.7 Deepwater Completions Design, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation
- openhole gravel pack, sand control, synthetic fluid, horizontal well, field application
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This article details the planning and execution phases of the first openhole gravel-pack (OHGP) operation performed with the alpha-/beta-wave deposition technique using a nonaqueous system as a carrier fluid. The operation was performed at Marlim field, offshore Brazil, and constitutes the first field implementation of a research and engineering effort that started two years ago.
The idea in this first field operation was to avoid many changes in the original well design for the area and to concentrate novel steps in the fluid for gravel packing openhole design, friction loss evaluation, fluid substitution, and rheology characterization. On the basis of these results, optimized procedures were proposed for the operation. A broad description of the technical aspects, field pumping profiles, and packing quality is also presented.
Most of the large production wells in sandstone reservoirs require sand control because of the poorly consolidated formations. OHGP is among the most popular solutions for sand control in offshore deepwater reservoirs and accounts for approximately 95% of the operations in such scenarios on the Brazilian coast. The petroleum industry has developed a number of fluid systems for a successful OHGP, including a water-based drill-in fluid (DIF) and gravel carrier fluid (widely applied in Brazil) (Marques et al. 2007; Farias et al. 2007) or using a synthetic DIF and water-based gravel-carrier fluid (McKay et al. 2000).
In spite of the industry's effort to develop high-performance water-based fluids (Parlar et al. 2004; Aldea et al. 2005), the use of synthetic fluids guarantees superior wellbore stability, lubricity, inhibition, and drilling performance. Substituting synthetic DIF for water-based gravel-carrier fluids is a complex operation because of the potential for fluid interaction, formation damage, and problems of offshore logistics. Another challenge is to provide a reliable sand-control technique in the horizontal section with operational safety and minimum formation damage. Parlar et al. (2004) presented field implementations of OHGP operations considering high-viscosity nonaqueous fluid (NAF) and alternate path concepts.
The field job detailed herein is the first field implementation of a corporate program within Petrobras that focused on developing technology for performing OHGP with NAF systems, considering alpha- and beta-wave deposition. This gravel-pack placement strategy is considered to be reliable, cost-effective, and widely validated within Petrobras using brines as carrier fluids. The ability to run such operations with NAF systems allows aims of the application in different scenarios, such as the following:
- "Infill drilling" projects, considering re-entries in existing vertical wells in mature fields. The strategy includes opening an 8 1/2-in. window in the 9 5/8-in. casing, drilling buildup and reservoir sections in the same phase, and enabling the use of conventional screens and sand-control equipment.
- Reduction of time and costs in the execution of conventional horizontal wells by drilling buildup and reservoir sections in the same phase and performing OHGP with a compatible carrier fluid.
- Execution of horizontal wells with OHGP in reservoirs sensitive to aqueous fluids.
|File Size||509 KB||Number of Pages||7|
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