Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 8

SPE 133321

Design Optimization of Slotted Liner Completions in Horizontal Wells of


Mumbai High Field
Avinav Kumar, ONGC, A.K.Srivastava, ONGC and Ravi Kumar, Schlumberger
Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers
This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1820 October 2010.
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed
by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or
members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is
restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

Abstract
An efficient and cost-effective completion is very critical in the mature brownfield of Mumbai High. Horizontal and
multilateral wells are strategic completions in this oil reservoir because of their high productivity and larger drainage
area. This paper deals with design optimization of slotted liner for horizontal wells in Mumbai High field of India.
A good horizontal completion must maintain the mechanical integrity of the wellbore without posing a significant flow
restriction. In this respect, slotted and perforated liners are cost effective solutions in horizontal wells because they
provide uniform reservoir drainage, wellbore stability and control of solid production. A slotted liner completion is
preferred, because it results in better solid control and lesser flow convergence. However, the compounded effect of
formation heterogeneity and formation damage on pressure loss is severe in these completions. A good design is
essential to minimize pressure loss due to flow restrictions and to maintain the long term productivity of well.
The major challenge is to have an optimum slot size and geometry that minimizes slot plugging and near wellbore flow
convergence losses. A keystone slot design with consideration for convergence loss is arrived to address this problem.
The effect of parameters such as slot size and slot density on flow convergence pressure loss was taken into account
for design optimization.
This paper covers the design, optimization and application of slotted liner completions with an objective to address
solid control, completion economics, well productivity and long term well performance.
Introduction
The Mumbai-High field is a giant offshore oil field of ONGC in India. This field has produced oil since 1976 from two
main limestone reservoirs, L-III and L-II. Currently, the field produces about 230,000 BOPD (with 60% water-cut) from
more than 700 wells.
Historically, Mumbai High field was developed with traditional vertical wells. The first horizontal well in the field was
drilled in 1987. After a successful pilot project of five horizontal well was completed in 1990, this technology was
accepted in the field for future re-development plans. Over time horizontal and multilateral wells have become strategic
completions in this oil reservoir because of their high productivity and larger drainage area. With no sand production
from this limestone reservoir, barefoot horizontal completion took the lead as a completion solution early on.
A re-development plan was initiated in Mumbai High field in 1998 with an aim to target infill locations and increment
overall recovery. New wells were drilled during this period to maintain production levels and arrest the production
decline. The asset was looking for a cost effective completion solution for the vast re-development plan. During this

SPE 133321

phase of development, borehole integrity was taken into considerations for a more sustainable completion. The usual
completion option adopted for this field was perforated and blind liners placed in horizontal boreholes.
The Mumbai High reservoir is divided into Mumbai High North and Mumbai High South based on its structure. The L-III
limestone reservoir produces oil from the entire Mumbai High Field while the L-II limestone produces from Mumbai
High North. The L-III reservoir is characterized by 13 sub-layers separated by shale barriers. The horizontal wells
encounter shale patches along their horizontal trajectory. The completions of Mumbai High field encounter flow path
impairment over the length of the liner. Over the production period, small shale chips get dislodged from the formation.
These shale chips are deposited in the horizontal borehole section, reducing the available flow area and resulting in a
severe decline in well productivity over time. A slotted liner completion can well address the problem of flow-path
impairment due to solid deposition.
Over time with advanced technology being applied in Mumbai High wells, a need has arisen in the field for a
completion that is compatible with the use of a coiled tubing unit (CTU friendly completion). The completion must
provide a smooth path for CTU intervention over the complete life of the well. A perforated or slotted liner is being seen
as a cost effective and suitable completion system for such a field. However, flow convergence pressure loss is a
major concern in the application of perforated/slotted liners in an oil reservoir. An efficient completion design must take
into consideration pressure loss. A balance must be drawn between well productivity, intervention activities and cost
economics.
Application Background
In wells in which sand /solids /fines production is a concern,solutions such as wire wrapped screens, pre-packed
screens, gravel packs and consolidation techniques have to be considered. However, in Mumbai High limestone
reservoir, shale chips deposition (not sand production) is the problem. So screens may not be the most appropriate
solution to address this problem. Also the typically higher cost of screen may not justify their application in such a
case.
The perforated/slotted liners are used in completions in which the main concern is hole collapse over time or instability
of a few intervals within the entire open hole, for example the shale streaks in the long reservoir section.
During the re-development phase of Mumbai High reservoir in 1998, perforated liner were used as the primary
completion method to address the hole-integrity. A combination of perforated and blind liners was placed in the
horizontal or multi-lateral sections of the wells. This liner was either left as a tail pipe in the hole or was tied in to the
tubing string for CTU friendly completion. Over time, it is observed that though the application of perforated liner has
enhanced the production life of the multi-laterals, but has not addressed the issue of shale deposition in the laterals
completely. These shale chips still pass through the in. holes of perforated liners and are deposited in the well
laterals, resulting into a partially or completely blocked lateral. These laterals are left with a reduced flow area for the
flow and result into reduced productivity of the completion. There have been many examples of failed CTU operations
in the field due to blocked borehole. The above-mentioned circumstance demands a shift in completion strategy. A
completion of slotted liner is intended to solve the problems of solid deposition in the borehole.
Design Considerations
Slotted liner geometry is defined by slot length, slot width, slot distribution/pattern and slot density. A liner design must
balance solid production, open fluid flow area and structural capacity. In most of the slotted liner designs, the slot width
is selected based on size of produced solids while slot density is based on an open flow area.
Selection of Open Area
A slotted liner is subjected to various loading scenarios including installation and operational loads. To sustain against
these loads a slotted liner design takes into account the liners axial strain capacity, torsional capacity and collapse
capacity. Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is the most common environment for application of slotted liner
today. To preserve mechanical strength of the liners in SAGD applications, the percentage open area of slotted liner
completion is typically kept below 3%. However, in an SAGD application a liner is subjected to significant compression

SPE 133321

due to the cyclic thermal strain. These excessive loads result into increased axial compressive strain and external
pressure loading due to confining formation loads (collapse). The design for axial strain capacity and collapse capacity
in SAGD put an upper limit on the maximum open area to 3%. However, in a Mumbai High well, the liner faces the
maximum compression load only at the time of installation due to curvature loading when it is pushed through the
curved hole. Also, the torsional capacity is a major aspect to handle during installation. The collapse strength and the
torsional capacity of a slotted liner are decreased significantly as the open area increases above 3%. An open area
higher than 5% severely affects the collapse strength and the torsional capacity of the liner. A finite element model
(FEM) is the most suitable method to analyse the mechanical suitability of a slotted liner design for a field. However, in
absence of a suitable FEM, an industry standard open area of has to be considered. Considering a low loading
environment of Mumbai High field an open area of 3 to 5% is considered for application.
After the open area of the slotted liner is fixed to be between 3-5%, the next step in design is to select for other
parameters of the slotted liner design namely, slot width, slot length, slot distribution and slot density.
Slot factor (Skin factor)
Slot size selection is a critical aspect of slotted liner design. A slot should be selected that can prevent the solid
particles from entering the flow path. As the major problem in the Mumbai High field is shale chips dislodged from the
formation face, a higher slot width can also address the problem. A slotted liner completion imposes two types of
pressure loss to the fluid flow: 1) pressure loss due to channel flow through slots and 2) pressure loss incurred
because of flow convergence in the near wellbore formation. A large slot size will reduce the pressure loss for the flow
through slots.
However for a constant open area, a large slot size will result into lower slot density. This lower slot density will result
in a higher flow convergence pressure loss. An optimum slot pattern and density should be based on compromise
between the two pressure losses.
To avoid any unwanted plugging, keystone shapes are preferred over straight slots. The opening in a keystone
shape is narrower on the outside of the pipe than to inner side of the pipe. This enables that any grain that enters the
slot will immediately find enough clearance to pass completely through without clogging. Thus any chance of pressure
loss due to partial plugging is reduced in case of a keystone shaped slot. Fig. 1 shows a typical keystone shaped slot.

Fig 1: Keystone Slot, showing included angle


Apart from slot shape there are various patterns of slots used in industry, e.g. staggered/ non-staggered, single/
multiple, vertical/horizontal etc. The Fig. 2 shows the patterns of slots normally used in industry.

Fig 2: Staggered (Left) and non-staggered (Right) slot patterns with multiple and single slots
The most common type of slot pattern used in industry is staggered vertical slots with multiple slots concentrated at
one location. A staggered slot design is especially useful in reservoir with an anisotropic permeability where prefered
flow direction can vary over length (Tang et al, 2000). Also, its an established fact that the productivity reduction due
to formation damage in a staggered pattern is less as compared to non-staggered pattern. It was futher established by

SPE 133321

the semi-analytical model of Tang et al (2006). Also the multiple slot patterns, though commonly used in industry, have
a negative effect on the collapse strength of a slotted liner.
The gap between the openhole borehole reservoir face and slotted liners will decide the magnitude of pressure loss
due to flow convergence. If the formation is hard enough to maintain the gap with slotted liner, the convergence
pressure loss will be negligible. Considering limestone formation of Mumbai High field as soft formation and the shale
chips dislodgement it is presumed that the open space in the borehole between slotted line and the reservoir face is
filled up. It signifies a partial or complete wellbore collapse around the liner.
Furui et al (2003, 2004) have developed a comprehensive model for pressure loss in a slotted liner completion. In this
model the skin equation for a slotted liner completion consists of three components:
SSL

SSL,

SSL,

f ,SL,

f ,SL,

where,
S = Skin factor due to formation damage
= Severity of permeability reduction in a damaged formation
SSL, = Skin factor accounting for pressure loss due to linear channel flow in slots
SSL, = Skin factor accounting for pressure loss due to flow convergence in formation due to slotted liner
f ,SL, and f ,SL, = Turbulence scale factor for linear flow (in slot) and radial flow (in the formation)

= Turbulence factor in formation and the damaged zone, (function of k and k


F , = Forchheimer Number
In Mumbai High field the average production for wells is less than 1000 STB/day, with around 10% wells producing in
range of 2000-3000 STB/day. For, this low (/normal) rate production and injection wells the turbulence factor becomes
negligible. Hence, the skin factor becomes,
SSL

Here, SSL,

SSL,

k
S
k SL,

is a skin accounting for linear channel flow in slots. This skin factor depends on ratio of formation

permeability to slot permeability [i.e.

]. For the Mumbai high formation where the problem is shale chips (i.e. no

sand), a non-plugged slot was assumed for slotted liners (kl >>k). Hence SSL, becomes zero in such a case. So, the
effective skin due to non-plugged slotted liner in a damaged reservoir becomes
SSL

SSL,

(For open slots)

Hence in a non-damaged formation, the skin factor for a non-plugged slotted liner will be only due to the convergence
flow in the formation.
SSL

SSL,

(For open slots)

Slot Selection
The first step of slot size selection is selection of slot length, slot pattern and slot width. The slot penetration ratio
(SPR) for a slotted liner is defined as the length of slot per unit length of the pipe. The most common and standard slot
length is 2.5 in. In their study of slotted liner Tang et al (2000) have shown that PI increases with SPR. However,
beyond 50% SPR, the gain in PI becomes insignificant. On the other hand, when SPR is reduced below 40% the PI
decreases sharply. Two slots of 2.5 in. each in every 12 in. length of pipe (slot penetration ratio = 0.417) was selected
for Mumbai High field.

SPE 133321

Based on observation of Tang et al (2000) and considering the anisotropic reservoir characteristic of Mumbai High
Limestone reservoir a staggered slot design is selected. As the open area considered for this design is 3 to 5%, a
multiple slot pattern can further reduce the collapse and torsional strength of the slotted liner. A conservative approach
of single slot design was considered for the Mumbai High completion to maintain the collapse and torsional strength of
the slotted liner. The vertical slot configuration is shown in the Fig. 3.

Fig 3: Vertical slot configuration for the liner


Also, as discussed in previous section a keystone slot design with an inclusive angle of 60 was selected to avoid any
plugging of the slots.
The slot length and slot pattern is decided, so the next step is to decide on the slot width and slot density. The shale
chips from the limestone formation of Mumbai High reservoir have a range of 0.10 in. to 0.40 in. with majority falling
between 0.30 in. to 0.40 in. As there is no sieve analysis available for the shale chips and considering the large size of
chips in majority, it is decided that any slot width equal or smaller than 0.25 in. can address the solid production
problem. Once the open area, slot width and the diameter of the liner are selected, the number of slots per foot of liner
can be determined from the following formula:
N

12 D C
100 W L

where,
N = required slots/foot
D = outside diameter of the liner, in.
C = required open area, percent
W = selected slot width, in.
L = length of the slot, in.
Here if N<32, it is rounded up to the nearest multiple of 4.
The most common slot widths used for a 2.5 in. liner are 0.250 in., 0.125 in. and 0.078 in.
A slot factor was calculated for these slot sizes and corresponding slot density using the slotted liner model developed
by Furui et al (2003, 2004). Based on the slot width and the calculated slot density, the number of slots around the
circumference of liner (ms) is calculated.
The slot factor for 3.5 in. and 5 in. liners for a list of open area and slot widths are listed in the table 1 and 2. The
staggered slot configuration is taken into account for calculating the skin factor.
Table 1: Slot factor calculated for slot width, slot density and open area for 3.5 in. liner
Open
Area
(%)

Slot
Width
(in.)

Slot
Density
(slots/foot)

ms Number of slots
around a circumference

0.250
0.125
0.078
0.250
0.125
0.078

8
12
20
12
20
32

3
6
10
5
10
16

Slot factor,

Dimensionless
slot factor
3.5
2.1
1.5
1.9
1.2
1.0

SPE 133321

Table 2: Slot factor calculated for slot width, slot density and open area for 5 in. liner
Open
Area
(%)

Slot
Width
(in.)

Slot
Density
(slots/foot)

ms - Number of slots
around a circumference

0.250
0.125
0.078
0.250
0.125
0.078

8
20
28
16
32
48

5
9
14
8
15
24

Slot factor,

Dimensionless
slot factor
2.4
1.5
1.1
1.3
0.9
0.7

The plots of slot factor for 3.5 in. and 5 in. liner are shown in Fig 4 and Fig 5 respectively. From the graph it is evident
that the slot factor decreases with the slot width. Hence the pressure drop in the formation due to convergence loss will
decrease for a smaller slot width. However, the flow loss for the channel flow in the slot increases with the decreasing
slot size. This loss is negligible for a low flow rates, however it can become significant when the flow rate reaches a
significant value. In Mumbai High field the average production for wells is less than 1000 STB/day, with around 10%
wells producing in range of 2000-3000 STB/day. The slot size was selected considering a compromise between the
two pressure losses and the well production range. Based on the above discussion final slot size selected is as
follows:
For 3-1/2 in. Liner, the slot specifications are:
Slot design:
Slot length:
Slot width:
Slot density:

o
Keystone Slot, with included angle of 6 (Fig 1)
2.5 in.
0.125 in.
12-20 slots/feet

For 5 in. Liner, the slot specifications are:


Slot design:
Slot length:
Slot width:
Slot density:

Keystone Slot, with included angle of 6o (Fig 1)


2.5 in. (measured on ID)
0.125 in.
20-30 slots/feet

Field Application
The application of perforated liners has brought a significant improvement in well performance over the previous
barefoot (open-hole) completion. A general characteristic of steep decline was being observed in openhole completion
wells of Mumbai High wells. With implementation of the perforated liner the severity of decline has been reduced,
however decline has not been entirely eliminated because of flow path impairment. A significant improvement in
mitigation of solid production and flow impairment is expected with implementation of slotted liner replacing the
perforated liner completions. However, data of well performance after implementation of slotted liner were not available
at the time of completion of the paper. It is expected to be completed in very near future.
Way forward
Sand control is an ever evolving science. In todays industry, slotted liner is a cost effective solution for sand control.
However, in a slotted liner, slotting of base pipe significantly weakens its mechanical strengths; particularly its
torsional and collapse strength. Also the slot width can change as the liner deforms under certain load conditions. To
address these problems, the open area of slotted liner is kept at 3% or at maximum upto 5% (under less stress
conditions). Though this helps to keep the collapse and torsional strength to keep within acceptable limits, though this
doesnt bring a slotted liner close to base pipe integrity number for collapse/torsion/compression. There are some

SPE 133321

recent product developments to address deficiencies of slotted liners in torsional rigidity, collapse and compression as
well as enable much higher open flow areas than slotted liners. Recently, a new sand screen technology has been
developed and installed in both Venezuela and Canada. The FEA and fullscale testing of this screen has been
published in SPE and WHO by Woiceshyn et al (2008) and Hamilton et al (2009) respectively. It involves flushmounting and securing a diameter fusion bonded metal laminate cartridges/discs directly into the base pipe wall. The
open flow area, which can be as high as 20% compared to 3% maximum for slotted liner, is set by the number of
inserted discs per foot. A higher flow area will lower the flow restriction and will reduce flow convergence around the
completion. It will result into a higher productivity of the completion. This geometry results in a sand screen that is cost
competitive to slotted liner on a same-openflow-area basis, and it is significantly stronger in mechanical strength to
sustain in loading conditions. In addition its sand retention performance is comparable to a premium mesh screen.
Based on their performance and cost economics, these screens should be of interest in future for a field like Mumbai
High.
Conclusions
The slotted liner completion is a very cost effective sand/solid control solution for a brown field like Mumbai High.
However, for an efficient performance from such a completion, a proper design optimization and selection is essential
for long term well productivity. The analysis shows that the slot sizes and density have a major impact on completion
efficiency and its strength. In addition, the design should be effective in addressing field specific problems. The
consideration should be given to the solid problem as well as the environmental loading condition to reach a suitable
design. The design proposed for the Mumbai High field specifically addresses the problems associated with a
particular limestone reservoir. However, a standard methodology is used to reach the optimum design and can be
followed for other fields with solids production problems.
Acknowledgements
The authors are grateful to ONGC for permission to publish this work.
References
Furui, K., Zhu, D., and Hill, A.D. 2003. A Comprehensive Model of Horizontal Well Completion Performance. Paper
SPE 84401 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 5-8 October.
Furui, K., Zhu, D., and Hill, A.D. 2004: Optimization of Horizontal Well Completion Design. Paper SPE 90579
presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, 26-29 September.
Hamilton, K., Caulfield, I., and Woiceshyn, G. 2009: Full-Scale-Testing of a New Sand Control Screen for Thermal Well
Applications (2009-373). Paper presented at the World Heavy Oil Congress, Margarita Island, Venezuela, 3-5
November.
Kaiser, T.M.V., Wilson, S., and Venning, L.A. 2000. Inflow Analysis and Optimization of Slotted Liners. Paper SPE
80145 presented at the SPE/Petroleum Society of CIM International Conferences on Horizontal Well Technology,
Calgary, 6-8 November.
Tang, Y, Ozkan, E., Kelkar, M., Sarica, C., and Yildiz, T. 2000. Performance of Horizontal Wells Completed with
Slotted Liners and Perforations.Paper SPE 65516 presented at the SPE/Petroleum Society of CIM International
Conferences on Horizontal Well Technology, Calgary, 6-8 November.
Tang, Y., Yildiz, T., Ozkan, E., and Kelkar, M. 2006. Effects of Formation Damage and High-Velocity Flow on the
Productivity of Slotted-Liner Completed Horizontal Wells. Paper SPE 101987 presented at the SPE International Oil
and Gas Conference and Exhibition, Beijing, 5-7 December.
Woiceshyn, G., Toffanin, E., Xie, J., Wagg, B., and Fan, C. 2008. Mechanical Evaluation of a New Sand Control
Screen for SAGD Applications. Paper SPE 117486 presented at the SPE International Thermal Operations and Heavy
Oil Symposium, Calgary, 2023 October.

SPE 133321

Slot Factor vs Slot Width for 3.5" liner

Slot factor, Dimensionless

4.0
3.5
3.0
2.5
2.0
for3%openarea

1.5

for5%openarea

1.0
0.5
0.0
0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

Slot Width, in
Fig 4: Slot factor as a function of slot width for 3% and 5% open area in 3.5 in. liner

Slot Factor vs Slot Width for 5" liner

Slot factor, Dimensionless

3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
for3%openarea
1.0

for5%openarea

0.5
0.0
0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

Slot Width, in
Fig 5: Slot factor as a function of slot width for 3% and 5% open area in 5 in. liner