Frank Hartley Houston
Baker Oil Tools has developed a premium downhole sand exclusion device that Baker says has a combination of mechanical advantages. The EXPress Expandable Screen System combines the sand controllability of the Baker Excluder screen expansion benefits such as annular flow reduction, hole stability, and large inside diameters, the company says.
According to Baker, the new design, based on perforated pipe expansion technology, adds mechanical strength and reliability to the screen. It can be expanded outward to reduce or eliminate the annular space between the wellbore and the screen. Reduced annular flow lessens the potential for sand migration and development of "hot spots" in the screen. The screen's filter membrane construction allows for the production of mud solids without plugging the screen while still maintaining effective sand exclusion.
Weatherford International Ltd.'s Drilling & Intervention Services division has completed the first installation and field study for a new tool to run casing for Murphy Oil in the West Patricia wells of Malaysia.
According to Weatherford, the study proved that the TorkHead system is a value-added tool during casing running operations by comparing the running of casing on six wells, three of which were run conventionally and three that were run using Weatherford's system. The tool achieved rig time savings of 10% over conventional casing running, Weatherford said. When combined with the Stabberless system, the system could generate as much as a 35% reduction in casing running time while promoting a safer working environment, the company said.
The latest additions in a range of downhole memory sensors were made with the launch of two new inventions: the Memory Pressure/ Temperature Sensor and the Memory Load/ Torque Sensor. AnTech Ltd. developed both.
Although each tool plays a distinctly different role in gathering downhole data for a wide range of pumping operations, including those involving coiled tubing runs, the tools share a number of common features that offer users distinct benefits.
According to AnTech, each memory tool's electronics are protected against shock, dramatically improving their reliability in the rigorous downhole environment. The tools were designed with a straight flow path through the center that further reduces pressure losses and vibration. Because the tools are very short, making up coiled tubing is much faster and easier, the company says.
Downhole readings are recorded into the tool's memory and can be downloaded to a PC for analysis. According to the company, the tools feature software that reduces the time required to train engineers and to set up the operation. The tools have standard ratings of 10,000 psi and 150° C and diameters ranging from 1 11/16 in. to 4 3/4 in.
Each sensor is field-proven in highly disparate environments, having been used by operators in Alaska, Canada, the Middle East, Denmark, and the North Sea. Additionally, the sensor uses strain gauge pressure transducers that make it possible to take both pressure and temperature readings simultaneously. The straight through-flow path is useful for running the tool when a ball must be dropped.
AnTech says that because its electronics are protected against shock, the Memory Pressure/ Temperature Sensor can be run with drilling tools and for similar high shock operations, such as jarring.
The Memory Load/Torque Sensor was designed to provide a solution to the problem of gathering accurate data on how the string is behaving in response to the load and other forces, including tension, compression, and torque. An engineer can compare downhole data with surface measurements and operating procedures for a clearer, more accurate picture of how well the operation is proceeding and whether critical adjustments should be made.
The Memory Load/Torque Sensor is a 0.7-in. bore-through tool that provides variable sampling rates to meet specific customer requirements. As the system is insensitive to bends in the well, the data collected is not affected, ensuring that all measurements are accurate. It is available with both types of sensors or with a torque or load sensor, which compensates for pressure effects.
In the event that a surface readout is required, the Memory Pressure/Temperature Sensor and the Memory Load/Torque Sensor can be provided with a wireline telemetry system in place of the downhole memory.
Halliburton Energy Services product service line Security DBS has developed an advanced PDC drill bit that it says combines force management, dynamics optimization, and advanced PDC cutter technology. The FM3000 is designed to improve drilling performance, delivering higher rates of penetration (ROP) without compromising the life of the bit.
Force Management, a design feature of the PDC bit cutting structure, uses computer aided design software. Precise 3D definition of cutter interaction with the rock allows the cutter forces to be harnessed to maximize drilling efficiency, the company says. Another design feature, dynamics optimization, incorporates a software model of the PDC bits drilling dynamics. This feature prolongs cutter life and enhances the bit's directional properties.
According to Halliburton, advanced PDC cutter technology is the result of research and development in PDC cutter manufacturing that led to advances in the cutter manufacturing processes, cutter testing techniques, selection of diamond grades, and diamond table thickness. This combination has overcome the historical compromise of increasing cutter abrasion resistance with decreasing cutter impact resistance, Halliburton says. Advanced cutter technology allows optimized cutter specifications for each drilling application
The combination of these three technologies has increased PDC bit durability while sustaining aggressive drilling rates. To date, more than 120 prototypes of the FM3000 technology have been run. Performance has improved significantly over today's standards: 20% improvement in drilling rate and 50% improvement in footage drilled has been recorded.
SWIS allows live intervention
The subsea well intervention system (SWIS) is the UWG Group's step into live well intervention following its experience in rigless subsea well abandonment. Its aim is to cut the costs traditionally associated with the operation.
According to UWG, SWIS focuses on wire line and slick line work and can be deployed from most vessels, leading to a reduction in the overall costs of well intervention and providing operators with options to increase productivity or abandon live wells.
The system, which has a 4 1/16-in. inside diameter and is rated to 5,000 psi, is designed to perform interventions and well abandonments using braided or slick line tool deployment.
The triple BOP that is used consists of blind and shear valves capable of accommodating slick line and up to 3/16 in. braided line. The lubricator sections can accommodate tools up to 40 ft long.
Subsea well interventions have traditionally been more costly than for platform wells. Deploying of specialized equipment from non-specialized vessels and focusing the capability of the system on specific work scopes have helped lower costs.