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Technology Applications

Sourceless Formation Evaluation While Drilling

Schlumberger has developed a new ­logging-while-drilling (LWD) technology that provides a formation-­density measurement without the need for a chemical nuclear source. The NeoScope ­formation-evaluation-while-drilling service (Fig. 1) uses pulsed-neutron-­generator technology that eliminates the need for chemical sources. This unique technology provides real-time measurements close to the bit to guide interpretation and decision making in all drilling environments. The new sourceless neutron/gamma-density measurement enables comprehensive sourceless formation evaluation from a single 25-ft collar, which is the shortest multi­function LWD suite available. The service offers a full suite of sourceless ­formation-evaluation measurements, including spectroscopy, sigma, neutron porosity, and neutron/gamma density. The service also delivers gamma ray images and array-resistivity measurements for well placement.

High-Performance Hydraulic Hammers

Extremely high structural integrity and high levels of control can be achieved when conductors are driven into place with a hydraulic hammer. The CIS S-90 (Fig. 2) and S-150 hammers are ideal for sinking steel piles, H-beams, and offshore piles and for conductor driving. The hammers combine a solid one-piece ram with a fully enclosed hammer housing. The modular structure protects the working parts from the elements and reduces the risk of breakdowns. The hammers’ wide operating window, from –20 to 50°C, enables their use in most climates. There are no waste gases or oil splashes, and the oil-lubricated bearings have a long service life. The company’s onshore team can provide support and guidance if project plans need to be adjusted before or during the execution phase. The company can take full ­project-management responsibility for the process of installing conductors, including performing engineering studies, recommending and manufacturing the drive shoes, supervising the shoe welding, and supplying all the ­conductor-handling equipment along with the hammer equipment. Once the driving is finished, the project can be completed by cutting and beveling the conductor, making it ready for the wellhead to be fitted.

Streamlined Tubular Management

Handling wellbore tubulars is a major well cost. Weatherford’s tubular-­management services address operators’ needs for cost reduction and quality connections. The company integrates expertise, infrastructure, and technology to provide total tubular care from pipe yard to the wellsite, to improve operational efficiency and well integrity. Designed to the specific operational needs of onshore and offshore projects either in remote locations or with mature infrastructure, these services include tubular storage, thread-inspection and repair, and float-shoe and float-collar makeup. This service eliminates much of the burden of the well-operators’ tubular program by reducing personnel and infrastructure needs. By use of the company’s bucking systems (Fig. 3) that ensure high connection quality, joints can be made up in doubles and triples off line to deliver substantial improvements to operating costs and well integrity. These services have delivered significant cost savings in a variety of project types across the globe. For example, these services have resulted in more than USD 1 million in savings in operations in deep water of the Gulf of Mexico and onshore Brunei. In offshore Northwest Australia, operators estimate a savings of USD 6.9 million in a six-well program.

Fracturing-Fluid Viscometer

Brookfield Engineering Laboratories’ PVS process viscometer combines Rheo­vision 2012 software and the TT100 ­viscometer (Fig. 4) to provide real-time monitoring of rheological properties of fracturing fluids. The process viscometer enables setting tests and is quickly packaged up and moved. It is extremely reliable, easy to calibrate, and easy to use. Its small footprint is important for efficiency of space on site. Traditionally, field engineers at the wellsite use a small bench-top viscometer with coaxial-cylinder geometry to test grab samples of the fracturing fluid, a method frequently yields variations in viscosity as the fluid is blended and pumped into the well. However, this process viscometer provides real-time in-line measurements for gels moving in pressurized lines from blenders before being pumped downhole. It verifies continuously, at the wellsite, that the rheology of the fracturing fluid is within established specifications and provides an alarm indication when it is not, thus providing the means for precise, real-time viscosity control along with a complete and accurate record of the fracturing process. The result is reduced costs, less wear on equipment, and lower risk of damage to the formation.

Sulfate Reduction

The Global Industrial Water NFX nanofiltration membrane (Fig. 5) provides high-efficiency liquid separation. These membranes have an approximate ­molecular-weight cutoff of 150–300 daltons, with an average MgSO4 rejection of 99.3% or higher. This membrane rejects divalent and multivalent ions, while ­monovalent-ion rejection depends on the concentration in the feed stream. This membrane operates at lower pressures than reverse-osmosis membranes, offering lower energy and equipment costs for applications that do not require high salt-rejection rates. These membranes reduce levels of heavy metals, hardness, nitrates, sulfates, tannins, turbidity, color, and total dissolved solids, including moderate levels of salt, from feed-water streams. In addition, pH is virtually unchanged from the incoming source so that the permeate is not aggressive and will not cause increased corrosion. Field testing has shown possible increases in flux of 70–100% greater than current-­industry-standard nanofiltration membranes. Removal of sulfate, which has roughly an 8% concentration in seawater, is key in reducing scaling at offshore platforms. If untreated seawater is mixed with formation water that contains barium and strontium, significant barium sulfate and strontium sulfate scaling and reservoir souring can occur. The use of nanofiltration membranes with high sulfate rejection and monovalent- and divalent-ion selectivity would be a cost-effective method for achieving sulfate removal.

Intelligent Acoustic Sensor

Silixa’s fiber-optic technology provides an order-of-magnitude-better response in terms of resolution, measurement time, range, and sensitivity than previous sensors. The iDAS is an intelligent distributed acoustic sensor that measures the true acoustic field at every meter along tens of kilometers of optical fiber, capturing the acoustic amplitude, frequency, and phase of the acoustic signal with a wide dynamic range (>120 dB). The sensor’s ability to stack repetitive seismic signals, together with its digital-­synthetic-aperture beam-­forming capability, allows the user to map the acoustic-noise field and offers the possibility to use the sensor as a massive acoustic camera that can be deployed inland or offshore in a linear, 2D, or 3D array configuration. The distributed-sensing system is used in a variety of well-­surveillance applications, including distributed flow metering, distributed seismic imaging, fracture mapping, and well-­integrity monitoring. The sensor technology can be combined with the company’s distributed-­temperature sensor, Ultima DTS, to provide a continuum of benefits throughout the life of a well from exploration to drilling and completion, production, and reservoir management. Applications include seismic appraisal at the borehole, cement evaluation, monitoring fracturing treatments, fracture analysis, flow profiling, monitoring casing leaks, and gas lift and ­electrical-submersible-pump optimization. Several advanced embedded data-handling and visualization tools have been developed to process the high volume of data generated by the sensor. Acoustic-array processing allows the speed of sound in the material surrounding the fiber to be determined accurately. In multiphase-flow measurement, the speed of sound can be used to profile the fluid composition, such as the presence of gas in oil at different zones along the wellbore. Also, the fluid velocity can be mapped by measuring the difference in speeds of sound caused by Doppler shift introduced in the moving fluid.

Borehole-Data Imaging

Petris Technology announced the release of its PetrisWINDS Impetus 5.4.1, a Recall Application. As a borehole-image-­interpretation package, the application allows users to incorporate all of their data, including core, stratigraphy, and wireline, into one workflow to make the interpretation of image logs more efficient and integrated. This release incorporates all of the key features of the former Image Display package but, in a much more intuitive and modern interface, with preconfigured templates for many standard imaging applications. With more than 35 improvements and enhancements, the new release brings increased ease of use and powerful new functionality for both image-log processing and as an interpretation tool for both novice users and experts. In addition to enhanced visualization and improved picking, the application offers more shortcuts and fewer button clicks to complete tasks.

Emissions-Free Glycol Pump

Kimray has introduced its first electrical-powered glycol pump (Fig. 6), designed to withstand the stresses of gas dehydration and provide low-emission operation. The pump uses a patented hydraulically balanced diaphragm to pump particles in suspension, resulting in less maintenance for the end user. The pump is a positive-displacement-diaphragm pump that separates the process fluid from the internal mechanisms. It can be used to circulate glycol in natural-gas-­dehydration systems or can be used for desulfurization and chemical-injection applications. The pump operates in conjunction with a properly sized electric motor, either directly connected or belt driven. The pump requires no gas to operate and has no emissions into the environment. The compact design and doubled-ended shaft provide a variety of installation options. The pump performs at 1.5 to 8.3 gal/min at pressures from 0 to 1,500 psi and temperatures up to 250°F.