"Economical production rates can be difficult to achieve from conventional wells in the Orinoco Belt, where the thick oil viscosity and heterogeneities of the reservoir present considerable challenges to oil production," said Tim Probert, senior vice president, Halliburton's Drilling and Formation Evaluation Division. "Normally, attaining good production rates from heavy oil reservoirs requires drilling numerous wells on very tight spacing. However, because the area is remote and environmentally sensitive, an exhaustive drilling program was not possible."
Petrozuata has been drilling multilateral wells since 1999, and has helped to evolve the application of multilateral well design and junction construction to where it is today. In December 2005, Halliburton provided the equipment and services to install the 100th LatchRite system junction for Petrozuata. Globally, Halliburton has installed more than 500 multilateral junctions in various countries since the inception of the technology in 1993.
One of the key advantages of multilateral wells is the ability to produce a larger area of the reservoir from a single well. By drilling horizontal wells with several branches in different directions, or by drilling into multiple layers of sands, a single multilateral well can provide as much reservoir drainage as several conventional horizontal wells.
"Petrozuata is the only heavy oil development to make use of multilateral technology on such a large scale in the world," said Adriano Celli, lead drilling engineer, Petrozuata. "We have used the multilateral technology for six years and it has proven to be successful and economical for us."
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