Horizontal wells are a widely applied architecture in modern field developments. However, because of the frictional pressure drop and reservoir permeability variations along the well, there is usually a non-uniform influx from the reservoir along the length and higher injection or production flow rates at the heel. Inflow control devices (ICDs) have been used for more than a decade to balance or equalize flow rates by creating additional pressure drop. To improve performance and longevity of the ICDs, their design must account for axial non-uniformity of pressure distribution and fluid flow details in the vicinity of the wellbore.
This paper discusses an effective approach to the problem and analytical solution of the pressure and flow field near the ICD section of the wellbore and prediction of the leveling of the non-uniform axial pressure distribution as a function of distance from the wellbore. The obtained analytical equations are validated through comparison with results of detailed numerical simulation using the finite difference method.