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Technology Applications

Water-Cut Monitor

The Universal IV CM Model water-cut monitor from AMETEK Drexelbrook, now with a temperature-compensation feature, offers improved accuracy and reliability for temperatures up to 160°F. Like the previous version of the Universal IV, the temperature-compensated version offers superior water-cut–measurement accuracy in the low ranges (0–1, 0–5, 0–10, and 0–30% water), accuracy to 0.03% water, and measurement resolution to 0.0002% water. Among the key features of the compact Universal IV CM are a built-in liquid-crystal display and keypad and Cote-Shield technology, which ignores coating buildup on the probe and puts the sensing area of the instrument directly into the process stream (Fig. 1). The Perm-A-Seal sensing element on the Universal IV CM installs directly into a main process line without requiring spool pieces, side arms, or slipstreams. The monitor’s electronics are designed to ignore paraffin buildup on the pipe and probe. Field calibration can be performed anywhere along the two-wire loop with software or with a local display/keypad without a laptop or handheld communicator. The Universal IV CM is fully backward compatible with Drexelbrook’s CM-6/CM-3 systems. An upgrade retrofit kit is available that allows replacement of existing transmitters without removal of the probe.

Resin-Coated Proppant

The Oilfield Technology Group of Momentive Specialty Chemicals  has released a new resin-coated-proppant technology for fracturing-service companies and operators in the Canadian oil and gas industry. Resin–coated proppants are used in the hydraulic-fracturing process to help optimize production from oil and gas wells by maximizing fracture-flow capacity from the reservoir to the wellbore. Momentive Specialty Chemicals’ Yukon Black proppants are a next-generation resin–coated sand that bonds at low temperatures (Fig. 2). These proppants are ideal for fracture treatments in low-temperature reservoirs in Canada where flowback control is necessary. Low-temperature bonding to 70°F (21°C) bottomhole static temperature is achieved without the use of a consolidation aid. Along with these features, Yukon Black’s Stress Bond technology delivers the advantages of a curable resin-coated proppant, including proppant-flowback control, proppant-embedment minimization, and proppant-fines reduction, all of which lead to enhanced well production. These new proppants are manufactured in Momentive Specialty Chemicals’ proppant-production plant in Sturgeon County near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.

Oilfield Pressure-Gauge System

Acoustic Data has introduced its AD250 oilfield pressure-gauge system. The AD250 is a new-generation acoustic-telemetry system that measures wellbore pressure in real time (Fig. 3). The downhole gauge has a transmission range of approximately 2000 m in a noisy well environment and approximately 2500 m in a quiet well environment, such as an observation well. The AD250 system is ideal for electrical submersible pumps, progressing-cavity pumps, jet pumps, gas lift, free flow, or observation oil and gas wells in this depth range. High-accuracy sensors in the gauge measure pressure and temperature in the wellbore several times per day. These data are transmitted to the surface in real time along the production tubular using advanced acoustic telemetry. At the surface, an accelerometer bolted to the wellhead picks up the signal, which is then processed in a compact, low-power signal decoder. Data are stored on an integrated secure digital (SD) card, which can be transmitted through a Modbus remote terminal unit or Ethernet. For nonnetworked applications, the data may be read from the integral display or downloaded to a laptop by use of the SD card.

Energy-Converting Buoy

Ocean Power Technologies has launched its PowerBuoy technology into the global oil and gas sector. The PowerBuoy system, based on modular ocean-going buoys that capture and convert predictable wave energy into electricity, is capable of delivering energy from a few kW to several hundred kW, and has been deployed successfully in the US (Hawaii and New Jersey) and the UK. The Power-Buoy moves freely up and down with the rise and fall of waves (Fig. 4). The resultant mechanical stroking is converted through a sophisticated power takeoff to drive an electrical generator. This power is then transmitted to external equipment by an underwater power cable, or directly to a payload integrated into the buoy’s structure. Potential applications for the PowerBuoy include unmanned-underwater-vehicle garages for permanent infield monitoring and inspection of assets, diesel replacement for energy generation on oil and gas platforms, environmental monitoring for pre- and post-deployment, real-time on-site field monitoring/sensing systems for 4D reservoir analysis and pre- and post-deployment surveys, and security cordons for offshore developments.

Lead-Free Impression Block

Peak Well Systems’ Peak Impression Block (PIB) is a lead-free tool for taking high-definition impressions of objects within the wellbore (Fig. 5). The PIB reduces operating time and offers users a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to lead-impression blocks (LIBs) while enhancing the impression taken downhole. Despite being well documented as a harmful and toxic substance, lead is still used widely in LIBs because there has been no viable alternative to date. Unlike LIBs, however, Peak’s PIB uses high-performance impression inserts that are 100% lead free, eliminating health and environmental issues. The inserts can be changed over within seconds, enabling used inserts to be kept as a permanent record of operation. The PIB also has a higher working-temperature envelope and is well suited to ultrahigh-temperature applications in which lead would normally melt. The PIB is available in 19 different outer-diameter sizes suited to 2⅞-, 3½-, 4½-, 5½-, and 7-in. completions.

Process-Optimization Software

Aspen Technology has announced availability of the V8.3 release of its aspen-ONE software. This release includes new functionalities in Aspen HYSYS software—acid-gas cleaning to model gas-sweetening units, and pressure-safety-valve sizing, which for the first time allows process engineers to size pressure safety valves as an integral part of the overall process design. The new acid-gas cleaning functionality uses rigorous rate-based calculations and a new property package to deliver accurate and predictive results to amine-based absorption processes. Both acid-gas cleaning and pressure-safety-valve sizing are included in Aspen HYSYS in a single modeling environment with intuitive workflows. These new capabilities enable users to optimize upstream, midstream, and refining processes faster and to produce inherently safer designs. The new aspenONE release gives users access to process simulation from any Web-enabled device, allowing them the ability to search for models, run the simulation, and compare with real-time data wherever they are.

Four-Channel Data Logger

Onset has introduced the HOBO UX120 Thermocouple Logger, a four-channel liquid-crystal-display (LCD) data logger for measuring and recording temperature for a broad range of monitoring applications. The logger combines a full-featured, deployment-friendly LCD and flexible support for a variety of plug-in thermocouple probes (Fig. 6). The new logger records temperatures over a broad range (–260 to 1820°C) and can accept several types of probes. This flexibility enables the logger to be used in a variety of monitoring projects. The HOBO UX120 features an easy-to-view LCD that visually confirms logger operation and battery status, eliminating the need to connect the logger to a computer to view the information. As the logger records temperatures, the LCD refreshes every 15 seconds to provide a near-real-time readout of current temperatures as well as minimum, maximum, average, and standard-deviation statistics. On-screen alarms can be set for each temperature channel to notify users if temperatures exceed high or low thresholds. The logger also features a large memory capacity capable of storing 1.9 million measurements, enabling the loggers to be deployed for longer periods between offloads.

Landing-String Slips

Weatherford’s LSS-1250 landing-string slips eliminate pipe crushing and safety hazards for high-capacity landing strings. The LSS-1250 grips landing strings or drillpipe during makeup or breakout, reducing pipe stress and the need for more-costly slip-proof pipe (Fig. 7). Remotely operated from anywhere on the rig floor or from the driller’s cabin, the slip system also enhances rig safety. When installed with an integrated safety-interlock system, the LSS-1250 virtually eliminates dropped strings. Additionally, the fail-safe hydraulic circuit prevents the slips from unwanted opening or closing during hydraulic-pressure loss. The system is designed for extreme pipe loads of up to 1,250 tons, a limit that expands the threshold for tubular use in deep-water well construction. Even in extreme offshore weather conditions, the tool’s top and bottom guides center the pipe for reliable and repeatable slip sets. An automated lubrication system prevents sticking under heavy loads.