The Impact of Autonomous Inflow Control Valve on Improved Recovery in a Thin-Oil-Rim Reservoir

Oil production from thin-oil-rim fields can be a challenge considering early gas breakthrough and high gas/oil ratio. This study evaluates the performance of autonomous inflow control valves (in comparison with inflow control devices and sand screens) and their effectiveness in improved oil recovery in such fields.

Autonomous inflow control valve mounted in a base pipe with sand screen.
Source: Paper SPE 218393

Oil production from thin-oil-rim fields can be challenging as such fields are prone to gas coning. Excessive gas production from these fields results in poor production and recovery. Hence, these resources require advanced recovery methods to improve the oil recovery.

One of the recovery methods that is widely used today is advanced inflow control technology such as autonomous inflow control valve (AICV). AICV restricts the inflow of gas in the zones where breakthrough occurs and may consequently improve the recovery from thin-oil-rim fields.

This paper presents a performance analysis of AICVs, passive inflow control devices (ICDs), and sand screens based on the results from experiments and simulations. Single- and multiphase-flow experiments are performed with light oil, gas, and water at typical Troll field reservoir conditions (RCs).

The obtained data from the experiments are the differential pressure across the device vs. the volume flow rate for the different phases. The results from the experiments confirm the significantly better ability of the AICV to restrict the production of gas, especially at higher gas volume fractions (GVFs). Near-well oil production from a thin-oil-rim field considering sand screens, AICV, and ICD completion is modeled. In this study, the simulation model is developed using the CMG simulator/STARS module.

Completion of the well with AICVs, reduces the cumulative gas production by 22.5% and 26.7% compared with ICDs and sand screens, respectively. The results also show that AICVs increase the cumulative oil production by 48.7% compared with using ICDs and sand screens.

The simulation results confirm that the well completed with AICVs produces at a beneficial gas/oil ratio (GOR) for a longer time compared with the cases with ICDs and sand screens. The novelty of this work is the multiphase experiments of a new AICV and the implementation of the data in the simulator.

A workflow for the simulation of AICV/ICD is proposed. The simulated results, which are based on the proposed workflow, agree with the experimental AICV performance results. As it is demonstrated in this work, deploying AICV in the most challenging light oil reservoirs with high GOR can be beneficial with respect to increased production and recovery.

This abstract is taken from paper SPE-218393-PA by Soheila Taghavi, University of South-Eastern Norway and InflowControl AS; Haavard Aakre, InflowControl AS; and Seyed Amin Tahami and Britt Modestad, University of South-Eastern Norway. The paper has been peer reviewed and is available as Open Access in SPE Journal on OnePetro.