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1)-What is well completion?.................................................02

2)-Process of Well completion...02

2.4)-Gravel Packing.06
2.5)-Installing Production Tree07

3)-Types of Well Completion.....07

3.1)-Open Hole Completion.07
3.2)-Conventional Perforated Completion..08
3.3)-Sand Exclusion Types..08

4)-Subsea Completion.09

5)-Surface Control Equipments.....12

5.1)-Well Head.....12
5.2)-Tubing Hanger..13
5.3)-Chrismas Tree...14
5.4)-Blowout Preventer14

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Once an oil well is drilled, and it has been verified that commercially
viable quantities of oil are present for extraction, the well must be
'completed' to allow for the flow of petroleum or natural gas out of the
formation and up to the surface. This process includes strengthening
the well hole with casing, evaluating the pressure and temperature of
the formation, and then installing the proper equipment to ensure an
efficient flow of natural gas out of the well.


Completing a well consists of a number of steps which are as below:

Gravel Packing
Installing a Production Tree


Installing well casing is an important part of the drilling and

completion process. Well casing consists of a series of metal tubes
installed in the freshly drilled hole. Casing strengthens the sides of the
well hole, ensures that no oil or natural gas seeps out of the well hole
as it is brought to the surface, and keeps other fluids or gases from
seeping into the formation through the well. A good deal of planning
is necessary to ensure that the proper casing for each well is installed.
The type of casing used depends on the subsurface characteristics of
the well, including the diameter of the well and the pressures and
temperatures experienced throughout the well. The diameter of the
well hole depends on the size of the drill bit used. In most wells, the
diameter of the well hole decreases the deeper it is drilled, leading to
a type of conical shape that must be taken into account when
installing casing.

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There are four different types of well casing. They include:

Conductor Casing
Surface Casing
Intermediate Casing
Production Casing

Conductor Casing:

Conductor casing is installed first, usually prior to the arrival of the

drilling rig. The hole for conductor casing is often drilled with a small
auger drill, mounted on the back of a truck. Conductor casing is
usually no more than 20 to 50 feet long. It is installed to prevent the
top of the well from caving in and to help in the process of circulating
the drilling fluid up from the bottom of the well. Onshore, this casing
is usually 16 to 20 inches in diameter, while offshore casing usually
measures 30 to 42 inches. The conductor casing is cemented into
place before drilling begins.

Surface Casing:

Surface casing is the next type of casing to be installed. It can be

anywhere from a few hundred to 2,000 feet long, and is smaller in
diameter than the conductor casing. When installed, the surface casing
fits inside the top of the conductor casing. The primary purpose of
surface casing is to protect fresh water deposits near the surface of the
well from being contaminated by leaking hydrocarbons or salt water
from deeper underground. It also serves as a conduit for drilling mud
returning to the surface, and helps protect the drill hole from being
damaged during drilling. Surface casing, like conductor casing, is
cemented into place. Regulations often dictate the thickness of the
cement to be used to ensure that there is little possibility of freshwater

Intermediate Casing:

Intermediate casing is usually the longest section of casing found in a

well. The primary purpose of intermediate casing is to minimize the
hazards that come along with subsurface formations that may affect
the well. These include abnormal underground pressure zones,

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underground shale, and formations that might otherwise contaminate
the well, such as underground salt-water deposits. In many instances,
even though there may be no evidence of an unusual underground
formation, intermediate casing is run as insurance against the
possibility of such a formation affecting the well. These intermediate
casing areas may also be cemented into place for added protection.

Production Casing:

Production casing, alternatively called the 'oil string' or 'long string,

is installed last and is the deepest section of casing in a well. This is
the casing that provides a conduit from the surface of the well to the
petroleum-producing formation. The size of the production casing
depends on a number of considerations, including the lifting
equipment to be used, the number of completions required, and the
possibility of deepening the well at a later time. For example, if it is
expected that the well will be deepened at a later date, then the
production casing must be wide enough to allow the passage of a drill
bit later on.

Fig.1 (Types of casing)

Well casing is a very important part of the completed well. In addition

to strengthening the well hole, it provides a conduit to allow
hydrocarbons to be extracted without intermingling with other fluids
and formations found underground. It is also instrumental in
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preventing blowouts, allowing the formation to be 'sealed' from the
top should dangerous pressure levels be reached. Once the casing has
been set, and in most cases cemented into place, proper lifting
equipment is installed to bring the hydrocarbons from the formation
to the surface. After the casing is installed, tubing is inserted inside
the casing, running from the opening well at the top to the formation
at the bottom. The hydrocarbons that are extracted go up this tubing to
the surface. This tubing may also be attached to pumping systems for
more efficient extraction, should that be necessary.


Initial cementing jobs performed in conjunction with setting the

various casing strings. The purpose of primary cementing is to afford
additional support of the casing, either by physical bracing or
prevention of formation pressures being imposed on the pipe and to
retard corrosion by minimizing contact between the pipe and
corrosive formation waters.


Since the pay zone is sealed off by the production string and cement,
perforations must be made in order for the oil or gas to flow into the
wellbore. Perforations are simply holes that are made through the
casing and cement and extend some distance into the formation. The
most common method of perforating incorporates shaped-charge
explosives (similar to those used in armor-piercing shells).

Shaped charges accomplish penetration by creating a jet of high-

pressure, high-velocity gas. The charges are arranged in a tool called a
gun that is lowered into the well opposite the producing zone. Usually
the gun is lowered in on wire line (1). When the gun is in position, the
charges are fired by electronic means from the surface (2). After the
perforations are made, the tool is retrieved (3). Perforating is usually
performed by a service company that specializes in this technique.

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Fig.2 (Perforating)

2.4)-Gravel Packing:

Some wells require filtration systems in order to keep the well stream
clear of sand. In addition to running a casing with a liner, gravel
packing is used to prevent sand from entering the well stream.

More complicated than cementing a well, gravel packing requires the

slurry of appropriately sized pieces of coarse sand or gravel to be
pumped into the well between the slotted liner of the casing and the
sides of the wellbore. The wire screens of the liner and the gravel
pack work together to filter out the sand that might have otherwise
entered the well stream with the hydrocarbons.

Fig.3 (Gravel packing)

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2.5)-Installing Production Tree:

The last step in completing a well, a wellhead is installed at the

surface of the well. Many times called a production tree or Christmas
tree, the wellhead device includes casing head and a tubing head
combined to provide surface control of the subsurface conditions of
the well.

Fig.4 (Installing production tree)

3)-Types of Well Completion:

Well completion commonly refers to the process of finishing a well so

that it is ready to produce oil or natural gas. In essence, completion
consists of deciding on the characteristics of the intake portion of the
well in the targeted hydrocarbon formation. There are a number of
types of completions, including:

Open Hole Completion

Conventional Perforated Completion
Sand Exclusion Completion
Permanent Type Completion

The use of any type of completion depends on the characteristics and

location of the hydrocarbon formation to be mined.

3.1)-Open Hole Completion:

Open hole completions are the most basic type and are used in
formations that are unlikely to cave in. An open hole completion
consists of simply running the casing directly down into the
formation, leaving the end of the piping open without any other

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protective filter. Very often, this type of completion is used on
formations that have been acidized or fractured.

3.2)-Conventional Perforated Completion:

Conventional perforated completions consist of production casing

being run through the formation. The sides of this casing are
perforated, with tiny holes along the sides facing the formation, which
allows for the flow of hydrocarbons into the well hole, but still
provides a suitable amount of support and protection for the well hole.
The process of perforating the casing involves the use of specialized
equipment designed to make tiny holes through the casing, cementing,
and any other barrier between the formation and the open well. In the
past, 'bullet perforators' were used, which were essentially small guns
lowered into the well. The guns, when fired from the surface, sent off
small bullets that penetrated the casing and cement. Today, 'jet
perforating' is preferred. This consists of small, electrically-ignited
charges, lowered into the well. When ignited, these charges poke tiny
holes through to the formation, in the same manner as bullet

3.3)-Sand Exclusion Completion:

Sand exclusion completions are designed for production in an area

that contains a large amount of loose sand. These completions are
designed to allow for the flow of natural gas and oil into the well, but
at the same time prevent sand from entering the well. Sand inside the
well hole can cause many complications, including erosion of casing
and other equipment. The most common methods of keeping sand out
of the well hole are screening or filtering systems. These include
analysing the sand experienced in the formation and installing a
screen or filter to keep sand particles out. The filter may be either a
type of screen hung inside the casing, or a layer of specially-sized
gravel outside the casing to filter out the sand. Both types of sand
barriers can be used in open holes and perforated completions.

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4)-Subsea Completions:

Subsea production systems are wells located on the sea floor, as

opposed to at the surface. The safety equipments are installed
underwater on the seabed. They enable early production from deep
water, remote, and marginal fields.

The evolution of subsea well completions has attracted a lot of

attention because they offer a means of producing field extremities
not reachable by directional drilling from existing platforms. They
also offer production options where field economics do not justify the
installation of one or more additional platforms.

Downhole Equipment:

The tubing along with the downhole equipments are lowered into the
95/8 casing of the well.

The parts of a downhole equipment are:

Gas Lift Valve
Safety Valve
Hydraulic Control Line
Pump Out Plug

Hydraulic Control Line

Safety Valve

Gas Lift

Pump Out Plug

Fig.5 (Downhole equipment)

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Packer is a device consisting of a sealing device, a holding or setting

device and an inside passage for fluids. It expands externally to seal
the well bore. It helps in blocking the fluids through the annular space
between the pipe and the well bore wall. Packers use flexible,
electrometric elements that expand. It is set hydraulically from the

Fig.6 (Packer)

Gas Lift Valve:

The gas lift valve is a device installed on a gas lift cylinder or

mandrel. This device is used to control the flow of gas between the
exterior and interior of well tubing. It consists of an inlet, outlet, a
main valve, a main chamber and so on. The design of the side pocket
is such that the components that are installed do not obstruct the flow
of production. This enables access to the well bore and the other
components of completion.

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Fig.7 (Gas lift valve)

Safety Valve:

A safety valve is a device that is installed in the upper well bore to

provide emergency closure of the channels that produce oil. The valve
has a housing and a movable valve element that controls the flow of
fluid in the well.

Fig.8 (Safety valve)

Hydraulic Control Line:

Hydraulic control line is a device filled with hydraulic fluid and

connected to a hydraulic fluid source. Hydraulic control line is used
to operate the safety valve. When the control line is pressurized up to
a certain pressure limit, the safety valve opens. Its one end connects at
the top of the safety valve and the other end to a pressurizing panel at
the surface. It is lowered along with the safety valve while lowering
the tubing string during completion.

Pump Out Plug:

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Since the tubing is open at the bottom, the packer cannot be set as the
whole tubing string needs to be pressurized to set it. So a pump out
plug (POP) is used for this purpose. A steel ball is dropped inside the
tubing string from the surface. This goes all the way down and sits on
the POP seat at the bottom. When water is pumped from the top, the
ball is pressed against the POP seat and forms a seal. When pressure
in the tubing string reaches a certain limit, the packer is set. This is
indicated in the pumping unit in the form of a sharp fluctuation of the
pressure reading. Then the pressure is increased, further, to shear the
POP seat pins. This is done to remove the steel ball. When the pins
are sheared, the POP seat drop salong with the ball into the well
sump.(A well sump is the extra bore space below the perforated zone
that allows the collection of junk for example steel ball)

5)-Surface Control Equipment:

Well head
Tubing hanger
Christmas tree
Blowout Preventer

5.1)- Wellhead:

The wellhead consists of the pieces of equipment mounted at the

opening of the well to manage the extraction of hydrocarbons from
the underground formation. It prevents leaking of oil or natural gas
out of the well, and also prevents blowouts caused by high pressure.
Formations that are under high pressure typically require wellheads
that can withstand a great deal of upward pressure from the escaping
gases and liquids. These wellheads must be able to withstand
pressures of up to 20,000 pounds per square inch (psi). The wellhead
consists of three components:

Casing bowl
Casing hanger
Tubing head

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Casing Bowl:

The casing bowl consists of heavy fittings that provide a seal between
the casing and the surface. It also supports the entire length of casing
that is run all the way down the well. This piece of equipment
typically contains a gripping mechanism that ensures a tight seal
between the head and the casing itself.

Casing Hanger:

This is the sub-assembly of a well head that supports the casing string
when it is run into the wellbore. The casing hanger provides a means
of ensuring that the string is correctly located and generally
incorporates a sealing device or system to isolate the casing annulus
from upper well head components.

Tubing Head:

The tubing head is much like the casing head. It provides a seal
between the tubing, which is run inside the casing, and the surface.
Like the casing head, the tubing head is designed to support the entire
length of the casing, as well as provide connections at the surface,
which allow the flow of fluids out of the well to be controlled.

5.2)-Tubing Hanger:

The tubing hanger is a device attached to the topmost tubing joint in

the well head to support the tubing string. The tubing hanger is
located in the tubing head, with both components incorporating a
sealing system to ensure that the tubing conduit and annulus are
hydraulically isolated.

The tubing hanger assembly supports the weight of the tubing string
and seals the annulus from the upper well head and Christmas tree
components. It also provides connections at the surface, which
controls the flow of fluids out of the well.

5.3)-Christmas Tree:

The 'christmas tree' is the piece of equipment that fits on top of the
casing and tubing heads, and contains tubes and valves that control
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the flow of hydrocarbons and other fluids out of the well. It
commonly contains many branches and is shaped somewhat like a
tree, thus its name, christmas tree. The christmas tree is the most
visible part of a producing well, and allows for the surface monitoring
and regulation of the production of hydrocarbons from a producing
well. A typical Christmas tree is about six feet tall.

5.4)-Blowout Preventer:

Blowout preventers (BOPs), in conjunction with other equipment and

techniques, are used to close the well in and allow the crew to control
a kick before it becomes a blowout.

Blowout preventer equipment should be designed to:

Close the top of the hole.
Control the release of fluids.
Permit pumping into the hole.
Allow movement of the inner string of pipe.

Basic types of blowout preventers on drilling rig are:

Annular preventers
Ram preventers
Rotational preventers and

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