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Technology Applications

Chris Carpenter, JPT Technology Editor

Mature-Asset Solution

The Baker Hughes DeclineShift solution for mature assets is designed to help operators get the most out of their mature assets through a focus on maximizing capital efficiency and returns; expertise to design a customized plan and to execute it precisely and surgically in the field; and an innovative technology portfolio that offers advanced, integrated production-characterization and -enhancement solutions. The resulting fit-for-purpose solution is engineered to ensure minimal disruption, downtime, and footprint—and increased returns. When building a DeclineShift solution for a particular asset, Baker Hughes takes an individual approach, focusing on the asset profile and the operator’s objectives and drivers (Fig. 1). Each solution begins with close examination of the areas that have the greatest effect on each operator’s bottom line. This examination can range from individual-well diagnostics to full-field analyses, and focuses on three primary challenges: optimizing production from existing wells, maximizing revenue from production, and increasing recoverable resources. By use of accurate asset profiling and root-cause analysis of decreasing performance, Baker Hughes designs efficient, integrated solutions to maximize immediate and long-term value. Because each solution is engineered in a precise manner, most require only a small wellsite footprint and can be designed to address multiple challenges in a single operation.

Scale Inhibitor

U.S. Water introduced ScaleGone and ScaleGone CI, an innovative, long-lasting (up to several years),  slow-release, solid scale inhibitor (SI) and a combined SI/corrosion inhibitor (CI) for hydraulic-fracturing fluids as well as use in producing wells. ScaleGone solid SI particles, which measure the same size as proppant, can be introduced during stimulation treatment, ensuring distribution throughout the well fracture (Fig. 2). Safe to use with other stimulation products, ScaleGone slowly releases into well produced fluids. In addition, ScaleGone can be introduced into already-producing wells. ScaleGone and ScaleGone CI are slow-release products, providing long-lasting scale and corrosion protection up to several years depending on loading. These products can prevent deposition in the wellbore region and the tubing just as powerfully as they can at the formation face, to prevent scale and costly production problems. U.S. Water’s family of ScaleGone products can provide flow assurance and asset integrity throughout the life of a well, with no need for truck-treating liquid products or tanks and pumps for continuous feeding of liquid chemicals. ScaleGone helps ensure maximum well production by preventing scale deposits that reduce flow and helps provide extended well integrity with corrosion protection.

Production and Reservoir-Management System

Schlumberger, in collaboration with Saudi Aramco, has developed a new completion system that provides simultaneous control of multiple zones across multiple well sections, increasing recovery while reducing lifting and intervention costs (Fig. 3). The Manara production and reservoir management system, which uses inductive coupler technology to provide power and telemetry, can be deployed in conventional or extended-reach wells, in two or more sections, or across any number of lateral junctions. The system incorporates compact stations positioned in zones within each well section to measure water cut, fluid-flow rate, pressure, and temperature in real time. Multiple stations can be placed in each lateral, providing precise control of zonal production or drawdown. Work flows that normally take 3 to 6 months can be performed in 1 day. Sensors placed upstream of stations analyze production from the associated zone, with data communicated to the surface through a single electric control line.  When a particular zone sees water breakthrough, the system can adjust the electric flow-control valve to hold back the water while other zones continue producing. The Manara system has been installed in four wells in the Middle East. In one case, six stations and four inductive couplers were deployed in three laterals of a well, providing daily downhole monitoring, reservoir management, and drawdown control in each zone.

Lining System

The Duoline Flush System is an extension and natural progression to the successful Duoline DL System, which has been used in thousands of onshore and offshore wells worldwide over the past 10 years. Using the same component material with an enhanced internal geometry, Duoline is now able to offer an increased through bore while still maintaining all the benefits of the original Duoline DL Ring System (Fig. 4). Duoline Flush is a glass-­reinforced-epoxy lining system that, when installed into carbon-steel casing and tubing, protects the base material from corrosion from materials that may be present in the well fluid. Reservoir cleanup with hydrochloric acid at concentrations up to 28% can be accommodated to ensure good flow rates. Duoline Flush may be installed into threaded oil-country tubular goods, either new or used, within most connection options. The Duoline Flush System uses the patented FL-Ring system that permits lining of shoulder-to-shoulder premium connections without affecting the geometry and performance of the connections. The system can be installed into a wide range of bore diameters and weights. Duoline can accommodate interventions with both coiled tubing and wireline; procedures are already available for this operation.

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Production-Optimization Consulting Service

Weatherford introduced its production-optimization consulting services. The consultants are in-house subject-matter experts who collaborate with operators to design integrated optimization solutions for proactive well, reservoir, and asset management. Drawing from a comprehensive portfolio of lift equipment and a 480,000-well history of successful software deployments, consultants assist with choosing the right technologies for the optimal outcome. The consulting team can configure offerings—which include artificial-lift systems, surface and downhole sensors, controllers, and production-optimization software—to suit assets ranging from conventional and deepwater sources to unconventional shale and heavy-oil sources. The team also can recommend comprehensive solutions for various operational challenges. For example, they can partner with operators to maximize production in naturally flowing and artificially lifted wells with high outputs, or they can help to reduce operational costs in assets with thousands of minimally producing wells. The services follow a cycle of ongoing improvement, which mirrors the industry-recognized structure to optimize performance and maximize profitability. The cycle includes well appraisal, lift selection (if needed), system design, performance monitoring, data analysis, and operational adjustments (Fig. 5).

Cold-Weather Pipe

Polyflow, a manufacturer of spoolable reinforced thermoplastic pipe for transporting hydrocarbons, water, and other fluids, announced the launch of Thermo­flex PE, a lightweight polyethylene pipe for cold-weather climates. Production of Thermoflex PE is currently under way, and it will be available in various sizes and pressure ratings (Fig. 6). The market need for pipe that can withstand tough climates calls for a better choice than steel or other plastic pipe in the Bakken. Thermoflex’s unique polymer construction and aramid-fiber reinforcement deliver high resistance to hydrocarbons in sour and sweet environments around the world. Operators in cold environments can benefit from Thermo­flex PE’s resistance to corrosion and cyclical loading. This allows oil and gas exploration-and-production companies in the Bakken and other northern regions to get wells flowing faster for increased profitability while enhancing safety, reliability, and longevity. In support of Thermo­flex PE, Polyflow delivers service in the field as well, from modeling, installation, and support to its ExPERT ­pipeline-rehabilitation program.

Production-Monitoring System

Ambient seismic activity generated by producing wells can be used to map the volume of rock surrounding the wellbore. This acoustically active rock volume is termed the active production volume (APV). While monitoring microseismic activity during hydraulic fracturing has become a common practice, using the lower-amplitude ambient signal to monitor production is a new and promising technology. Small changes in local stresses can result in failure on small pre-existing fractures. This generates acoustic activity that, when imaged, reveals reservoir features including the volume of rock contributing to production. Fluid noise in the fracture system is also imaged. When a well is producing, the drainage network that is connected to the wellbore experiences enhanced activity because of the movement of fluid; the resultant changes in local stress cause failure events. Global Geophysical Services’ Ambient Seismic production monitoring is useful for observing changes in APVs over time. This 4D monitoring, when conducted at regular intervals over years of production, provides unprecedented views of reservoir production (Fig. 7). These APVs can be used for making predrill predictions about production volumes, for understanding the interactions between producing wells, and for determining refracturing candidates and infill-drilling strategies.