Water Production Reduced Using Solid Expandable Tubular Technology to "Clad" in Fractured Carbonate Formation
In recent years, many operators in the oil and gas industry have moved in the direction of horizontal drilling, as horizontal drilling has proven to be a more efficient production method than trying to move hydrocarbons into vertical wellbores. For the last several years, a major Middle East operator has been leveraging horizontal drilling technology to maximize oil recovery. Although the use of horizontal drilling technology has resulted in significant production increases, this operator saw that recovery efforts were somewhat hampered by water breakthrough in the horizontal openhole section of some wells. Unwanted water production is a problem for many operators, not just because of water content and reduced lift efficiency, but also because of the cost of water handling facilities and the cost of disposing of or re-injecting the unwanted water. This paper describes how the problem of water breakthrough is being alleviated by solid expandable tubular technology. This paper also describes the development of the solid expandable tubular technology solution for openhole water isolation from the initial conception and preliminary development, through the first remedial applications, to the extension of the solution for deployment during the drilling phase of the well. The paper cites case histories of each of the stages of this development and discusses future enhancements of the technology to further optimise this solution.