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Technology Applications

Electrical Wellhead Outlet

AnTech Limited unveiled its new Type C, the smallest model in the company’s extensive range of wellhead outlets that continuously monitor downhole pressure and temperature in permanent completions (Fig. 1). The Type C uses a threaded wellhead connection in linking the downhole cable to the surface telemetry system and is attached to the wellhead to provide a safe connection between the cables and seal against downhole pressure. The configuration ensures that the integrity of the wellhead is maintained and electrical connections are secure, even if the downhole cable is flooded. The Type C uses pressure-testable cablehead technology that requires few connections to be made up. The Type C is certified for use in hazardous areas, meets with corrosion standards, and has been successfully pressure-tested in keeping with American Petroleum Institute requirements. It operates to 15,000 psi and in temperatures as high as 160°C. The Type C is available in models that are compatible with single, dual, and triple conductors, and can be supplied in ¼-in. configurations.

Drilling-Fluid System

Baker Hughes has announced the availability of its MPRESS drilling–fluid system, which can improve drilling economics by enabling operators to manage circulating pressure more efficiently (Fig. 2). The system allows operators to reduce their standpipe pressure and apply more horsepower to the bottomhole assembly and drill bit, thereby increasing rates of penetration and decreasing nonproductive time. MPRESS also reduces viscosity in the drillstring while optimizing viscosity in the annulus for more efficient cuttings transport. The pressure saved in the drillstring can be used to increase flow rate, provide more power to motors and bits, and save wear and tear on surface equipment. The system features elevated ultralow-shear-rate viscosity and a shear-thinning rheological profile with a “rapid-set/easy-break” gel structure that minimizes the cuttings in the vertical section of the wellbore settling into the curve during connections and trips. Both the elevated viscosity and the rapid-set gels help keep the wellbore clean and minimize torque and drag associated with cuttings beds in the lateral section.

Silica Technology

Produced Water Absorbents (PWA) has commercially launched its Osorb media technology, an organically modified silica for the treatment of oilfield water and gas streams (Fig. 3). The silica medium is hydrophobic and does not absorb water, but can remove more than 99% of free, dispersed, and soluble hydrocarbons and toxic contaminants from water and gas streams. The technology is applied in both onshore and offshore applications for the purposes of discharge, chemical enhanced oil recovery, reinjection, beneficial reuse, prevention of membrane fouling, air-emission controls, and offshore excursions. No permanent chemical bonds are formed between the medium and the contaminants during these processes because the medium is both an adsorbent and an absorbent. This lack of permanent bonding enables the repeated regeneration and reuse of the media while also recovering the captured contaminants. Regeneration can be achieved by use of various processes that typically maximize resources available on site, such as gaseous purge.

Pressure Sensors

Honeywell Sensing and Control has introduced two new additions to its Wing Union/Hammer Union line of pressure sensors, with potential applications in oil and gas drilling, mud pumps and mud logging, fracturing and cementing, acidizing, wellhead measurement, and standpipe stimulation. Model 425 is available in two accuracy levels, while the Model 427 provides a wide and shallow sensing port that facilitates an effective flow of more viscous media blends. Built on the Wing Union one-piece design with stainless-steel construction (Fig. 4), both models provide accurate and reliable data for detection of small changes in pressure, allowing the operator to quickly adjust media flow pressure during drilling operations. This helps drilling operators optimize oil-withdrawal rates and profile potentially dangerous conditions to increase safety of drilling personnel. Both models offer multiple electrical connections and are designed for quick field installation, offering resistance to torque stress at hammer-up with field-adjustable zero and span for reliable long-term performance.

Platform Supply Vessel

The first of six Damen 3300 platform supply vessels (PSVs), the World Diamond, has been delivered to Norwegian offshore support company World Wide Supply (WWS). The 400-t-deck–capacity PSV 3300 is the result of extensive design work in close cooperation with the client and full tank testing (Fig. 5). The World Diamond will be the first PSV in the new series to be delivered to launching customer WWS (Norway). Damen’s current Offshore Series includes PSVs ranging from 1500 to 6500 deadweight tonnage; Fast Crew Suppliers from 19 to 67 m in length, featuring the slamming-reducing Sea Axe bow; Anchor-Handling Tug Suppliers with 75 to 200 t of bollard pull; the Offshore Heavy-Lift Vessel 1800; the Ro-Ro Deep Dredge; various standby and multipurpose support vessels; and the new Damen Offshore Carrier 7500, featuring a 2300-m2 deck area.

Telescopic Gangway

Offshore Solutions BV has released its Offshore Access System, a 21-m, hydraulically operated telescopic gang–way fitted with an active heave–compensation system (Fig. 6). It is the only heave-compensated gangway system that can maintain a permanent connection. The gangway comprises a pedestal, operator cabin, telescopic boom, and gripper platform. With continuous 24-hour connection and operating capability, it incorporates a motion–reference unit in its active hydraulic system, which, when engaged, maintains the walkway tip at a constant height relative to the horizon. This allows the gangway to be connected safely to a fixed offshore installation in unstable sea conditions when mounted onboard a suitable vessel. Once connected, the heave compensation is disengaged and the gangway is allowed to float between the vessel and the installation. The walkway is robustly connected and automatically compensates for the six movement planes of the vessel motion.

Logging-While-Drilling Service

Halliburton has introduced its XBAT azimuthal sonic and ultrasonic logging-while-drilling (LWD) service (Fig. 7). The XBAT LWD service delivers accurate acoustic measurements in a wide range of formations through sensors and electronics that are less sensitive to drilling noise and have a wide frequency response. The result is a greater signal/noise ratio that enables better measurements even in noisy drilling environments and poor hole conditions. The XBAT LWD service has delivered accurate measurements in formations across the globe and has been tested extensively in the challenging environments of the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The XBAT LWD service uses four discrete transmitters and four azimuthally spaced receiver arrays. Each receiver is sensitive across a broad range of frequencies and is isolated from the collar to eliminate bit and mud-circulation noise. Using results from a broad range of frequencies, the XBAT LWD service provides a 3D image of the velocities around the wellbore.

Swellable Elastomer

TAM International has launched a new line of FastSwell elastomers (Fig. 8). The elastomers provide a fast, controlled swell time at lower temperatures and high salinities. The FastSwell product line was developed specifically for current challenging water-swell conditions in the Permian Basin and Russian fracture markets, but both water-swell and oil-swell elastomers are now available worldwide. The elastomers perform well for fracture applications between 80 and 120°F. The technology reduces production delays for well operators working in low bottomhole temperatures because it allows hydraulic-fracturing operations and completion activities to commence more quickly. FastSwell does not rely on protective coatings to prevent premature swelling during the trip in the hole; reliable prediction of swell times is designed into the numerous compounds developed specifically for various global well-environment applications.

Metal-Capturing Tool for Wellbores

The 5D Oilfield Magnetics Open Hole Net (OHN) catches metal dropped into wellbores (wrenches, chain, shackles, bolts, nuts, washers, tong dies, and hand tools). The OHN also catches metal coming out of the wellbore and allows captured materials to be retrieved or measured (Fig. 9). The OHN is a system of specially designed magnets that take the place of the bell nipple when the discharge is built into the unit. The system is designed to take the magnetic field out of the internal diameter of the OHN when operations that could be affected by a strong magnetic field, such as measurement-while-drilling, LWD, or wireline logging tools, are executed in a well program. The OHN is installed by the rig crew, and no power source or operator is required.