Petroleum Technology Digest: Gravel packing through the shoe saves horizontal openhole job

A conventional, top-down gravel pack was planned in a recent, horizontally drilled well at California’s Wilmington field. When the job prematurely packed off at the top of the liner, the operator, Tidelands Oil Production Co., was left with a difficult decision. The firm could attempt to fish the liner and start over, try producing the well as is, or hope to place additional gravel through the shoe. Most operators will not attempt to pack through the shoe, for fear of becoming stuck. The job was completed by gravel packing through the shoe, salvaging what otherwise would have been an unsuccessful completion. The well has produced 20 months, with current output averaging 180 bfpd, without sand problems.

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