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How to optimise

well design for

better recovery.

Oil demand is still growing globally, well, rather than the value derived
and as governments and authorities from it, as the latter is difficult to The fuel efficiency of modern jet
become ever more concerned with estimate. planes uses roughly 80% less fuel per
maximising economic recovery, passenger-mile than in the 1950s.
newer ways of developing and Computational Fluid dynamics This is due to a large part because of
maximising return from reservoirs (CFD) the application of CFD. The physics
and fields is necessary. This white of flight was applied to maximise
paper looks at how using CFD is a branch of fluid mechanics what already existed. Now the same
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) that uses numerical analysis and can be done for well completions.
can produce better production and data structures to analyse and solve Existing well completions aren’t
better injection, which leads to problems that involve fluid flows. broken, they’re working for their
maximised recovery from fields, not intended use but by using CFD you
CFD modelling is not anything new; can take what already exists, and
just daily but over the entire field life.
many industries including, the optimise your wells to the best of
aerospace industry, and Formula their capacity. Transforming your
One have been using CFD to fields from great to extraordinary.
Many of the existing methods, such
optimise performance for decades.
as; conventional well and reservoir
The application of CFD is also
models overlook the real cross flow However, now with even more
proven in oil and gas, and is already
between reservoir layers, and the advanced improvement in
used in areas such as design
flow of fluids through the entire well computational fluid dynamic
length. Instead they rely on trying to modelling software this can now
fit core, physical layer and well data - also be used to better analyse and
gathered from tests and logs – into optimise your well completions.
general analytical solutions.
Well Fluid Flow Performance
One of the key challenges of well Modelling
completion and well design is
understanding what wells can deliver Measuring well flow is an essential
in terms of injectivity and productivity element to assess well performance,
to the field. Therefore, well design has and indicate the production
traditionally been optimised on the behaviour. The accurate
cost of the 3D View of Velocity Profile into the base pipe predication of well performance
helps with appraisal of

Lloyd’s Register How to optimise well design for better recovery | 01

development prospects, well
planning and reliable prediction of
true well and field value. By modeling
with CFD, fluid dynamics can be
modelled on a cell by cell basis: the
passage of fluid and its transmission
of physical forces can be simulated in
almost any resolution or scale and in
3D. So unlike conventional well
modelling, by including full geometry
of the reservoir, there is no
compromise on the geometry.

Computational Fluid Dynamics in

Pressure-Inside-the-Tubing Comparison
oil and gas production
Measuring complex geometry
Within the Oil and Gas industry CFD
CFD can more accurately measure Capturing the simultaneous flow of
has principally been used to model
the geometry of reservoirs, including; fluids in the reservoir and well is
fluid flow in surface pipelines and to
formation damage sensitivity in the essential, especially in wells and
examine fluid flow through and
form of multiple layers, measure reservoirs with complex geometry.
around tubing and equipment. For
turbulence and spot potential Cross flow between reservoir layers
example; CFD is used in the design
erosion sites in advance. CFD models and the flow of fluids through and
and development of new drill bits and
different completion for each well, along the well length are real
in the development of Inflow Control
including the full reservoir phenomena which if ignored can lead
Devices (ICDs). More recently CFD has
characteristics for each individual to poor prediction of well
been applied to more diverse
field. performance. CFD modelling relies on
challenges such as sand transport,
fundamental physical properties and
mechanical modelling of failing
enables changes in flow restriction to
wellbores and gas well cleanup.
be captured. Complex events such as,
sand failure, the impact of changing
How much more productive could wellbore shape on fluid flow and
your wells and fields become? geometrics can be modelled and
used to asssit design.
Every oil and gas well has unique
characteristics, which deepens the In field success
challenge of designing the ideal
completion for each one. The Improved completion design was
traditional focus to well completions experienced recently on a Norwegian
does not fully focus on the reservoir Field development. The modelling
and the well combined, but rather revealed that in order to optimise well
focuses on the reservoir and well as clean-up, a key value driver, the
separate components. optimum production well
completions should include
By accurately modelling and restriction in the form of Inflow
predicting the well and reservoir as Control Devices (ICDs) to balance long
one unit, you can find the best horizontal well inflow. In addition, the
completion for your individual field. CFD simulations revealed that the
CFD is ideally suited as it can measure Near Wellbore Pressure Iso-Surface of 1579.5 psi addition of ICDs would improve
the flow of fluids through reservoirs, overall well efficiency (or productivity
completions and wells. This bridges indices).
the gap between wells and the
reservoirs, which is often seen in
existing reservoir or well modelling.
By modelling in this way, you can
test- drive ideas in advance,
modelling the fluid flow rate in each
completion option.

Lloyd’s Register How to optimise well design for better recovery | 02

field1 success
ft pay, 5 m Drainage Radius

• Near Wellbore Surface Mesh

Near Wellbore Surface Mesh

LR Rock Properties expertise

Flow Line & Wall Shear Stress Corner
At LR, we’re passionate about
The concept is counter intuitive each individual reservoir, improving the performance and
as “traditional” well simulations maximising recovery, not just optimisation of your wells. Our
will not show the benefit of flow daily but over the entire field Computational Fluid Dynamic
restriction. The traditional life. (CFD) modelling of wells is an
approach to well design industry first and we’re the only
dictates that if restriction is commercial provider to do this.
added to the flow path, Through WellscopeTM , our
increased pressure drop will revolutionary way to model and
lead to PI decrease. This interpret your wells, we can
method contradicts this belief find the ultimate completion
and clearly demonstrates that for your well, ensuring
completions can be improved increased production, which in
by adding sufficient restriction. some cases has been up to
100% improvement of
traditional completion design.
WellscopeTM our unique,
Many factors are considered prior patented process for modelling
to deployment of well completions. well performance, improves
However, by using CFD modelling well design, completion value,
you can accurately predict how the and ensures maximum value
fluid will react when in the well, from your wells. Used in over 30
giving you a chance to road test projects in the last five years,
your well completions, and makes WellscopeTM has helped our
adaptations prior to deployment. clients save millions of pounds.
This not only gives you a better
understanding of your predicted For more information or to
well performance but also ensures speak to one of our experts get
maximised recovery from every in touch at oilandgas@lr.org or
reservoir. By using CFD you can visit www.lr.org.
find the perfect completion for

Get in touch Lloyd’s Register

Please visit www.lr.org/oilandgas Kingswells Causeway
for more information Prime Four Business Park
Or call +44(0)1224 398 398 Kingswells, Aberdeen
email oilandgas@lr.org United Kingdom
AB15 8PU

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