Hydraulic Intelligent Well Systems in Subsea Applications: Options for Dealing with Limited Control Line Penetrations


Throughout the past decade, the reservoir management and interventionless flow control benefits of Intelligent Well Systems have made them a perfect fit for deepwater developments. Approximately 90% of current deepwater wells are subsea, and the number of subsea wells is expected to continue to grow. To enable subsea operators to reap the rewards of intelligent well technology, the industry (operators and service companies) is working to interface downhole intelligent well equipment with subsea trees and controls. Currently, the hydraulic penetration requirements of intelligent wells and the limited number of hydraulic penetrations in many existing subsea trees prohibit some subsea operators from using intelligent well technology. Manufacturing lead times for subsea trees and control systems are usually quite long. Rather than interrupt rig and operation schedules for an extended period while waiting for new equipment with more penetrations, operators often choose not to run intelligent well systems, and sacrifice the resulting benefits.

This paper will address various technologies and methodologies that are currently available to enable operators to benefit from intelligent well technology in subsea wells with limited number of penetrations. The case histories covered will illustrate how it is possible to reduce the number of hydraulic control lines required to remotely operate downhole flow-control valves without sacrificing overall system reliability.