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Technology Applications

Chris Carpenter, JPT Technology Editor

Chemical-Resistant Protective Coating

Tnemec introduced a solids epoxy liner for use in transport tanks containing chemical blends or acids used in hydraulic fracturing. Series 391 Tank Armor is a chemical-resistant formulation that has been tested extensively for severe chemical-immersion environments (Fig. 1). It meets industry requirements such as rapid return to service, one-coat application, high-build capabilities, ease of application, and long-term durability. It also offers corrosion protection against hydrochloric acid and selected chemical combinations, along with toluene and xylene blends that may also be used for well service treatment. When spray-applied in a single, high-build coat by plural-component equipment, it is possible to conduct high-voltage testing within hours of application, then repair any voids and return the tank or trailer to service, usually within 24 to 36 hours. Series 391 contains no solvent, is volatile-organic-compound compliant, and is abrasion-resistant. It is applied at 20 to 40 mils of dry-film thickness. 

Gaseous-Fueled Mobile Generators

Magnum Power Products introduced a line of gaseous-fueled mobile generators. Ranging from 100 to 396 kW, the new line can run directly on well gas in addition to natural gas and propane (Fig. 2). Well gas is traditionally flared in oil and gas applications. By running directly on this well gas, the Magnum gaseous-fueled generators offer users significant savings in daily fuel costs. To account for fluctuations in well gas, the generators provide paralleling capabilities and automatic changeover so that power output is maintained. The generators allow a site to maintain power without customer interaction and are supported by an extensive service network. Each unit in this new line features a heavy-duty spark-ignited engine designed to handle the impurities that come from running on raw natural gas. The engine–management systems automatically adjust to run on propane, natural gas, or well gas. The full-featured controller can be programmed in the field for customized installations, and the sound-attenuating enclosure ensures quiet operation.

Extended-Reach Coiled-Tubing Service

Baker Hughes introduced the EasyReach extended-reach coiled-tubing (CT) service to provide operators with an economical solution to reach total depth consistently in extended-reach laterals (Fig. 3). The service comprises advanced simulation software, a lubricant specifically designed for downhole CT applications, and a field-proven fluid-hammer tool. It provides predictable performance during cleanouts, acidizing, stimulations, and other CT applications in long horizontal wells. Proprietary modeling software is used to design and execute the service. When necessary, the fluid-hammer tool periodically interrupts fluid flow to pull the tubing deeper into the well. It also reduces friction and delays the onset of helical buckling and lockup. The lubricant reduces mechanical friction with improved sliding efficiency and higher rates of penetration, offering consistent performance in extreme environments. The service was applied to a horizontal monobore with 5½-in. casing during a recent field trial. The service reduced the wellbore’s coefficient of friction to 0.13 (from the measured value of 0.24 obtained on previous runs) and enabled CT to reach total depth with enough available weight to activate the deployment packer and complete the job. On the basis of the service’s performance in this well, combining the lubricant with the fluid-hammer tool would have permitted the operator to perform the desired application in a lateral more than 13,000 ft in length. 

Radio-Frequency-Identification Reader

Juniper Systems’ radio-frequency-identification (RFID) reader IDBLUE works in conjunction with the company’s line of rugged handheld computers to provide flexible RFID capabilities. Because RFID technology works well in extreme environments, it has become a preferred data-capture tool over barcode scanning for many applications. RFID technology has matured in recent years and has become increasingly cost–effective. Unlike barcode scanning technology, RFID technology uses electromagnetic (radio) waves to transmit information. RFID tags are designed to operate in rugged environments and to store specific data. The IDBLUE reader is intended for short-range applications, enabling users to narrow down to a specific asset’s data. The pen-shaped RFID reader doubles as a capacitive stylus and features a pocket-sized, ergonomic design (Fig. 4). It is available in both high-frequency and ultrahigh–frequency models. Juniper Systems’ rugged handheld computers, used in conjunction with the IDBLUE reader, are also designed to be used in extreme environments, featuring waterproof and dustproof hardware, 
sunlight-readable displays, extra-long battery life, and dependable connectivity to Bluetooth, wi-fi, and global–positioning-system technology.

Liquid-Level Indicator

The SOR Controls Group 1100 Series magnetic level indicator can visually indicate the liquid level of almost any process media while offering total isolation of the process within a sealed piping column. This design eliminates several common challenges, including leaking seals, clouded glasses, and broken glass tubing, and in addition allows easy-access cleaning and adaptation to a variety of mounting styles and process connections (Fig. 5). Multiple devices can be triggered by the magnetic field of the 1100 Series float. It is possible to attach other level instruments to the outside of the primary chamber or in a secondary chamber, providing a less-expensive system than would a buildup of sight glasses, alarm switches, and transmitters, all separately piped to the vessel. The 1100 Series can be used in a variety of environments, including oil/water separators, flash drums, surge tanks, gas chillers, vacuum tower bottoms, alkylation units, propane vessels, and storage tanks.

Imaging and Analysis System

Paradigm’s EarthStudy 360 full-azimuth angle domain imaging and analysis system offers asset-targeted seismic imaging and reservoir-characterization services for subsalt and shale-resource plays. Paradigm’s seismic processing and imaging solutions reduce uncertainty and improve reliability through better seismic signal quality, positioning, and content. EarthStudy 360 creates an abundance of seismic image data, decomposed into full-azimuth, angle-dependent reflection and directional (dip and azimuth) data components. These can be sampled selectively, combined creatively, visualized dynamically, and processed further to secure -images of the subsurface (Fig. 6). The -images can reveal the information needed for velocity-model determination and can provide details regarding the presence of microfractures, the orientation of faults and fractures, the influence of anisotropy, the directions of contributing illumination, and the elastic properties of target reservoirs. EarthStudy 360 is most effective for imaging and analysis in unconventional gas plays within shale formations and in fractured carbonate reservoirs. The system produces accurate images from below complex structures. These result in optimal solutions for anisotropic tomography and for fracture detection and reservoir characterization. 

Natural-Oil Surfactant

Stepan introduced its STEPOSOL MET-10U surfactant, derived from natural oils and designed to displace solvents. The solution is the first commercial product launched by Stepan as part of its joint-development agreement with Elevance Renewable Sciences. A naturally derived feedstock forms a bio-based surfactant that achieves sustainability goals while improving cleaning performance. Its applications are broad, including adhesive removal, paint- and coating-removal systems, and all-purpose cleaners for both consumer and industrial uses. As an adhesive remover, STEPOSOL MET-10U provides equivalent removal of various adhesives at 5% concentration in aqueous phase compared with 100% n-methyl pyrrolidone, and, as a paint remover, it achieves safe and efficient removal of latex paint at 5% concentration in aqueous phase compared with 100% solvent systems with methylene chloride. STEPOSOL MET-10U product attributes include its Kauri-butanol value greater than 1,000, a boiling point of 297°C, a Biorenewable Carbon Index rating of 75%, and a formulating pH range of 3 to 12. These parameters create a high-strength, nonvolatile surfactant.

Torque-Turn-Analysis Software

In collaboration with premium-connection manufacturers, Weatherford recently enhanced its TorkPro torque-turn-analysis software to deliver more-precise connection-torqueing capabilities and significantly reduce the risk of costly or catastrophic leaks. Connection-makeup acceptance and accuracy are critical to casing-string integrity, which provides a secure mechanical formation barrier for the life of a well, and overall well integrity. Challenged with higher torque requirements around premium connections and metal-to-metal seals with tubulars, the industry has a heightened focus on connection integrity. By comparing real-time job reports with the latest connection-manufacturer requirements, TorkPro evaluates the data and automatically populates comments about the connection condition on a graph, which then prompts the technician to take corrective action (Fig. 7). The software monitors, analyzes, and reports torque-turn data for all tubing and casing connections, and has expanded traditional acceptance criteria to include delta turns, shoulder slope, statistics snapshots, and connection overlays to enable quick comparisons with historical data and identification of unusual connection profiles. The ability to view connection makeup in real time, in an office or on a mobile device, can reduce on-site headcount and further enhances the speed with which connection problems are resolved. 

Stainless-Steel Static-Grounding Reel

The Rota-Reel 200-20R-ST and 700-50R-ST static-grounding reels are now available from Hunter Spring Products, a unit of Ametek. The entire exterior of the reels (housing, cable, end clamps, and hardware) is made from 304 stainless steel (Fig. 8). Static-grounding reels are used extensively in the petroleum industry, where they are often mounted on refueling vehicles and on platforms at fueling stations. They are also used in industry to ground large pieces of equipment, such as conveyor belts, mixing machines, and dust-collection equipment, especially where there may be a potential risk of explosion caused by static electricity. 304 stainless steel offers extensive corrosion resistance, and, as a low-sparking material, it is widely accepted for use in hazardous (explosive) environments. These reels are designed to convey static electricity to an earth/ground source safely without producing a spark. The grounding cable is stored on a spool inside the reel’s housing. The cable is pulled from the housing to a desired length and clamped to an earth/ground source. An internal ratchet mechanism keeps the cable fixed at the desired length. A light tug releases the ratchet and allows the cable to rewind onto the spool.