Long-Zone Squeeze Gravel Packs in Geopressured Reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico
- S.D. Bruner (Shell Offshore Inc.) | H.C. Lau (Shell E&P Technology Co.) | L.N. Morgenthaler (Shell E&P Technology Co.) | L.A. Bernardi Jr. (Shell E&P Technology Co.) | J.M. Kielty (Shell E&P Technology Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- June 1997
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 93 - 98
- 1997. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 3 Production and Well Operations, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 3.2.5 Produced Sand / Solids Management and Control, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 2.4.6 Frac and Pack, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 1.8 Formation Damage, 2.2.3 Fluid Loss Control, 5.5.11 Formation Testing (e.g., Wireline, LWD)
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Laboratory studies were conducted to determine the completion techniques for two wells in the Gulf of Mexico with well angles of 35 to 45°, completion intervals of about 400 ft, bottomhole temperatures of 222°F, and requiring a completion brine with density up to 17.0 lbm/gal. Three critical issues -- fluid-loss control, pregravel-pack acid stimulation, and internal gravel packing -- were studied.
Laboratory studies showed that an activated hydroxyethyl-cellulose (HEC) pill could be designed to control the fluid loss for more than 30 hours, even at a bottomhole temperature of 222 °F. In addition, a high-rate acid stimulation could be employed to ensure that as many perforations as possible were open to accept gravel-pack sand. Physical model studies also showed that a high-rate squeeze waterpack provided the required effective perforation and annular packing for the target wells despite the long completion interval.
These techniques were successfully implemented. Initial production data suggest that both wells, still under choke, are producing at expected rates, with low downhole drawdown.
Two wells were drilled into a Pliocene-age turbidite sandstone reservoir in the Gulf of Mexico. The wells (named A and B in Table 1) had deviations of 45 and 35° and gross thicknesses of 380 and 350 ft, respectively. Both wells had a net-to-gross pay ratio of about 70% and bottomhole temperature of 222°F. However, geopressures requiring the use of 16.9 to 17.0 lbm/gal ZnBr2/CaBr2 completion brine were encountered. Furthermore, a history of sand production from other wells in the same field indicated that sand control would be needed in these target wells. The long perforated interval, high well angle, and geopressured nature of these wells presented a unique challenge to complete these wells successfully.
Three objectives critical to the successful completion of these wells were identified. They included controlling fluid loss for at least 30 hours after perforating to minimize formation damage and brine cost; achieving an effective annular gravel pack for sand control; and achieving a low-skin completion.
Several gravel-packing alternatives including frac and pack, circulating pack, and squeeze pack were considered. We decided against frac and pack because it would be difficult to achieve a high-quality frac pack and simultaneously a good annular pack over a very long interval. The question of whether to use a circulating or a squeeze pack was to be answered, in part, by physical model studies. To ensure that we would have a low-skin completion, we decided to conduct a high-rate acid stimulation before gravel packing to open as many perforations as possible to accept gravel-pack sand.
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