Technology Update: Practical Application of Intelligent Technology in Low-Production Environments
- _ JPT staff (_)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 28 - 29
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Until recently, implementing intelligent-completion (IC) technology to optimize hydrocarbon production in land-based or shallow water, low-production environments has been economically prohibitive because of the cost of the required equipment compared to its return on investment. Alternatives now exist for reduced capital investment and operating costs, enabling operators to re-evaluate the economic feasibility of IC deployment in mature fields, large fields requiring pressure maintenance, secondary-/tertiary-recovery schemes, and multilayered fields. Approaches for moderate-return environments include an introductory-level option for ICs launched by WellDynamics that incorporates streamlined designs and the use of standard metallurgy.
Proprietary SmartWell MC completion technology focuses on the ability to improve management of the recovery methods associated with enhanced oil recovery (EOR), providing real-time monitoring as well as zonal isolation and subsurface flow control in both vertical and horizontal well configurations. The use of this technology in EOR projects offers several benefits that promote enhanced recovery and improved economics, including enhanced recovery of individual layers through commingled production, improved pressure maintenance, controlled drawdown and fluid production from individual zones, and superior management of water cut.
Open/close and choking versions of hydraulically actuated interval-control valves (ICVs) in a range of sizes, production and zonal-isolation packers, and modular gauge packages make up the MC line of technologies.
The MC2 open/close ICV enables isolation of individual reservoir zones while the MCC ICV enables operators to choke or regulate injection/production by adjusting the valve through multiple incremental positions. Both MC ICVs accommodate a flow rate that exceeds 3,000 BOPD or 5 MMscf/D of gas and are equipped with corrosion-resistant coatings for downhole endurance. The valves can be used with either an automated or a manual control system to meet specific operational requirements.
The MC production packer is a single-string, retrievable production packer rated at 5,000 psi for cased hole. The slipless MC isolation packer allows perforated intervals to be segregated in cased hole below a production packer, where tubing loads and pressure differentials are moderate. Eight control lines can be fed through each of the packers.
Pressure and temperature-sensing capabilities supplement the MC series. These sensor packages are modular in construction, allowing for adaptation to a multitude of tubing sizes, without altering the primary packaging configuration.
Application in Swan Hills EOR Project
SmartWell MC products were installed by Devon Energy in a miscible-solvent injection well within the Swan Hills Unit No. 1 oil field, located in north-central Alberta, approximately 120 miles from Edmonton. Devon has been the operator through almost all of the field’s life and has taken it through primary, secondary, and tertiary recovery. The chief motivating factors for installing the equipment in this development were the opportunities to reduce well intervention and to accelerate the injection schedule associated with a single well. Considerable workover activity to manage the injection profile had already occurred in the trial well, which was judged to be a particularly risky workover candidate because of issues associated with corrosion, injection debris, and risks to cement integrity caused by frequent acid stimulation.
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