Breakthroughs of water and/or gas in production wells may have direct consequences for the production rates and overall field recovery. Multiple technologies have recently been developed to autonomously control inflow from the reservoir. Common to all these technologies is that new limitations are introduced which may have a negative impact on the well. This paper presents the design process for the next generation inflow control system and introduces new requirements for such completions.

Traditional Passive Inflow Control Devices (ICD) are designed to act in a preventive manner by setting up a somewhat more even inflow profile along the reservoir section and thereby delay the breakthrough of gas or water. More recently, several new initiatives have been presented which will operate autonomously, with an ambition to choke back unwanted production. Common to these technologies is that they are primarily dependent on viscosity differences between the reservoir fluids.

In the work presented in the following, the design process has identified the following requirements for the next generation autonomous inflow control system:

• easy to install completion

• robust in design and functionality

• Improve clean-up of mud and completion fluids

• independent of fluid viscosity

• negligible pressure drop during normal production

• allows back-flow of fluids

In this paper the results from an ongoing development of a new design inflow control system, independent on differences in fluid viscosities is presented, which fulfills above requirements. This system is based on a valve, which blocks, or restricts, production of unwanted water or gas, and re-opens for production if oil comes back. It can be designed to stop water/gas production at a predetermined WC/GOR. Furthermore, it ensures efficient clean-up along the full length of the reservoir section and is insensitive to exposure to mud, particles and filter cake. The installation of this system will not restrict any future well operations and it can be designed with a fail-safe option.

The new system represents a great technological improvement which will ensure a robust, economical and fail safe design as well as a simplification of inflow design process, since it will work irrespective of local productivity, pressure and flow rate. Hence, removing the operational envelopes on which other technologies must be designed for to be able to work properly.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.