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IPTC 12145

Advanced Wells: A Comprehensive Approach to the Selection between


Passive and Active Inflow Control Completions
F.T. Al-Khelaiwi*, V.M. Birchenko*, M.R. Konopczynski**, D.R. Davies*
* SPE, Heriot-Watt University, ** SPE, WellDynamics

Copyright 2008, International Petroleum Technology Conference


This paper was prepared for presentation at the International Petroleum Technology Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 35 December 2008.
This paper was selected for presentation by an IPTC Programme Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as
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acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, IPTC, P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax +1-972-952-9435.

Abstract
Advances (from conventional wells to horizontal and then multi-lateral) in well architecture for maximising reservoir contact
have been paralleled by advances in completion equipment development of both "Passive" Inflow Control Devices (ICDs)
and "Active" Interval Control Valves (ICVs). These devices provide a range of fluid-flow control-options that can enhance
the reservoir sweep efficiency and increase reserves. ICVs were initially employed for controlled, commingled production
from multiple reservoirs; while ICDs were developed to counteract the "Heel-Toe" Effect. The variety of their reservoir
applications has since proliferated, so that their application areas now overlap. It has become both complex and time
consuming to select between ICVs or ICDs for a wells completion.
This publication along with a companion paper summarises the results of a comprehensive, comparison study of the
functionality and applicability of the two technologies. It maps out a workflow of the selection process based on the thorough
analysis of the ICD and ICV advantages in major reservoir, production, operation and economic areas. Detailed analysis of
the modelling, gas and oil field applications, equipment costs and installation risks, long term reliability and technical
performance are covered. The systematic approach and tabulated results of this comparison forms the basis of a screening
tool of the potential applicable control technology for a wide range of situations.
The selection framework can be applied by both production technologists and reservoir engineers when choosing
between Passive or Active flow control in advanced wells. The value of these guidelines is illustrated by their application
to synthetic and real field case studies.

1 Introduction
Increasing well-reservoir contact has a number of potential advantages in terms of well productivity, drainage area,
sweep efficiency and delayed water or gas breakthrough. However, such long, possibly multilateral, Extreme Reservoir
Contact (ERC) wells bring not only advantages by replacing several conventional wells; but also present new challenges in
terms of drilling and completion due to the increasing length and complexity of the wells exposure to the reservoir [1]. The
situation with respect to reservoir management is less black and white. An ERC well improves the sweep efficiency and
delays water or gas breakthrough by reducing the localized drawdown and distributing fluid flux over a greater wellbore
length; but it will also present difficulties when reservoir drainage control is required.
Production from a conventional well is normally controlled at the surface by the wellhead choke; increasing the total
oil production by reducing the production rate of a high water cut, conventional well afflicted by water coning. Such simple
measures do not work with an ERC well, since maximization of well-reservoir contact does not by itself guarantee uniform
reservoir drainage. Premature breakthrough of water or gas occurs due to:
1. Reservoir permeability heterogeneity.
2. Variations in the distance between the wellbore and fluid contacts e.g. due to multiple fluid contacts, an inclined
wellbore, a tilted oil-water contact, etc.
3. Variations in reservoir pressure in different regions of the reservoir penetrated by the wellbore.
4. The heel-toe effect that leads to a difference in the specific influx rate between the heel and the toe of the well,
especially when the reservoir is homogeneous.

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Downhole flow control, employing either Interval Control Valves (ICVs) or Inflow Control Devices (ICDs), has
proven to be a practical solution to the above problems. An:
o ICV is a downhole flow control valve which is operated remotely (from the surface) through a hydraulic, electric or
electro-hydraulic actuation system. Different ICV trim designs and functionality ranging from on/off to infinitely
positioned valves are commercially available. Hundreds of wells around the world are now equipped with remotely
operated ICVs of varying complexity and capabilities. They are used, for example, to actively control inflow from (or
injection to) multiple completion intervals (zones) in a common reservoir or different reservoirs.
o ICD is a passive flow restriction mounted on a screen joint to control the fluid flow path from the reservoir into the
flow conduit. An ICDs ability to equalise the inflow along the well length is due to the difference of the physical
laws governing fluid flow in (1) the reservoir and (2) through the ICD. Each provider of this technology has a unique
design for the pressure drop creation. These currently include: Nozzles, Orifices, Tubes and Helical and Labyrinth
Channels. The size of the ICDs restriction is set prior to or at the time of well completion. Options for later
adjustment of the flow restrictions diameter are not currently available without intervention. Despite this, ICDs have
been installed in hundreds of wells during the last ten years and are now considered to be a mature, well completion
technology.
The drivers that gave rise to the development of the ICV and ICD technologies were quite different. The first ICV
applications were to allow the controlled, commingled production of multiple reservoirs via a single flow conduit [2-14];
while ICDs were developed to counteract the heel-toe effect discussed above [15, 16]. The application area of both
technologies has increased dramatically since these early applications. Reservoir studies and subsequent field experience
have confirmed the value of both ICD and ICV application to mitigate inflow or injection imbalance and to optimise well and
field management [17, 21].

2 ICD-ICV Comparison Framework


Since these early installations, the application areas of the ICV and ICD technologies have developed so that they
overlap [22]. We therefore performed a comprehensive comparison of ICV and ICD application (Table 1 and Figure 1) in
terms of reservoir, production and cost engineering. The reasons behind the choices made are summarised in the following
sections of this paper and in an earlier publication [23]. As can be seen, a number of factors have to be considered by both
reservoir and production engineers; while other factors concern one discipline only. The first eight factors are summarised
below, having been previously described in detail [23]:
1. Uncertainty in reservoir description ICVs prove to deliver higher recovery and reduced risk compared with ICDs
due to its ability to adjust to unforeseen circumstances.
2. More flexible development ICVs have more degrees of freedom than ICDs, allowing more flexible field
development strategies to be employed. Both proactive and reactive control can easily be applied with an ICV while
real time optimisation can only be achieved with an ICV.
3. Number of controllable zones The maximum number of ICVs installed in a single completion to date is six. On
the other hand, the number of ICDs which can be installed in a horizontal section is only limited by the number of
packers, cost and/or drag forces limiting the reach of the completion string.
4. Inner flow conduit diameter The larger flow conduit diameter gives the ICD an advantage over ICV since the
ICVs reduced inner flow conduit diameter increases the heel-toe effect compared to an ICD for comparable
borehole sizes.
5. Formation permeability, fluid phases, production/injection rates & productivity variation Both ICVs & ICDs are
capable of equalising the inflow from (or outflow to) heterogeneous reservoirs. ICD application in low permeability
reservoirs greatly reduces the well productivity unlike ICVs. A high ICD strength may be needed to achieve a high
level of inflow uniformity which in turn may reduce the overall well productivity or injectivity. However,
simultaneous analysis of other parameters such as fluid phases along with the formation permeability is often
required to decide which of the two technologies to select:
a. The appropriate degree of inflow equalisation must be determined in cases where complete inflow
uniformity is not required. E.G. when the distance between the wellbore and the original or an invading
fluid front varies significantly along the wellbore length.
b. Both ICVs and ICDs can equally be used to manage produced oil and gas or injected gas flow distribution.
However, ICDs are more useful in reducing volumes of associated gas cap gas or water [24] production
while ICVs may require frequent actuation (i.e. application of a controller at short time intervals [25]) to
manage the high associated gas production rates.
c. Oil-water emulsions can form due to the shear created by high velocity fluid flow within an advanced
completion incorporating a small diameter flow restriction. This emulsion causes the fluids viscosity to
increase and hinder the wells outflow performance.
d. The pressure drop/liquid flow rate relationship is largely linear across the reservoir and quadratic across the
ICD or ICV. The ratio of these pressure drops and the subsequent flow rate is the main factor in the ICD

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6.

7.

8.

and ICV completions design. However, unlike ICVs, the fixed nature of ICD completions makes its
"equalisation" efficiency highly dependent on the operating flow rate. This efficiency will decrease if the
well operates at a lower flow rate from the design flow rate.
e. ICD completions can control many intervals within a zone as well as a number of zones of varying
productivity along the wellbore. The limit to such completion is the minimum ICD restriction size that can
practically be applied with the minimum risk of erosion, plugging or emulsion creation potential. ICV
completions are limited by the number of valves that can be installed in a single completion.
Value of information Indications of gas and water influx or rate allocation is an advantage which can be gained in
both ICV and ICD completions when equipped with appropriate gauges [27]. Recently, fibre optic for Distributed
Temperature Sensing (DTS) was also installed in an ICD completion [26]. However, the value of information from
ICVs can be increased due to the ability to remotely control the flow rate of individual zones in addition to
measuring data. This gives ICVs the advantage over ICDs.
Multilateral well applications ICVs can currently only be installed in the wells mother bore due to limitations of
available control umbilical technology to connect to both the mother bore and laterals at the junction. ICDs can be
installed to equalise the flow within individual laterals. This difference in applicability leads to the integration of
both technologies for optimum completion of multilateral wells.
Multiple reservoir management Both ICVs & ICDs [28] have been applied to equalise the inflow from multiple
layers within a single reservoir or multiple reservoirs. The optimum choice between these two technologies for a
particular well will depend on the specific reservoir, fluid and completion architecture. However, ICVs have been
proven to optimally control the commingled production and prevent the cross flow between multiple reservoirs.
ICVs also allowed gas and water transfer between different layers for sweep improvement and pressure support.
ICDs have a limited capability to perform these tasks.
This paper provides an equivalent level of detail for the remaining, more operationally oriented factors (Figure 1).

2.1 Modelling Tool Availability


The majority of available reservoir simulators such as NEXUS-VIPTM, CMGTM, POWERSTM, EMPOWER have the
capability of modelling downhole flow control devices which can act as either ICDs or ICVs [29-31]. These models usually
divide the wellbore into an arbitrary number of segments representing sections of the tubing, annulus and/or flow control
devices. The connections between the segments resemble a Trunk and Branch architecture allowing flow from one or more
segments to always converge to a single segment in the direction of the topmost segment. This modelling technique though
adequate for ICVs, has limited suitability for ICD completions due to its inability to model:
1. Nodes with divergent fluid flow i.e. to allow modelling of split or looping flow between annulus and ICD. Trunk and
Branch modelling is acceptable for homogeneous reservoirs or when annular flow isolation is installed at every ICD
joint. It is inadequate for heterogeneous reservoirs and when partial, or no, annular flow isolation is installed. This results
in the fluid inflow from the reservoir not passing completely into the inside of the ICD at the first opportunity but
partially flowing in the annulus between the two ICD joints.
2. Annular flow occurs unless there is an isolation packer installed in the annular space between the ICD and the formation
sandface at every ICD joint or the annulus is packed with gravel or collapsed formation sand. An open annulus allows
high rate fluid inflow, after gas or water breakthrough from high productivity completion sections to result in high rate,
annular flow along the whole zone. This will hinder oil production from the remainder of the completion [49]. The early,
post breakthrough well performance will not be captured by the trunk and branch modelling technique. Further, the
cumulative oil production will be over estimated due to the absence of annular flow [35].
Annular flow is thus an important aspect in ICD completion modelling and design. It involves splitting and rejoining
(or looping) of the flow paths. Currently, it can be modelled by the Eclipse2008 TM commercial reservoir simulator [36].
Network modelling software, such as NETool and GAP, also has this capability to fully model both ICV and ICD
completions [34, 35]; but they do need to be coupled to a reservoir simulator if the complete, dynamic performance of the
completion is to be captured at all stages of the wells lifetime.
ICVs can be easily modelled in current versions of most well and reservoir simulators giving them an advantage
over ICDs in terms of modelling tool availability.

2.2 Long Term Equipment Reliability


ICD reliability can be evaluated in term of erosion or plugging of the ICD flow restriction while the definition of
ICV reliability is more complex. Further, there is a large difference in the flow rates controlled by the two technologies; an
ICD is designed to control a much lower flow rate than an ICV.
ICV reliability is often discussed in terms of the system reliability and of the mission reliability [37-40]. The
ICV system consists of five main components: surface control equipment, control lines, connectors, gauges to monitor the

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flow and the valve itself. Each of these main components consists of several subcomponents e.g. a hydraulically operated
ICV consists of: a moving sleeve or ball containing the valve opening trim, a hydraulic chamber to translate the hydraulic
pulses into mechanical movement of the valve and a stationary housing. The failure of any of the five, main ICV components
(or their subcomponents) is considered a system failure. However, the ICV is installed as part of a much larger well or field
infrastructure. It will be unable to achieve its objective if external components such as a gravel pack or a packer that are not
part of the ICV system fail. This type of failure is a called mission failure [37-39].
This concept of mission and system failure can also be applied to ICD completions. The failure of the ICDs
flow restriction due to erosion or plugging is a system failure since this is the main component in the ICD equipment. In
addition to the ICD flow restriction failure, failure of a Stand-Alone-Screen, gravel pack or annular flow isolation, which is
used in conjunction with ICDs, can thus be considered to be a mission failure.
In this paper we will restrict our comparison to the ICVs valve reliability with that of the ICDs flow restriction.
The different ICD designs (Nozzles, Orifices, Tubes and Helical and Labyrinth channels) vary in there resistance to
erosion and plugging. Slurry flow testing has indicated that the nozzle and orifice designs are more prone to erosion than the
helical channel design [44]. However, despite this, the available information on the downhole inflow distribution of all ICD
completions with a variety of flow restriction designs has indicated an equalised fluid influx along the length of the ICD
completion [46-50]. E.g. A flowmeter survey run after 4 months production in a well completed with nozzle-type ICDs
indicated a near uniform contribution along the wellbore [46]. The well was completed in a sandstone reservoir and produced
at a flow rate of 6-7 M stbo/d (~ 110 stbo/d/ICD joint).
The long term benefits of ICD completions were observed some five years after the introduction of ICD technology
by a 4-D seismic survey conducted in 2003 on the Troll West oil rim. This survey indicated that the wells completed with
ICDs maintained excellent equalisation of the approaching gas front [51-53], despite that these wells having been produced at
super-critical flow rates with a high GOR. Erosion of the helical, channel-type ICDs would be expected to result in localised
high gas concentrations which would have been detected by the seismic survey.
Sand, scale or asphaltene deposition can cause ICD plugging. However, the plugging potential of ICDs due to sand
deposition can be reduced by the utilisation of Stand-Alone-Screen (SAS) or gravel packs. These completions prevent
production of those sand particles sufficiently large to plug the ICDs flow restriction. Further, a minimum flow restriction
diameter can be introduced into the ICD design process to minimise the plugging risk if the sand control measures fail. Scale
and asphaltene plugging has to be chemically prevented or treated since it can not be held back mechanically. ICD
plugging has not been reported to-date; even though screen plugging is a problem frequently observed in sand control
completions [54- 55]. However, both the inflow rate per screen joint and the annular flow rate are considerably lower in an
ICD completion than in a typical (conventional) sand control completion. A reduced rate of screen plugging is therefore
expected. Note that, in the context of this paper, screen plugging represents a mission failure rather than an ICD system
failure.
A common ICD design is used for both production and injection, apart from one of the nozzle-type ICDs. This
nozzle-ICD design for injection minimises jetting, and subsequent erosion of the ICD chamber-shroud (deflector), by
mounting the nozzles on the jacket welded around the base pipe {Figure 2 [45]}.
Erosion of the ICV trim or shroud can lead to failure of the ICV to maintain the desired pressure drop. The ICV trim
design can be modified to minimise such erosion effects [41-43]. Partial or complete plugging of an ICV due to deposition of
scale, asphaltene, etc. can be minimised by regularly cycling the valve through its various settings. Inability to adjust the
valve to the required position is a significant cause of ICV system failure. Such failure can be due to the valve or to any of
the components that make up the actuation system. Unfortunately, the industry reported ICV reliability data does not
distinguish between these two types of failure. However, it clearly indicates that the actuation system and the valve operation
mechanism are the main factors affecting the ICV reliability. Hydraulically actuated valves have a higher reliability
compared to electrically actuated valves [39]. They usually have a limited number of settings, while the electrically driven
valves can offer any desired setting between the fully closed and fully open positions. The sophistication of an electrical
system is often compounded with multiple pressure and temperature gauges installed at each interval. The additional
complexity of such systems (i.e. the additional components) can greatly reduce the system reliability [37-40]. Statoil
reported a mission failure rate (this includes system failures) of 25 % on the early systems installed in the Snorre A and B
platforms [57]. Later statistics reported a system failure rate of 39 % for 36 valves installed in the Snorre B [58].
However, more recent ICV installations have resulted in increased ICV system reliability. Shell reported a
doubling of the number of valves installed between 2003 and 2006 with a very limited increase in the number of failures
{Figure 3 and [56]}. The 5 year survivability for the ICV system is currently 96 % for the all-hydraulic control system.
Despite this improvement in ICV reliability, the ICD has an intrinsically simple design with a reduced risk of failure
compared to the more complex ICV. Further, the impact of an ICD failure on the well performance is much lower than an
ICV failure (chapter 3).

2.3 Reservoir Isolation Barrier


An ICV is accepted as a reservoir isolation barrier [59] during intervention operations (e.g. removal of wellhead)
after suitable testing. This reduces the rig time and thus lowers the well intervention costs. Further, the likelihood of

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formation damage is reduced by not exposing the reservoir to the workover fluid. Recently, the combination of an ICD with a
hydro-mechanical valve system which isolates the flow path between the screens and the ICD was reported [60]. This may be
suitable for isolating the formation during completion installation.
The ICV thus has the advantage over the ICD for isolating the formation from the fluid in the inner tubing string and
providing a two-way, flow isolation barrier.

2.4 Improved Clean-up


Formation damage caused by drilling or workover can significantly affect the well performance [62-65]. Long,
horizontal and multilateral wells crossing heterogeneous, possibly multiple, reservoirs and suffering from increased frictional
pressure drop along the wellbore often show greater formation damage than conventional wells. This is due to the increased
exposure time of the formation to the drilling and completion fluid in addition to the greater overbalance pressure often
applied during drilling such wells. This gives increased importance to the clean up process used to remove formation damage.
The typical well clean up process involves either the well flowing naturally or aided by artificial lift. This can be
effective in conventional wells (including short or medium length horizontal wells); however this definitely does not provide
adequate clean up of very long horizontal and ERC wells. The differential pressure between the heel and the toe of the
horizontal section increases once the completion fluid is removed from the well; making mud cake and invaded fluid removal
at the toe section harder. Further, permeability variation along the wellbore plays a major role in the clean-up process as it
can result in differential clean-up caused by partial cleaning of the mud cake.
ICVs can control the contribution from long horizontal sections or laterals while ICDs installed along a horizontal
lateral can equalise the contribution from small sections of the wellbore. This gives advantages to both technologies. In
essence, ICVs can be used to sequentially open individual intervals (zones) or laterals; allowing the maximum allowable
drawdown per zone to be applied. This ensures that each zone is cleaned up properly. Surface monitoring of the water return
or the downhole pressure drops measured by the ICV gauges can be used to monitor the clean-up efficiency of a specific zone
before the next zone is opened. However, higher drawdowns are not always advantageous since it may result in increased
sand production or coning in thin oil columns.
ICDs, on the other hand, equalise the inflow contributions so that the low permeability sections becomes more
similar to that of the high permeability sections. This helps filter cake lift-off from a longer wellbore section and allows faster
flow back of the invaded fluid, assuming that sufficient pressure drop can be generated across the filter cake (a function of
the mud system used).
Producing the ICD completed wellbore at low flow rates may not provide adequate clean up [46]. The ICD
restriction sizing is highly dependent on the value of the design flow rate used to choose the optimum ICD restriction size
that generates the required ICD pressure drop across the high productivity zone(s) to equalise the inflow contribution along
the wellbore. Therefore, producing an ICD completed well at the design, or even higher, flow rate is essential to achieve
proper clean up. Nozzle-type ICDs installed in both a sandstone and a carbonate reservoir were reported [46] to give
improved well productivity once the wells had been flowed at an appropriate rate. Similarly, ICD application in the Baram
Field was reported to help natural well clean-up [66].
Unfortunately, ICD application to branches of multilateral wells is currently limited to a maximum of 3 branches
[67] while ICVs, installed at the mouth of a lateral, can control the flow from up to six laterals.
These differences make the comparison of the ICV and ICD technologies in improving well clean up highly
dependent on the nature of the application; but, on balance, ICVs have a clear advantage.

2.5 Selective Matrix (e.g. Acidising and Scale) Treatments


Acid stimulation is the most frequently employed matrix, well treatment. It is the standard treatment to reduce near
wellbore formation damage caused by drilling, completion, injection or production processes. Wash acidising, a process that
employs the same chemicals, is used to remove corrosion products, scale, etc. from tubings and perforations. It can be
employed as a stand-alone process, but is also often used as a precursor to a matrix acidising process. Pumping the acid
through a coiled tubing run to the end of tubing or to the top of the upper ICV or ICD will avoid plugging the formation or
the ICD flow restriction with tubular debris e.g. when acidising an old or dirty completion
A key factor in the success of matrix acidising is the uniformity of the acid placement to avoid bypassing any
plugged perforations and formation pores. Enhanced acid distribution is often aided by pumping the acid into the well via a
coiled tubing and adding diversion agents to the acid treatment fluid. However, acid placement difficulties increase with
completion length and complexity (due to the presence of liners and/or multiple laterals) and greater permeability variations
along the wellbore. Vibration tools, tractors and lateral entry finders have been successfully used to extend coiled tubing
reach [68-71]. However, coiled tubing lock-up remains a problem causing sub-optimum treatments in long horizontal and
multilateral wellbores. Self-diverting acids can be used when coiled tubing reach is less than lateral length [72], though at
increased treatment cost.
Both ICVs and ICDs provide a solution to this problem, having significant advantages over conventional
completions in terms of selective, matrix treatments such as acidising and scale inhibitor treatments:

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1.

ICVs [73-74] reduce costs by:


a. Eliminating the need for coil tubing.
b. Providing the ability to stimulate a single zone or lateral of a multizone completion.

2.

ICDs equalizing effect ensures uniform placement of the acid or inhibitor, making ICDs advantageous in
matrix acidising treatments of an individual reservoir. However, this advantage is not risk free as the ICDs
flow restriction may become plugged by:
a. Debris released by the acid from the tubuling wall and carried to the ICD during the acid treatment.
b. Spent acid flowing back into the well carrying formation solids and/or emulsions, both of which can be
created by the acid treatment.
There is a second type of acidising treatment - fracture acidising. A basic requirement for this treatment type is that
the relatively large volumes of treatment fluid are injected at a sufficiently high rate and pressure that the formation is
fractured, at least during part of the treatment schedule. This can be achieved by an ICV while an ICD will restrict the ability
to fracture the well [45].
ICVs have a much wider range of applications compared to ICDs, though ICDs do have the advantage for the
specific application of matrix treatment to a single reservoir.

2.6 Equipment Cost


Purchase, installation and operation (maintenance) costs play a major role in the choice of advanced well completion
equipment. These costs will vary greatly with many factors, such as the well location, surface and downhole environments,
produced fluids composition, installation risks, etc. In addition, completion designs vary significantly from one well to the
next. ICVs and ICDs are not installed in isolation, but as part of a larger completion. Hence comparison of the cost of a single
ICD joint with that for an ICV is not sensible. However, it can be assumed that an ICV normally has the higher cost due to its
added functionality.
ICDs and ICVs are installed in addition to the regular completion equipment (i.e. tubing and accessories, wellhead, etc.):
1. ICDs are usually combined with:
SASs, debris filters or a gravel pack depending on reservoir rock consolidation
Annular flow isolation in the form of (external) packers or ConstrictorsTM
Blank pipes to isolate shale or fractured zones
2. ICVs equipped for remote, operation require equipments and accessories such as:
Control lines for hydraulic or electric power transmission from surface.
Special clamps to attach the control lines to the tubing.
Specially designed wellhead with control line feed-throughs
Surface read out and control unit.
More complex ICVs require further equipment. For example, multi-position, hydraulic ICVs require an additional
downhole control system to exhaust and recharge a specific amount of control fluid from and back into the ICV hydraulic
chamber. Also, successful installation of such a completion requires strict attention and adherence to a precise running and
testing procedure. Once installed, regular cycling of the ICV trim is required to maintain valve integrity.
A full completion design comparison should take all these and other factors into account; weighing the benefits
against the costs and risks.
The cost of an ICV completion (cemented and perforated casing, two or more ICVs, etc.) is generally higher than
that of most ICD completions, though, as always, this will be well architecture and location dependant. Addition of a more
extensive monitoring system, often considered to be an integral part of the ICV completion, often adds to the ICVs cost.
ICDs thus have the advantage for equipment cost.

2.7 Installation Risks


1.

2.

Risks encountered during the installation of an ICD or an ICV completion can vary greatly.
ICD completion risks include the:
a. Completion string becoming stuck before reaching the intended depth. This is of particular concern if a variable
ICD flow restriction design, blank pipe or packers are included in the completion design.
b. Screens or ICD flow restrictions becoming plugged or damaged. This risk can be mitigated using the industrys
standard installation procedures for SAS e.g. aggressive cleaning of the drilled hole, special treatment of the
completion fluid, use of degradable protection film around the screen, rigorous centralisation, etc.
c. External (mechanical or hydraulic) packers that fail to set. This packer setting risk has been solved by the use of
self-energizing, swell packers.
ICV installation is a more complex process; requiring dedicated handling procedures and specially trained
personnel. Handling the valve equipment itself is not the main issue compared to the integrated control and
monitoring systems which require a longer installation time compared to ICDs. Mounting the valve and gauges in

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the appropriate locations and clamping the control lines to the tubing string together with multiple packer feedthroughs are a challenging task requiring great care. The risks involved with an ICV completion include:
a. Damage to the ICV system components.
b. Improper coupling of hydraulic or electric lines. These two factors can lead to complete or partial loss of the
ICV control and/or the monitoring system data transmission.
c. Early setting of the isolation packers requires a fishing operation to retrieve the tubing string.
A detailed risk analysis should be conducted prior to the installation of both ICVs and ICDs. However, the overall
installation risk to the long term performance of ICVs is higher than for ICDs. Some of the ICV system failures highlighted
in earlier (section 2.2) can be attributed to installation damage.
It is clear that an ICD completion installation is simpler and more reliable.

2.8 Gas Lift


ICVs have been applied in several fields to control and optimise In-situ-gas lift of poorly producing wells [53, 8083]. Unlike regular gas lifted wells, where the gas is injected and controlled from surface, In-situ-gas lifted wells employ gas
from the oil reservoirs gas cap or from a separate gas reservoir. Proper regulation of this gas flow rate into the tubing is
required to optimise the total flow rate and to cope with a rising water cut or reducing reservoir pressure. ICVs also allow
isolation of the gas zone during well shut-ins or interventions. In-situ-gas inflow is controlled by a valve with a wireline
changeable orifice in a conventional completion. Current ICD designs can provide a fixed restriction which can not be
controlled in response to changes in the total liquid (oil and water) production rate, gas and oil zone pressures, changing
tubing pressure profiles, etc. Further, they can not isolate the gas zone for well closure or intervention.
ICVs thus have the advantage for In-situ Gas Lift.

2.9 Gas Fields


All the above addressed the comparison of ICVs and ICDs in oil fields. In gas fields the situation changes as the
ICD flow restriction favours liquids to gas due to their high volumetric flow rates. Therefore, ICDs should not be applied in
gas producing wells if water coning or other forms of significant water production is an issue. Such an ICD completion
would choke the gas flow and encourage water production (Table 9 from Case study-3).
The extra pressure drop imposed by the ICD in a wet gas field could result in increased gas-liquid ratio in the
wellbore; an undesirable effect. However, ICDs can be applied in dry gas fields where equalisation of the inflow from
multiple zones with varying productivity is sought. (Several factors need to be carefully studied before installing such a
completion e.g. the existence of isolation barriers between the zones to eliminate gas crossflow between choked zones, the
greater erosion potential of the ICD flow restrictions, etc.)
ICVs can control the gas flow rate in addition to the water cut, allowing it to be successfully applied in many gas
fields; controlling gas production from multiple zones and shutting-off water or high sand producing zones [84-88].
ICVs are clearly the preferred option for application to gas wells.

3 Case Study-1
A channelised, heterogeneous reservoir model, representative of a reservoir located in the North Sea was used to
study the performance of ICD and ICV applications and to provide the basis for the selection process (Figure 4). The
reservoir is developed with a horizontal wellbore which crosses two distinctive high permeability channels with permeability
ranging from 1 to 4,100 mD without distinctive layering or fluid flow barriers (Figure 5 and Table 2). The porosity and
permeability values were distributed stochastically throughout the reservoir containing oil with density of 19 API, viscosity
of 10.1 cP at the reservoir temperature and solution gas ratio (Rs) of 260 scf/stb. An aquifer provides pressure support.
The initial (base case) well (conventional) completion was perforated along the full wellbore length and had a maximum
liquid production rate of 12,600 stlb/d. The well had an uneven, fluid influx rate along the wellbore, causing irregular water
movement in the reservoir and water breakthrough at various points along the wellbore.
Both ICV and ICD completions were installed to optimise the well performance and to verify some of the above
claimed advantages for the two technologies.
ICDs were installed to:
Equalize the fluid influx rate along the wellbore.
Equalize the water encroachment towards the well to enhance the reservoir sweep efficiency.
Minimize the annular flow that might result from the SAS or ICD completions without Annular Flow Isolation
(AFI)
Two ICVs were installed to separate the two high permeability channels. The heel ICV had a 4 in. diameter flow
opening while the toe ICV had a 3 in. diameter flow opening. They were operated to:
Control the contribution from each channel zone after water breakthrough.
Minimise the water production.

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Increase the cumulative oil recovered from the well.


An optimum Nozzletype, ICD flow restriction size was applied along the wellbore. The sizes of the ICD flow
restrictions were based on the differences in the wells local specific productivity index. Details of the ICD completion
design optimisation process are beyond the scope of this paper and will be provided in a future publication. The ICD
completion equalised the fluid influx along the wellbore and increased the cumulative oil production (Figure 6). Figure 6 also
shows that optimising the ICV opening increased the cumulative oil production.
A. Modelling Tool Availability and Need for Annular Flow Isolation:
The ICD completion design that equalised the fluid influx along the full wellbore length was tested with two levels
of AFI. Firstly, AFIs were installed at every second ICD joint (due to the highly variable permeability heterogeneity along
the wellbore) and the ICD completion was then re-modelled with a much reduced number of AFIs installed (AFI placed at
intervals of 400 ft or every ten ICD joints).
Figure 7 clearly shows the reduction in the ICD completion performance due to the lack of AFI across the
heterogeneous sandface. (It is important to realise that the fluid influx into the tubing may appear equalised, as indicated by a
flowmeter survey, even when there is an unbalanced contribution from the sandface due to annular flow rate).
B. Equipment Reliability:
Impact on the well performance caused by different ICD and ICV failure scenarios were studied. The improved oil
recovery cases (for both ICD and ICV) were considered to be the base cases for the failure analysis.
Four ICD completion failure scenarios were considered:
a. Complete Plugging of ICDs during the installation or well clean up (within 7 days of start of production).
b. Sudden plugging of ICDs (e.g. flow back of acid treatment).
c. Gradual plugging of ICDs during the well life.
d. Gradual erosion of ICDs during the well life.
Each scenario was evaluated for ICD failure across the:
high permeability zones
low permeability zones or
both types of zones.
Nine ICV failure scenarios (six for each ICV and three for both) were analysed:
a. Fail at fully open position at installation time.
b. Fail at fully closed position at installation time (one ICV only).
c. Fail partially closed at installation time.
d. Fail as is (the current optimum valve position at a specific time).
e. Fail safe in the fully closed position during well life.
f. Fail safe in the fully open position during well life.
As expected, ICV failure in a closed position at the time of installation or the ICD completion plugging during
installation or clean up has the most pronounced impact on the well performance (Figure 8 and Figure 9). This failure mode
can be mitigated by opening the ICV to the fully open position by retrieving the completion if the packers have not yet been
set or by a well intervention. ICV failure at the fully open position has an adverse, but less dramatic impact on the well
performance.
ICD plugging along the complete well length has a large impact on the well performance, particularly if this occurs
during installation or clean up (Figure 9). Gradual erosion of ICDs during the life of the well had a lower impact.
It will be appreciated that the failure impact of both technologies during the well life is a field and time dependent
issue which is not easily generalised. This comparison of ICD and ICV failure is included as an example of the type of
sensitivity study that can be performed.
ICV failure has a greater impact on the well performance than ICD failure (Figure 10).
C. Improved Clean up:
Formation damage due to the drilling and completion process is frequently caused by losses of completion fluid into
the near wellbore region and plugging of the sandface. The wellbore was completed with SAS completion, an optimum ICD
completion or with ICVs to control the flow from the two high permeability channels. In all cases, the following steps were
carried out to model the near the wellbore damage:
Gravity slumping of the lost completion fluid (due to its density being higher than reservoir oil) was
ignored. This allowed the wells clean-up performance to be studied without this additional complication.
The gridblocks around the wellbore were refined to a smaller scale
Fluid saturation and relative permeability around the wellbore were modelled to represent completion fluid
invasion and the extra resistance to oil flow caused by pore plugging and permeability impairment.
Sandface plugging with a mud cake requiring high lift-off pressure [62, 64].
The ICVs were operated sequentially based on the completion fluid return rate. I.e. the heel ICV was fully opened to

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impose the maximum allowable drawdown until the water flow rate reduced to a specified limit (10, 50 or 400 sm3/d). This
zone was then shut and the toe zone fully opened.
The SAS completion (Figure 11 and Figure 12) resulted in slow and irregular cleaning of the wellbore. The ICV
completion indicated a better performance as a higher drawdown was applied to each zone. The ICV application also
illustrated the need to identify the optimum point to switch between the zones excessive time spent on zonal clean-up may
result in deferred oil production without any noticeable benefits from an extension of the cleaning process.
The ICD completion, which had AFI installed at every second joint, gave the best clean up performance. This is due
to the ICDs ability to encourage the lower permeability zones to contribute to the flow earlier in the well life. This ability was
confirmed when a similar recovery was obtained when layering was introduced along the wellbore. However, ICVs do have
the ability to impose a higher drawdown to lift-off the mud cake at a specific zone. A significant value for this drawdown
across the mud cake is more difficult to achieve with an ICD completion. This aspect will be reported later.
D. Equipment Cost:
The heterogeneous reservoir illustrated in Figure 4 could be either a soft sandstone or a strong carbonate formation
situated at 6,800 ft depth. The 2,400 ft completion section has either a full ICD completion or two ICVs controlling the
contribution from the two high permeability zones. Only the above completion elements are included in the ICD and ICV
cost calculation (Table 4) since the remainder of the completion will be similar. The ICD cost [75] is approximately 30 %
higher than that of a SAS completion (cost ~ $400/ft. for 5 in. equipment [76]); while an on/off ICV costs around
$200,000. Table 4 indicates that a two ICV completion has a higher capital cost than an ICD completion for the example
illustrated. The soft sand is expected to collapse around the ICD-screen, where it can act as annular flow isolation,
eliminating the need to install external packers. The installed AFI was therefore limited to 4 packers to isolate the highly
heterogeneous zones. Note: the monitoring system can be applied to both completions and was not included in the
assessment,
E. Gas lift:
The reservoir model was divided into two layers: an oil layer at the bottom and a separate gas layer at the top. The
well was located near the oil water contact (OWC) to represent a poorly performing producer with high water cut production.
The well quickly ceased to flow against a wellhead pressure of 335 psi due to the high water cut. The objective of the study is
to show that the gas lift zone can be used to improve the oil production. This concept is field proven using a wireline
serviceable choke installed in a side pocket mandrel and an ICV. This study allowed the gas to flow through an ICD or an
ICV to lift the well. The ICD had a fixed restriction throughout the well life while the ICV flow restriction required careful
optimisation to inject gas at the correct conditions so as to give improved well performance against a gradually increasing
operating, wellhead pressure (335, 360 and 380 psi).
The ICV allowed the gas injection to optimally cope with the changing water cut and increasing operating wellhead
pressure limit, while the less optimum gas injection via the ICD lead to an earlier decline in production for the ICD
completion (Figure 13 and Figure 14). In this study, the low uncertainty in the reservoir properties and the application of an
optimum ICD restriction size assisted the ICD completion in this case; a factor which is uncommon in practice.

4 Case Study-2: The S-Field Application of ICDs and ICVs


The S-field is a case study based on redevelopment of a field with intelligent wells [89 - 91]. This full field case
study has been previously found to be a very useful case history that illustrated the potential advantages of implementing an
Advanced Well Development scheme. We have therefore used it to compare the benefits gained from the application of ICD
and ICV completions on a field scale. The field was originally developed with seven conventional wells completed on only
one of the two separate pressure regimes present in the four reservoir sands. Previous studies identified significant extra value
(11 % in cumulative oil production [89]) would have been gained if it had been developed with a reduced number (5) of
producers with 18 ICVs.
The ICVs in the producers were replaced by two nozzle-type, ICD completions strategies - variable-size ICDs and
constant size ICDs across all producing zones in a single wellbore (Table 5 and Table 6). The objective was to:
Equalise fluid influx from multiple layers.
Delay water breakthrough
Enhance full field performance
A constant-size ICD could be chosen so that the completion maintained an acceptable level of equalisation (~55 %)
between the producing zones in each well before it acted as a bottleneck and choked the total well liquid rate. The application
of this completion strategy in all producers resulted in a 2.4 % increase in the cumulative oil production compared to the
conventional well completion.
The greater ability of the variable-size ICD completion to equalise the fluid influx into each wellbore is illustrated by well
SM-2 that is completed across 4 layers with varying deliverability (Table 5). In this completion design, ICDs were applied

10

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across 3 layers while SAS was applied across the lowest productivity and pressure layer. This ensured equalisation of the
fluid influx into the wellbore (Figure 15). Further, crossflow between the reservoir layers, as would have occurred with five,
conventionally completed producers, was eliminated by the ability of the ICD completion to maintain the commingled
bottom hole pressure below the reservoir pressure of all producing zones. Although this completion helped delay the water
breakthrough (Figure 16), it also significantly reduced the oil production due to the limited contribution from the low
productivity layer. Applying this completion strategy to all the wells in the field resulted in 3.9 % increase in cumulative oil
production compared to the conventional well completion.
However, the ICV completions proved superior in their ability to enhance the field performance due to their inherent
ability to "optimally" manage the production from (or injection to) multiple layers (Table 6).

5 Case Study-3: Gas Field Application of ICDs and ICVs


The C field is a stacked pay offshore gas field which consists of three, gas-bearing sands {Figure 17, [92]}. These sands
vary in their rock properties and pressures (Table 7). All sands contained gas of the same properties (gas density of 0.08 lb/ft3
and viscosity of 0.0122 cP at surface conditions). A water column exists at the crest of the upper layer while edge gas-watercontacts (GWC) exist in the bottom two zones. The field is being produced under the following constraints:
Water-Gas-Ratio (WGR) of 100 STB/MMscf
Minimum production rate of 3 MMscf/d
Bottomhole Pressure (BHP) limit of 1300 psi
A reservoir simulation model consisting of 42 x 225 x 30 gridblocks was used to study the applicability and identify the
value gained from the installation of ICV and ICD completions in this field in comparison with conventional completions.
The commingled gas production from the three zone, SAS completion with external casing packers or cemented and
selectively perforated casing resulted in high water production starting from the upper sand (Figure 19 and gas crossflow
between the zones (Figure 20). Therefore, conventional completion of wells drilled in this field required the use of Sliding
Side Doors (SSD) installed in a single tubing or dual tubing strings with annular flow to prevent crossflow between the layers
and allow shutting of the water producing zone. However, the modelling of such completions resulted in a poor well
performance with low cumulative gas production (Figure 18 and Table 8).
ICV and ICD completions were designed for a producer with commingled production from the three sands. The ICV
completion includes a valve which reactively regulates the water production from each zone. On the other hand, both
variable and constant size ICD completions were designed to equalise the contribution from the three zones while
maintaining the wellbore pressure lower than the layer pressures to prevent crossflow.
The reactive control of the ICV completion resulted in higher cumulative gas production (Figure 18) and reduced water
production (Figure 19) compared to the conventional completion. The ICV completion could also have been used to
proactively equalise the contribution from the three zones though this would have required frequent actuation of the ICV to
cope with the changing layer pressures.
Both (constant and variable) ICD completions prevented gas crossflow (Figure 21) and delayed the water production
from the well by equalising the contribution of the individual zones which increased the cumulative gas production from the
well (Figure 18 and Table 8). In this example, the ICD completion was optimised under conditions of low uncertainty to
delay water production. However, the inherent ICD tendency to favour liquid flow over gas flow resulted in faster (~ 48 %)
increase in the water production from the breakthrough zone compared to the conventional, commingled completion (Table
9). This unfavourable ICD behaviour restricts its application in gas fields so that ICVs are the preferred choice .

6 Conclusions
Factors controlling the selection between ICVs and ICDs have been reviewed. Figure 1 and Table 10 provide a
framework which can be used when comparing ICV and ICD technology. A total of 17 factors were considered, from which
the following conclusions were drawn:
1. Reservoir description uncertainty ICVs prove to deliver higher recovery and reduced risk compared with ICDs as it
can be adjusted to manage unforeseen circumstances.
2. More flexible development ICVs allow more flexible field development strategies to be employed and actions to be
implemented in real time.
3. Number of controllable zones The number of ICDs which can be installed in a horizontal section is limited by the
number of packers, cost and/or drag forces limiting the reach of the completion string.
4. Inner flow conduit diameter The larger flow conduit diameter gives the ICD an advantage over ICV for comparable
borehole sizes.
5. Formation permeability Both ICVs & ICDs are capable of equalising the inflow from (or outflow into) heterogeneous
reservoirs. However, ICD application in low permeability reservoirs greatly reduces the well productivity unlike ICVs.
Simultaneous analysis of other parameters along with the formation permeability is often required to make proper
selection decision between the two technologies such as:

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11

i. Fluid phases: While both ICVs and ICDs can equally be used to manage the produced oil and gas or the
injected gas flow distribution, ICDs are more useful in reducing volumes of associated gas cap gas while ICVs
are preferred for controlling water production.
ii. Productivity variation: ICD completions can passively control a number of zones of varying productivity along
the wellbore. ICV completions are limited by the number of valves that can be installed in a single completion.
6. Value of information Indications of gas and water influx or rate allocation is an advantage which can be gained in both
ICV and ICD completions if equipped with appropriate gauges [27]. However, an ICV can be a source of information
and act in response to newly identified behaviours due to its added functionality.
7. Multilateral well applications ICVs can currently only be installed in the wells mother bore while ICDs can be
installed to equalise the flow within individual laterals. ICVs have been proven to optimally control the commingled
production and prevent the cross flow between multiple reservoirs. ICDs have a limited capability to perform these tasks.
8. Multiple reservoir management Both ICVs & ICDs are capable of equalising the inflow from multiple layers within a
single reservoir or multiple reservoirs. The optimum choice between these two technologies for a particular well will
depend on the specific reservoir and completion architecture. However, ICVs provide greater flexibility to cope with
changing well and reservoir behaviour.
9. Modelling tool availability ICVs can reliably be modelled in current reservoir and network simulators while current
ICD completion modelling capabilities have limitations.
10. Long term equipment reliability An ICD is simpler and hence more reliable than an ICV.
11. Reservoir isolation barrier ICV are being used as reservoir isolation barriers.
12. Improved clean-up ICDs encourage low productivity intervals contribution to the flow which improve the total
productive length of the wellbore faster. ICVs have the advantage when a high filter cake lift-off pressure is required.
13. Selective Acidising and scale treatment ICVs allow both matrix and fracture acidising and help eliminate coiled tubing
requirement in newly completed wells.
14. Equipment cost An ICV is more expensive compared to an ICD due to its greater functionality. However, full
economic quantification of the value associated with each completion remains a field specific task.
15. Installation risks ICD completions installation is simpler and more reliable than ICVs with manageable risks.
16. Gas lift ICVs can control inflow of gas-cap gas or gas from a separate reservoir to lift a poorly performing oil well.
17. Gas field ICVs have an advantage over ICDs and have been successfully applied to wells completed in many gas
fields.
Single well and full field case studies have been developed to illustrate the value of ICVs and ICDs in improving
both oil and gas production. These studies supported the conclusions drawn in this comparison.

7 Acknowledgement
The authors would like to thank Tor Sukkestad of WellDynamics and Faisal Nughaimish of Saudi Aramco for their valuable
comments. WellDynamics is highly appreciated for initiation of the project and funding of one of the authors, along with
other sponsors of the Added Value from Intelligent Field & Well system Technology JIP at Heriot-Watt University. The
authors also would like to thank Saudi Aramco for funding one of the authors together with Schlumberger Information
Systems, Petroleum Experts and the AGR Group for providing access to their software.

8 Nomenclature
AFI: Annular Flow Isolation
BHP: Bottom Hole Pressure
ERC: Extreme Reservoir Contact
GOR: Gas-Oil Ratio
GWC: Gas-Water Contact
ICV: Interval Control Valve
ICD: Inflow Control Device
MRM: Multiple Reservoir Management
OWC: Oil-Water Contact
PI: Productivity Index
SAS: Stand-Alone-Screen
SSD: Sliding Side Door
WGR: Water-Gas Ratio
stbo/d: stock tank barrels of oil per day
stbl/d: stock tank barrels of liquid per day
stbw/d: stock tank barrels of water per day

12

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scf/stb: standard cubic feet per stock tank barrels


MMscf: Million standard cubic feet
Bscf: Billion standard cubic feet

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17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.

24.

25.
26.
27.

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52. Bertrand, A., et al.: Gas-Oil Contact Monitoring at Troll Using High Resolution 4D Analysis and Neural Networks, paper Z-99
presented at the EAGE 67th Conference and Exhibition, Madrid, Spain, 13-16 June 2005.
53. Jones, R. D., et al.: Troll West Oilfield Development-How a Giant Gas Field Became the Largest Oil Field in the NCS through
Innovative Field and Technology Development, paper IADC/SPE 112616 presented at the 2008 IADC/SPE Drilling
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54. Tronvoll, J. and Sonstebo, E. F., Productivity Effects of Drawdown and Depletion in Open Hole Completions: Do Screens
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June 1997.

14

IPTC 12145

55. Arukhe, J., et al.: Horizontal Screen Failures in Unconsolidated, High-Permeability Sandstone Reservoirs: Reversing the
Trend, paper SPE 97299 presented at the 2005 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, Texas, USA, 9-12
October 2005.
56. De Best, L., et al.: Smart FieldsMaking the Most of our Assets, paper SPE 103575 presented at the 2006 SPE Russian Oil
and Gas Technical Conference and Exhibition, Moscow, Russia, 3-6 October 2006.
57. Skarsholt, L. T., Use of Advanced Completion Solutions to Maximise Reservoir Potential Experiences in The Snorre Field,
paper SPE/IADC 92255 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 23-25 February 2005.
58. Kulkarni, R. N., et al.: Smart-Well Monitoring and Control: Snorre B Experience, paper SPE 109629 presented at the SPE
Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Anaheim, California, USA, 11-14 November 2007.
59. Stair, C.D., et al.: Na Kika Completions Overview: Challenges and Accomplishments, paper OTC 16228 presented at the
Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, USA, 3-6 May 2004.
60. Coronado, M. P., et al.: Next-Generation Sand Screen Enables Drill-in Sandface Completions, paper SPE 113539 presented at
the 2008 Europec/EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition, Rome Italy, 9-12 June 2008.
61. Moen, T. and Asheim, H., Inflow Control Device and Near-Wellbore Interaction, paper SPE 112471 presented at the 2008 SPE
International Symposium and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, 13-15 February 2008.
62. Suryanarayana, P. V., et al.: Dynamic Modeling of Invasion Damage and Impact on Production in Horizontal Wells, paper SPE
95861, published at SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering Journal, August 2007, pp. 348 358.
63. Ding, Y. et al.: Modelling of Near-Wellbore Formation Damage for Open Hole Horizontal Wells in Anisotropic Media, paper
SPE 82255 presented at the SPE European Formation Damage Conference, The Hague, The Netherlands 13-14 May, 2003.
64. Ding, Y., et al.: Modelling of Both Near-Wellbore Damage and Natural Cleanup of Horizontal Wells Drilled With a WaterBased Mud, paper SPE 73733 presented at the SPE International Symposium and Exhibition on Formation Damage Control,
Lafayette, Louisiana, 20-21 February, 2002.
65. Ding, Y., et al.: Modelling of Near-Wellbore Damage Removal by Natural Cleanup in Horizontal Open Hole Completed
Wells, paper SPE 68951 presented at the SPE European Formation Damage Conference, The Hague, The Netherlands, 21-22
May 2001.
66. Maggs, D., et al.: "Production Optimization for Second Stage Field Development Using ICD and Advanced Well Placement
Technology," paper SPE 113577 presented at the 2008 Europec/EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition, Rome, Italy, 9-12
June 2008.
67. Haaland, A., et al.: "Completion Technology on Troll-Innovation and Simplicity," paper OTC 17133 presented at the 2005
Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, USA, 2-5 May 2005.
68. Sola, K. and Lund, B., "New Downhole Tool for Coiled Tubing Extended Reach," paper SPE 60701 presented at the 2000
SPE/ICoTA Coiled Rubing Roundtable, Houston, Texas, USA, 5-6 April 2000.
69. Bawaked, W. K. et al.: A New Record of Coiled Tubing Reach in Open Hole Horizontal Wells Using Tractor and Friction
Reducer in Saudi Arabia History: A Case Study," paper SPE 117062 presented at the SPE Saudi Arabia Section Young
Professionals Technical Symposium, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 29-30 March 2008.
70. Al Shehri, A. M. et al.: Case History: Application of Coiled Tubing Tractor to Acid Stimulate Open Hole Extended Reach
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71. Proctor, R. et al.: Entering Multilateral Wells Using Coiled Tubing," paper SPE 113773 presented at the 2008 SPE/ICoTA
Coiled Tubing and Well Intervention Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 1-2 April 2008.
72. Nasr-El-Din, H. A. et al.: Novel Technique for Improved CT Access and Stimulation in an Extended-Reach Well," paper SPE
94044 presented at the 2005 SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, 12-13 April 2005.
73. Bellarby, J. E., et al.: Design and Implementation of a High Rate Acid Stimulation through a Subsea Intelligent Completion,
paper SPE 83950 presented at the Offshore Europe Conference, Aberdeen, UK, 2-5 September 2003.
74. Kavle, V. et al.: Impact of Intelligent Wells on Oilfield Scale Management, paper SPE 100112 presented at the SPE
Europec/EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition, Vienna, Austria, 12-15 June 2006.
75. Augustine, J.R.: An Investigation of the Economic Benefit of Inflow Control Devices on Horizontal Well Completions Using a
Reservoir-Wellbore Coupled Model, paper SPE 78293 presented at the European Petroleum Conference, Aberdeen, UK, 29-31
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76. Ouyang, L.-B. Efficient Cost Saving Through an Appropriate Completion Design, paper SPE 100413 presented at the 2006
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77. Silva, M.F., et al.: Technologies Trials of Intelligent-Field Implementation in Carmopolis Field, paper SPE 95517 presented at
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78. Al-Bani, F. et al.: "Drilling and Completing Intelligent Multilateral MRC Wells in Haradh Inc-3," paper SPE/IADC 105715
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IPTC 12145

15

83. Betancourt, S. et al.: Natural Gas-Lift: Theory and Practice, paper SPE 74391 presented at the 2002 SPE International
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Table 1: Conventional Cased Hole, ICD and ICV Completions Compared


Aspect
1. Uncertainty in Reservoir Description

ICD vs.
Cased Hole
D

ICD vs. ICV


V

2. More Flexible Development

3. Number of Controllable Zones

4. Inner Flow Conduit Diameter

5. Value of Information

High

Medium-to-Low

9. Modelling Tool Availability

10. Long Term Equipment Reliability

11. Reservoir Isolation Barrier

12. Improved Well Clean-Up

13. Acidising / Scale Treatment

14. Equipment Cost

15. Installation (Risk, Cost & Complexity)


Gas inflow
equalisation
16. Gas Production
Water control

6. Multilateral Wells

Control of Lateral
Control within Lateral

7. Multiple Reservoir Management


8. Formation
Permeability

* Employing gas lift valves

16

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Table 2: Channelised Reservoir and Horizontal Wellbore Properties


Reservoir & Fluid Properties
Model size
Gridblock size (feet)
Porosity (%)
Permeability (mD)
Kv/Kh
Initial Pressure (psi)
Oil Density (API)
Oil Viscosity (cP)

Value
40 x 20 x 50
80 x 120 x 10
10 - 40
1 - 5000
0.1
3500
19
10.1

Wellbore Dimensions
Length (ft)
Openhole Diameter (in)
ICD Screen OD (in)
ICD Screen ID (in)
ICV OD (in)
ICV ID (in)
Casing ID (in)

~2480
8.5
6.625
6.0
5.5
4.0
6.0

Table 3: Clean up Performance of ICDs and ICVs


Case
Base Case Total Invading Brine
SAS
ICV 100
ICV 1000
ICV 2000
ICD

Total Brine Return in 15 Days (stb)


11,364
10,431
10,436
9,964
9,450
11,210

Table 4: Simplified ICV vs. ICD Completion Cost for Two Reservoir Rock Type

ICV vs. ICD Completion Cost Comparison


Equipment
ICD per ft**
Packer per unit*
Swell packer per unit*
Wellhead*

Cost

number of units
$520/$260
2400
$80,000
2
$40,000
4
$175,000
1
Total ICD Completion Cost

Soft
Sandstone

Strong
Carbonate

Subtotal
$1,248,000
$160,000
$160,000
$175,000
$1,743,000

Subtotal
$624,000
$160,000
$160,000
$175,000
$1,119,000

ICV per unit

$200,000

$400,000

$400,000

Control lines-ICV-1 per ft


Control lines-ICV-2 per ft
Clamp per unit
Surface unit per unit
Packer per unit*
Extra Tubing along wellbore per
ft*
Modified Wellhead
SAS per ft*

$25
$25
$100
$200,000
$80,000
$80

7800
9400
235
1
2
1600

$195,000
$235,000
$23,500
$200,000
$160,000
$128,00

$195,000
$235,000
$23,500
$200,000
$160,000
$128,000

$185,000
1
$400
2400
Total ICV Completion Cost

$185,000
$960,000
$2,358,500

$185,000
$0
$1,398,500

* Costs from [76]


** ICD costs an additional 30% over SAS for soft formation (50% reduced ICD cost for strong carbonate)

IPTC 12145

17

Table 5: S-Field Layer Permeability and ICD Completion of Each Well


SM-1

SM-2

SL-1

IDn*
IDn*
Permeability
Permeability
(mD)
(m)
(mD)
(m)
(mD)
134
0.0048
135
690
SAS
245
0.0062
937
0.0083
3042
669
0.0054
699
0.0083
713
1299
0.0055
447
0.0092
147
1195
0.0150
114
0.0095
816
1373
2579
0.0069
5563
SAS
1192
0.0063
5256
4003
* IDn is the effective nozzle diameter per ICD joint
Permeability

SL-2
IDn*
(m)
SAS
0.0101
0.0083
0.0073
0.0061
0.0055
0.0055
0.0053

Permeability

(mD)
943
692
692
151
2920
3241
-

SL-3
IDn*
(m)
SAS
0.0077
0.0077
0.0075
0.0047
0.0047
-

Permeability

(mD)
151
489
689
690
4502
4430
4358
-

IDn*
(m)
SAS
0.0076
0.0071
0.0073
0.0047
0.0047
0.0047
-

Table 6: Improved S-Field Performance with ICD & ICV Application


Cumulative Production (MM Sm3)
Oil
Water
Liquid
33.6
74.7
108.3
34.4
64.6
99.0
34.9
75.2
110.1
37.5
48.2
85.7

Case
Base-case (7 Conventional wells)
5 Constant-size ICD Completed Wells
5 Variable-size ICD Completed Wells
5 Wells with 18 ICVs

Recovery
Improvement
(%)
2.4
3.9
11.6

Table 7: Gas Field Layer Properties


Sand

IGIP
(Bscf)

Max. Gas Leg


Thickness (ft)

Layer Pressure
(psi)

Horizontal
Permeability (mD)

Average
Porosity (%)

Upper Sand
Middle Sand
Lower Sand
Total

32.8
32.9
36.2
101.9

197
65
190
-

2,894
3,322
3,405
-

950
600
50
-

23%
23%
15%
-

Table 8: Improved C-Field (Gas Field) Performance with ICD and ICV Completions
Case
Base-case (Commingled Production)
Sequential Production using SSD
Constant-Size ICD Completion
Variable-Size ICD Completion
3 ICVs

Cumulative Production
Gas (Bscf)
Water (M stb)
62.1
943.8
47.2
0.0
62.7
561.2
65.6
345.3
67.6
298.3

Recovery Compared to
Commingled Production Case
- 24.0 %
+ 1.0 %
+ 5.6 %
+ 8.9 %

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Table 9: ICD Performance after Water Breakthrough

Time after water breakthrough (days)Case

60
150
300
Total Water Production from the Water
Breakthrough Zone after 300 days(M stb)

Reservoir Engineering
1.
2.
3.

Uncertainty in Reservoir Description


More Flexible Development
Number of Control Zones

4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Tubing Size
Value of Information
Multilateral Wells
Commingled Production
Formation Permeability
Modelling Tool Availability

10.
11.
12.
13.

Long Term Equipment Reliability


Reservoir Isolation Barrier
Improved Clean-Up
Acidising or Scale Treatment

Water Production Rate


(stb)
Base-case
Variable-Size
(Commingled
ICD Completion
Production)
116
152
357
510
793
1,179
112.0

165.7

Costs
14. Equipment Cost

Operations
15. Installation :
a. Complexity
b. Risk
c. Rig Time

Production Technology
Figure 1: ICV vs. ICD Comparison Framework for Oil Field Applications

Figure 2: Nozzle-type ICD design for injection applications [45]

Percentage
Increase
(%)
31
43
48
48

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19

Figure 3: ICV Reliability Statistics for All-Hydraulic Systems [56]

Figure 4: Study-1: The Channelised Reservoir

Figure 5: Study-1: Permeability Distribution of the


Channelised Reservoir Completion

Figure 6: Study-1: Recovery improvement of ICD & ICV


Completion Performance

Figure 7: Study-1: Increased Annular Flow reduces the ICD


completions recovery

20

IPTC 12145

Figure 8: Study-1: Impact of ICV Failure on Total Recovery

Figure 9: Study-1: Impact of ICD Failure on Total Recovery

Figure 10: Study-1: Comparison of ICV and ICD Failure Impact on Total Recovery

IPTC 12145

21

Figure 11: Study-1: Clean-up Water Return Rate

Figure 12: Study-1: Clean-up Total Water Return

Figure 13: Study-1: Liquid Production with Gas Lift


Using ICD and ICV

Figure 14: Study-1: Gas Injection Rate and Tubing Head


Pressure compared for ICD and ICV

Figure 15: Study-2: SM-2 Layer Oil Production

Figure 16: Study-2: SM-2 Layer Water Production

22

IPTC 12145

Figure 17: Study-3: Gas Field Layering

Figure 18: Study-3: Total Gas Production for various


completion options

Figure 19: Study-3: Total Water Production for various


completion options

Figure 20: Study-3: Crossflow Caused by Conventional,


Commingled Production

Figure 21: Study-3: Crossflow Prevented by ICD


Completion