Solid Expandable Tubulars Facilitate Intelligent-Well Technology Application in Existing Multilateral Wells
A major Middle Eastern operator has been exploiting long reach, openhole, multi-lateral technology to maximize oil recovery from a large field producing from a limestone reservoir. Significant production increases have been attained, but the recovery efforts have been hampered by an inability to re-enter openhole sidetracks for remedial purposes. The operator has also encountered water production problems with no real way to identify the source of the water or to remediate it if the source is found. These problems have been overcome with the introduction of solid expandable tubulars in combination with intelligent well technology. An openhole multi-lateral involves sidetracking out of the main bore while in the open hole. In wells where the technology has been applied, production rates have generally been higher and recovery has improved. A lower unit development/operating cost is also a key driver in this type of well. The new adaptation of using solid expandable tubulars and intelligent well technology allows for re-entry into the lateral for remedial work and real-time pressure, temperature and flow data without the need for well intervention. Intelligent well components allow for quick identification of any water-producing zones and provide a means for shutting off the water production, again without the need for well intervention. This paper describes the deployment and operation of the new combined-technology application and presents field examples of its use. The paper also discusses applications under development that will push solid expandable tubular technology even further.