Predicting Horizontal-Openhole-Completion Success on the North Slope of Alaska
- Michael D. Erwin (ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc.) | David O. Ogbe (Schlumberger Data & Consulting Services)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- August 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 666 - 675
- 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 3.2.5 Produced Sand / Solids Management and Control, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 1.11.4 Solids Control, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 3.3.2 Borehole Imaging and Wellbore Seismic, 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 5.8.7 Carbonate Reservoir, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.1.8 Seismic Modelling, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 2 Well completion, 5.3.9 Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, 1.2.2 Geomechanics, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5.5.11 Formation Testing (e.g., Wireline, LWD), 5.6.5 Tracers, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen
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The Colville River field represents the first widespread and successful application of horizontal openhole completions on the North Slope of Alaska, and one of the first in the world. The purposes of this paper are to examine why this completion technique was selected and identify key parameters that favored its successful application in the Colville River field. The optimal completion technique for a candidate well is determined by reservoir properties, geologic setting, rock mechanics, development plan, and completion design. In this paper, we will review the unique advantages and disadvantages of horizontal openhole completions in the Colville River field.
Three key parameters were critical to the success of horizontal openhole completions and could be applied broadly in other situations. Using these three criteria, other major North Slope reservoirs were evaluated to determine their potential for horizontal-openhole-completion applications. Focus areas in this evaluation include in-situ reservoir parameters, development plans, fluid contacts, and wellbore geometries. The results show that only one other major field on the North Slope could have benefited from horizontal openhole completions.
The results of this paper are meant to provide guidelines for future application of horizontal openhole completions on the North Slope of Alaska and elsewhere.
From the early 1970s through the 1990s, engineers have been drilling and completing wells on the North Slope of Alaska with conventional cemented and perforated liners. Wells drilled in Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Lisburne, and numerous other fields are protected with casing and cement to maintain wellbore stability, ensure reservoir access, restrict solids, and provide conformance control for various reservoir fluids. Although technological advances ushered in the "horizontal-multilateral-well" age, conventional cemented liners remained the accepted default completion in the 1990s.
In 2000, the Colville River field, often referred to as the Alpine field, was developed without conventional wellbore isolation or protection. What key factors contributed to successful development of the Colville River field with horizontal openhole completions? Understanding why horizontal openhole completions were applied successfully at Colville River is the starting point to examining potential applications in other North Slope fields and is the purpose of this paper.
We will examine the advantages, limitations, and unique requirements for applying openhole completions. Major issues evaluated include fluid isolation and coning, damage remediation, fluid mobility and conformance control, sand control, and surveillance. Failure to address these issues properly can result in surface-facility and processing problems from uncontrolled water, gas, and sand production.
This evaluation is presented in three sections. First, an overview of the Colville River field provides background information on the pioneering application of horizontal openhole completions on the North Slope of Alaska. Second is a critical evaluation of the key parameters instrumental to the success of horizontal openhole completions at the Colville River field. In the third section, the characteristics identified in the Colville River field are used to evaluate other major producing fields on the North Slope of Alaska to understand which characteristics would aid or impair the application of horizontal openhole completions in offset fields.
This paper provides a basis for engineers to recognize new applications and potential shortcomings of this cost-saving well-completion method.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||10|
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