World's First Gravel-Packed Inflow-Control Completion
- Jody R. Augustine (Baker Oil Tools) | Stephen Philip Mathis (Baker Oil Tools) | Hang Thi Nguyen (Baker Oil Tools) | Christopher L. Gann (Consultant) | Jerry Gill (VAALCO Gabon (Etame) Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- March 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 61 - 67
- 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.4.3 Fines Migration, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 3 Production and Well Operations, 2 Well Completion, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 2.3.3 Flow Control Equipment, 2.4.6 Frac and Pack, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.2.3 Fluid Loss Control, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 1.8 Formation Damage
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The Etame oil field, offshore Gabon, West Africa, has been producing since September 2002. The Etame oil reservoir is an oval-shaped, low-relief structure with a moderate aquifer drive. To maximize ultimate field recovery, the ET-6H well was drilled with a horizontal lateral positioned to traverse the reservoir near the structural crest and to be within the Upper Gamba sandstone throughout its length. The Gamba sandstone averages 45 ft in thickness and overlies a significant angular unconformity. The subcropping Dentale-aged sandstones and interbedded shales below this unconformity have dips to 12°. The oil column of approximately 170 ft extends below this unconformity. Previous wells in the field were completed using openhole horizontal gravel packs (OHGPs) and have experienced excellent sand-control performance. However, OHGPs offer no protection against early water breakthrough. The Gamba sand averages 30% porosity with a permeability range of 1 to 3 darcies. The Dentale sands are much more variable, with porosities of 18 to 30% and a permeability range of 50 to 1,000 md. Thus, if a portion of the lateral is situated immediately above a high-permeability Dentale sand, the well will be at risk of early water breakthrough and subsequent reduced recovery if it is completed with a standard OHGP.
The operator gravel packed the ET-6H well and used a system that provides a near-uniform inflow profile along the entire lateral length to protect against early water breakthrough. The gravel packing of inflow-control devices (ICDs) presented some unique challenges because of their differences from standard sand-control screens.
This paper describes the implementation of the world's first gravel packed inflow-control completion, including: inflow-control device selection process, gravel-pack design, data from the gravel-pack operation, and resulting well performance.
The structure of the top Gamba sandstone at Etame field is shown in Fig. 1 (depths are in meters). The three previous horizontal OHGP completions are shown in orange, and the ET-6H completion is shown in red. The discovery well for the field (the ET-1VA well on the southeast flank) was completed with an OHGP as a vertical well.
Fig. 2 illustrates how the Gamba sandstone is draped over the subcropping Dentale formation at a significant unconformity surface. Pilot-hole drilling confirmed that the Gamba and Dentale sandstones have a common oil/water contact (OWC) in all but the southeast portion of the field (Gill and Cameron 2002). The aquifer is obviously quite complex. Additionally, there is a lack of seismic resolution of these Dentale sandstones. When this is coupled with their variable distribution, it makes it difficult to avoid placing a lateral drain over a potentially high permeability Dentale sandstone. An inflow-control completion is, therefore, desirable.
The Gamba sandstone, which is Cretaceous in age, is remarkably unconsolidated. Fig. 3 is a thin-section photomicrograph illustrating the high porosity and unconsolidated nature of this fine-to medium-grained sandstone. Minimizing fines migration is another important aspect of the completion design.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||7|
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