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Riglessly Restoring the Functionality of Subsurface Safety Valves

The surface-controlled subsurface safety valve (SC-SSSV) is an integral part of the overall safety system of any well, and it is the only method that provides subsurface isolation in case of emergency caused by uncontrolled surface or subsurface events. The effectiveness of these valves can be threatened by leaks, plugs, or breaks in the control lines (CLs). This paper describes a methodology that deploys CLs on the inside of the tubing, reducing cost and ensuring continued effectiveness of SC-SSSVs.

Introduction

Functional SC-SSSVs must be installed in production tubing in all gas and oil wells, irrespective of location, as a safety barrier to halt flow in case of a catastrophic failure. SC-SSSVs are held in the open position by introducing hydraulic positive pressure from the surface. This pressure is applied through a CL in the tubing/casing annulus running from the valve to the surface. In case of an emergency shutdown, the hydraulic pressure will be lost, forcing the safety valve to close.

CLs for SC-SSSVs could leak, plug up, or break, leading to loss of the capability to control the valves’ operating condition, causing environmental and safety concerns in addition to a loss of production upon closure of the valve.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 164370, “Innovative Methodology To Riglessly Restore the Functionality of Subsurface Safety Valves (SC-SSSVs) With Damaged Control Lines,” by Mohamed Fahim, Hossam Elnaggar, Abd Allah ElBarbary, Mohammed Abu Arab, Ashraf Keshka, Hamdi Bouali Daghmouni, and Mohamed Al Karra, ADCO, and Ammar Soufan, Joseph O’Connor, and Magdi Elasmar, Baker Hughes, prepared for the 2013 SPE Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Exhibition, Manama, Bahrain, 10–13 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Riglessly Restoring the Functionality of Subsurface Safety Valves

01 March 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 3

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