Openhole Gravel-Pack Case Histories Using Alternative Fluid Displacement for Synthetic-Based Mud
- Giuseppe Ripa (Eni) | Massimo Rossi (Nigerian Agip Exploration) | Daniele Staltari (Nigerian Agip Exploration) | Meshack Ilobi (Allied Energy Corporation) | Tito Lawal (Allied Energy Corporation) | Maye Beldongar (Schlumberger) | Tekena Douglas (Schlumberger) | Philip Wassouf (Schlumberger) | Andrew Jones (M-I SWACO) | Mehmet Parlar (Schlumberger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- June 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 238 - 246
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 2 Well Completion
- Openhole Gravel Packing, Sand Control
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- 946 since 2007
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Openhole gravel packing is one of the popular completion techniques in challenging, high-transmissibility reservoirs. Many of such wells are drilled with synthetic fluids and completed with either a single- or a two-trip technique.
In single-trip approaches, the entire wellbore is displaced to water-based fluids before running screens and subsequent gravel packing. Although successful in some cases, this technique has been problematic in reactive-shale environments because of problems in screen installation to target depth, resulting from shale swelling and/or collapse. Such problems led operators to a two-trip approach in which a predrilled liner is installed in synthetic-based mud (SBM), displacements are performed to water-based fluids, and the screens are run in a solids-free (SF) water-based-fluids environment, followed by gravel packing. In recent years, another approach was introduced, in which the displacements to water-based fluids are performed after the screens are installed in conditioned mud and the packer is set, followed by gravel packing with a water-based fluid. Although this approach eliminates the difficulties associated with screen installation as well as allowing a single-trip completion (no predrilled liner), it cannot be used in cases where conditioning is impractical.
In this paper, we present case histories where screens were installed after the open hole was displaced to a solids-free SBM and the cased hole was displaced to completion brine, and gravel packing was performed using a water-based carrier fluid. This approach provides a cost-effective alternative to displacement of the entire wellbore to SF-SBM as well as eliminating the risk of screen plugging, and it was implemented successfully on two oil producers in Oyo field. Details of design, execution, and evaluation for drilling and completion stages, as well as well productivity measures, are provided.
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