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Technology Applications

Chris Carpenter, JPT Technology Editor

Gauge Hanger

Peak Well Systems introduced its Hi-Ex gauge hanger for the slickline deployment of data-acquisition devices through narrow constrictions in the well. Its slim yet highly expandable design minimizes flow restriction, enabling operators to record accurate data during production or injection conditions. The Hi-Ex is deployed during well testing and production monitoring and can also be used as an anchoring platform in nonmonobore wells. It comes in two chassis sizes, 2.200- and 3.600-in. outer diameter, and can be set in a range of tubing sizes from 4½ through 9⅝ in. The Hi-Ex is deployed from surface by use of Peak’s nonexplosive eSetting Tool. At the required depth in the well, the eSetting Tool activates and sets the Hi-Ex, expanding its arms and centralizing itself in the tubing (Fig. 1). The Hi-Ex is anchored in the well by bidirectional slips. The hanger is retrieved with an external fishing-neck pulling tool. Once latched, light upward jarring unsets the device. The hanger can then be recovered to surface along with any gauges that may have been deployed.

Lift-and-Deployment ROV System

Deep Blue Engineering UK announced the introduction of its Shuttle Sub. The new lift-and-deployment system is a payload-carrying remotely operated vehicle (ROV) (Fig. 2). It is used to install and retrieve equipment, lay cable, and conduct salvage operations. Even when laden with a payload of 100 t, the Shuttle Sub can float, dive, surface, and maintain neutral buoyancy, so it is ideally suited for work being carried out in deepwater environments on or near the seabed. The Shuttle Sub does not require an additional ROV to conduct visual monitoring or connector installation activities subsea. Instead, technicians on a support vessel carry out these tasks remotely. As with a conventional ROV, technicians monitor and control subsea activities by an umbilical between the Shuttle Sub and the vessel at the surface, but the Shuttle Sub is unique is that it is also the payload carrier, transferring deployment and retrieval tasks to the ROV. This provides optimum control and removes the need for lift-line-based operations. The Shuttle Sub performs all of the functions of a work-class ROV but is large enough to accommodate a payload that would normally be deployed or retrieved from a ship.

Constant-Speed Motor Controller

Weatherford is offering its MotorWise constant-speed motor controller, an alternating-current (AC) induction motor-energy management-and-control system. Its design uses digital signal processors and unique control software to allow optimal energy management. The units identify partial and intermittent loading conditions and dynamically reduce the motor’s voltage to an optimal level without changing speed (Fig. 3). Its operation reduces energy costs and enables motors to run cooler and more smoothly. This is achieved by eliminating waste in the form of heat, noise, and vibration while maintaining proper operation, collectively decreasing maintenance costs, and improving the reliability and longevity of the motor, gear box, and load-bearing components. The MotorWise motor controller is compatible with conventional, beam-balanced, and enhanced-geometry pumping units. The controllers are used in a variety of three-phase-power-distribution schemes, including wye, delta, and grounded-delta configurations. Depending on the application, MotorWise controllers can immediately improve the energy consumption of a constant-speed, variable-load AC-induction motor by an average of 22%.

Reservoir-Simulation-Software Tool

Sciencesoft has introduced its S3sector reservoir-simulation-software tool. S3sector provides a solution to extracting information from a full-field model. This software tool builds sector models in minutes rather than the weeks needed for a manual conversion. The first release of S3sector provides full support for creating Eclipse and UTCHEM sector models, soon to be followed by support for Nexus, IMEX, GEM, and STARS. Single or multiple wells can be selected quickly, and a new sector model can be built in minutes. S3sector automatically maps the data from one simulator onto the format required for the sector model. Corner-point geometry can be converted to block-centered geometry, with additional refinement added to model fine-scale effects. Enhanced-oil-recovery models for UTCHEM can be built quickly and easily, saving weeks of painstaking manual work. S3sector features interactive region selection through user-defined polygons, as well as integrated visualization of full-field and sector models. Multiple work flows include polymer flooding, surfactant flooding, radial-grid well tests, and -tartan-grid models (Fig. 4).

Environmentally Friendly Cables

RSCC Wire & Cable’s Exane Products Segment introduced a line of multiconductor cable products that comply with the European low-voltage directives for the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (ROHS) and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE). Exane-ROHS cables are not only environmentally friendly, but are also manufactured with ruggedized thermoset insulations and jackets that will not cold flow or deform under pressure (Fig. 5). These cables pass the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1202 Vertical Cable Tray Flame Test at 70,000 Btu/hr. They are equally suited for cold environments and pass a –55°C cold-bend test as well as the –40°C cold-impact test. Additionally, RSCC introduced two ruggedized low-voltage signal and control cables. The Exane-Torque Flex cable has been developed to allow for twisting and flexing at the same time, for installation in bridge rackers and pipe-handling systems on mobile offshore drilling units.

Drilling-Fluid System

Baker Hughes introduced its NSURE invert-emulsion-drilling-fluid system designed to address offshore and high-risk drilling operations better through its ability to exhibit an enhanced constant rheological profile across a range of temperatures and conditions. Compared with conventional systems in which the -fluid’s viscosity is dependent on temperature, NSURE retains constant and predictable properties across a wider range of temperatures (Fig. 6). The NSURE system has the ability to bring greater control to fluid properties such as plastic viscosity, yield point, and gel strength across a wide range of densities, base oils, oil/water ratios, and contamination conditions. NSURE’s controlled rheology results in fluid properties ideal for better cement placement and reduces the risk of channeling while pumping. The controlled rheological properties also contribute to the ability to lower equivalent circulating densities, reducing pressure spikes when initiating circulation and ultimately taking pressure off the formation. This reduces the risk of fracturing the formation that could lead to lost circulation and nonproductive time. The NSURE system is also environmentally compliant across multiple markets worldwide.

Regenerative Blower

AMETEK Precision Motion Control’s ROTRON Chem-Tough regenerative (side-channel) blowers are ideally suited for applications that require the safe handling of corrosive or potentially explosive gases such as methane gas extraction and flaring. Chem-Tough technology takes advantage of low-friction polymers and dry lubricants as well as anodized and hard-coat plating that become an integral part of the blower’s molecular structure. Chem-Tough blowers benefit from compact, rugged construction designed for reliable service at point-of-operation (Fig. 7). They use stainless-steel motor shafts and hardware throughout, along with nickel-plated components. The blowers employ regenerative air technology to develop proper air pressures and vacuums without the higher energy and maintenance costs associated with larger multistage or positive-displacement blowers and compressors. An extensive product range allows users to achieve ideal flows, pressures, and vacuums as required. ROTRON blowers are ideal for a wide range of oil-rig, oilfield, environmental-remediation, and chemical-processing applications. Along with methane extraction and flaring, applications include landfill-gas recovery, chemical-tank agitation, waste-water treatment, and aquaculture oxidation.

Guar-Based Fracturing-Fluid System

TriFrac-MLT is a crosslinked guar-based hydraulic-fracturing-fluid system developed by Trican and Emerald Surf Sciences that exclusively uses flowback and produced water to eliminate the need for fresh water. The fluid system reduces the cost of treating the flowback and produced water to meet conventional reuse standards, simplifies the logistics for reusing produced water, and eliminates the creation of the secondary waste streams generated by some treatment processes. In addition, the fluid system has a broad operating temperature range of 49 to 149°C and uses common fracturing-fluid additives. The flowback or produced water is combined with chemical additives and proppant to make the fracturing fluid (Fig. 8). The fluid-system formula enables rapid hydration of the additives, and crosslinking occurs at temperatures as low as 7°C (45°F). Because the fluid has a delayed crosslinker, and the breaker schedule can be customized, the fluid viscosity can be optimized. Fluid viscosity develops during the pump time to bottom, reaching its maximum at bottomhole -conditions.

Durable Polymer Resin

Solvay Specialty Polymers’ KetaSpire KT-820 polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resin delivers strong chemical and abrasion resistance combined with heat resistance and strength. Parts based on KetaSpire PEEK are currently being used in a range of oil and gas applications including but not limited to bearings, seals, and backup rings. The resin meets NORSOK M-710 standards; KetaSpire-based PEEK shapes have proved superior in NORSOK M-710 (an internationally recognized set of testing systems originally developed by the Norwegian petroleum industry) sour single-phase aging tests at high hydrogen sulfide levels. The M-710 standard defines the requirements for critical nonmetallic (polymer) sealing, seat, and backup materials for permanent subsea applications. KetaSpire offers a maximum operating temperature of 240°C and exhibits high purity and consistent high quality in processing and part performance. Glass-fiber-reinforced and carbon-fiber-reinforced grades provide a wide range of performance options.