Diverter valves enhance horizontal gravel packing

Gravel packing horizontal openhole laterals with washpipe diverter valves and external casing packers (ECPs) enables isolation of the produced oil stream from shale, water, gas, or other sections of the borehole.The diverter valve allows selective gravel transfer in the lateral and prevents filling the annular space around the ECP. With an open annular space, one can inflate or actuate an ECP to form a positive mechanical barrier that isolates zones in a horizontal lateral.Another benefit of this gravel packing method is the reduction in beta-wave (return gravel wave) placement pressure. The lower pressure enables one to gravel pack extended openhole horizontal wells and reservoirs with a...

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