DRILLING TECHNOLOGY

An integrated plotting environment designed specifically for oil reservoir modeling has been developed. Amtec Engineering Inc., a developer of data visualization software, has released Tecplot RS, or reservoir simulation.

Integrated plotting

An integrated plotting environment designed specifically for oil reservoir modeling has been developed. Amtec Engineering Inc., a developer of data visualization software, has released Tecplot RS, or reservoir simulation.

The inspiration for this development stemmed from work done by ChevronTexaco in 2001 in evaluating a variety of post-processing visualization software tools to replace other proprietary visualization applications. After consulting with ChevronTexaco, the new software was created to focus on the needs of the reservoir engineer.

The software allows data from multiple sources to be loaded and displayed in anything from XY graphs to complex 3D renderings. The system manages data from multiple reservoir simulators, as well as measured data like field rates and formation tests. It also allows for quick comparisons of simulated and historical data when matching multiple wells.

Users may analyze several reservoir simulator runs in one set of plots, control the number of plots per page, or define customized sets of plots for repeated use. The software's extensive macro language allows automation of plotting operations. These may be accessed interactively or in a batch mode.

Animation of time sequences lets users view and record properties such as saturation fronts in 2D or 3D grid views. Data may be interactively zoomed, rotated, blanked, probed, and sliced to provide complete freedom in exploring reservoirs. Streamlined data can be imported and displayed with standard grid-based simulator solutions.

Cleaning downhole

A treated fiber that allows operators to clean downhole during drilling operations by increasing the carrying capacity of drilling fluids without increasing viscosity has been developed. Baroid, a Halliburton product service line, has developed Barolift from the Lift While You Drill technologies. The system is a specially treated synthetic fiber developed from 100% virgin materials that are capable of performing well in any type of drilling fluid. Its interlocking fibers keep drill cuttings in suspension, optimizing downhole tool performance and improving the rate of penetration. It is compatible with water, oil, and synthetic-based fluids. It is non-toxic and unaffected by sub-freezing temperatures as with some liquid polymers.

This system efficiently sweeps cuttings from both vertical and horizontal wells. It reduces the formation of, as well as breaks up, cuttings beds and helps to avoid building high viscosities through the entire drilling system.

An example occurred when an operator was running 340 ft of 17 1/2-in. surface pipe. After reaching the casing point, one 15-lb container of the sweeping agent mixed in 30 bbl of fresh water was circulated through the hole unloading a large amount of fine gravel. This was in contrast to previous area offset wells where the surface pipe had to be laid down or washed the last 80 ft to 150 ft; the system fiber enabled the operator to run casing to bottom without incident.

On another well, a sweep was necessary to clean out the casing on a 15,200-ft well with 5-in. liner. Since the viscosity of the heavily weighted fluid could not be increased without jeopardizing the hole, the sweeping agent was chosen over a high-viscosity polymer sweep. After efficiently cleaning the hole, the system fiber was removed over the shaker screens with no resulting fluid losses, blinding, or sticking. Additional cuttings were recovered, and the pump pressure, which had increased due to un-removed cuttings, returned to normal.

Intelligent completion

Weatherford has installed a four-zone Simply Intelligent completion system for Brunei Shell in the Bugan field. The hydraulically controlled and actuated system, which is operated from an unmanned satellite platform positioned in 131 ft water depth, allows remote flow control of the producing intervals. It includes feed through packers, remotely operated sliding sleeves, and hydraulic control addressing unit that minimizes the number of control lines required to be run to surface. The hydraulic flow control and packer system also was interfaced with multizone pressure temperature gauges and distributed temperature sensing.

The overall well objective was the immediate adjustment of zonal production to manage unwanted water ingress. The combination of permanent monitoring and surface actuated flow controls allows this to be achieved in a much more timely and cost-effective manner compared to traditional techniques.

Well control

Well Control School, a subsidiary of RPC Inc., says its System 21 well control training program has been awarded full accreditation from the International Association of Drilling Contractors WellCap committee.

WCS has been operating the program with a provisional accreditation status pending some changes and updates to the program. These issues have been addressed and resolved to the satisfaction of the IADC and full accreditation status has been awarded. System 21 Well Control is the only interactive computer-based training and certification system approved by IADC WellCap for well control at the introductory, fundamental, and supervisory levels.

The training program was developed to meet the guidelines set by the IADC WellCap covering topics and skills necessary to obtain the various levels of certification to help companies ensure competency of personnel. The training contains self-paced programs for both well control and production safety systems. It is available at the rig site or platform, offices, in-house schools, or at any of the WCS training locations. The program helps to reduce overall training costs by eliminating expenses for travel, hotel, meals, overtime and relief personnel.

Over 2,000 topics and skills offering training, testing, simulation, and overall employee competence to the oil and gas industry are presented. Interactive tasks and role-playing familiarize students with well control concepts, emphasizing correct procedures and teamwork. Computer graphics dramatically depict downhole conditions such as deepwater or horizontal drilling. As students complete each module, skill levels are recorded and progress reports are generated as the users work toward obtaining certification in drilling, well completion/workover, well servicing (snubbing, coiled tubing, wireline), and subsea.

As the industry changes and new federal guidelines are released, oil and gas companies will be held more accountable for competency and skill assessment of employees and contract personnel. This program satisfies the requirements mandated by the new federal regulations and guidelines to develop a training plan, verify competency and frequency of oilfield training, and document and maintain records for both operator personnel and its contractors.

Wellbore cleaning

A new wellbore cleaning system helps ensure trouble-free testing, completion, and production by providing a clean wellbore. The Baker Oil Tools' Wellbore Custodian One-Trip Wellbore Cleaning System allows collection of debris from the wellbore wall, brushing of the wellbore wall, and filtering of fluid, all in one run. It seeks out junk, collects it, and carries it to the surface.

The cleaning system is primarily for use in the pre-completion stages of the well's construction, but it can be run anytime the wellbore becomes contaminated with debris, such as after a milling operation. This helps prevent the common problems associated with stuck completions or liner equipment due to unexpected debris in hole.

When run in hole, the system acts as a boot basket, allowing collection of large debris using fluid flow as it passes through the tool. When pulling out of hole, the bypass is closed and the tool diverts fluid through the filter medium capturing the debris. Additionally, it can be run in conjunction with downhole magnets, bits, casing scrapers, stabilizers, stainless steel screens, and slotted or perforated liners.

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