The valves are mounted on oil well walls, where they automatically open for oil, but prevent the coning of water and/or gas. The autonomous (self-regulating) valve will increase oil production and recovery, facilitate the drilling of longer horizontal wells and reduce the need for transport, handling and separating unwanted fluids. The central research activity of this program is to find a combination of mechanical and flow technology design, material types and materials that can withstand the harsh well conditions (particles, chemicals, high pressure and temperature) for all reservoir types.
Research & Development
The next generation Autonomous Inflow Control Valve (AICV®) has been developed and verified through a number of research projects with funding from the Norwegian and European research councils.
This newest generation of AICV® has been proven through several dozen well installations. The AICV® is truly autonomous technology as its patented design changes the effective inflow area thus choking off the un-wanted phases in a well as per the design.
The leading edge AICV® technology has demonstrated significant increase of oil production and at the same time the gas oil ratio (GOR) and/or water cut (WC) have been reduced significantly.
The research and development program has a total budget of 8 million USD. In addition, technology development and qualification programs are ongoing with several leading oil companies located in e.g. Norway, the Middle East, Australia and Canada. The research and development programs sponsored by the research councils are described briefly below.
Autonomous inflow control for increased oil recovery
This project is funded by Oslofjordfondet, the Research Council of Norway. Project partners are the Norwegian research institutes, Norner and Tel-Tek, and the total budget is 8 million NOK. The project was started January 2013.
The project will develop a novel, autonomous and reversible inflow control valve to increase oil production and reservoir recovery rate by stopping production of unwanted water and gas locally in reservoirs, within FP7-SME research to the benefit of SMEs (R4S ), Grant no. 605701.
The full name of the REVIVAL project is ‘A novel, autonomous and reversible inflow control valve for increased oil production and reservoir recovery rate’. This project was started in 2013 and has a budget of 1.2 million Euro. The project partners are Norner, Herriot Watt University, Angelia Ruskin University, Seal Engineering, Syalons, HP Etch and RT Filter. The objective is to develop and verify a novel, self-regulating, reversible inflow control device (ICD) that will maximize oil production and reservoir recovery rate with complete shut-off all unwanted fluids into production wells for all types of reservoirs, e.g. high oil viscosities and thin oil columns. The R&D challenges in the development of the new AICV are related to developing new computer models to simulate valve operations, valve lifetime, reservoir recovery and near well production, and to develop the material components for the AICV operating at well reservoir conditions, e.g. high temperature, high pressure, well fluids and well fluid particles. More information can be found at: http://revival-eu.com/
North Sea verification and qualification
The aim is to develop and verify the well concept (AICV®) and make it ready for field testing on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The Norwegian Research Council is financing 1 of 2 million USD and the project started January 2013.
This is achieved through the following activities:
Modelling of concept
To gain fundamental understanding of the physical phenomena, conceptual models consisting of a 1-dimensional model and a CFD (computational fluid dynamics) were established and verified against experimental data.
Well design of prototype and mechanical integrity
A comprehensive liner solution was developed, designed and constructed with packers and sand screens.
Performance test with single-phase fluids
Prototype performance test on real fluids, i.e. gas, water and oil, to study the physical phenomena and forces in detail. This is achieved experimentally and with CFD analysis.
Performance test with real multiphase fluids
Multiphase flow is complex and experimental tests on how it occurs when the flow through the sand screen and AICV® are performed. The test is performed at real reservoir conditions, i.e. high temperature and pressure, crude oil, hydrocarbon gas and formation water. Tests with different water cut (WC), gas oil ratio (GOR) and gas liquid ratio (GLR) are conducted. This activity is performed in collaboration with the Statoil Research Centre in Porsgrunn, Norway.
Erosion modelling and testing
Erosion is one of the biggest challenges in wells due to sand production. Erosion potential is modelled by CFD and tested experimentally. The materials in exposed parts are evaluated.
Completion test during well clean-up
The AICV has to handle drilling and completion mud. Tests with mud are performed in order to verify that the design can withstand the tough conditions.
The full name is ‘Increased reservoir recovery rates by EXTRACTing oil using an innovative autonomous and reversible inflow control valve’ and is a Eurostar project. Eurostar is a European joint programme that supports SMEs performing R&D and stimulates international collaborative research and innovation projects. Advanced Chemical Etching and InflowControl are partners in this project.
EXTRACT will create an innovative, reversible, Autonomous Inflow Control Valve (AICV) to selectively block unwanted phases of water and gas and improve oil reservoir recovery rates by up to 25%. The project is designed to optimise performance of the AICV for a range of oil viscosities, densities and flow rates and started in September 2013 with a total budget of 4.4 million NOK.
CO2 and AICV for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
The AICV has the capability to distinguish between fluids based on fluid properties such as viscosity and density. The AICV can be designed to block CO2 when breakthrough occurs. The valve is also reversible, and will open again when oil is the surrounding fluid. At breakthrough of CO2 the valve closes, and the local drawdown reduces, ensuring that the CO2 stays in the reservoir. This technology solves the problem of CO2 breakthrough. Sweep efficiency increases and the CO2 is securely stored.
More information can be found at: http://www.climit.no/no/prosjektene/utviklingsprosjekt-(gassnova)/229342