Case Study of Down-hole Tool Development to Deploy Sand Screens in ERD Wells, Extending the Boundaries, Saving Opex, Reducing Risk and Improving Operational Efficiency
- Doug Gillespie (Caledus Australia Pty Ltd) | Keith Bradford (Caledus Australia Pty Ltd)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Offshore Europe, 8-11 September, Aberdeen, UK
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2 Well Completion, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics
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Sand control screens are a commonly deployed method in the Oil & Gas industry to aid production in well bores, typically where the formation is such that "standard?? completion methods would fail quickly through sand incursion. Sand control screens are used to enhance wellbore stability and optimise productivity when run in unconsolidated formations.
A common challenge occurs when formation sand is mixed through reservoir fluids, when run in unconsolidated sandstones. This mixture of sand and fluid can lead to problems such as plugging, damage to monitoring tools and erosion of equipment exposed to these abrasive fluids. Sand control screens act as a filter, to allow reservoir fluid ingress to the completion string keeping the sand content out. The very nature of the screens means they are quite delicate and easily susceptible to damage.
In recent years, Extended Reach Deployment or ‘ERD' wells have become more common, ever longer and more challenging in order to get completions to TD. Furthermore, this problem becomes exaggerated when running delicate completion strings with sand control screens. More so when you consider it is not desirable to have the completion aggressively pushed or rotated.
This paper outlines the common problems identified with Sand control Screen Deployment. Furthermore it will look at how a new deployment tool overcame these issues within set operational restrictions, with reference to documented field results.
Sands control screens are being run in ever more complex wells, particularly ‘ERD' wells where vertical depth is relatively shallow in comparison to the long horizontal step out lengths. Moreover, with many sand control screen operators not having the ability to fully rotate the completion to depth as they are run in hole, it is common practice that these completion strings are pushed to bottom.
The very nature of ERD wells, with shallow vertical components, means gravity alone cannot be relied on to get the completion to TD. Furthermore, a build up of frictional drag as the well deviates particularly in horizontal sections, creates resistance getting these completions landed at depth. The longer the horizontal component of the well is in comparison to its vertical component, the more prevalent this issue becomes. Consequently in many cases that there is no surface weight available to aid the deployment of the completion to TD.
One solution to this issue is to increase the weight of the string in the vertical section. This is done by adding components such as drill collars and Heavy Weight Drill Pipe. These components will add weight overall and using gravity will assist the deployment string by pushing the completion under its own weight. This will work in many cases, but increases handling issues on the rig, time to pickup and attach extra joints. The cost associated with these items can have a considerable impact on operations - most operators are keen to reduce non-productive time (NPT) or maintain as low as possible levels of NPT.
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