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Technology Applications

Expandable Liner Hanger

Weatherford’s TruForm expandable-liner-hanger system is engineered precisely by use of a proprietary expandable-steel technology. The hanger has a one-piece, thick-walled expandable body that provides maximum seal integrity while recessed tungsten carbide inserts (Fig. 1) enable higher hanging capacity for a longer life than rubber elements can provide. The thick-walled, single-piece body has no moving parts, no slips, no cylinders, no cones, and no elements exposed to the annulus that can be damaged when running into the hole. After expansion, this thicker steel-wall body can handle the same high pressures from above and below the elements, providing a superior performance envelope. Precision placement of tungsten carbide inserts provides maximum holding capacity. They can withstand the weight of long liners and high piston forces created during installation, and are recessed to protect the casing from damage while running in hole. Qualified to ISO 14310 V0 standards at 12,000 psi, the packer system has multiple redundant elastomeric elements flanked with solid antiextrusion barriers that deform during expansion to eliminate extrusion gaps. This process creates a positive seal between the expanded liner hanger and the host casing, and provides maximum differential-pressure capability.

Drillable Reamer

Deep Casing Tools’ Turbocaser Express is a high-speed drillable reaming system (Fig. 2) that enables casings and intermediate liners to be landed at target depth first time. The internal assembly can be drilled through in minutes after normal cementation in one operation, which reduces nonproductive time, increases wellbore integrity, and decreases operating costs. Several recent runs have been completed successfully in Saudi Arabia. The tool eliminates the need for wiper trips, uses a low pump rate and low pressure, and is drilled out with the same process and a standard float shoe. No string rotation is required to ream through obstructions. Once landed at the target depth, the casing and reamer are cemented in place. The drillable motor allows continued drilling of new hole.

Mud Mixers

Chemineer mixers use high-efficiency gearboxes designed specifically for agitator service and have configurations for mud-mixing applications (Fig. 3). Use of advanced impeller technology enhances the mixing performance. Proprietary analysis software is available to evaluate process parameters and ensure proper impeller selection for specific drilling-mud mixing conditions. These mud mixers have proven performance of mixing in large and deep mud tanks. The highly efficient impeller technology reduces the horsepower requirements and the blade erosion compared with canted impellers and submersible mixers. These mixers provide uniform suspension of solids for optimal drilling-mud consistency.

Transition-Zone Bit

An Ulterra 12.25-in. U616M bit (Fig. 4) drilled the Cana Woodford shale intermediate section in one run, in place of two to three bits typically used to drill this highly transitional section. The bit drilled the entire 9,145-ft section in 238.5 hours. Historically, this transitional section of hard sandstones, limestones, and shales required multiple bits to complete the interval. The variable nature of the interbedded intervals makes smooth drilling difficult, and the resultant stick/slip, abrasive wear, and transitional impact result in cutter damage. This bit was stable throughout the interval. Its design provided a smooth and stable drilling action and limited the transitional-impact damage, thus allowing the cutters to maintain their original sharp-edge geometry longer. The bit uses new-generation cutters that balance abrasion and impact resistance. The engineers closely matched these abrasion-resistant cutters to this western Oklahoma application, resulting in longer runs through harder formations at a faster rate of penetration.

Flowmeter Calibration

Fluid Components International’s ST100 Series thermal mass flowmeter is available with the VeriCal In-Situ Calibration Verification System (Fig. 5). The system is designed to comply with the US Minerals Management Service mandate that all domestic-US offshore rigs that process more than an average of 2,000 BOPD install flare-/vent-gas flowmeters. The system allows for the verification of flowmeter calibration in minutes without removing the meter from the pipe or process and enables complying with environmental-regulation requirements. The flow sensing is adaptable to meet plant gas-flow-measurement applications. The meter’s graphical readout provides continuous display of all process measurements and alarm status, and has the ability to interrogate for service diagnostics. The meter stores up to five unique calibration groups to accommodate broad flow ranges and differing mixtures of the same gas and multiple gases. The meter can be calibrated to measure wet gas, mixed gases, and dirty gases. These flowmeters include service up to 850°F and are approved for hazardous environments.

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Riser Monitoring

DrillASSURE, from Pulse-Structural Monitoring, provides critical information to support day-to-day drilling operations and longer-term integrity management through a combination of hardware, software, and analytical tools. The system uses real-time software in conjunction with inputs from sensors on the topside vessel, on the lower marine riser package, and along the length of the riser to provide a fully integrated solution to optimize drilling operations and improve safety. The interfaces are designed to help operators and contractors optimize the use of the drilling-riser inventory, identify optimum operating windows, and conduct safe campaigns by analyzing conditions constantly in real time. New software modules include DrillJOINT (inventory system detailing location, availability, technical specification, previous use, and maintenance history), DrillWINDOW (predrilling analy­sis of static and dynamic operating windows and hangoff envelopes), and DrillADVISE (used to calculate parameters such as vessel position, flex-joint angles, and environmental conditions and presents interpretable data in real time to guide the user on proceeding safely and efficiently).

Viscometer Temperature Control

Brookfield Engineering has introduced its TC Series Circulating Water Baths (Fig. 6) that are configured for use with the company’s viscometers and rheometers. The four models—TC-150, TC-250, TC-550, and TC-650—are offered with either digital or programmable controllers, and they feature control heads that swivel, adjusting to a position that best suits the operator. The new menu-driven color touch screen has a “Help” button that provides valuable user tips and information, and it operates in any of six languages. Operating temperatures range by model from −20 to 200°C. The bath accommodates a 600-mL beaker so that the viscosity can be measured directly in the bath. Detecting sample-property changes is valuable for predicting a product’s performance. Temperature control during viscosity measurement helps ensure accurate test results.

Plugs and Seals

Federal-Mogul has introduced its Redi portfolio of rubber products with high dimensional stability for use in oil and gas drilling. The new portfolio includes cementing plugs, well-pump fluid-end D-rings, hammer-union seals, and swivel-joint seals (Fig. 7). The patent-pending construction method used to manufacture the cementing plugs enables greater control of key product dimensions and tolerances for improved performance. Field tests have shown that the cementing plugs can withstand extreme pressures, and they are available in standard industry sizes. The hammer-union seals, swivel-joint seals, and fluid-end D-rings have innovative designs to eliminate leaks, addressing the highest-occurring failure modes in the field. These products are designed to withstand high pressures, temperature fluctuations, and industrial chemicals, while providing superior sealing performance.

Reservoir Modeling

Emerson Process Management has released its Roxar RMS 2012 reservoir-modeling software. The software is an expansion into the geophysics domain through a completely integrated reservoir-modeling workflow that includes seismic interpretation, reservoir simulation, reservoir-behavior predictions, and uncertainty management. Key new features include seismic inversion, seismic attributes, and field planning. RMS Seismic Inversion enables the use of seismic data to create a rock-property model. High-frequency information from well logs is combined with band-limited-frequency information from the seismic data to provide a fast and highly automated seismic-inversion tool. RMS Seismic Attributes is a visualization toolkit that enables modelers to extract value from their seismic data by creating attributes that define reservoir structure more clearly and guide the user through the facies-modeling process. The RMS Field Planning functionality enables modelers to create multiple, optimal-well plans for their fields. It reduces the number of planning iterations and speeds up the planning process.

Wellbore In Zone

The iPZIG at-the-bit inclination, gamma ray, and imaging service from PathFinder, a Schlumberger company, is an image gamma and inclination tool positioned directly behind the bit (Fig. 8). This tool was developed for high-efficiency drilling applications. By making critical steering measurements close to the bit, the tool helps optimize well placement in target zones through early bed-boundary detection. Drilling engineers and geoscientists that use real-time data for geosteering decisions can receive the required information within inches of the bit. The tool can be paired with geosteering capabilities such as the PayZone Steering real-time forward-modeling service. This service predicts responses of the total natural gamma ray and natural gamma ray images of the formations along the proposed well path by use of a direct correlation with logs run in offset wells. The real-time imaging responses are compared with the predicted/modeled responses to determine the location of the well path within the formation and to maintain the borehole within the production zone.