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Design Considerations and Lessons Learned in the Application of Intelligent Completions

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Course Credit: 0.15 CEU, 1.5 PDH

Intelligent completions are becoming increasingly common, particularly in deep, horizontal, or remote wells. By reducing the required well count, reducing intervention costs, and accelerating production, they can enhance overall project economics. In some cases, intelligent completions have been a development-enabling technology.

The webinar provides an overview of deepwater, subsea, intelligent completion design commonly deployed in the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa, with emphasis on downhole sensors and interval control valves. Most of what is discussed can be applied to any completion with subsurface data collection or downhole flow control devices.

As some intelligent completions have failed to meet the project teams’ expectations, this talk emphasizes the need for robust system engineering, particularly with trees and the remote control system. The root causes for some commonly seen anomalous behaviors are shared.

Considerations for intelligent completion system and component selection are shared, along with design and operational lessons learned. The benefits and risks of “choking” versus “on-off” type Inflow Control Valves (ICVs) are discussed. The presentation concludes by sharing some new ICV designs and the rationale for their development. All content contained within this webinar is copyrighted by Ron Nelson and its use and/or reproduction outside the portal requires express permission from Ron Nelson.

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Course Chapters

  • 1Design Considerations and Lessons Learned in the Application of Intelligent Completions - Chapter 1
    Media Type: Video


Earn credits by completing this course0.15 CEU credit1.5 PDH credits


Karthik MahadevKarthik Mahadev is the BP Wells Fracturing and Stimulation Advisor accountable for discipline health of fracturing, fracpacks and stimulation treatments across BP, primarily in an offshore/deepwater environment. Karthik’s expertise are in the areas of Fracturing, Stimulation, Sand Control, Interventions and Formation Damage and has worked the entire gamut of BP Gulf of Mexico’s Deepwater portfolio in these areas. He also serves as a Cased Hole Fracpack Design Instructor at BP’s Sand Control Advanced Development Program. At BP, Karthik has transitioned through completions/interventions engineering, technical specialist, team leader and advisor roles. His core technical areas of focus are on multiphase fluid flow, geochemistry, fluid
mechanics and rheology, polymers, rock fluid interactions, strength of materials, corrosion chemistry. On the soft skills side, Karthik is a green champion for the Westlake Campus, Sub-Committee Lead for Employee Engagement, has a certification on the Science of Happiness at Work, and is passionate about helping people succeed at bp.

Prior to joining BP in 2009, Karthik was Pumping Product Line Manager at (CSI Technologies) Superior Energy Services where he was accountable for pumping strategy, product development including research and technical services, teaching, as well as consulting on fracturing, stimulation and fracpack projects. Karthik started his career at Baker Oil Tools in 1998 as a Region Engineer and worked in vessel and skid pumping operations, followed by extensive research in fracturing fluids, formation damage and viscoelastic fluids. Karthik also worked on sand control tools, perforating and fracpack design and execution while at Baker Oil Tools and has been involved in well over 500 fracpacks in his career.

Karthik holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, an M.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA in Finance and Competitive Strategy from the Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. Karthik’s passion includes Sooner football, tinkering in his spouses music recording studio as a music producer and travel. Karthik is and has been a part of several SPE committees: SPE Annual Technical Conference Stim Committee Chair, SPE Formation Damage Committee, Northside Study Group Committee and Westside Study Group Committee in various roles upto committee Chairs. He served in Executive Service Corps of Houston for over two years and was mentored by a group of retired C-Level Executives
helping several Houston area non-profits with their business plans and strategy. Karthik is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Honor Society for Business and Pi Epsilon Tau, Honor Society
of Petroleum Engineering.
Ron NelsonRon Nelson is a deepwater completion engineering consultant, based in British Columbia (BC), Canada. His career also included lead roles as a production engineer, subsea systems engineer, and as a
deepwater well test specialist.

Ron grew up in western Canada and earned his BSc in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1990. His career started in the US Gulf of Mexico and his first deepwater role was as a subsea systems engineer on BP’s Pompano Phase II in 1994. Since then, he’s worked on deepwater subsea projects and exploratory well tests in the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, the North Sea, and the Mediterranean. He returned to Canada with his wife and infant daughter in 2002 and continued to work internationally, rotating for twelve years as a rig-site supervisor and in-country engineer before changing roles to support projects remotely from his home office.

Ron ran his first intelligent completion in Equatorial Guinea in 2005 and became progressively more involved in intelligent well design and equipment performance validation. He works closely with ICV and gauge suppliers and is an active member of SEAFOM TSD-01, developing improved validation standards for subsea optical and electrical feed-thru connector systems.

Ron is now the proud father of three engineering students. He’s been a member of SPE since 1988. He has written and presented papers on intelligent completions, water injection wells, sand control, and novel subsea tool deployment systems.