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Technology Applications

Well-Surveillance System

Zenith Oilfield Technology has developed a system that transforms instrumented data into proactive surveillance, automated production optimization, and effective equipment protection. The Z-Sight well-surveillance system provides the operator with the opportunity to automate the processes involved in managing and optimizing a field of ­artificially lifted wells while reducing the health and safety exposure of sending engineers to well sites. The technology helps increase production by between 5 and 50% on average. The system gathers the instrumented data of each well and processes it with real-time well models, helping to validate missing or estimated well data. Once the validation process is complete, the automated well model can track the operation of the well in more detail than instrumented data alone can provide (Fig. 1). The output of the system is delivered in a variety of formats, from simple recommendations on operation adjustment to detailed performance curves assisting in well diagnosis. The in-depth automated data validation and modeling processes used enable the system to deliver ­minute-by-minute virtual well-test results, dynamically calculate the optimum values for alarm set points to protect the lift equipment, and perform real-time sensitivity studies on the well data to predict potential production gains.

Gearbox Aftermarket Program

The Chemineer Express Gearbox Aftermarket Program ensures Chemineer HT and HS agitator gearboxes (Fig. 2) are ready for shipment. The quick-ship program maximizes process uptime and reduces associated maintenance costs. The program combines an extensive inventory of prebuilt, stocked gearboxes backed by in-field and in-plant service professionals. The program is designed to provide support for customers. It includes repair and refurbishment of all of the company’s gearboxes, seals, shafts, and impellers with original equipment manufacturer parts. The program also offers exchange credit that can be applied toward the purchase of a new gearbox upon the return of any gearbox.

Flow-Simulation Software

Schlumberger’s recently launched PIPESIM 2013 steady-state, multiphase flow-simulation software allows users to plan for, analyze, and optimize the total production system over the complete lifecycle. The 64-bit release, featuring new ribbon toolbar technology and a customizable working environment, accelerates well and network model creation with simulations that run up to 400% faster, while a new parallel network solver distributes and optimizes computational processing power. A graphical wellbore schematic is featured. Wells can be templated, and extensive networks with large well counts can be built. Geographic information system mapping allows users to see wells and facilities spatially, build networks, and quickly capture information, for example pipeline elevation profiles, enabling the modeling of flowlines based on the actual topography of the land or seabed (Fig. 3). Users can efficiently manage consolidated results—including those from multiple simulation runs—accessible in a new results viewer. Two-way integration with the ­Schlumberger OLGA flow-assurance simulator powers integrated steady-state and dynamic modeling.

Stimulation and Production Monitoring

SageRider has monitored horizontal wells in the Woodford shale with its SageWatch Subsurface Surveillance System (Fig. 4), a real-time stimulation and production monitoring system. The operator was able to monitor downhole pressure, temperature, and acoustics throughout completion of multiple offset wells and the monitor host well. The fiber-optic cable and quartz gauges were deployed external to the casing string of the host well and cemented into place, eliminating any internal restrictions in the casing string. Initially, two offset horizontal wells were completed and monitored by the host well. Once the offset wells were stimulated, the host well was completed and stimulated. Data was continually transmitted in real time to the surface during all three completions through a combination of fiber optics and pressure/temperature diagnostic equipment powered from the surface. The data frequency was controlled from the surface, which provided the operator the ability to record at rates as fast as one data set per second. The information was used by the operator to determine proper well spacing, maximize stimulation design, and monitor long-term production. The surveillance system design allows for simultaneous monitoring of as many points or zones as desired within a single wellbore—vertical or horizontal—with any size casing. The system has two installation methods. It can be installed on the outside of the casing, from where it can monitor reservoir activity only, internal casing activity only, or a combination of external and internal activity. This method is either cemented in place or run in conjunction with openhole packers to provide isolation between zones. The system can also be installed into an existing cased wellbore to monitor individual sections within the wellbore. Isolation for this method is accomplished through the use of hydraulic or swellable packers.

Gravel-Pack and Frac-Pack System

Baker Hughes has announced a new gravel-pack and frac-pack system designed to increase operational efficiency by withstanding higher bottomhole temperatures and to improve production ratings. The SC-XP system combines field-proven technology and design enhancements for advanced performance in extreme environments. The single-platform SC-XP can be used for both frac packing and openhole gravel packing (Fig. 5). It can be run into the well up to 30% faster than previous systems. Available in 7⅝-in. and 9⅝-in. sizes, the SC-XP system can operate reliably at temperatures up to 400°F and treating pressures of 15,000 psi, and can convey proppant volumes up to 1,600,000 lbm at a rate of 65 bbl/min while still preserving casing integrity. The system has undergone extensive erosion and stack-up testing at technology centers and test wells. The system is a PayZone solution, designed to help operators maximize recovery from their reservoirs. The SC-XP was introduced in a commercial frac-pack job in the Gulf of Mexico for a major operator in the South Timbalier field. The system was used to frac-pack a completion in 7⅝-in. casing at a depth of 12,600 ft.

Autoloader System

Weatherford’s IsoTube AutoLoader is a gas-collection device that improves the accuracy of data collected for isotopic analysis, particularly in humid climates. When triggered, the system automatically captures and stores mud-gas stream samples in durable aluminum tubes that are autoloaded into a hopper and reloaded after each sample is taken (Fig. 6). Data—including date, time, time zone and universal coordinated time, tube and device serial number, trigger method, sample depth value, and total gas concentration—are recorded onto a radio frequency identification tag and mounted directly on the tube. The ­system helps to eliminate human error by using digital stamping (vs. handwritten labels) and prevents contamination. This Web-driven device can be programmed by the user to take multiple samples and enable or disable the triggers independently. Data files are updated after each sample and can be downloaded in text or Excel formats. Additionally, the AutoLoader has the ability to be used in conjunction with other gas-sampling de­vices for isotope collection.

New Dual-Deck Shale Shaker

M-I Swaco announced its MD-2 dual-deck shale shaker, a durable midrange shaker suitable for both onshore and offshore applications. The dual-deck shale shaker was developed using the proven design of the offshore-suited MD-3 ­triple-deck shaker and uses design elements from the onshore-suited Mongoose Pro shale shaker. In a field trial in south Texas, a 22-in. hole was drilled with two conventional shakers, but, because of capacity limitations, there was a low rate of penetration (ROP). To optimize the solids-control performance, one MD-2 shaker was provided, which processed drilling fluid at a rate of 658 gal/min, or more than twice the two conventional shakers combined. Additionally, the MD-2 shaker handled 100% of the flow throughout the top hole section, thereby maximizing flow rate and maintaining the desired ROP. The small footprint of the MD-2 makes it ideal for space-restricted onshore and offshore drilling rigs, where high-capacity separation efficiency and operational flexibility are needed (Fig. 7). In addition, the combination of the MD-2 shaker and Duraflo composite screens provides nearly double the capacity of a standard single-deck shaker.

Deepwater Drillship

Aberdeen-based Dolphin Drilling un-veiled the identity of a new state-of-the-art drillship (Fig. 8) to be operated by the company. A naming ceremony for the 751-ft-long ultradeepwater asset—now known as Bolette Dolphin—took place at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, where the ship is being built. The drillship, designed for efficient deepwater drilling and completion activity, will start work for Anadarko later this year and has been contracted for a 4-year international campaign. The  Bolette Dolphin is equipped to operate in 12,000 ft of water and has a maximum drilling depth of 40,000 ft.