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Technology Applications

Chris Carpenter, JPT Technology Editor

Bore-Erosion Measurement and Inspection System

LaserStream introduced its Bore-­Erosion Measurement and Inspection System (BEMIS) laser scanning technology through an exclusive relationship with Laser Techniques Company. The BEMIS laser sensor rotates at high speed as it is driven the length of a tubular, typically generating more than 2,500 data points per revolution (Fig. 1). The result is a high-resolution 3D map of the component inner surface. The linear resolution (the tightness of the helix) can be as fine as .010 in. or as loose as 1 in., depending on the application. These data provide information about wall loss (erosion and corrosion), mechanical wear (wireline and coiled tubing), eccentricity, and exact dimensions. Typically, measurements are accurate to ±.002 in. or better. Until recently, this technology has been primarily used by organizations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, and nuclear power companies. LaserStream can customize its equipment and software applications to meet specific needs, varying sizes, or different applications (risers, tubing, and casing).

Formation-Pressure-Testing Service

The FTeX advanced formation-pressure-testing service from Baker Hughes uses downhole automation and real-time control of an intelligent packer-and-pump configuration to deliver critical formation data—including pressure profiles, fluid contacts, and mobility information—reliably, accurately, and efficiently (Fig. 2). The data offer an earlier and better understanding of the reserves in place so operators can quickly identify the production potential of a well. Leveraging adaptive software, the FTeX service automates the operation sequence downhole to optimize tool controls and test parameters with minimal input from surface personnel, thereby reducing data inconsistencies and inaccuracies that often result from manual testing. The service adapts to the formation response encountered during the initial drawdown to define the optimal parameters for subsequent drawdowns, in real time, leading to increased data accuracy and efficiency. Running the FTeX service with other wireline technologies reduces the number of logging runs, saving rig time and cost. The service’s combination of advanced technology, efficient operations, and downhole automation delivers some of the fastest, most-accurate measurements in the industry. The FTeX service is the latest development in Baker Hughes’ strategy to improve well efficiency, optimize production, and increase ultimate recovery.

Versatile Cargo Carrier

Deep Blue Engineering’s Shuttle Sub is a versatile cargo carrier based on the concept of a large remotely operated vehicle (ROV) with payload capacity, deployed from a support vessel at the surface (Fig. 3). It can be used to conduct a range of installation, heavy-lift, and deployment operations. Its versatility is a byproduct of its modular payload cartridge system, making it ideal for pipe installation, cable deployment, salvage work, and subsea intervention. Installation functions are conducted by the Shuttle Sub with no requirement for assistance from a smaller work-class ROV. The largest Shuttle Sub will be capable of transporting and laying approximately 100 tons of pipe during each trip from the support vessel. Each pipe is extracted from the hopper by two manipulators, which can be used to position and align the pipe and then insert it and make up a connection. The Shuttle Sub can further create new possibilities for lift-and-deployment techniques that are not available to marine operators because all of these operations are currently achieved by use of lift lines from a vessel at surface. Salvage operations will be made significantly safer, using a fully engineered, controlled, and robust buoyancy system in conjunction with multiple lift lines from the Shuttle Sub to the load.

Ultrahigh-Temperature Measurement-While-Drilling Service

Schlumberger introduced the TeleScope ICE ultrahigh-temperature measurement-while-drilling service. This new technology enables standard drilling operations in reservoirs with extreme temperatures. The TeleScope ICE system helps customers eliminate runs, drill wells with precision, and mitigate operational risks to make previously undrillable wells a possibility. The TeleScope ICE service transmits survey and formation-evaluation data at high speed, enabling real-time well placement and risk mitigation in harsh drilling conditions. It makes use of integrated ceramic electronics (ICE) and multichip modules that are specifically designed and ruggedized for hostile downhole environments (Fig. 4). It is part of a suite of ultrahigh-­temperature technologies that have been field tested in the Gulf of Mexico, Malaysia, and the Gulf of Thailand. In the Gulf of Thailand, PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) was operating in a reservoir with maximum temperature of 204°C (399°F). PTTEP used the TeleScope ICE service to obtain real-time downhole measurements and drilled the well to total depth in one run. The operator also eliminated the need for a ­bottomhole-assembly trip to protect electronics as well as a gyro run to determine the location of the well, which saved 12 rig hours and decreased operational cost by USD 300,000.

Asset-Management Mobile Application

Retriever Communications introduced its new enterprise mobile application, Barking for Assets, for field force in the energy sector that is designed to increase efficiency and reliability of critical asset management. Barking for Assets is an advanced field-application technology that em­powers field operations, in coordination with engineering, in the delivery of asset care, offering an alternative to approaches that focus exclusively on centralized planning that often does not reflect on-site realities. It is a mobile app that integrates directly into multiple enterprise systems, simultaneously including ­enterprise-asset-management systems and ­engineering-planning systems (Fig. 5). It supports employees who handle the planning and field operations within a com­pany to reduce unexpected downtime, and serves as a single solution configurable to field and plant processes. Retriever’s mobile solutions work in 3G, 4G, and WiFi environments, as well as in limited and no-wireless-­coverage areas. Many leading asset-management com­panies are investing in technology to support and automate reliability-focused maintenance. Barking for Assets uses a multitier task template, providing the flexibility, visibility, control, and resource management necessary to capture valuable data, improve operational efficiency, and manage assets safely and proactively in the field.

Drilling-Riser Elevator

Weatherford’s drilling-riser elevator, the DRE 500, safely and efficiently runs flanged-connection drilling-riser strings in harsh deepwater environments. Compatible with 500- or 750-ton bails, the elevator is designed for efficient rig up. Rated for drilling-riser strings up to 500 tons, the elevator handles stress joints, riser joints with buoyancy cans, and riser joints with or without strakes and fairings. The specially designed indexing dogs ensure that the riser is gripped properly, allowing it to be raised and lowered into the well (Fig. 6). The nonmarking feature on the tool protects against stress-­concentration factors created by standard dies, which extends the life of the riser joint. Hydraulic operation of the spider and elevator eliminates the time needed to manually bolt standard lifting gear, ultimately reducing overall run times. Used with Weatherford’s integrated safety-interlock system, the elevator can be operated remotely to eliminate manual riser-running tasks and keep personnel out of hazardous zones. The interlocking mechanics also keep the elevator and spider from opening in the event of hydraulic or pneumatic failure.

Permanent Downhole Cable

RSCC Wire & Cable introduced its new PressureTEC cable to ensure a ­higher-performing permanent-­downhole-cable (PDC) installation for oil and gas drilling applications (Fig. 7). Drilling equipment engineers are familiar with ­tubing-encapsulated-cable products that are traditionally made with a welded metal tube over a solid filler to protect the electrical conductor inside the cable. In a metal-clad tube with a traditional solid-core filler, quality testing is limited to an eddy-current test to check for weld defects. Though eddy-current testing is capable of finding defects, this process is not guaranteed to find all defects. The PressureTEC cable’s design incorporates a welded metal tube to protect the conductor, but the tube is first filled with an expandable foam material and then is followed by a pressurized-gas test that can detect a defect in the metal tube or weld. When the tube passes 100% integrity, the foam core is then expanded to surround the conductor and also adhere to the tube wall to create holding forces. RSCC’s new PressureTEC cables are available in 150 and 200°C materials, depending on operating-temperature requirements.

Intelligent Tracer Technology

Resman’s Intelligent Tracer technology accurately quantifies zonal-inflow contribution and detects the location of water breakthrough. Applications include quantification of oil inflow contribution, water-breakthrough monitoring, and inflow-assurance monitoring. The information obtained with Resman Intelligent Tracer technology provides the equivalent of a production log but without the risk and cost of well intervention. No cables, connections, intervention, or major changes to completion design are needed. The oil-targeted Intelligent Tracers can achieve up to 5 years of life, while the water-targeted Intelligent Tracers can have longer life­spans because they are dormant until activated by contact with water. Resman’s chemicals are used in extremely low concentrations (down to parts per trillion) and are compatible for water discharge. No radiation is used. The Intelligent Tracer technology can be formed into a variety of shapes to allow it to be integrated into a wide range of completion designs (Fig. 8). The Intelligent Tracer systems are designed to remain dormant until contacted by the target fluid. When contacted by the target fluid, tracer molecules are released in very small quantities. This release is independent of flow conditions and happens at a ­laboratory-designed rate. Resman chemists have developed more than 50 uniquely identifiable chemical signatures for oil and another 50 for water.