Multilaterals still a niche but on rise.

20. January, 2015 News No comments

Multilateral completions as an advanced method of drilling has been introduced in oil&gas industry in early 90′. Even though it is known for its great properties as increasing reservoir contact and reducing the environmental footprint it still remains a slow market. Complicated multilateral operations can be a daunting undertaking connected with risk, but may also deliver enormous value. Let’s see what are the advantages and history of this technology.

In 1998, the Technology Advancement for Multi-Laterals (TAML) forum compiled a classification system for grading the level of complexity of the well. As the level increases intricacy, costs and risk rises, that is why Level 5 (highest) completions are very rare, only 15-20 are done each year. Although it is a niche, Baker Hughes runned two completions of this kind last year in the Norwegian sector and Russian operators are using them on a regular basis.

Wide variations in porosity, permeability and high downhole oil viscosity conditions result in low oil mobility from the reservoir to the wellbore. Theese conditions are hard to work with and are an example of using simple Level 1 and 2 completions in the Mishrif Reservoir by Kuwait Oil Co. They were also limited by the surface location, which lies at the crest of the Minagish field. Used high-resolution chemo-steering data analysis based on core chips with X-ray fluorescence supported geosteering the multilateral wells. Long -term prodictivity is provided by applying new, four-stage viscoelastic surfactant stimulation technique, which allows to achieve greater permeability using deeper acid stimulation.

Theoretically speaking the quantity of laterals is unlimited, however practically not more than 3 or 4 are used nowadays. According to current data this number will be increasing and multilateral applications will become more sophicticated thanks to technological development. Ability of placing several Inflow Control Devices (ICD) or using introduced in last year system called FlexRite MIC will widen the source of reservoirs. From the economical point of view drilling one multilateral completion instead of a few vertical has a huge impact on finances. The technology will also open new fields in west Australia, Brasil and Arctic Russia for exploration.


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