ADVERTISEMENT

Sand-Control Technology for Water Injectors Improves Well Performance

In 2014, a research and development (R&D) project was initiated to increase the life expectancy of Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Miocene and Lower Tertiary water-injection (WI) wells, several of which had suffered a severe loss of injectivity within only a few years of completion. The solution was to find a way to prevent fine material from entering the completion while sustaining high injection rates, with no loss of injection pressure or requirement for additional horsepower. A new flow-control device (FCD) and completion system were developed along with intrinsic nonreturn valves (NRVs) that prevent any backflow or crossflow during shut‑ins.

Developing the Flow-Control Technology

Tubing-deployed injection valves and regulators have been available for many years. However, these cannot address the problem of annular flow. The most-damaging factor in solids production is likely crossflow, wherein differently pressured injection zones can flow between layers inside the tubing or casing annulus. Crossflow can be eliminated only by blocking the flow at the sandface. This solution also would mitigate the damaging effects of water hammer by blocking pressure waves from entering the lower completion. Check-valve components must fit within sand-­control screens or be deployed across multiple zones of the injection tubing.

During the R&D phase of the project, researchers used extensive laboratory testing, flow-loop testing, and computational-fluid-dynamics modeling to develop a series of NRV prototypes. The technology was designed to handle a variety of well conditions, including erosion, plugging, temperature, and repeated checking cycles. All FCD components, including the NRV technology, are manufactured with high-alloy stainless steel and tungsten-carbide components to resist tortuous downhole conditions for up to 15 years. FCD prototypes and design iterations were tested over 18 months and a final design was qualified to withstand repetitive pressure-checking cycles reliably at 1,500 psi (and up to 10,000-psi static differential pressure).  

The laboratory testing conducted to finalize the project development stage is described in detail in the complete paper; it consisted of leak-rate, erosion, plugging, and screen-construction stages. One determination of this testing was that the placement of the screen over the FCD joint could cause erosive wear because of the placement of the screen ribs over the valves. An alternative rib wire was designed that could place the FCD between wires without compromising the strength of the screen.

With laboratory and workshop testing completed by early 2017, the focus of the project shifted to identifying and organizing a field trial for the new technology in a low-cost, low-risk environment.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 192840, “Field-Trial Results for New Sand-Control Technology for Water Injectors,” by Steven Fipke, SPE, Tendeka; J.E. Charles, SPE, Shell; and Annabel Green, Tendeka, prepared for the 2018 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, 12–15 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
...
This article is reserved for SPE members and JPT subscribers.
If you would like to continue reading,
please Sign In, JOIN SPE or Subscribe to JPT

Sand-Control Technology for Water Injectors Improves Well Performance

01 October 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 10

No editorial available

ADVERTISEMENT


STAY CONNECTED

Don't miss out on the latest technology delivered to your email weekly.  Sign up for the JPT newsletter.  If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

No editorial available

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT