Once a successful well has been drilled to total depth, evaluated, cased and then cemented, it must be completed. After considering such characteristics as formation rock and fluid properties, reservoir pressure and wellbore trajectory, the completion engineer must design the well to be able to recover the largest percentage of hydrocarbons in place.
Designing the completion requires the engineer to make decisions such as the type and size of tubing and perforation, the choice of downhole device required to assist flow traveling up the tubing, the type of permanent monitoring and control system to use, as well as a myriad of other considerations.
An article in the Winter 2011/2012 issue of Oilfield Review, “The Science of Oil and Gas Well Construction,” provides an introduction to well completions, with descriptions of the steps required to turn a wellbore into a producing well. The article describes in brief several completion strategies, including the sources available to help the engineer make decisions, such as the formation evaluation data gained during or immediately following the drilling of the well. Also mentioned are the flow tests, multilateral wells, intelligent wells, fracture treatments, and artificial lift and sand control techniques that can form part of any successful completion strategy.
The article may be read in full by visiting the Oilfield Review Web site.
Von Flatern R: “The Science of Oil and Gas Well Construction,” Oilfield Review 23, no. 4 (Winter 2011/2012): 51–52.