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Automated Approach Optimizes Flow-Control Device Placement in SAGD Completions

Steam-chamber conformance in steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) influences the efficiency and economic performance of bitumen recovery. Conventional SAGD well-completion designs provide limited control points in long horizontal well pairs, leading to development of nonideal steam chambers. The complete paper presents an automated approach to optimizing placement of flow-control devices (FCDs) in SAGD well-pair completions. The methodology uses a coupled wellbore/reservoir model to simulate both reservoir fluid-flow behavior and detailed wellbore hydraulics. The qualities of the well-completion-design parameters and their effect on production are assessed by calculating the net present value (NPV), which is considered the basis for optimization.

Introduction

The Lower Cretaceous McMurray formation hosts the majority of bitumen in the Athabasca oils sands—the largest known resource of bitumen. The formation is composed of large-scale fluvial-estuarine point bars and other laterally accreting channel systems that are highly heterogeneous. The formation has been interpreted as having three stratigraphic subdivisions: a lower continental (fluvial), a middle fluvial-estuarine unit (point-bar dominated), and an upper marginal marine deposit. The repeated erosional cut and fill events within the McMurray have led to nested and multiple stacked structures. Similarly, laterally accreting channel systems, such as point-bar deposits consisting of inclined heterolithic strata of sandwiched sand-siltstone sequences and abandoned mud channels, lead to very complex sedimentary facies relationships in which rock types change both laterally and vertically over very short distances.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Judy Feder, contains highlights of paper SPE 193364, “Optimization of Placement of Flow-Control Devices Under Geological Uncertainty in Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage,” by Siavash Nejadi, Stephen M. Hubbard, Roman J. Shor, SPE, Ian D. Gates, SPE, and Jingyi Wang, SPE, University of Calgary, prepared for the 2018 SPE Thermal Well Integrity and Design Symposium, Banff, Alberta, Canada, 27–29 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Automated Approach Optimizes Flow-Control Device Placement in SAGD Completions

01 December 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 12

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