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Horizontal Well
Completion
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Topics Covered
 Planning the horizontal well
completion
 Horizontal well completion
techniques
 Equipping the horizontal well
 Working in the horizontal well
environment
 Logging and perforation
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Horizontal Well Completion
• Horizontal well (HW) drilling is potentially the most
important completion technique since hydraulic
fracturing
• HW is normally drilled vertically to a particular
depth and horizontally to additional hundreds or
thousands feet
• HW is classified based on its turning radius
– R = 57.3/BUR (buildup rate,
o
/ft)
– Three types: short, medium, and long-radius
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Completion of Horizontal Wells
• HW completion depends on formation
characteristics, reservoir type, and drilling
technique
• Formation characteristics: homogeneous or
heterogeneous
• Reservoir type: gas or under-saturated or
saturated or heavy oil
• Drilling technique: short or medium or long-
radius method
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Completion Types
• Two types: open hole and cased-cemented
completion
• Open hole:can be true or pseudo open hole
– true OH in competent formation with no
water or gas
– pseudo OH with slotted liners and/or ECP for
isolation
• Cased-cemented hole
– premium completion (very expensive)
– need to perforate; last option
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Horizontal Open-Hole Completion
This is a true open hole completion and it is used in consolidated
and competent formation with medium to high permeability
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Horizontal Perforated Liner Completion
(pseudo open-hole)
The pre-perforated liner/casing is used where little or no stimulation is required, and
the segmented uncemented liner/casing is used for open-hole evaluation of the
wellbore and subsequent selective stimulation, if necessary.
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Horizontal Perforated Liner Completion
(pseudo open-hole)
The pre-perforated liner/casing is used where little or no stimulation is required, and
the segmented uncemented liner/casing is used for open-hole evaluation of the
wellbore and subsequent selective stimulation, if necessary.
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Running of a horizontal pre-pack liner/screen
The slotted or pre-perforated liner/casing is used where little or no stimulation is
required, and the segmented uncemented liner/casing is used for open-hole
evaluation of the wellbore and subsequent selective stimulation, if necessary.
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Horizontal Well Selective
Completion with ECP
External casing
packers
The pre-perforated liner/casing is used here with some external casing packers (ECP).
The ECPs are used for isolation of the hole segments that showed little or no
production.
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Horizontal well cased and
cemented liner completion
1. The cased and cemented completion is the premium completion approach. This
means that the well must be perforated and stimulated.
2. Costs associated with these operations are so significant that there must be
problems associated with the wellbore/formation combination that cannot be
addressed in any other way
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Equipping the Horizontal Wells
• Most tools are set with rotation movement, or hydraulic pressure,
which must be applied around the bend to the horizontal segment.
Major tools are external casing packers (ECP), bridge plugs, packers,
and artificial lift devices (pumping equipment)
• The tool size and operation are the most important parameters for the
tools
– Length L, and diameter of the a rigid tool that can be run around
the bend is a f(R)
– L = 1/6[R
2
- (R -d)
2
]
0.5
; d = ID
casing
- OD
tool

– L = tool length, ft; R and d are in inches
• All tools are set by mechanical, or hydraulic or passive action. The
movement required to set or unset a tool should be minimized.
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Effect of radius of curvature on the length
of tool that can be run in a horizontal well
1. The length and diameter of a
rigid tool that can be transported
around a curve is dependent on
the curve radius and the tool
clearance.
2. The maximum length of any
specific diameter of tool to be
transported around a curve can
be calculated using the equation
L = 1/6[R
2
- (R -d)
2
]
0.5
;
d = ID
casing
– OD
tool
;
L = tool length, ft;
R and d are in inches
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Multiphase flow patterns in a
horizontal well
 The dips and rises in the
well profile act as down-
hole separators for the
various phases of the
produced fluids, leading to
slug flow
 These slugs may be big
enough to load up and kill
the well. Thus, tubing
should be landed at the
low point in the lateral so
as to minimize slugging.
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Figure 6.11 - Horizontal well perforation configuration in
consolidated (360 phasing) and unconsolidated (120 - & 180 -
phasing) formations
Perforation of Horizontal Wells
 Gun orientation - full phase (360
o
) in consolidated formations and 180
o
or
120
o
-phase in unconsolidated formations
 Perforation density - use a lower shot density (2-shots/ft). This is
because so much zone is exposed in horizontal wells plus perforating is
expensive
 Use bullet guns in low compressive formation and jet guns in high
compressive formation
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Artificial Lift Equipment in HW
• These are gas lift, hydraulic jet, and electric submersible
pumps
• Gas lift - a viable option in short and medium-radius,
may be uneconomical in long-radius
• Hydraulic jet pumps - affected slightly by hole inclination
but inefficient in low pressure wells
• Electric submersible pumps - not good in high angle
wells and must be centralized. Also, very sensitive to
high GOR. Have ability to lift large amount of fluids
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Working in Horizontal Well
• Hole cleaning - use high viscous pill or
magnet
• Tubing stress at the bend - use flexible
material
• Perforation
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Coiled Tubing Conveyed Logging Tools
• CT has three main parts: measuring
tools and protection equipment, an
electric connector between tool and
drill pipe, and slide entry capability.
• It is important to prevent damage to
cable by not lowering the slide entry
sub beyond certain inclination or
protect it by clamping along drill
pipe.
1. Advantages: easy and rapid to use (significant reduction in rig time), accurate depth
control, and the ability to make multiple runs.

2. Disadvantage: CT will buckle when the frictional forces associated with the guns in the
horizontal hole exceed the CT critical buckling load. The advantages of CT are the
speed of running the guns, the ability to log perforating guns on depth,
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Nitrogen kickoff of a well using
coiled tubing
1. This figure shows one of the
major applications of CT
(nitrogen kickoff)
2. 25% of the CT business
accounts for nitrogen kickoffs.
3. It is possible to pump N
2
too
fast Lighten column while RIH,
then pump N
2
at bottom of well
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HW Cementing Problems & Solutions
 Three main problems: free-water on the upper side
of well, deposition of solids, and inadequate
fluid/cement displacement
– Associated problems include mud and gas channeling
 Solutions include the following:
– Good cement and fluid design;(YP30 lbf/100 ft
2
)
– Use mechanical devices - centralizers & scratchers
– Use mechanical actions - rotate/reciprocate
– Displace cement and fluid in turbulent flow
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A typical flow meter for production
logging on coiled tubing
1. This figure shows another application of CT (production
logging). The production profile of a horizontal well is
often required for effective production management. To
optimize well production, pressures and entry points of
water, oil, and gas are the necessary data. One of the
biggest problem is measuring and interpreting
multiphase flow of the fluids especially in horizontal
wells.
2. Two techniques have been developed to improve the
quality of data measurement of two-phase flow in
horizontal wells and to determine the location of fluid
flux. These techniques, using CT, involve (a) a small
variable-diameter metal petal-basket and a fluid
analyzer tool, and (b) a temperature survey tool to
measure temperature anomalies during production or
injection of fluids.