D940 Modern Completion and Production Enhancement Techniques

Course Facts

Course Code:
5 days
Virtual Classroom
4 Continuing Education Units
40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


Busniess Impact: Completions are the conduit between the reservoir and the surface facilities. Without a completion, there can be no production or injection. The completion must be designed to be safe and efficient and account for the nature of the subsurface (rocks, fluids, pressures and temperatures, for example) and the surface facilities (processing, monitoring, provision of power for artificial lift, for example). This course promotes the best practices for designing both the reservoir completion and the upper completion in a cross-disciplined manner.

The course expands a basic awareness of wells and completions to cover how completions can affect production. Some of the key subject areas that are covered include the completions scope and types, inflow performance, perforating, stimulation and sand controls, vertical and artificial lift, production chemistry, well integration and completion equipment and installation.

Duration and Training Method

A virtual classroom course divided into 10 three-hour long webinars sessions over a two-week period (equivalent to a five-day classroom course) which includes, a mixture of informal lectures, course handouts, videos and exhibits.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Characterise the causes of formation damage.
  2. Be able to produce an optimum perforating strategy (perforation charges, interval and deployment method).
  3. Predict the types of well completion that benefit from matrix and fracture stimulation and the types of fluids that are used.
  4. Propose the optimum sand control method accounting for the geology, well management and surface facilities.
  5. Integrate vertical lift performance into reservoir performance analysis.
  6. Assess where production chemistry problems can pose a major threat to productivity and propose mitigations.
  7. Evaluate risks to well integrity such as corrosion in order to ensure the threat to safety and productivity is managed.
  8. Review the types of completion equipment commonly used and where/why they are used.

The course is practical in nature and uses a case study and practical exercises throughout the week to demonstrate the effects of the design and operation of the completion on well and reservoir management.  Some of these key themes that are covered during this course include:

Completion scope and types
This session serves as introduction to the subject and covers basic types of completion.

  • List the types, source and uncertainty ranges for data affecting completion designs.
  • Illustrate the types of wells that require completions – from oil producers and water injectors to more complex disposal wells and wells associated with enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
  • Discuss what is meant by the reservoir completion and identify the advantages and disadvantages of the main types (barefoot, open-hole, cased and perforated and sand control).
  • Explain what is meant by the upper completion and identify the different types (tubing less, packerless, with packer, dual completions) along with their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Explain how to interface the reservoir with the upper completion and define and identify advantages (and disadvantages) of monobore completions.

Inflow performance
This session focuses on the principals in determining the reservoir inflow potential from knowledge about the reservoir, drilling and the completion. It covers basic and advanced inflow performance equations for both oil and gas wells.

  • Characterise the causes of formation damage including particulate invasion, wettability changes, relative permeability, emulsions, fines migration and clay swelling.
  • Explain and measure non-Darcy flow and identify where these effects are critical.
  • Use the different types of empirical inflow performance correlations available for use with well test data – Vogel, and Fetkovich.
  • Define the skin factor and convert it to flow efficiency.
  • Evaluate productivity in deviated, partially completed and horizontal wells (Cinco, Besson, Joshi, Babu and Odeh, Goode and Wilkinson relationships).

This session is primarily aimed at subsurface engineers involved in perforating decisions.

  • Identify the basic principles of perforating.
  • Define the factors that influence the productivity of a cased and perforated well with an analysis of the Karakas and Tariq relationship.
  • List the main methods of perforating along with the associated depth control.
  • Analyse the benefit of underbalance and the techniques used to generate it.
  • Determine what to do if sufficient underbalance cannot be achieved (dynamic underbalance and propellants).
  • Assess the optimum perforating interval even where there are multiple objectives.


Stimulation (proppant and acidisation)
This session is in less detail than the perforating session as the subject is broader and more specialised. It is primarily aimed at cross-disciplinary understanding and interactions with stimulation design and execution.

  • Define the basic theory of proppant stimulation.
  • Understand the role of geomechanics in fracturing and type of data required.
  • Identify (in outline) the equipment and procedures used for proppant stimulation.
  • Calculate the productivity for a fractured well and optimise a fracture for length and width and be able to quantify the benefit of tip screen fracturing.
  • Predict which types of reservoirs will benefit from matrix and fracture acidisation and the types of fluids and additives that should be used.
  • List the techniques used for diversion and leak off control.

Open hole completions
Open hole completions have specific challenges and advantages, so this session ensures an awareness for subsurface and production engineers.

  • Relate the specific issue of formation damage with an openhole completion and define the methods for how to mitigate it.
  • Determine how water and gas influx is managed with the use of ECPs, openhole packers and swellable elastomers.
  • List the 3 methods for how to remove the drilling mud and the role of drill-in fluids.

Sand control
Sand control is a large and specialised subject so this session aims to cover the basics with a particular emphasis on how the subsurface community can contribute to effective sand control.

  • Determine whether sand control is needed and give examples of the penalties for getting it wrong (sand production without sand control or sand control without sand failure).
  • List the geomechanics related data associated with sand control and the methods used to assess rock strength (core test and log data) along with pitfalls with each method.
  • Provide examples of the methods used to limit or avoid sand control without using screens (well geometry and perforating considerations).
  • Use an understanding of the influence of heterogeneity and particle sand size analysis to determine and propose the optimum sand control method.
  • Define the main types of sand control and the reservoirs to which they are applied (standalone screens, openhole and cased hole gravel packs, frac packs and expandable screens).

Tubing sizing
Many subsurface engineers (especially reservoir engineers) are involved in simulations that require an understanding or prediction of vertical lift performance. This session covers how to generate and integrate these predictions.

  • Define the critical role of PVT data in tubing sizing and explain how it differs from the data required by reservoir engineers.
  • Define the basics behind multiphase flow and how correlations are used to determine the vertical lift performance.
  • Quantify the influence in changing reservoir parameters (water cut, GOR) in vertical lift performance.
  • Incorporate inflow performance (nodal analysis) and select an appropriate tubing size.
  • Determine the onset of unstable flow in both oil wells and gas wells and explain it is mitigated (plungers for example).

Artificial lift
Artificial lift profoundly affects productivity and this session deals with how artificial lift must be integrated into the production engineering (e.g. surface facilities) and the subsurface development plan.

  • Describe how artificial lift is integrated into well performance assessments.
  • Explain how gas lift works and is designed and provide outline gas lift designs. Can troubleshoot gas lifted wells.
  • Describe how Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESPs) work and how they are designed and optimised. Can create a basic ESP design including pump and motor selection.
  • Describe the basics behind PCPs, HSP and rod pumped wells and provide examples of where they are best suited for application.

Production chemistry
Production chemistry problems can pose a major threat to productivity, so this session covers how it must be assessed and mitigated.

  • Provide examples indicating the criticality of proper fluid samples (oil and water) for production chemistry assessment and can identify where the data comes from and the underlying uncertainties.
  • Describe the common types of oilfield scales, how they are predicted, removed or prevented.
  • Explain wax and asphaltene deposition and describe how they influence productivity and are removed or prevented.
  • Identify the role of hydrates in tubing blockages and the occurrence and production of naturally occurring hydrate deposits.
  • Describe how reservoir souring occurs and its influence and mitigation.

Well integrity
Well integrity poses a threat to safety and productivity and must be managed. The emphasis in this session is on understanding and evaluating the risks rather than the correct choice of completion materials.

  • Explain the double “barrier” principle and how it is applied to wells.
  • Provide a brief overview of corrosion and erosion mechanisms and identify how they are mitigated.

Completion equipment
Although drilling and completion engineers will likely select the equipment, a well designed completion must integrate subsurface and production engineering needs, for example well surveillance and well interventions. This session focuses on these interactions.

  • Identify the main types of completion equipment and how they work and are applied with an emphasis on their role in reservoir management. Covers trees, safety valves, packers, mandrels, gauges, reservoir isolation valves and nipple profiles.

Completion installation
Again, as the target audience are unlikely to be responsible for completion installation, this session focuses on understanding the issues and risks involved.

  • Provide an overview of the steps used in completion installation.
  • Identify the types and usage of completion fluids and their role in formation damage mitigation.

Non conventional wells
Whilst all these issues cannot be covered in details, this session addresses some of the more unusual completions which can provide significant benefits in terms of the field development plan.

  • Identify the broad issues with HPHT completions.
  • Explain how the different types of downhole flow control (sometimes called smart or intelligent wells) systems work and how they can be integrated into the reservoir management e.g. variable vs. on/off valves, the integration of gauges.
  • Explain the complexities and limitations of multilateral and multipurpose wells and their impact on reservoir management. Can identify the types of application where their uses can be beneficial.
  • Can describe the issues involved with CO2 sequestration from a completion and near wellbore perspective.

Who should attend

This course is primarily aimed at intermediate level petroleum and reservoir engineers. The course will also benefit geologists, petrophysicists and production engineers who need to deepen their understanding of completion and production enhancement techniques.

Prerequisites and linking courses

Some basic knowledge of drilling, completions and well interventions is assumed, but there are no formal prerequisites for this class. Following on, N943 (Well Interpretation in Practice) looks at similar interpretations, whilst N955 (Cased-hole Well Log Interpretation) deals in more detail around case-hold interpretation.


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Jonathan Bellarby

Great course. Best one I have taken yet. I will recommend to all.