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Technology Applications

Measurement-While-Drilling Ranging Service

Scientific Drilling International’s MagTraC MWD Ranging system addresses difficult wellbore-placement and risk-mitigation challenges. First introduced in 1998, MagTraC targets applications where uncertainty and risk are major factors in well construction, isolating the Earth’s naturally occurring magnetic field from the magnetic interference signature of a casing string, allowing the distance and direction to the target to be determined and using the raw measurement-while-drilling data to calculate the relative position between wellbores (Fig. 1). Remote data centers ensure that there is no interruption in operations, and results are typically available 15 to 30 minutes after Scientific Drilling’s specialists receive the data, with preliminary results usually becoming available in 15 minutes. MagTraC allows remote ranging where data can be sent without operational shutdown and provides increased safety assurance by eliminating additional survey runs or on-site personnel. Since September of 2013, MagTraC has been used in more than 450 jobs across the globe involving production recovery, fish bypass, plug and abandonment, close-proximity drilling, collision avoidance, ghost-well detection, and kickoff assurance.

For additional information, visit www.scientificdrilling.com.

Casing-Stabilizer Arm

Aker Solutions has developed a casing-stabilizer arm (CSA) that eliminates the need for a person to be elevated on a derrick for tubular makeup. The CSA is designed for both offshore and onshore rigs. The stabilizing mechanism is stowed approximately 33 ft above the drilling floor and includes an internal hydraulic cylinder that extends and closes the padded jaws operated by a radio remote control (Fig. 2). The CSA uses only three hydraulic cylinders to position and mobilize the pipe jaws: lifting, extension, and clamping cylinders. Aker’s unit also provides increased safety features that allow the device to interface with the rig’s anticollision-zone-management system.A warning and alarm system is built into the CSA along with an emergency-shutoff control. Additionally, a shear pin is installed on the unit as a safeguard for unexpected downward clash by hoisting equipment. The CSA is equipped in tubular capacities of 2⅞- to 22-in. diameter without changing jaws. Additionally, it offers wireless remote control and local manual control.

For additional information, visit www.akersolutions.com.

Infinite-Revolution Bit

Baker Hughes has introduced the Hughes Christensen IRev infinite-revolution bit that improves run life while minimizing trips and the number of bits required when drilling in hard and abrasive intervals, including sandstones or complex sections interbedded with softer shales. IRev technology features a cutting structure that includes diamond-impregnated posts that allow an increased rate of rock removal, enabling the bit to drill in places where polycrystalline-diamond-compact bits typically cannot perform (Fig. 3). As diamonds wear away, new diamonds are exposed to enhance performance and extend bit life further. Other new features of the IRev bit include a design that enables higher torque output to deliver greater rate of penetration (ROP). Application-specific diamond grits provide optimal performance by matching technology to application. Depending on the application environment, additional features can be incorporated into the IRev bit to deliver superior performance. New profiles balance workloads better to extend bit life, while improved hydraulics enables more-effective cleaning in hard sections interbedded with stickier, softer shales and siltstones. Posts can be exposed above the blades to improve aggressiveness in less-demanding applications, delivering higher ROP.

For additional information, visit www.bakerhughes.com.

Downhole Video Camera

EV has launched its Optis HD Electric line camera to the well-intervention market. The camera’s new technology allows operators to stream color video at up to 25 frames/second on monoconductor cables with the use of high-speed telemetry and video-compression techniques (Fig. 4). It has been designed for well-integrity inspection and monitoring of downhole corrosion and mechanical damage, including those found in marginal conditions, and it successfully completed a wide run of 100 field-trial jobs in Canada before becoming commercially released in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. The camera features improved speeds and picture quality compared with similar downhole video cameras, allowing for advanced inspection of oilfield subsurface equipment for integrity issues. The system tunes itself to a wide range of cables so that the Optis HD Electric camera works on virtually any cable length or cable type. Its modular design allows it to be run with downview, sideview, or both. Deviation and internal temperature are digitally transmitted to the surface laptop, providing essential information when viewing images.

For additional information, visit www.evcam.com.

Silicate-Based Preflush

PQ Corporation’s Metso 66 Preflush was specifically developed for the removal of oil-based drilling fluid and filter cake and is also suitable for wells drilled with water-based drilling fluid. This multifunctional silicate-based preflush is also designed to improve cement bonds as well as prevent slurry migration and fallback. Metso 66 is a blend of advanced granular sodium silicate, specialty surfactants, and other additives (Fig. 5). The soluble silica and alkali serve several beneficial roles in enhancing the performance of surfactants, such as raising pH, softening water, and reducing the interfacial tension between oil and water. The silicate ion further promotes the partition between the oil and water phases. This translates into greater removal of oil-based drilling fluid with a lower volume of flush material and a corresponding reduction in disposal volumes. Cement bonds are improved by having clean wellbore and casing surfaces that are water-wet as well as primed with soluble silica. Metso 66 is formulated to be readily soluble, even in cold water. A 10 wt% solution of Metso 66 will achieve complete dissolution in 5°C water in less than 10 minutes and can be dissolved in fresh water or seawater.

For additional information, visit www.pqcorp.com.

Distributed Acoustic Sensing System

OptaSense is developing the world’s first fully marinized and qualified distributed-acoustic-sensing (DAS) system in a joint program with Shell. The OptaSense Subsea-DAS system, which will be deployed in water depths up to 10,000 ft, will take proven onshore DAS technology to the offshore oil-and-gas industry, allowing highly accurate acoustic-data acquisition for the first time in this sector. The Subsea-DAS system will provide acoustic data for a wide range of subsea and deep-water applications, including pipeline surveillance and leak detection, geo-positioning, in-well monitoring, subsea-assembly-condition monitoring, and permanent reservoir monitoring. The multiapplication device will include functional and technical parameters configurable in software, thereby avoiding different hardware for settings or functions. The marinization process will require the re-engineering of OptaSense’s existing DAS interrogator unit to reduce its size to fit into a pressure canister (Fig. 6). The modified optoelectronics will be tested to ensure that they meet the stringent temperature, vibration, shock, and electrical certifications required of subsea equipment. The Subsea-DAS unit is anticipated to be ready for demonstration by mid-2014.

For additional information, visit www.optasense.com.

Surface Multiphase Flowmeter

Schlumberger’s Vx Spectra surface multi-phase flowmeter enables operators to obtain flow-rate measurements in production testing and permanent monitoring. Vx Spectra technology delivers flow measurements in wider applications than do conventional metering systems, enabling measurements in various flow conditions from heavy oil to wet gas. The new flowmeter uses full gamma spectroscopy to provide the highest accuracy in multiphase-production measurement (Fig. 7). The flowmeter introduces two new Venturi throat sizes adapted to an extended range of flow rates. The Vx Spectra 19 mm monitors low-rate producing wells down to 30 B/D, and the 40-mm-Venturi version introduces a midrange multiphase meter with high flexibility to match oil- and gas-production flow rates. Modular design configurations offer easy integration with operators’ production facilities. To confirm the metrological performance of the Vx Spectra flowmeter, extensive testing was conducted, acquiring more than 400 test points at four industry-reference flow-loop-metering facilities. Tests were conducted with various fluids and at different pressures and flow regimes.

For additional information, visit www.slb.com.