Flowpro Dynamics White Papers
Norwegian invention makes international headlines
Throughout the last 30 years numerous operators, service companies, and equipment manufacturers have contributed greatly to the development of ICD technology becoming an industry-standard in sand screen completions. Below is a summary of Flowpro Control employes’ direct contribution to the development of the ICD technology. We continue the innovation with the new E-ICD product.
In the early 1990s, Norsk Hydro AS was venturing into the use of long horizontal wells to develop thin oil zones in the North Sea Troll West field. At the time, Kristian Brekke, the founder of Flowpro Control AS was a Norsk Hydro Engineer deeply involved with the development of the original ICD and related well/reservoir simulation tools. It was the first attempt to improve inflow profiles for screen completed horizontal wells by controlling the inflow through the sand screen.
Due to its added value creation, this Norwegian based technology eventually became an important part of sand screen completions, as is illustrated in the JPT March 2020 article below. ICD technology is by JPT ranked as one of the ten most important technologies from the 80s and 90s that made today’s oil and gas industry.
The Original ICD Patent
Easy adjustability of the ICD flow characteristics was already described by Brekke in the original ICD patent provided below. However, the industry was slow to pick up on this feature which resulted in most wells applying uniform ICD strength along the wellbore. This has been an important motivation for Flowpro Control AS to now develop the E-ICD with support from Lundin Energy Norway AS.
The First ICD white paper
For Norsk Hydro, and later Statoil/Equinor, ICD technology became critical to enable efficient drainage from the 2-3000m long horizontal wells on the Troll West field. Increased oil recovery of 25% has been documented by Equinor when using ICDs. Brekke and Lien initially documented the potential for improved recovery in the SPE article below.
The First Coupled Horizontal Wellbore / Reservoir Simulation
The ICD hardware provided flexibility to balance and control the inflow profile along the wellbore. It also introduced greater demands on reservoir/well simulation software that so far had neglected pressure losses throughout the completion and its impact on inflow from the reservoir. Thus, it became apparent that a new approach for wellbore simulation had to be developed.
Groundbreaking effort took place in Norsk Hydro to develop a nonlinear network solver with a coupling to the FrontSim reservoir simulator. This became a prototype for several coupled wellbore modeling approaches in commercial simulators. The First Coupled Horizontal Wellbore / Reservoir Simulation is illustrated in the following paper.
The theory behind the NETool software
The following paper describes the work performed by Brekke in the PhD dissertation investigating the productivity risk for horizontal wells represented by geological uncertainties and how the completion design can impact this.
A software was developed connecting the pressure and flow in the completion to a near well reservoir model with upscaled parameters for petrophysical properties. The source code for the software developed and used in the PhD was sold to WST in Norway which further developed it into the commonly used software now known as NETool, offered by Halliburton.
Numerical methods for fast wellbore simulation
The speed of coupled wellbore simulations in commercial reservoir simulators represent a challenge when including multiple wells with advanced completions. The below paper describes a method for fast simulation of advanced wellbores developed through a cooperation with Shell Oil in Houston.