This abstract is a comprehensive technical discussion of an emerging technology that could lead a paradigm shift in artificial lift for offshore gas wells. It is a safe, innovative and elegantly simple system of economically lifting water from a wellbore using specialty chemicals injected through a tubing-internal capillary string, through a surface controlled subsurface safety valve (SCSSV), to a location deep in the well. This capillary string completion employs an SCSSV that enhances production while not compromising well safety.
Chevron is sponsoring a project to assist in the development and testing of this patent pending capillary completion system, which represents the combined technologies of a multidisciplinary team comprising three service companies: Dyna-Coil, BJ Chemical Services, and Tejas Research and Engineering. Chevron identified a target well for testing this technology in the Vermilion 39 field, the VR38 OCS 0205 N-5. The N-5 is a low pressure gas well that reached its apparent economic limit. Through use of this innovative capillary string completion system, Chevron will be able to realize an immediately increase in production and improve the reservoir’s ultimate recovery in a very cost efficient manner.
It is well known by petroleum engineers throughout the industry that as these GOM gas wells deplete and production rates decrease, gas recovery can be significantly curtailed when wells are no longer able to lift produced water from the wellbore. Offshore wells can often become uneconomic at recoveries of less than 60% of total reserves leaving billions of cubic feet of gas (worldwide), heretofore deemed unrecoverable, in the ground. Abandonment pressures for offshore wells are historically much higher than land well counterparts – primarily due to concerns regarding the offshore industry’s mandatory use of SCSSVs.
Discussed and detailed in the proposed paper is a simple solution to that problem. The presentation comprises a description of the system and its components, and demonstrates a working model. This system was reviewed by the MMS on 11 Jan 06. Approval is still pending.
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