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PETE 4998 Senior Project

Optimization of Productivity and Recovery by Enhanced Completion Design

Group 16

Executive Summary
For this project, our team has acquired reservoir and well data for a deep water field in the Gulf
of Mexico from an operator contact. The objective is to analyze the formation characteristics,
current well properties and equipment, and the completion design applied within this currently
producing field. With this analysis, the plan is to evaluate current production performance and
recovery efficiency; and to compare the data to similar reservoirs or fields in addition to
theoretical potentials. An attempt to optimize performance and increase recovery will then be
made. Either by designing a recompletion of an existing well within the field, or by engineering

a completion design for a proposed, theoretical well, with properties and constraints assumed
relative to neighboring wells in the area. The intended goal of the project is to propose a
method that will increase the fields recovery and provide the project proposal to the fields
The plan of action for the project is to continue analyzing and evaluating the existing well and
formation data, and derive insight about any potential problems currently affecting
performance and recovery. After the initial field and well analysis is completed, further
research and exploration involving current industry techniques and technology will be required.
This process will involve gathering academic resources and field studies relative to completion
design and technology. In addition to research, multiple conference calls and visits will be
made to discuss the project with our industry advisor and professional experts, working within
Halliburtons completions, perforations, and production enhancement product service lines. By
working with industry contacts and utilizing available industry resources, a greater
understanding and further progress toward an optimized completion design and a recovery
solution will hopefully be reached. Once the project has reached this point and a theoretical
completion strategy has been developed, Schlumbergers Oil Field Manager Software kit and
NSI Technologies Stimplan fracture simulation software will be used to model, design, and
experiment with reservoir flow patterns and fracture geometry.
With the gathered knowledge, resources, and data, an optimized completion design can be
realized; and this project will hopefully provide a theoretical approach to increase recovery
within the operators field.

A complete set of field and well data for a deep-water unconsolidated sand reservoir was given
to our group from an industry contact, working for the fields operator. The data contains flowline information, petro-physical properties, production history and information, reservoir
description, well schematics and surveys, and PVT information. Since the operator believes this
field is not optimally performing, this data has been given to our group; so we may attempt to
devise and propose a course of action to increase recovery. The problem affecting recovery is
not explicitly known, and the method and strategy to optimize performance and increase
recovery has been left up to our group to discover and develop.
With our groups shared background, knowledge, experience, and industry advisors resources,
we have decided to focus on the completion and production enhancement of the fields wells
as our engineering approach. Our belief is, by analyzing and applying an advanced, tailored
completion and production enhancement design to the field, we will be able to optimize the
reservoirs flow and production; therefore, providing a completion-based strategy to solving the
fields unsatisfactory recovery. Our projects problem can therefore be stated as: What factors
affecting recovery can be solved, and which technologies and techniques can be utilized in

designing or redesigning a completion and production enhancement strategy for the given
deep-water, unconsolidated-sand reservoir to ultimately optimize and increase recovery?

The field that our project will evaluate and analyze is a deep-water Pliocene field in the Gulf of
Mexico at a water depth of about 5712 ft. The lithology of the formation mainly consists of
unconsolidated sandstone, bordered by a salt dome to the northwest and an aquifer to the
southeast. The field came online July 8, 2009 with an initial pressure of approximately 13,250
psia and a temperature of 205 F. As indicated in figures 1 and 2, the producing zones 19E and
22A are at a depth of: 19,500 ft and 20,900 ft, respectively. After five years of production, the
operators of the field suspect that field is not being properly optimized, and believe recovery
could be increased.

Figure 1

Figure 2

For the initial analysis of the operators given data, four wells will be considered and evaluated.
A 4 production tubing is installed on all four of the considered wells. The four wells under
evaluation, producing from the specified zones, have all been stimulated with a general fracpack system for sand-control, and have all been completed with Cameron 10K trees.
A main component of our projects background involves the many different technologies, tools,
and techniques utilized in the perforation, production enhancement, and formation control
areas of completions.As current drilling techniques and reservoir challenges continue to
develop, the importance for intelligent, advanced, and specific completion design also
continues to evolve. For our project, our completion design will mainly focus on perforation,
stimulation, and sand control. After completion of initial research conducted for the literature
review phase of this project, we have gathered information on a multitude of strategies,
techniques, and technologies both available and emerging within the industry today.
In order to perforate, a perforation gun with shaped charges must be lowered down the tubing
below the packer by electric wireline, coiled tubing, or slickline. The number of shots, spacing
between shots, and phase angle between shots are all significant variables that must be
considered (2). As for each shot, the desire of the shaped charge to create a large hole or deep
penetration has to be determined. If the perforation is designed to create a large hole, then the
depth of penetration will be small (2). Conversely, if the perforation is designed to penetrate
the formation deeply, then the hole size will be small. Another important factor associated with
perforations is clearance. Clearance is the space between the inside of the casing and the
outside of the perforating gun. This uncontrollable factor can have significant effects on

perforation uniformity. High clearance produces low penetration, while low clearance
produces deep penetration (2,5).
Shape charges have four main components:

Primer Charge
Main Explosive Charge
Conical Liner

As the primer ignites the main explosive, the conical layer is rapidly melted to form a molten
metal fluid which penetrates the casing, cement, and rock formation. Immediately after the
perforations are created in an underbalanced wellbore, reservoir fluids surge into the wellbore
and help to clean the debris and crushed rock from the damaged formation. This surge helps to
clean the perforations and improves the conductivity of the formation near the wellbore (1,4).
Stimulation creates increased conductivity in flow channels, and reduces inherent resistance to
flow between the reservoir and the wellbore. Stimulation is generated by the creation of
fractures made by explosives and hydraulics, or facilitated by remediation of permeability skin
damage around the wellbore and perforations with acid treatments. Acid-frac and hydraulic
fracturing are the most common and effective techniques in use today, and these treatments
usually provide substantial productivity gains in low permeability or damaged reservoirs (5).
Hydraulic fracturing reduces flow resistance within formation by creating and extending
fractures from the wellbore or perforations into the reservoir. Fracturing is accomplished y
injecting thickened fluids at high pressures into an impermeable formation. The formation
resists penetration and the fluid therefore creates its own flow path channels through
fractures. Graded sands and proppants are suspended in the viscous fluids and help to prop and
hold open the fractures created by the fluids. The fluids are then thinned by the reservoir fluids,
BHT, or auxiliary viscosity reducers and withdrawn from the formation leaving only the
proppant in place. Frac fluids are typically oil based, water based or acid based. New
developments within fracturing applications involve: large volume fracs, selective frac
placement, multi frac, and better control of fracture geometry and direction (6). Emerging
controls on fracture design involve understanding and managing fracture geometry, direction,
and length to maximize fracture efficiency and productivity and minimize fracture
communication (7).
An important completion process in unconsolidated sand formations is sand control. Several
methods for reducing sand production exist. Common completion options currently being used
today are sand consolidation and gravel packing. Other techniques involve: work overs, rate
exclusion, plastic consolidation, high-energy resin placement, resin coated gravel, and standalone slotted liners or screens. When choosing the method best fit for a well, several unique,
varying parameters must be considered. The parameters are site-specific and based on the

operating practices and economics of the project. Rock properties of the site must be evaluated
through well logs and reports to ensure optimum rock properties are present to apply an
appropriate method. At some sites, multiple methods may be implemented at different layers
of the reservoir. This process guarantees optimization of sand control for each layer of the
reservoir. If the wrong method is chosen, flow production restriction and plugging by fines can
take place, affecting the productivity and possibly the life of the well.
Gravel packing is the most common sand control method of choice due to its flexibility and
reliability. Gravel packing incorporates a screen or slotted liner positioned on the opposite side
of a completion interval, filled evenly around with gravel. The gravel acts as a filter. It collects
the formation sand, but allows fluids to pass into the wellbore. Issues that can arise with gravel
packs relate to equivalent circulation density restrictions, fluid substitution while running the
screens, and placement of the gravel pack. The only completion method that is not suitable
with gravel packing is tubingless completions since the clearances do not allow the use of
conventional tools.

Executive Plan
The original idea of conducting a field study was first presented to Pete Cannella by Tommy
Garza last summer. Following this proposal, Pete then consulted with an industry operator
about the potential of conducting a field study as a possible senior project. The operator
agreed to provide necessary data for its field in exchange for a thorough analysis and project
proposal. Our team agreed to the offered conditions, and this opportunity was accepted as the
official project proposal. Unfortunately, the operator was slow in releasing the data; and
maintaining communication with the operator was challenging. Ultimately, we began gathering
data through public sources, such as BSEE and BOEM, in order to establish the state of the field
of interest. This process did not produce much useful data, so the team began considering
alternate projects. With the experience and resources available to the team, an agreement was
then reached to focus the project on completions and production enhancement. Eventually,
the operator provided the data listed in table 1 below.

Flowline Dimensions
Flowline Schematics

Well Schematics
Well Surveys

Interval AZIMUTH
Net Res
Net Pay
Net to
Avg Phi


Avg Phi
Avg Net
Sw (Pay)


Reservoir Information

PVT Data


Reservoir Zone



Temperature, F



Initial Pressure, psia


Porosity, fr


Water Saturation, fr


OIP, MMstb


Datum depth


compressibility, psi-1


Avg Vsh





Aquifer, MMBls
Aquifer to reservoir
water Salinity, ppm

Summary of Fluid
Bubble Point
Gas-Oil Ratio
Properties at
Properties at

Volume Factor

A large amount of
research and information
has already been gathered

and represented in the

projects literature
review. has been
conducted. Reviewing
academic and industry
literature and
continuing to gather
information will be a
continuous process.
We have used the data
associated with table 1
to construct several
plots to identify
characteristics of the
field. We have noticed
extensive increases in
water production in
early 2011, while the oil
and gas production
plots have showed a
steady decline.

Table 1List of data supplied by operator

Continued research, multiple conference calls, and trips to Halliburtons Lafayette facilities to
meet with our industry advisor and other industry professionals are planned for the winter
We plan to use Schlumbergers Oilfield Manager to model our system and further evaluate
the field. We have contacted a Schlumberger representative to obtain access to the software,
and we have also requested Dr. Waltrich to attempt expediting LSUs software acquisition
process. We plan to familiarize ourselves with various software packages during the winter
break in the event we are not granted licenses to OFM. We will use the results of the generated
models to identify points of improvement. The conditions set by the operator for the release of
the data are such that we are to identify recompletions within an existing well or identify and
design a new well.

With an understanding of the reservoir and contributing conditions, the next stage will be to
use our knowledge and resources to design an innovative and tailored completion strategy that
will provide optimized recovery. The team will also use the fracture modeling software,
Stimplan, to generate and experiment an optimized production enhancement strategy. At this
stage, we plan to document our findings and conclusions with a presentation poster and a
detailed journal.

Gant Chart

Resources Required
Oil Field Manager from Schlumberger is a major component of the project that will allow us to
create an integrated model of the system encompassing the reservoir and surface production
facilities. To operate this model, we will need PVT data, production data, BHP and flowing
wellhead pressure, and gas/ water-cut data. PVT data, required to generate fluid property
correlations, will be CO2, N2, and H2S concentrations and formation temperature,
permeability, porosity, and formation compressibility data. To model production facilities, we
will need well-bore schematics and piping dimensions.
Additionally we will need fluid properties in order to
model slugging issues and potential viscosity problems.
The PVT and production data required to operate OFM
has been obtained from a Murphy operated
Figure3 SLB OFM 3D interpretation of oil field with current and planned wells.

deep-water field in the Gulf of Mexico. We will also need access to Stimplan production
enhancement software to model and simulate a fracture and stimulation design. Access to this
software will either be provided by
Halliburton or LSU.

Figure 4 STIMPLAN Water frac simulation in a layered, tight gas formation.

The current objective of this project is
to provide a detailed and innovative
completion design utilizing optimized and individualized strategies, tools, and technology suited
for the given field in study and its associated problems and challenges. A complete design
including tools, perforations, production enhancement, and risk mitigation should be delivered;
and the design should serve as a solution to the current recovery efficiency issue. Cost
estimations, simulations, and supporting data will also be included. If the main objective of
increasing the recovery of the field is unable to be obtained, the project will still provide a
detailed, documented, and strategic approach to completion design. These objectives, the
projects findings, and the process documentation will also be shared in a final poster
presentation and paper.

1. Hopmann, Mark; Walker, Tim: Underbalanced Completions, SPE, Dallas, TX, USA,
SPE Annual Technical Conference, Oct 22-28, 1995
2. Quattlebaum, Clinton; Borgen, Ken; Xue, Zhenyu; Wilkinson, Pete: Optimizing
Perforating Charge Desing for Stimulation, SPE, San Antonio, TX, USA, SPE Annual
Technical Conference, Oct 8-10, 2012
3. Johnson, J. K.; Lorenzatto, R. A.; Rittershaussen, J. H.; Barreto, J. L.: Single-Trip
Subsea Completions, OTC, Houston, TX, USA, OTC Annual Conference, May 2-4,
4. Birkhoff, Garrett; MacDougall, Duncan P.; Pugh, Emerson M.; Sir Geoffrey Taylor:
Explosives with Lined Cavities, Journal of Applied Physics 19, 563 (1948); doi:

5. Fuhrberg, H. D. (1983, January 1). RP 5 Well Completion and Stimulation. World

Petroleum Congress.

6. Solliday, A. L. (1955, January 1). 1. Modern Well Completion Methods in U. S. A.

World Petroleum Congress.
7. Coburn, R. W. (1957, January 1). Developments in Well Completion Techniques.
Society of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/893-G

8. Saputelli, L., Chacon, A., & Lopez, C. (2014, March 25). Optimum Well Completion
Strategies in Tight Oil Reservoirs. Offshore Technology Conference.

9. Dees, J. M., & Handren, P. J. (1994, May 1). A New Method of Overbalanced
Perforating and Surging of Resin for Sand Control. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
10. Hailey, T. T., Cunningham, S., Novelen, R., & Kang, J. (2014, September 10).
Improved Sand-Screen Design for Multi-Joint Flow Control. Society of Petroleum
Engineers. doi:10.2118/170283-MS
11. Martins, A. L., de Magalhaes, J. V. M., Ferreira, M. V. D., Calderon, A., & de Sa, A.
N. (2009, January 1). Sand Control in Long Horizontal Section Wells. Offshore
Technology Conference. doi:10.4043/20113-MS
12. Oliveira Gomes, D. G., Carruyo Villalobos, J. F., & Gonzalez Castano, E. R. (2014,
May 21). Automating a Comprehensive Methodology for Evaluation, Selection, and
Sizing of Sand Control Methods in Fields With Sand Problems: A Case Study. Society
of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/169380-MS
13. Guinot, F., Papanastasiou, P., Grove, B., & Dzialoszynski, A.: A New Age in Well
Perforating History - Evolving from Roman to Gothic? SPE, January 1,2002,