This paper describes a case study that details the planning, completion,
testing, and production of the first maximum reservoir contact (MRC),
multilateral (ML), and smart completion (SC) deployment in Ghawar Field, Saudia
A well was drilled and completed as a proof of concept. It was set up as a
trilateral and was equipped with an SC that encompassed a
surface-remotely-controlled hydraulic-tubing-retrievable advanced system
coupled with a pressure- and temperature-monitoring system.
SC provides isolation and downhole control of commingled production from the
laterals. The well was managed to improve and sustain oil production by
eliminating water production by use of the variable-positions flow-control
valve. Monitoring the rate and the flowing pressure in real time allowed for
optimal well production.
The appraisal and acceptance portions of the completion process were
achieved when this well was completed, put on production, and tested. The
concept was approved when the anticipated benefits were realized during
monitoring of the performance of the well.
Leveraged knowledge from this pilot has provided an insight into SC
capabilities and implementation. Moreover, it has set the stage for other
developments within Saudi Aramco.
Haradh forms the southwest portion of the Ghawar oil field, approximately 80
km onshore from the Arabian Gulf, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia (Fig.
1). Haradh field consists of three increments: The initial production started
in May 1996 with Increment-1, followed by Increment-2 and -3 in April 2003 and
January 2006, respectively.
Increment-1 was developed initially by use of mainly vertical wells, while
Increment-2 was developed with horizontal wells. The subsequent MRC/ML wells
and SC installations in Increment-2 were part of a proof-of-concept project to
test and evaluate the impact of these technologies on reservoir and well
performance and on overall reservoir-management strategies. As a result of the
proof-of-concept project, Increment-3 was developed with MRC/ML wells with
Modeling was used extensively to illustrate the potential benefits of the
incremental expenditure of MRC/ML wells with SCs vs. conventional completions
(Afaleg et al. 2005; Mubarak et al. 2007). Several authors quantified potential
gains from the use of such wells and completions in field developments (Yeten
et al. 2002; Saleri et al. 2006).
Haradh-A12 is the first MRC/ML well to be equipped with SC in Ghawar field.
It was drilled and completed as a trilateral selective producer with a
surface-controlled variable multipositional hydraulic system.
This paper discusses a closed-loop approach that led to efficient realtime
© 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- Original manuscript received:
13 June 2007
- Meeting paper published:
4 December 2007
- Manuscript approved:
8 January 2008
- Version of record:
15 November 2008