Flow Control

As part of a Joint Industry Project focused on studying FCDs for SAGD operations, a new device was investigated that inhibits the influx of steam while allowing the flow of emulsion into a production well. This new device was tested in C-FER’s lab using a high temperature, multiphase FCD flow loop and a three-phase FCD erosion loop, and in the field at Cenovus and Suncor sites. Details of the test program and the performance results of the new FCD device are presented in a paper co-authored by...

As part of a Joint Industry Project focused on optimizing FCD design and selection, fiber-optic based instrumentation was deployed in FCD-equipped SAGD producer wells to collect distributed temperature and acoustic sensing data to better understand the fluid inflow distribution.

In addition, acoustic instrumentation was installed in parallel with a high temperature, multiphase flow loop located at C-FER to try and better understand the correlation between an FCD’s operating condition and its...

SAGD operators are actively installing Inflow Control Devices (ICDs) in their SAGD production wells to enable production at low or ‘negative’ subcool values in order to maximize drawdown, increase fluid production rates and optimize SAGD economics. Operating the wells under higher vapour conditions could expose the ICDs to high velocity steam carrying sand particles, causing erosion and liner failure. A staged approach has been developed for assessing the relative erosion risk of candidate ICDs,...

Industry Challenge

Downhole Flow Control Devices (FCDs) installed in Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) wells have been shown to reduce the Cumulative Steam Oil Ratio and increase net oil recovery. When used correctly, FCDs can provide improved efficiency over "traditional" SAGD and a lower GHG intensity per unity of production.

At the same time, the industry has been evaluating a variety of solvent-enhanced thermal processes to replace or supplement recovery. These processes typically use...

The Industry Challenge

A major thermal operator contacted C-FER to investigate the effects of erosion on Inflow Control Devices (ICDs) and how their performance may change over +20 years in a SAGD well.   The long-term performance of these ICDs heavily influences the economics of SAGD production and is a key design consideration for all thermal operators.  Unfortunately, erosion mechanisms (and erosion testing) can be quite complex, and trying to evaluate erosion under the high temperature...

The Industry Challenge

Several Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operators have observed flow instabilities in their Electrical Submersible Pump (ESP) produced wells, commonly resulting in the complete loss of fluid flow to surface. In some wells these instabilities appear without any apparent precursor signs or indications of a potential flow disturbance, while in other wells there are clear indications of gas entering the pump (e.g. evident by flow and current fluctuations).

In many cases...

Course Overview:

This course will provide attendees with an overview of wellbore thermal-hydraulics (i.e. coupled thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid flow).  Additionally, they will gain a greater understanding of technologies and analytical methods currently for SAGD thermal-hydraulic applications.

The objective of this course is to:

  • Provide an overview of the physics and thermodynamics associated with the design and performance of the injection and production wellbores in these...

Industry Challenge

Operational experience in SAGD wells have shown that proper control of steam injection and production inflow can have a significant impact on the overall economics of a SAGD development.  Potential benefits include rapid and uniform steam chamber growth, improved subcool control along the length of the well, improved production rates, improved ultimate recovery and reduced steam-oil ratios.

However, in order to advance the use and effectiveness of flow control devices and...

Full-scale testing of Inflow Control Devices (ICDs)

The Industry Challenge:

Flow Control Device (FCD) technology has revolutionized Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD). When used correctly FCDs can lower Steam Oil Ratios (SORs) and increase production. This improves SAGD economics and greatly lowers Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.

The challenge for Operators is knowing which type of FCD technology is best for their wells. To choose the right technology, it’s important to first understand the complex, multiphase hydraulic performance of FCDs...

Abstract

Flow Control Devices (FCDs) have demonstrated significant potential for improving recovery in Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) production wells. One initial hypothesis was that steam breakthrough was delayed because the FCDs better homogenized injection and production by equalizing flow and compensating for pressure changes along the wellbore. However, in many cases, the field results were far greater than such an approach would have justified. The actual physics for this process...