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PRODUCTION PRACTICES IN PETRO-CANADA'S HEAVY OIL

AND EOR WELLS

G. DUNCAN

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JCPT84-02-05 DRILLING AND COMPLETION Production practices in Petro-Canada's heavy oil and EOR wells GRANT DUNCAN Petro-Canada Resources ABSTRACT Petro-Canada operates a number Of thermal and non-thermal projects in the oil sands and heavy oil areas of Eastern Alberta and Western Saskatchewan. These projects have been plagued with low pump efficiencies, slow rod fall, fluid pound, solids production and overloadedpumpjacks. Petro-Canada's solutions to these problems on steam, fireflood and primary producers in unconsolidated sand formations are presented in this paper. Specific
topics include comple- tion practices, bottomhole pump designs, sand control equipment and production techniques. Introduction Production of heavy oil, whether on primary or with the assistance of enhanced oil recovery techniques, is far more difficult than recovery of conven- tional light oil. Production wells at Petro-Canada have gone through many stages of development. Earlier wells were designed to obtain both production and information. Cost effectiveness, reduced maintenance and improved pro- duction were the bases of later well designs. Standardized completions have evolved for
primary (Fig. 1), steam (Fig. 2) and fireflood (Fig. 3). Casings All surface casing is 244 mm, 48.1 kg / m, H-40, ST+ C. Heavy oil wells use large 178 mm production casing so that sand control devices can be installed if necessary, larger tubulars can be used to reduce rod fall problems, dual comple- tions can be considered, and conversion of a field from primary to EOR can be readily accomplished. Primary wells are completed with 178 mm, 29.5 kg/m, K-55 ST+C casing. The preferred cas- ing on thermal completions is 178 mm, 34.2 kg/m, MN-80, Buttress, landed in tension but not prestressed.
Fireflood wells use non-exotic alloys for all of the wellbore except across the zone of in- terest, where nickel alloys are run. _ Technology, March-April 1984, Montreal Cements Good cement bonds, with minimal loss of cement into formations are the main objectives of Petro-Canada's cementing programs. A typical primary cement wo,ld consist of Class "A" + 301o CaCI2 for the surface casing, 2:1:4 Poz- mi, for the upper 70% of the production casing, and Class "G" + 3(Vo KCI for the lower 3007o of the production casing. Fi,eflod wells subsitute Ciment Fon- due, extended with alumina
silicate fir,brick, for the lower 30% of the pro- duction casing. Steam wells are fre- quently located in areas where lost cir- c'ulation of cement is a problem. The use of lightweight cements (1,400 kg/m 3) reduces the loss of cement. Free pipe for the upper 20 to 30% of the well and wellhead growth of up to 0.6 m while steaming a well is not uncommon. A typical thermal cement for a steam well could consist of 5007o Class G, 25% spheres and 25(1/o Silica Flour. Foamed thermal cements have been used on a few wells. Wellheads Blowout preventors are bolted to 279 mm, 14 MPa slip-on casing
bowls weld- ed onto the surface casing. All produc- tion casings, whether primary or ther- mal, are landed in slips in the surface casing bowls. Primary wellheads are bolted directly to the surface casing bowl and consist of a 279 mm by 179 mm by 14 MPa tubing head with lock down screws, tubing hanger for 73 mm FUE tubing, 179 by 73 mm bonnet, 73 mm BOP, 73 mm Flow tee and 73 mm stuff- ing box. The surface casing bowl and slips are removed on steam and fireflood wellheads. Slip-on tubing heads 179 mm, 21 Mpa are welded onto the pro- duction casing and the wellheads bolted up to the
179 mm tubing heads. Si@eam wellheads are sized for 89 mm tubing, rated at 21 MPa, and contain si@cam compatible materials. Fireflood produc- tion wellheads are dual completion, 73 mm production by 33 mm iiistrunient, with separate locked down tubing to pull strings independently. hangers for each string, and the ability Perforations Wells are perforated with either produc- ed water from the same formation or fresh water + 307o KCI in the casing. _ Casing scrapers are run across the zone of interest while the casing is being cir- culated clean prior to shooting. Fluid
levels in the casing are swabbed down to achieve 1400 KPa underbalance. Per- forating, is done with 127 mm casing guns, using 32 g shaped changes, shooting 13 shots per metre on 90 or 120 degrees spacing. Sand Control petro-Canada's philosophy toward con- trolling solids is "the best kind of sand control is no sand control". Most primary wells, fireflood wells, or later cycle steam wells in tight, fine-grained formations do not contain sand control. Formations were the wells cannot be produced without sand control are characterized by unconsolidated medium-coarse sands (d,, = 0.4 mm to
i.o mm, d,, = 0.2 mm to 0.4 mm). Wash-out @@ile drilling, and lost circula- tion during drilling, cementing and workover operations are frequently en- countered. Almost all steam wells re- quire sand control in the first I - 2 cycles, however sand control devices can frequently be removed after the second cycle. Although the sand inflow into the wellbore is restrained, attempts are made to allow any silts or clays to be produc- ed. Restraining silts and clays appears to restrict production. Two types of sand control devices are used. The first is a conventional 127 mm O.D. outside
wrap screen on 114 mm O.D. perforated casing, hung by a liner hanger inside the 178 mm casing. The second, called a PEX screen, was developed by Petro-Canada, and is at the time of printing a proprietary design. PEX screens are run on tubing and can be used instead of casing screens. Occa- 71