Baker Oil Tools announced that it has installed more than two million feet (609,600 m) of inflow control completion systems to achieve successful production rates in horizontal wells in more than twenty oil and gas fields around the world. The EQUALIZER Reservoir Optimized Completion System has helped maximize hydrocarbon recovery for numerous worldwide operators, according to Brad Baker, Director of Sand Control Systems for the Baker Oil Tools division of Baker Hughes Incorporated.
"We are very proud of reaching two million feet in ground with no reported sand control problems. This outstanding track record is made possible through strategic project management and the application of advanced technology – an extended-longevity well screen and a specially designed inflow control device," Baker said.
"Optimal reservoir drainage presents a growing challenge when producing from extended-reach horizontal and multilateral wellbores, even in formations with uniform permeability," explains Baker. "When alternating high- and low-permeability strata are penetrated by a long wellbore, or when high permeability exists at either the heel or toe of a lateral section, the tendency to lose production through various parts of the reservoir becomes even greater.
"Optimal production from long, low-drawdown, high-rate horizontal wells often requires more than sand control, so the EQUALIZER System also provides production optimization," explains Baker. "The system balances, or equalizes, longitudinal inflow along the entire length of a wellbore. A uniform production profile ensures reduced influx of water or gas into the wellbore."
To delay water or gas coning in horizontal wells, the system uses an extended-longevity well screen and an inflow control device as a restrictive element. The well screen provides sand control and resists plugging and erosion with three concentric layers of media - a protective shroud, a single-layer vector filtration membrane, and an inner jacket. The outermost layer of the screen is a durable vector shroud that provides erosion protection under turbulent flow conditions. Within the shroud, the single-layer vector membrane has uniform pore throat openings and an inflow area of about 30 percent, ten times that of a typical pre-pack screen. The inner jacket and drainage layer protects the overlying vector membrane layer against high differential pressure. These features combine to extend screen life to eight times that of a standard pre-pack screen.
The inflow control device uses a restrictor element to distribute pressure along the entire length of a wellbore. In this way, local production rates at any point along a wellbore can be controlled as a function of both the average drawdown pressure and the average productivity of a well.
Baker Oil Tools uses operator-supplied formation data to conduct mathematical modeling and to configure individual systems that attain optimal pressure drop and flow rates. The system is applicable for a variety of wellbore conditions, including those that require viscous fluid, kill pill cleanup, or multiphase flow.
Since its worldwide introduction in 1998, the EQUALIZER system has attained individual lateral installation lengths of more than 13,000 feet (4,000 m).
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