HOUSTON– ExxonMobil has awarded Baker Hughes Inc. a limited international license to its Alternate Path technology patent portfolio for services of gravel-packing cased and open-hole completion wells.
Alternate Path technology was developed and patented by ExxonMobil to improve the reliability of wells completed in sand-prone reservoirs. The technology provides alternate flow paths called shunt tubes in the downhole tool used for packing gravel in the producing sections of a well. The shunt tubes enable the packing operation to continue when sand prematurely blocks the well annulus, which would stop a conventional packing operation. The shunt tubes divert the gravel slurry around sand blockages and through distributed portholes to fill voids in the annulus until a complete pack is in place.
Sara N. Ortwein, president ofExxonMobil Upstream Research Co., said: “Alternate Path technology is one of several sand control completion technologies developed by ExxonMobil to improve reliability of sand-prone production wells. When the geology and the economics of a development call for open-hole completions, Alternate Path technology is the technique preferred by ExxonMobil.”
The well packing license allows Baker Hughes to produce and deploy Alternate Path technology and gravel packing services for ExxonMobil affiliates around the world and for projects in which the operator has an interest.
Zac Crouch, vice president, completions and wellbore intervention at Baker Hughes, said: “Alternate Path technology uses a field-proven design that is widely accepted by the industry. The screens extend our robustsand control portfolio, which helps operators reduce uncertainty and maximize sand-free production.”
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