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26/09/2016 QuickkillworkoverproveseffectiveinLibyaOil&GasJournal

Quickkillworkoverproveseffectivein
Libya
10/03/2005

AquickkillmethodimprovedworkoveroperationsinMesslafieldinLibya.

Sincemid2003,ArabianGulfOilCo.(AGOCO)hasusedthismethodforkillingwellsduringmorethan
60workovers.Themethodhasreducedthetimeandcostsrequiredforworkingoverwells,andin
additionthewellsresumedproductioninlesstimeaftertheworkover.

Forthenaturalflowingwellsinthefield,afewswabrunsrestoredproductionaftertheworkover,while
wellswithelectricsubmersiblepumps(ESPs)cleanedupsmoothly.

Todate,themethodhasnotcausedanyaccidentoroperationalproblems.

Conventionalworkovers

ThereservoirsintheAGOCOoperatedSarirMain,North,andLfields,andMesslafielddonotsustain
morethana7.0ppghydrostaticheadoffluid.Theseoilreservoirsareatan8,5008,800ftdepthand
havereservoirpressuresof2,5003,000psi.

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Figs.1and2showtypicaldownholewellconfigurationsinthefields.ThewellinFig.1has7in.
productioncasing,whilethatinFig.2hasa7in.productionliner.

Thewellsproducewitheithernaturalflowthrough31 2in.openendedtubing,withsomewellshavinga
7in.packerat8,300ft,orwithartificialliftprovidedbyanESPplacedatabout6,500ft.

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Conventionalworkoverstypicallykilledthesewellsusingreversecirculationwithabout500bblof8.4
ppgbrine,containinganimpuresalt(NaCl2).Theprocedureinvolvedcontinuingtocirculatethefluid
untilsomeoilandgas(burntattheflarepit)andpartialbrinewererecoveredatthesurface.Insome
wells,aUtubeeffectupthe31 2in.productiontubingoravacuumeffectpreventedanysubstantial
brinereturns.

Someshortcomingsoftheseconventionalkillingproceduresinclude:

Killfluidinvasionintothereservoirthatcausespermanentortemporaryformationdamagethat
requiresadditionaltreatmentsaftercompletingtheworkover.

Inabilityoftheweightingmaterial,suchasimpureNaCl2,topreventdamagefromclaysswellinginthe
sandstonereservoirs.Theweightingmaterialalsocontributestofluidinvasion.

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Extensiveswabbing(27days)tobringwellsbackonproductionaftertheworkovers.Wellswith
ESPsalsooftenrequiredswabbing.

Declineinwellproductivity,asnotedinpostworkoversproduction,atleastduringtheinitialproduction
followingworkovers.

Extensiveconsumptionofconsumables,suchasswabcups,saverrubber,sandline,fueland
lubricants,killwater,andsalt.

Lengthyworkoverscausedbytheextendedswabbingtimeforbringingwellsbackonproduction.

Losttimewaitingforwatersupplies.Truckshaulwaterfromsourcewellstotherigsitewhereitis
transferredtorigtanks.Thisoperationcantakedaysandisafunctionofwelllocation,numberof
operatingrigs,andnumberoftrucksavailabletohaulwater.Thiscanincreasetheworkoveroperating
costsbecausecontractuallytheworkoverrigcostsstartoncetherigis100%riggeduponlocation.

AGOCOmanagementrealizedtheseconcernsandbeganaprogramtofindapracticalkillmethodthat
wouldeliminateormitigatethepreviouslylistedshortcomings.

Newmethod

Thereservoircannotsustainahydrostaticheadofacolumnoffluidwithagradienthigherthan0.33
psi/ft.Theshutinwell,therefore,canbekilledbyanaugmentationoftheexistingshutinhydrostatic
head,takingintoaccountshutinwellheadpressures.Thisinvolvessqueezing8.35ppgwaterintothe
annulus.

Tofacilitateextractionoftheproductionstring,waterneedsalsotodisplacethetubingcapacity.
Squeezingwaterintothetubingdisplacestheshutincontents,whichusuallyisasmalloilandgas
volume.

Basedonstandardwellkillingproceduresanduponreviewingtheconditionsofproducingandshutin
wellsinAGOCOfields,thefollowingdataandobservationswereusedtodetermineanewand
practicalwellkillingprocedure:

Adynamicleveloffluid(DFL)intheannulusexistswhilethewellisonproduction.Thislevelis
monitoredonaregularandonawellbywellbasis.

Ashutinwellhasastaticfluidlevel(SFL)intheannulus,whereassociatedgasaccumulatesduring
productionsandshutinperiods.SonologtechniquescandeterminetheSFLdepth.

Theshutinpressures(tubingandannulus)arerecordedbeforekillingoperations.

Thecurrentreservoirpressures(PR)areavailablefromwellproductionhistoryandarecontinuously
updated.

Theproductiontubingandproductioncasingannulus,undershutinconditions,containsgas,oil,and
reservoirwaterinvariousproportionsdowntothereservoir.

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Theannulus,downtotheSFLmustbefilledwithkillfluidduringkillingoperationstominimize
gravitationalsegregationafterthewelliskilled.

Afieldspecificsafety/tripmargin(SM)thatcanhaveapositive,negative,ornullvalveandallowsfor
SFLdepth,keepingthefluidoffthereservoir,andpullingthetubing(possibleswabbing)afterthewellis
killed.

Thecasingshutinpressure(SICP)determinestheminimumvolumeofthewaterrequiredtobringthe
wellundercontrol.

Discontinuetheuseofweightingmaterials(commercialsalt).Thewatersourcewellprovides8.35
ppgwater.

Thekillfluidshouldnotgobelow6,500ft.Thiswouldleavethewellboreacrossthereservoirfilledwith
reservoirnativefluids,hence,preventingreservoirinvasionanddamage.

Pressurebalanceequations

Equations1and2(seeequationbox)arethepressurebalanceequationsundershutinconditions.
Equation1isforthe31 2in.productiontubingandproductioncasingannulus,whileEquation2isforthe
productiontubing.

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Somefluidpropertiesandlengthofcolumnsinadditiontotransitionzonesfromonephasetoanother
aredifficulttodefinetherefore,thecalculationassumeswellborefluidswouldhavetwocompositebut
distinctphases:liquidfromtheproducingintervaltotheSFLwithagradientofFgandgasfromthe
staticfluidleveltosurfacewithagradientofGg.

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Inaddition,mostofthekillfluidispumpeddowntheproductiontubingandproductioncasingannulus
accordingly,theassumptionisappliedtotheannulus(Fig.3).Moreover,thetubingmusteventuallybe
displacedtowaterduringkillingoperations.

Thecalculationsassumethegasgradient(Gg)isnegligiblenevertheless,theSICPistransmitted
throughthegasphasetothetopoftheliquidphaseatSFL.Equation3,therefore,canestimatethefluid
gradientundershutinconditions.

Equation4isthepressurebalanceequationtobringashutinwellundercontrolthroughquickkill
operations,andEquation5calculatestheadditionalcolumnofkillwater(tobeaddedtotheSFL)to
bringthewellundercontrol.

Quickkillprocedure

ApilottestintheMesslafieldusedthefollowingproceduretokillawell:

CreateanExcelprogram(Fig.3)toaidthefieldstaffindoingthecalculations.

Recordtheshutinpressuresfromthewellhead.

ObtainSFL,Lt,andcurrentPRfromwellproductionhistory.

Inserttheinputdatainthequickkillsheet.

Readtheoutputdataforthetotalannularvolumeofwaternecessarytocontrolthewell(ANNv )and
watertobepumpeddownthetubing(Vwtgb).Notethatthetubinghastobecompletelyfilledwiththe
killwaterbeforeextractiontherefore,itsentirevolumehastobeaddedtothevolumeofwaterrequired.

Preparetokillthewell.

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Bleedoffcasingpressure.

SqueezetheANNv downtheannulus,keepthetubingshutin.

Shutinannulusandbledofftubingpressure.

Squeezethe(Vwtbg)downthetubing.

MonitorSITPandSICP.Thesemustbezerooronvacuum.

Openthetubingandthecasingthenobservethewellfor30min.

Nippledownxmastreeandnippleupblowoutpreventers.

Proceedwithworkoverprogram.

Theauthor

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WathikM.Alhashimiisaseniorengineeringspecialistdrilling,completionsandworkoversforthe
ArabianGulfOilCo.,Benghazi,Libya.HeresidesinCalgary.Previouslyheworkedinmanagement
andengineeringforseveralotherpetroleumandoilfieldserviceandsupplycompaniesinCanada,
SouthAmerica,andtheMiddleEast.AlhashimihasanMSinpetroleumengineeringfromthe
Petroleum,Gas,andGeologyInstitute,Bucharest.HeisamemberoftheAssociationofProfessional
Engineers,Geologists,andGeophysicistsofAlberta.


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