What is Managed Pressure Gravel Packing?
Managed Pressure Gravel Packing (MPGP) is adjusting the annulus pressure during open hole gravel packing (OHGP) operations.
Why is This a Challenge
OHGP involves pumping a gravel laden fluid into the reservoir annulus where it deposits the gravel before the fluid circulates back to surface. As the Alpha and then Beta waves form in the annulus the frictional pressure increases and thus the annulus pressure. As the annulus pressure increases it can exceed the fracture pressure of the reservoir and cause losses. Many OHGP operations end early because of losses leading to an unsuccessfully gravel pack. An incomplete gravel pack can cause potential production problems for the life of the well. In horizontal and longer length sections this problem becomes greater.
What Are Your Options
- Optimize your completion design. This can include using lightweight and special carrier fluids and gravel pack material. Changing the gravel pack design can come with an increase cost, increased volumes, or negative impact on the reservoir, and possible the combination of all three.
- Accept losses will occur and attempt the OHGP in hopes of achieving a complete gravel pack or the best possible before total losses occur. This is a common approach for OHGP, even after the gravel pack design has been optimized.
- Use EC-Drill® to perform a MPGP. EC-Drill® enables you to compensate for the increase in annulus pressure experienced during OHGP operations. It can be used to reduce and adjust the pressure during the entire operation, reducing the likeliness of going on losses and increasing the chances of achieving a successful gravel pack.
How EC-Drill® Helps You With Lost Circulation
EC-Drill® Controlled Mud Level can be used to adjust the pressure during OHGP operations so to avoid going on losses and ensure all the gravel gets in place as planned.
EC-Drill® can be a critical tool to achieve a successful gravel pack and minimize impact on the reservoir. By controlling the mud level, the downhole pressure profile can be adjusted at all stages of completions and OHGP. EC-Drill® has successfully OHGP multiple horizontal wells with a narrow pressure window.
EC-Drill® can also enable you to use different completion fluids. Heavier completion fluids, such as brines, that are not possible with conventional operations, can be possible with EC-Drill®. The riser fluid level can be reduced to achieve the same or lower bottom hole pressure than with a lower density fluid.
EC-Drill® is a Controlled Mud Level (CML) technology that allows manipulation of bottom hole pressure (BHP) while drilling a well. The system controls the BHP by adjusting the fluid level in the marine drilling riser, and thereby the hydrostatic pressure applied.