A New Approach for Designing Steam Splitters and Inflow Control Devices in Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage
- Mohammad Kyanpour (Southern Pacific Resource Corp.) | Zhangxing Chen (University of Calgary)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Heavy Oil Conference-Canada, 11-13 June, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2013, Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 3.1.2 Electric Submersible Pumps, 2.3.3 Flow Control Equipment, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 1.3 Wellhead design, 5.3.9 Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, 3 Production and Well Operations, 2.2.2 Perforating
- Flow Control Device, Gravity Drainage Accessory, SAGD, Steam Splitter
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- 439 since 2007
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The classical SAGD involves drilling wells in parallel horizontal pairs. Steam is injected into the upper well (injector) to heat the reservoir and mobilize bitumen so that it drains to the lower well (producer) and can be lifted to the surface. In this process, steam distribution in the injector and a sustainable liquid level above the producer are key to achieve steam chamber conformance. The completion designs of these wells are critical in order to achieve optimal bitumen recovery and steam chamber development.
Two common tools in SAGD wellbore completions are Steam Splitters and Inflow Control Devices. The Steam splitters are used to customize steam distribution in the injector. The Inflow Control Devices are used in the producer to develop a uniform inflow along the horizontal wellbore.
This paper presents a method for determining the size and position of Steam Splitters and Inflow Control Devices. This method can be used for both simple and complex reservoirs containing heterogeneous geology and hydraulic barriers and baffles.
Steam Splitters are configured to distribute a customized steam rate at selected locations into a reservoir. These allow for multiple injection points within a single tubing along the horizontal liner section of a steam injector well. Using steam splitters reduces operating expenditures (OpEx) by improving thermal efficiency and reducing surface injection pressure requirements. Furthermore, steam splitters enhance production by helping to create uniform steam chamber growth and mitigating hydraulic barriers and baffles.
An Inflow Control Device (ICD) is used in a producer well to develop a uniform inflow along the horizontal wellbore. It aids in managing the interface between the injector and producer wellbores for efficient reservoir drainage, while reducing the tendency for steam breakthrough. Using ICDs reduces OpEx by assisting in impeding steam breakthrough and creating uniform or intentional pressure profile along the liner to maximize conformance.
Both steam splitters and ICDs reduce capital expenditures (CapEx) by simplifying wellhead design which allows for smaller wellbores and less tubing requirements.
The size and number of orifices within steam splitters and ICDs are determined from wellbore flow simulation. Numerical modelling for the steam splitters is required to optimize the placement of steam injection points and the steam rates to achieve a balanced energy influx into the reservoir. Moreover, for the case of ICDs, wellbore flow modelling is completed to optimize the placement and inflow rates of ICDs to inhibit large pressure differentials along the production tubing.
The physical difference between the steam splitters and ICDs is a shroud. The shroud is an outer casing on the steam splitter which deflects steam and prevents it from damaging the liner. ICDs do not have a shroud.
Both Steam Splitters and ICDs are denoted as a Gravity Drainage Accessory (GDA) by Weatherford. A Steam Splitter is denoted as an Injection GDA and similarly, an ICD Production GDA. For simplicity, the authors will use these terms from here on. A schematic of these GDAs are provided in Figure 1.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||14|