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Radio-Frequency Identification in Intervention-Free Upper-Completion Installation

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) offers the user flexibility in controlling downhole operations without intervention. RFID uses close-proximity sensing to communicate by simply passing a coded tag through an antenna-equipped downhole tool to actuate it. Using this technology, an upper-completion system comprising a packer, circulation sleeve, and downhole-barrier valve has been developed that is controlled by a single RFID module, thus providing a means to control the installation remotely, thereby reducing running costs and contributing to the elimination of nonproductive time (NPT).

Introduction

In response to time and cost challenges related to completion in difficult or unstable reservoirs, an enabling technology has been adopted that uses RFID to remotely actuate downhole tools at installation, providing operators with a way to carry out completion operations with a reduced number of employees and without the need for intervention services such as wireline, slickline, and coiled tubing.

The RFID completion system comprises four critical elements: an RFID ­hydraulic power unit (HPU), a circulation valve, a production packer, and a barrier valve. The system can perform many critical completion operations, including setting packers, opening packer-setting ports, operating sliding sleeves to enable tubing-to-annulus circulation, and closing and opening downhole barrier valves or operating fill subs.

The RFID-based method uses close-proximity sensing to function as the well’s “brain” to control the operation of various downhole devices. Communication is facilitated by running downhole a coded tag that actuates a tool equipped with an antenna. If use of a coded tag is not feasible, the tools can communicate by pressure-pulse signals or timers. The system can test tubing integrity without setting the packer, and it can change out the annular fluid remotely with the packer set and the surface hanger landed. The debris-tolerant design is also insensitive to changes in downhole conditions.

For the details of a case study of a remote completion system successfully installed in the Middle East, please see the complete paper. This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 166182, “Radio-Frequency Identification Leads the Way in the Quest for Intervention-Free Upper-Completion Installation,” by Iain Adan, Weatherford, prepared for the 2013 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, 30 September–2 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Radio-Frequency Identification in Intervention-Free Upper-Completion Installation

01 September 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 9

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