Completions are becoming ever more complex, and there is a growing need to both monitor and control production at the reservoir interface. As such, the current widespread use of control line systems has been placed under scrutiny, highlighting significant operational cost and risk. Control line based systems require additional operation time as well as increasing the number of pressure feedthroughs in the system. For example, a typical hydraulic valve system has three lines, plus an additional line per extra device, once above a single node. Control line systems also rely on surface infrastructure to provide either hydraulic or electrical power.
Devices can be categorised in two states, ‘Gauge’ (P,T etc.) and ‘Control’ (ICV, Sleeve etc.). Downhole Gauges are a mature product and have many 1000s of installations. These provide a high data rate and have lifetimes from 5yrs up to 15yrs and beyond. The main barriers to adoption are the long control lines, the inherent cost, and impact on other completion equipment.