Gravel Pack Placement Limits In Extended Horizontal Offshore Wells
- Agostinho Calderon (Petrobras S.A.) | Joao V. de Magalhaes (Petrobras S.A.) | Andre L. Martins (Petrobras S.A.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- September 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 193 - 199
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.7.7 Cuttings Transport, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 2.4.4 Screen Selection, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 1.7 Pressure Management, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.14.1 Casing Design, 1.7.5 Well Control, 2 Well Completion, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.8 Formation Damage, 3.2.5 Produced Sand / Solids Management and Control, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics
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Long horizontal-section wells are economical requirements for heavy-oil fields in deepwater environments. This article discusses the operational limits for gravel-pack placement in such wells in consideration of the maximization of the horizontal-section extension in low fracture-gradient scenarios. A parametric study on the variables governing the gravel-pack operations indicates that careful hydraulic design and detailed operational procedures can guarantee a successful job. Alternative strategies are proposed to extended hydraulic limits in critical conditions.
The new scenario for offshore development in Brazil includes heavy-oil fields in deep waters in which 1,000- to 2,000-m horizontal-section wells are required. Because of the nonconsolidated formations found, sand-control techniques are required in the Campos basin, offshore Brazil. Sand production results in several surface problems, such as equipment erosion and sedimentation inside the oil/gas/water separator.
There are many techniques for sand control available in the petroleum industry. Economic development of deepwater projects requires that a minimum number of wells be drilled and requires getting effective reservoir drainage to maintain a high-productivity index of the wells.
An important option for accomplishing this task is to drill horizontal wells. Openhole gravel packing of horizontal wells in unconsolidated formations is a very effective way to achieve adequate sand control.
The gravel-packing technique consists in filling out the annular space between screen and producer formation with sand or ceramic particles with selected grain diameter. The idea is to create a second porous medium with a pore-throat diameter smaller than the formation-grain diameter, and as in this case, fluid would easily flow through the gravel pack while formation particles would not. Tiffin et al. (1998) define the relevant criteria for gravel-pack sizing.
Because of critical conditions, such as the deep- and ultradeepwater and low frac gradients, precision is required to ensure gravel-packing success. Most models available in the industry for horizontal gravel-pack design are essentially empirical, resulting in imprecise predictions for extrapolated conditions.
These aspects were the main motivators for a research project including theoretical and experimental development. This paper presents a comprehensive methodology of gravel-pack design, extending the applicability of the gravel-packing technique for longer horizontal wells.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||7|
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