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Heavy Oil and Bitumen Recovery – Michael Weiss
Dictionary of Conventional Drilling Components: .
The second series (secondary shakers) use fine mesh screens to remove much smaller particles. among other functions. The first series (primary shakers) use coarse screens to remove only the larger cuttings. lubricate the drill bit. The drill cuttings remain on top of the shale shaker screens. stabilize the well bore. these cuttings become entrained in the mud flow and are carried to the surface. The first step in separating the cuttings from the mud involves circulating the mixture of mud and cuttings over vibrating screens called shale shakers. In order to return the mud to the recirculating mud system and to make the solids easier to handle. The liquid mud passes through the screens and is recirculated back to the mud tanks from which mud is withdrawn for pumping downhole. Often two series of shale shakers are used. 2) mud cleaners (hydrocyclone discharging on a fine screened shaker). Mud is pumped from the surface through the hollow drill string. The separated fine solids are combined with the larger drill cuttings removed by the shale shakers.Drilling mud is used to control subsurface pressures. exits through nozzles in the drill bit. In general. the solids must be separated from the mud. and carry the cuttings to the surface. and returns to the surface through the annular space between the drill string and the walls of the hole. As the drill bit grinds rocks into drill cuttings. and 3) rotary bowl decanting centrifuges. . This mechanical equipment usually belongs to one of three types: 1) hydrocyclone-type desilters and desanders. the vibratory action of the shakers moves the cuttings down the screen and off the end of the shakers to a point where they can be collected and stored in a tank or pit for further treatment or management. the separated drill cuttings are coated with a large quantity of drilling mud roughly equal in volume to the cuttings Additional mechanical processing is often used in the mud pit system to further remove as many fine solids as possible because these particles tend to interfere with drilling performance.
If the solids collected by the shale shakers are still coated with so much mud that they are unsuitable for the next reuse or disposal step or if the used mud is valuable enough to collect as much of it as possible. or centrifuges. screwtype squeeze presses. vertical or horizontal rotary cuttings dryers. the solids can be further treated with drying shakers utilizing high gravitational separation. powdery cuttings . The cuttings dryers recover additional mud and produce dry.
PDC Drill Bits .
Polycrystalline diamond bits (PDC) use thin diamond layers bonded to tungsten carbidecobalt studs or blades. The extreme resistance of diamond to abrasive wear makes it possible to use the shearing action of the cutters for drilling. PDC bits are more efficient than the crushing action of roller-core bits. A typical bit in shallow heavy oil areas can be used about 3 times. PDC bits produce larger amounts of cuttings due to the speed of penetration and thus flush volumes should be adjusted to keep the bit clean and cooled.
Slant Drilling Slant drilling is well suited to shallow gas and heavy oil since conventional directional drilling could not provide sufficient lateral displacement to penetrate the targets. Even with a continuous build rate of 3° per 30 m from surface, the maximum lateral displacement achievable was 300 m with a terminal angle of 60 ° being realized. Using slant techniques, a 300 m displacement is achievable with the maximum allowable spud angle of 45° found on slant rigs. It is critical that azimuth and inclination is set to take full advantage of the target geometry. In order not to lose lead angles, the well should be spudded with a full gauge near the bit stabilizer. Slant rigs are spudded with left hand isolation until the rearbit stabilizer is buried. This prevents the tendency of the bit to walk at spud.
Photo: Husky well at Lloydminster
Interwell spacing of at least 5 m is necessary so that the service rig can be oriented for any workovers. The wellbore profiles will be smoother and thus rod and tubing wear should be less.
Photo: Slant well work at PetroCanada Fort Mackay
Slant drilling rig technology moved forward in the early 1990s when Precision Drilling Corp., in conjunction with PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd., designed and implemented a
new slant drilling rig. This new design represented an important milestone in heavy oil drilling. Its longer-than-standard drill pipe - 45 ft (13 m) vs. 30 ft (9m) - offered significant benefits of flexibility and operational capabilities, which led to the term, "Super Single."* (Precision Drilling) Background In the 1980s a new alternative appeared in horizontal drilling. The well would start vertical, then be deviated to horizontal with downhole mud motors, measurement-while-drilling (MWD) and bent-sub technology. The process increased production, but the mud motors, and sophisticated directional drilling techniques and equipment were expensive. The 1990s saw the revival of slant technology, which was used most successfully in heavyoil drilling at shallow depths. This differed from directional drilling in several ways: • It followed a shorter, more direct route. Wells could be spudded at an angle usually 30° to 45°- and then aimed straight at the target, Fig. 1. • It was less expensive, faster and more productive than directional horizontal drilling. • Slant drilling allowed shallow heavy-oil deposits to be developed from one or several pad locations, which vary in number of wells. Pad drilling also emerged as a way to minimize environmental impact because it allows multiple-well access to larger areas and targets beneath sensitive areas, such as lakes and towns.
using state-of-the-art technologies to minimize manual labor.The technique started by drilling from a slant angle at the surface (45° max. design innovations and other enhancements to leverage the benefits of the rig design. the rig had a depth rating of 6. Combined with pad drilling.5° increments). These features include: • Hydraulic tubular handling arm . Today. in 1. with the fifth and sixth generations now deployed. Improvements to the technology. The Evolution Of Super Single Rigs Customer feedback and operational experience provided insight into a far-reaching set of issues including pad location and size.1% of the company's 246-rig fleet. capabilities and operational efficiencies. The technique did not require downhole motors or MWD technology. The success of the rig can be attributed to technology that controls critical functions. safety. makes the work environment safer for rig crews and improves equipment control. the rig makes up 8. additional quantitative and anecdotal data enabled further improvement of the performance. By 1993. Remote-Control Features Fully mechanized. drilling efficiencies. With each generation.600 ft (2.200 m). the slant concept offers fast and simple movement from site to site and the ability to perform more than just a single type of well drilling. combined with customer cooperation reduced time and well costs up to 50% on heavy-oil pad projects. and zeroed in on shallow-depth targets with a 150-ft (50-m) radius. the rig's remote-control features reduce the crew's exposure to harsh weather.
• • • • • • • Hydraulic power wrenches for make-up and break-out of tubulars Hydraulic power wrench carrier Hydraulic top drive Hydraulic BOP handler and hydraulic pulldown Pneumatic tubular slips Hydraulic pipe tables for gravity indexing of tubulars and casings to and from the catwalk Hydraulic tubular kickers and indexer systems that index tubulars from the catwalk individually into the tubular handling boom. disassemble the rig and rig up at the next drill site. The entire connection process takes less than a minute. 2. perform basic maintenance. telescopic double and jackknife double rigs. this high level of equipment control has the specific benefit of drastically reducing connection times. eliminating the need for an awkward and heavy kelly. or kick tubulars out of the handling boom and onto storage racks or tables. Maintenance costs are the same as those for single. The chief difference is that the equipment does most of the work. The indexers then roll the joints onto the catwalk and into the pipe arm. which lifts the joints individually to the derrick. Personnel requirements on the rig remain the same. Fig. Someone still needs to operate the controls. a fraction of the usual three to five minutes required by conventional single and double rigs. where the hydraulic pipe arm is located. . The hydraulic pipe tables lift joints of drill pipe to the catwalk. run the equipment. A top drive screws directly into each joint. The reliability of the system is reflected in mechanical downtime of less than half a percent. In addition to efficiency gains.
000 m). Drilling Efficiency and Versatility The rig. can drill vertical. This level of PLC control enhances process efficiency and helps prevent potential damage to the rig floor and the crown. 3. Fig. which has reached drilling rates as high as 607 ft/hr (185 m/hr). The system also slows the block as it nears the rig floor. Beyond that.eliminating the labor-intensive and dangerous component of tubular handling. Safety Most injuries to drilling crews occur while they are handling tubulars. deviated wells. hydraulic safety lockouts for mast position pinning and crown maintenance reduce the need for personnel to climb the mast. The remote-controlled hydraulic tubular handling boom enables the derrickmen to safely remove and add tubulars and accessories to the drillstring mechanically rather than manually. A triparameter auto-drilling system enables the controls to make adjustments on its own if . Drilling crews no longer must move tubulars from racks to the catwalk or position them on the rig floor. This not only makes the entire process more efficient. The sixth-generation rig design uses programmable logic controls to monitor the position of traveling blocks and employ a fail-safe disc brake to control the block speed as it approaches the crown. The rig's control processes help to alleviate this problem. The boom also provides for the handling of casing. with most of those injuries occurring on the rig floor and catwalk. and underbalanced wells to 9. but also improves safety considerably.000 ft (3.
"The drill pipe is 45 ft (13 m) long . a typical double rig racks drill pipe and collars in the derrick in 62-ft stands. there is less wear and tear on the mud motor and drillbit components. "Once we are done logging. a hydraulic arm operated remotely by the rig crew lays the drill pipe on the pipe racks. almost doubling the drilling efficiencies. employs SAG-D (steam-assisted gravity drainage) recovery method for extracting oil. The rig can also be moved one to two miles in four hours and is easily disassembled for highway transportation. Mexico.drilling should deviate from safe operating parameters. which use the standard 30-ft (9-m) drill pipe.000-m) well. For Dunham.300 m). is the rig's design of the remotecontrolled tubular handling equipment and the top drive. the slant rig's tubular handling system lays down each joint during every trip out. They are now used in Canada. drilling manager with EOG Resources Canada.000 wells. Dunham also observed quicker connection times. thus reducing the potential for human error. Feedback From The Field Over the past five years.500-ft (2. because of greater flexibility and savings in rig time and operating costs due to the rig design's efficiencies and ruggedness. Lane Dunham. In this technique. The intensive and demanding program. Perhaps one of the biggest time savers. and the global market is expected to grow as the rigs' benefits become known. This means you don't have to stop drilling as often to add joints to the drillstring. The rig can be moved quickly. most wells can be drilled with one bit. Since 1990. 19 rigs have drilled more than 5. For example." Dunham adds that because there are fewer connections. Venezuela and Kazakhstan. and that can add up to time saved on the program. led by Drilling Superintendent Dough Fletcher. The tubulars can be moved at any time without breaking down stands. Inc. Before it can be moved to another well. The rig design is also simple and compact. movements on a pad can be completed within two hours." he explained. reporting. Rather than manually racking the drill pipe on the rig floor before logging. and therefore. we can run the casing immediately because the pipe has already been laid down. one . These time-savings can be a significant advantage for oil companies with multiple well sites such as Petro-Canada's 50-well drilling program in northern Alberta. Connection times typically take one minute with the rig.500 ft to 7. He experienced penetration rates of 500 ft/hr (150 m/hr). reports Dunham.. has used the rig for well depths of 1. However.that's 50% more than conventional single rigs. the stands must be run back in the hole and broken into single joints before laying the pipe down.500 ft (500 m to 2. requiring only eight loads for well-to-well movements on a pad (including boilers and tubulars). the savings have been up to 12 hr for a typical 6. In some cases.
horizontal well is drilled on top of another horizontal well. Steam is pumped down the top well to heat up the tar sand so the oil flows from the top well to bottom well. Since employing the rig in January of 2001, Petro-Canada has been able to reduce mechanical downtime to nearly zero, achieving an overall budget time savings of nearly 30%, and has eliminated lost time accidents completely. In addition to the same 50% reduction in connection time as Dunham, Fletcher has also found it easier to orient downhole motors and back-ream with the rig. Petro-Canada has been able to move the rig and spud the next well in less than two hours from the time it's released from the previous well. With four pads and 50 wells, the rig's mobility was a significant factor in improving the efficiency of Petro-Canada's drilling program. Part of the rig's efficiency also has to do with the top-drive design, as Fletcher explains, "The rig is much faster because you're operating at a higher range of rpms and you can have much quicker connection times." He adds that the top-drive capabilities also reduce the risk of experiencing stuck pipe. Petro-Canada has drilled more than 105,000 ft (32,000 m) in the last eight months and experienced zero stuck pipe incidents. That's drilling mainly in tar sand, sand and gravel, but also clay, shale and silt. One of Petro-Canada's most notable accomplishments has been its safety performance. The program has had zero lost-time accidents among its crew since employing the rig. With 50 to 60 people a day on the rig, drilling at a steady pace, an accident-free record is remarkable. Fletcher says he owes this in large part to the remote-controlled tubular handling features of the rig. This is true regardless of geographic location. In Venezuela, Pearl Turner, operations manager with PetroZuata, drills in the Zuata field - a heavy-oil sand / shale formation. His drilling program included 240 multi-lateral horizontal wells, which used the rig (PD735). Turner says that with the rig's air slips and iron roughneck and pipe handling arm, trips can be made without a crewmember other than the driver and derrickman. The driller and derrickman controlling the hydraulics can trip in and out of the hole. PetroZuata also experienced faster rig moves compared to conventional drilling rigs. Normally, conventional rigs take at least 30 hours to move from pad to pad. The rig (PD 735) used by PetroZuata took only 15 hours to move to another pad. Due to its size and compact design, the rig can be prepared to move in two hours and rigged up in the same amount of time. Continuous back-reaming was also listed as an advantage of the rig because each joint is handled by making up the top drive into the pipe. He adds that the rig can pick up casing joints as regular joints and run casing without needing a power tong. The necessary torque for the casing can be applied by the rig's top drive system.
In PetroZuata's case, PD 735 Super Single rig broke a world record in drilling time, achieving 5,193 ft in one day. The rig routinely drills 8,000-ft measured-depth horizontal wells at a true vertical depth of 2,100 ft without any issues. Overall, the rig had no significant limitations with the exception of its drawworks and pulling capacity. The small size may pose problems for some of the larger projects. Although Petro-Canada is using the rig only on horizontal SAG-D wells at a 45° slant for this particular program, the rig also works well on vertical wells. According to Fletcher, the company's SAG-D program in northern Alberta is expected to be completed four months ahead of budgeted schedule.
Photos: Precision Drilling
Materials are added to the drilling fluid to restrict this flow by depositing a low permeability filter cake on and adjacent to the borehole wall. the drilling fluid a) b) c) d) brings the rock cuttings to surface stabilizes the borehole cools the bit controls the formation fluids The well is at balance if the borehole and formation fluid pressures are equal: there is no net fluid flow out or into the borehole. . the drilling fluid pressure in the borehole is less than the formation pore fluid pressure. the drilling fluid properties are chosen in the overbalanced situation to prevent formation fluids from entering the wellbore during drilling. when the formation is drilled. fluids flow into the wellbore. What are the advantages to underbalanced drilling? Increased penetration rate and bit life. decreasing the apparent strength of the rock and thus reducing the work needed to drill through the formation. The confinement imposed on the rock by the overbalance is also removed. and thus.Underbalanced Drilling In conventional drilling. Usually. A. Air drilling rates have been reported to be 10 times faster than for conventional mud drilling. In underbalanced drilling.
Reducing drillstring sticking. the drillstring is differentially stuck. It is possible for the drilling fluid to be lost by flowing into a very permeable formation or fractures and not returning to the surface. Earlier formation evaluation and production. If the drillstring becomes embedded in the filter cake. formation fluids enter the wellbore from the permeable formation. By B. oil can be collected while drilling. With suitable surface equipment. there is no force driving the fluid into the formation. Minimizing lost circulation. but if there is no filter cake and no pressure acting to clamp the drillstring when the well is underbalanced. Risks of Underbalanced Drilling Wellbore instability. Lost circulation materials usually have to be added to the mud to plug off this path. Hydrocarbons will be carried with the drill cuttings and thus potentially productive zones can be determined earlier. When the well is drilled underbalanced. The interpretation of the openhole logs will be easier since there is no saturation change next to the wellbore which can mask the presence of hydrocarbons. Other mechanisms can cause sticking. Less stimulation will be required to reduce the formation damage. D. trapping the string. C. A. Reduced stimulation required. Formation damage can occur when solids or liquids enter the formation while drilling overbalanced. causing them to form mud rings at the top of drill collars. . Water inflows. In underbalanced drilling. Because the wellbore pressure is lower than the formation pressure. Formation water can moisten the drill cuttings downhole. B. E. the wellbore support is no longer there.
C. when water influx first occurs. dry gas drilling is switched to mist drilling. the MWD tool cannot operate with the fluids used for underbalanced drilling since the pressure pulses through these fluids have low amplitude.adding water. These can be avoided by using non-flammable circulating fluids such as air foams or nitrogen. Horizontal and directional tool problems. When drilling these types of wells. Electromagnetic systems have to be used. Often. the drilling cuttings can be prevented from attaching to each other. Current Types of Underbalanced Drilling Fluids Four basic types of fluids are used for underbalanced drilling: a) b) c) d) Air / Nitrogen Mist / Fog Foam Aerated Fluid . Downhole fires. D.
Air is the simplest drilling fluid to use. nitrogen is also used. It is generated with membranes that remove oxygen from the air flow delivered by compressors before it is pumped downhole. The inert gas. Natural gas can be cheaper than nitrogen. particularly if drilling close to natural gas pipeline but fire protection guidelines must be followed. Air flow rates (min 3000’/min) must be high enough for adequate hole cleaning. .
Underbalanced Drilling in Estreito Heavy Oil Pool Brazil
Estreito field is in Brazil's northeastern region and has its production zones depleted, Fig. 1. Discovered in 1982, it has more than 700 wells. Estreito field's producing reservoir is very shallow, and the formation is very unconsolidated. This poses a special challenge to maintaining an underbalanced condition during drilling. Special care is required, not only during planning and execution of well operations. Four horizontal wells were planned and drilled underbalanced. In these wells, a compact, vertical gas-liquid separator was successfully tested with an automated control system and data acquisition system developed by Petrobrás. A skimmer was used for drilling solids, fluid-oil separation.
OVERVIEW Estreito field produces heavy oil with high viscosity (>1,000 Cp). Average output from vertical wells is between 3 and 4 m 3 /day (19 and 25 bopd). Horizontal wells produce 10 to 15 m 3 /day (63 to 94 bopd). The wells' low productivity increases lifting costs, requiring such special recovery methods as cyclic and continuous steam injection to increase output. Use of the UBD technique at Estreito tested this method's technical and economical feasibility to increase oil production. This four-well campaign offered the opportunity to field-test several new pieces of equipment and operational procedures that would be used offshore later, where wells with aerated fluid would be drilled for the first time from a drilling vessel. The objective of the four wells described here was to drain an area under the Açu River. The horizontal section extension was approximately 150 m (492 ft), drilled with an 8-1/2-
still not heavily depleted. even though several uncertainties can affect the value's accuracy. The flowrates found in the simulators were around 240 gpm of liquid (with an 8.5. Best estimation was that this collapse pressure would be equivalent to 6. The difference between predicted and actual flowrates was due to pressure losses at the surface. Liquid and gas rates were planned to assure an equivalent circulating density lower than the reservoir pressure. and liquid and gas rates. The estimated depletion is about 3 kg/cm 2 in the area under the river . An external casing packer was used to avoid over-pressuring the formation during cementing. conductor was set at 40 m (131 ft). 2. Original pressure of this unconsolidated sandstone reservoir was 20 kg/cm 2 . liquid rates of 150 to 200 gpm and gas rates of 500. DRILLING TECHNIQUE The 8-1/2-in. This fluid sustained the iron sponge used to avoid any H2S problems (which did not occur). Because the reservoir is unconsolidated. The gas was nitrogen pumped from trucks. casing was set at 90° inside the reservoir. greater than originally estimated.4 ppg. Liquid phase density was also higher than the one used in the simulations.. This casing was cemented using a stage tool inside the 9-5/8-in. . estimated at 7. wellbore stability studies were conducted to determine the collapse pressure. A 13-3/8-in. Fig.000 cfgd.000 to 700.in. Two static and one transient simulator were used to simulate well hydraulics. slotted production casing was set in the horizontal section. bit. and the intermediate 9-5/8-in.5 ppg. casing. and pH was kept above 10. In the field. Anti-corrosion measures were also applied. Formation fluid is basically oil with no associated gas. the 7-in. Finally.5-ppg. horizontal section was drilled underbalanced using a two-phase fluid comprised of water and xantham gum to keep it slightly viscosified. liquid-phase density) and 350.000 cfd were used.
In this case. Before the choke. On the return.The transient simulator was used to estimate the effect of pipe connections (adding new pipe joints to the drillstring as drilling went deeper) on BHP. keeping the well pressurized. A gamma ray tool and an annular BHP sensor were connected to the MWD. An electromagnetic MWD was used to control the well's direction. Both data sets were recorded in real time at a distance of 14 m (46 ft) from the bit. These data were recorded every 96 sec. BHP would gradually drop. the flow moves downward. After the rotating head. allowing return flow to go to the separation system. when circulation was stopped. diameter and is built with two concentric pipes. For this operation. 3.one full. gasified and then injected through the standpipe. would cause wellbore instability. with screens inside cylindrical reservoirs where the sample was retained when the flow was forced to pass through them. . it was estimated at 4 min. which consequently.for simulation purposes. The 3. Connection time is also important . a rotating control head (Williams 9000 model) was used above the regular BOP stack. From there. keeping BHP above collapse pressure. The mixture enters the separator tangentially at its top. due to the absence of friction loss. this segregation will be minimized. This rotating head allowed a maximum 1. the system was changed to normally open. two-phase separator. What happened was that when reinitiating circulation. the liquid phase was pumped by mud pumps. This simulation showed that it was going to be very difficult to keep BHP between the limits defined by the collapse pressure (219 psi) and the reservoir pressure (250 psi). This cylindrical separator is 6-m high. and two with a variable choke pneumatically controlled. SEPARATION/PROCESS SYSTEM While liquid nitrogen was pumped from trucks. A sample catcher was located after the choke that was also specially designed and built. Fig. The mixture of both phases occurred in a Y connection at ground level before going up to the standpipe. The goal of the pre-charge is to add more gas to the liquid that will remain at the bottom of the well due to gas segregation. a liquid slug formed during connection of new pipe that would provoke an increase in BHP. By closing the valve. liquid injection would be interrupted 90 sec before the gas. passing through the annular of the two concentric pipes in a helical trajectory. Just after the sample catcher. the solution for this problem was to use a nitrogen pre-charge before connecting new pipe. the flow passed through a choke manifold specifically designed and built for underbalanced operation.000-psi working pressure choke had three streams . there was a normally closed safety valve with a remote pneumatic actuator.000-psi static pressure and 500 psi when rotating the string at a maximum 100 rpm. and the emergency shutdown valve on the flowline would be closed during connection. the gas-liquid-solids mixture entered the Petrobrás vertical. has a 20-in. Theoretically. Conversely. This would cause BHP to go below collapse pressure.
. as well as opening and closing control valves. The skimmer receiving the liquids-solids (drilling fluid. In this case. the liquid-solids mixture goes to the separator bottom and from there to the skimmer. fully automated control system was developed and used during operations to control all parameters. DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEM A dedicated. and the other two separate oil from the drilling fluid. the gas is separated. After that. the screen shows a zero liquid level inside the separator. The first tank holds cuttings. goes inside the inner pipe to the top of the separator and then proceeds to a secondary separator that retains any liquid still present in the mixture. Another monitor was remotely located at the driller's cabin that allowed the driller and rig floor personnel to follow the operation. This was before the operation. The separator works with a liquid seal (to avoid gas going to the skimmer with the liquids-solids mixture). the gas goes to the burner. Conversely. 4. A typical screen from the data acquisition system is shown in Fig. All equipment and valves are displayed in a manner that makes it very simple for the operator to control the whole process from the control cabin.In this movement. Pneumatic valves automatically control the liquid seal's level. oil and cuttings) mixture has three tanks able to collectively hold 280 bbl.
BHP might be above the desired value due to mishandling of chokes or valves at the surface. pressures and actuation of the control valves. when this is not possible. this data set is more complete. Since the separator and control system were new. full control of the operation was in place at all times. Also the system was linked to the MWD/PWD (pressure while drilling) tool. when the data is shown in real time. With this automated control system. some of . 5. In many instances. An example of some data plotted against time is shown in Fig. Therefore. even including observation of the influence of surface equipment on BHP. Contrary to other standard UBD operations.Meanwhile. The list of recorded parameters includes: • • • • • • • • • • Injection liquid and gas flow rates Injection temperature and pressure Rotating control head pressure Separator liquid level Liquid and gas outlet flowrates Separator work pressure Outlet liquid density Control valves' percentage openings Bottomhole pressure Well depth. it is also being recorded for future analysis. some operational practices were changed to avoid overbalanced conditions. including separator levels.
to avoid reduction of BHP below the collapse pressure. it was decided to batch drill the four wells. the pressure increase after the connection was not as high as the simulator predicted. This was especially difficult due to the wells' shallow depths. caused a sudden pressure increase and big slugs that impaired separator performance. This allowed a much safer operation. This was due to difficulties in coordinating the mud pumps and extra time required for gas injection. after connection. Because oil production was being achieved . Attempts to avoid an overbalanced condition after the connection. During the first well. OPERATIONS To save stand-by time for equipment and personnel dedicated to underbalanced operations. just by shutting in the injection without any special procedure. the first well was drilled overbalanced during a majority of the horizontal section's initial portion. closure of the emergency shutdown valve at the surface.the practices implemented were different from current ones. actual collapse pressure was lower than predicted. which indicated a wrong value. Conversely. but. after everything was checked. BHP was allowed to go to a lower value. separator liquid level and separator work pressure.and half of the horizontal section had already been drilled . Consequently. Accordingly. improving the whole operation significantly. the horizontal sections were drilled only after the four wells had been drilled and cemented to the intermediate casing string at a 90° inclination. It was first supposed that the PWD was registering a wrong value.it was decided to keep BHP at the same level to avoid affecting formation stability. . Alarms were in place for liquid injection. by using a gas precharge after shutting in the liquid. it was concluded that the nitrogen flowmeter was wrong. only during small periods of time did BHP reach values slightly above the estimated reservoir pressure. Due to a problem on the nitrogen injection flowrate. were not practical. Even though an underbalanced condition was not always guaranteed. Therefore.
One possible explanation might be gas accumulation on the upper side of the horizontal section.The chart of BHP. skimmer efficiency was poor. but these measures were not attempted. A detailed investigation was conducted on all the measured and recorded values.. which took 13 hr. 6. Oil content in the drilling fluid increased to 10% at the end of the well from the initial 0% value. Heating up the oil or adding some chemicals could have helped the oil/water separation. Another interesting point to mention was a sudden. except for the first well. this problem was solved. the gas slug suddenly migrates to the surface. and the average drilling time for each horizontal section was 13 hr. This phenomenon deserves further investigation. At a certain point. In the same field. and no apparent reason was found. four other horizontal conventional wells were drilled recently. can be seen in Fig. Total drilling time for each well ranged from 8 to 9 hr. as it can cause serious problems during underbalanced operations. and estimated collapse and reservoir pressures. Due to the oil's relatively high viscosity. Oil production achieved during drilling averaged 150 bpd. . unexpected huge slug of nitrogen during the last third of one of the wells. and the underbalanced condition was more stable. In the remaining wells.
The well was planned for UBD and completion. it is not yet possible to check well production performance in comparison to other wells drilled conventionally. Integration of the team from the initial stages of planning. geology. Cased Drilling . was a key factor in the project's success. Both hydraulic simulators used .were accurate enough compared to field data. After this first underbalanced campaign. At this time. The idea is to measure not only oil output but also productivity improvement. research and service companies. even in an unconsolidated formation. Higher fluid levels were observed inside wells after they were drilled underbalanced. Accordingly. to verify the benefits of drilling wells underbalanced. casing and cementing practices.drilling. compared with conventional wells. so it can be concluded that formation damage was lower than usual. one can conclude that UBD is a feasible technique. Current wellbore stability simulators tend to be very conservative. Quantitative measurements will be conducted as soon as production reaches a steady state. from the intermediate casing shoe to the surface. the remaining cement plug and the slotted casing were washed and cleaned with nitrogen to avoid overpressuring the formation. Significant oil production during this period was observed.the steady state and the transient models . To cope with this more aggressive drilling practice. reservoir engineering. through training and field operation. and casing cleaning. The new compact vertical separation was approved. wellbore stability analysis should incorporate new failure criteria and methods. The automated data and control acquisition system is essential for having a safe. and were very important during the well planning stage. successful UBD operation. After the slotted casing was cemented. and this same concept was used later offshore during a field test of drilling with lightweight fluids. CONCLUSIONS This project was a successful venture by an integrated team comprised of personnel from different areas . a great effort was made to change the original well design. Preliminary results indicate an increase in productivity from the wells drilled underbalanced.
The casing is then permanently installed in the hole. There are no kicks while tripping the drill string. Reaming is not required. The casing is in place when the casing set depth is reached. Wells can be completed quicker with no tripping and reduced pipe handling thus making it safer.The concept of cased drilling is to drill the hole with casing instead of drill pipe. The wellbore integrity is preserved. Photo:Tesco Bottomhole assemblies are delivered by wireline. eliminating trips in and out of the hole with a drillstring. the last string of casing is recovered instead of being cemented in place. . If the hole is dry.
Hole problems resulting from surge pressures and swabs are also removed. The rig move is easier. Casing drilling can reduce the time needed to drill a well by 20 to 30%. This rig can drill as fast as a conventional rig (though it may be slower in soft rocks. . drill collars. There are lower mud and cementing costs due to the smaller wellbore. large setback areas if running double or triple rigs are also eliminated.Photo:Tesco The expenses for drill pipe. A Casing Drilling Rig only requires a Range III single mast. cutting fuel consumption and equipment wear. since the conventional rig is more designed for tripping than drilling. There is less circulating and back reaming at connections when drilling with casing.
It has a locator mechanism. Casing drilling uses the standard oil field casing to drill and case the well simultaneously.Casing drilling has 25% fewer connections because casing joints are longer. and axial lock and torsional drive splines that mate with a profile nipple at the top of the first joint of casing. There are tools for the bottomhole assembly and drill lock assembly that secures the bottomhole assembly to the casing. The drilling fluid is circulated down the casing and back up through the annulus. Photo: Tesco The bottomhole assembly latched into the bottom joint of casing is run and retrieved through the casing using a wireline (and not tripped with drill pipe-reducing costs). Time not spent drilling on conventional rigs takes 44 to 86% of total well time. Casing installation and tripping account for 34 to 58% of this total. . The casing provides the hydraulic and mechanical energy to the drilling assembly suspended in a profile nipple located near the bottom of the casing. The drill lock assembly gives the mechanical coupling and hydraulic seal to the bottom of the casing.
coring or directional assembly. . Single joints of casing are picked off the pipe rack and set into the mouse hole.g a 6 ¼ in. The Casing drilling rig uses a top drive to rotate the casing. underreamer.Photo: Tesco The drilling assembly below the drill lock assembly ends in a pilot bit. An underreamer above the pilot bit is normally used to open the hole to the final wellbore diameter. pilot bit and 8 ½ or 8 7/8 in underreamer are used while drilling a 7 in buttress thread casing). but can include other conventional drillstring components. These are sized for casing drilling (e. such as a mud motor.
and adapts to all top drives. The top drive rotates the casing at speeds similar to conventional rotary drilling. . Centralizers are also run. For directional and horizontal wells.Photo: Tesco The top drive is connected to the top of the joint which is then stabbed into the top of the casing string in the rotary table and drilled down. The casing string is attached to the top drive with a Casing Drive System that eliminates the need to screw into the top of the each casing joint. This replaces the power tongs. the bottomhole assembly is equipped with mud motors and MWD tools (which are protected inside the casing). Torque rings can be included to increase the torque ratings of connections.
The most common method is to hoist the casing above the zone of interest and then run conventional wireline logs. Cold Lake CSS wells are almost always deviated. .Photo: Tesco The biggest remaining need is to have an effective way to do logging through casing pipe. Drilling Program at Cold Lake CSS A deviated well is any well where the bottomhole location is drilled at a horizontal offset from the surface location (wellhead). since the bottomhole targets are drilled from a centrally located surface location.
Surface casing is set into competent shale below the glacial till and cemented in place with thermal cement. bottomhole angle (well deviation) and pumping capacity of deviated wells have increased. About 20 m to 30 m of conductor pipe is commonly present on each well before the well is directionally drilled to target depth and logged. if required. Wells are cemented back to surface with thermal cement. Production casing (typically 177. previous evaluation wells on or near specific pads are used to confirm that Clearwater Formation pressure and wellbore drilling conditions are suitable to drill selected pads without installing surface casing on the first well. Cement tops are maintained at surface to reduce the potential for external corrosion.Through ongoing development at Cold Lake. Alternatively. with a 750 m horizontal offset from the wellhead to bottomhole target and an 80 degree angle at the target. as required after build section 2 Planned Constraints none maximum dogleg of 3 degrees per 30 m Build Section 2 maximum dogleg of 10 degrees per 30 m Hold Section maximum dogleg of 10 degrees per 30 m Tangent Section from end of hold section to maximum dogleg of 3 final total depth degrees per 30 m Table DRI-1 Wellbore Directional Profile . Short horizontal wells typically access the equivalent of two or three deviated CSS-well bottomhole locations. a measurement-while drilling tool is used. To achieve directional control. Recent additions to Cold Lake CSS well designs include using short horizontal wells on some pads. Typical survey intervals are at: • • • no more than 30 m in the vertical hole section every connection in the build hole sections 30 m in the hold hole and tangent sections Hole Section Vertical Section Build Section 1 Interval surface to kickoff point – typically 25 m true vertical depth within the glacial till to typically 130 m below the glacial till. the length.8 mm L-80 with metal-to-metal seal connections) is then installed from target depth to surface. Conditions now require some wells to exceed 1000 m in length. Directional Control Wells are drilled using a downhole motor with a bent housing. Surface casing is usually only installed on the first well drilled to confirm that the Clearwater Formation pressure is low enough to enable the remaining wells on the pad to be drilled without surface casing.
For wells requiring surface casing. short horizontal wells are used to access two or three bottomhole locations from a single wellbore. A horizontal extension is drilled after installing a standard CSS well to an initial bottomhole location. which cause rough drilling for the first 60 to 80 m • bridges in the glacial till. Casing centralization is important for achieving good mud displacement while cementing. the casing is typically set into a competent shale below the glacial tills. without cementing. Production casing is installed after the well is drilled to target depth. planned wellbore doglegs are kept less than three degrees per 30 m in the glacial till whenever possible.Factors Affecting Drilling Formation factors that affect the quality of the drilled hole include: • gravel and boulders in the glacial till. metal-to-metal seal connections is used to provide connection integrity. Casing Installation On all wells. which make it possible to start a new hole while attempting to work the drill string through bridges in the original hole. Each CSS well is cased and cemented with thermal cement from total drilled depth to surface. The standard well is drilled and cased to an inclination of 85 to 90 degrees at the initial bottomhole target. Currently. The casing is sealed at the surface by a thermal wellhead for steam injection and production operations. . To reduce the difficulty of re-entry. Horizontal liners are typically set in an open hole. In the production casing. Two centralizers are installed on every joint across the Clearwater Formation. Horizontal liners access the reservoir through perforations and wire wrapped screens. Casing Centralizers Casing centralizers are installed on the outside of the casing to centre the casing in the borehole. Short Horizontals At specific locations. or at about 150 m. centralizers are installed on every joint of casing from the surface down to the top of the Clearwater Formation. Casing Grade API 5CT L-80 Type 1 or equivalent proprietary grad steel is used in production or intermediate casing strings. 20 to 30 m of conductor pipe is preset to provide a stable wellbore for drilling operations. particularly from the narrow side of an eccentric annulus.
Imperial oil CSS developments typically use pads with 24 to 28 wells. normally: • • is set in the open hole without cementing is equipped with perforations and wire-wrapped screens Metal-to-metal seal casing connections are used to provide improved connection integrity throughout CSS operations.8 mm diameter intermediate casing to total drilled depth and set in the horizontal section.2 ha.Depending on the required well capacity. The liner. Photo: Drill pipe and collars . Depending on the production and injection requirements.3 mm diameter production liner to be run from the base of the 177. Single bottomhole locations will cover 3. Where short horizontal wells are used. casing and production-liner designs use either: • • a 219 mm production casing and a 140 mm production liner a 244 mm production casing and a 178 mm production liner Production casing size depends on wellbore configuration. the production casing size varies from 140 to 244 mm in diameter. standard wellbore configuration requires a 114. Production liner is a type of casing used in a lower part of a well.
The assumption in the minimum curvature method is that there is a constant radial arc of curvature between survey stations.Directional Tool Inaccuracies WELLBORE POSITIONING— Calculated borehole position may be erroneous in over half of the horizontal wells drilled during the past 15 years. positional error of as much as ±25 ft true vertical depth (TVD) can accumulate. . The directional well surveying industry has used the minimum curvature method as its standard means to calculate the position of a wellbore from stationary inclination and azimuth measurements. In a typical horizontal well. and the distance between surveys has crept up from 30 to 90 ft. stationary survey measurements. This study found that several generally accepted directional drilling and well surveying practices are primarily responsible for these errors. according to the results of an ongoing industry study of continuous vs.
a significant overall error resulted. and true vertical depth (Z). The simple. northing (Y). The black curve in Fig. are calculated by fitting a constant radial arc to tie the two positional vectors together. although this will add to project cost. They are directly related to the mechanical aspects of directional drilling. • Part 2. 1 illustrates this assumption. Illuminating the problem The minimum-curvature method has long been used as the standard means to calculate a wellbore's position from inclination and azimuth measurements by determining the smallest radius curvature between two survey stations. 90-ft survey intervals. The late 1980s introduction of positive displacement motors (PDMs) with bent housings to the directional drilling market made it possible to freely switch between slide drilling with high curve rates (5-10°/100 ft) and rotary drilling with curve rates usually less than 1°/100 . Alternately. The inherent assumption with this method is that the entire section will be drilled at a constant radius of curvature. positivedisplacement motor system. This three-part section includes: • Part 1: A look at where positional inaccuracies occur in horizontal wells and how frequently they happen when drilling with a conventional steerable. unplanned sidetracks.: A review of similar inaccuracies while using rotary steerable systems and (or) encountering lithology changes. a long-term solution is being developed that will allow real-time monitoring of directional tendencies and borehole position using continuous direction and inclination measurements. The accumulation of large positional errors during drilling can lead to poor and costly geosteering decisions that ultimately result in poorly placed wells. In this example there are two surveys. The position coordinates for the second survey point. and lower recovery of reserves.This study of continuous direction and inclination survey measurements taken over significantly shorter intervals has found many instances where the constant radial arc assumption was not valid and in each instance resulted in a small positional error. The position coordinates of Point X are given. Four sources have been identified that cause nonconstant curvature to occur between relatively long-spaced. X and X+1. • Part 3: A set of recommendations and techniques that can help to minimize the problem. short-term solution to reduce the amount of accumulated error is to take more surveys. In cases where the positional error was systematically repeated en route to total depth. in terms of easting (X). The biggest impact of such errors to an operating company may be the mistaken addition or subtraction of hundreds of thousands of barrels of booked recoverable reserves per well.
stationary directional measurements when the mud pumps were cycled off and on during connections. 1 represent the alternate well path trajectories that end up with the same measured depth. and red curves shown in Fig. the advent of PDMs and top drives has increased the probability that curve rates will vary dramatically between stationary survey points. In each case the arc length and radius of curvature for each curved slide-drilled section are the same (shown as dashed line sections). that is. surveying intervals have also increased gradually to 90 ft from 30-ft spacing. 30-ft joints of pipe (a stand) without stopping to make connections. and at the end (red) of a rotarydrilled tangent section of hole (solid lines). in the middle (green).ft. Further. However. top drives on offshore and some land rigs have enabled drilling with three. the placement of these curved sections is varied from being before (blue). These are based on different combinations of sliding and rotary drilling between the two survey stations. Simply interpolating between these points will not reflect many of today's actual wellbore trajectories. Bottom line. and inclination for Point X+1. nonconstant curvatures will exist. Early example . The model illustrates the importance of knowing where changes of curvature exist along a well path trajectory. azimuth. The blue. green. As initial measurement-while-drilling (MWD) tools took three-axis.
However. rotary drilling. The curve rate calculated between the stationary surveys using minimum curvature is about 3. MWD service companies modified their downhole data streams to include sampling of accelerometer and magnetometer data during pumping operations. Following are details of how these differences in assumed versus actual curvature rates result in positional error.5°/100 ft. especially drilling. indicate a constant rate of curvature. The bottom hole assembly (BHA) dropped at about 4°/100 ft when rotated.In the late 1990s. The straight lines connecting the stationary survey points. respectively. which results in surveys that are 2-4 ft apart when drilling. These continuous data are being used routinely by directional drillers for trajectory tendency work. which is a dramatic but not unusual occurrence resulting from a less than optimal choice of BHA. both inclination and azimuth. The slope changes of the continuous inclination data indicate the vertical build and drop rates achieved while slide drilling vs. Causes of positional error . 2 compares stationary and continuous survey data over a 500-ft build section in a directional well. Specifically. continuous direction and inclination measurements (cDNI) are made every 30-90 sec. continuous surveys are not yet deemed reliable enough to be used as definitive positional surveys. Fig. as work on error models for the cDNI data continues. The PDM motor delivered about 13°/100 ft building when sliding with the gravity tool face (GTF) settings given. Simplified single-axis surveys now can be transmitted to the surface in the same way that gamma ray and resistivity data are transmitted.
Note that when the slide section is placed in the center of the rotary drilled sections (B) the TVD errors cancel out (B'). 2 shows a good example of applying a slide or rotate drilling pattern during the build section of a well. 2 data. The position of the 100-ft stationary survey stations (yellow squares) is varied from being immediately after (A). while a valid concern. 4. . Currently. 2. as shown for each of the three modeled wells by the curves labeled A'. B'. drop.Changing modes with rotary steerable systems between stationary survey points. or walk tendencies when attempting to maintain or hold constant inclination and azimuth in a tangent well section. Fig. Each case uses a series of 50-ft slide sections (building at 10°/100 ft) and 50-ft rotate sections with no build rate to go from an initial inclination of 0° to a final inclination of 90°. and (or) turn sections of wells. 3 shows three sets of slide (rotate) drilling models. In this case the directional driller sets up a relatively consistent pattern of alternating between slide drilling and rotary drilling once per stand.Four primary sources of nonconstant curvature between long-spaced stationary surveys have been identified: 1. concerns about wellbore position concentrate on differences in TVD. this article focuses on differences in TVD position. The difference between the TVD calculated using the stationary and continuous inclinations accumulates. in the middle of (B). are of lesser importance at this stage.Systematic use of PDM steerable systems to compensate for build. systematic patterns do present themselves. The positioning of a horizontal drainhole relative to fluid contacts and the construction of geological structure maps are based on TVD position. but the argument can be made for both TVD and azimuthal position. 3. Changes in azimuthal location. or immediately before (C) a slide interval. The red squares show the continuous survey dataset for each of the models. Continuous direction (or azimuth) measurements have a wider fluctuation than continuous inclination measurements. drop. and C'. Thus. as seen in the character of the Fig. Slide or rotate patterns Fig.Slide or rotate directional drilling patterns accomplished with PDM steerable systems during the build. These show a swing of ±25 ft of accumulated TVD error. While in practice directional drillers do not execute the perfect patterns shown.Lithology and (or) bed dip angle changes between stationary survey points.
A field study There is no standard set of procedures for incorporating continuous directional data into survey calculations for dogleg severity or hole positioning. . To determine the extent of wellbore TVD error resulting from slide/rotate drilling practices. a study was commissioned in August 2001.
Directional operations data. 6). While these wells were being drilled. 4 illustrates the general positional results of the study. in its final build to horizontal. TVD calculations from continuous and stationary surveys had a 22-ft difference—deeper on the continuous survey.000 ft MD. Fig. and BKPst1. The data cover the entire directional well from kick-off to TD at 9.Stationary and continuous survey data for thirteen horizontal wells in Nigeria. The largest difference recorded (Well GBK "a") showed that continuous inclination placed the final TVD 22 ft deeper than the TVD calculated from the stationary surveys.310 ft MD. Top-drive use in the other countries allowed for larger difference in inclination to accumulate between surveys.033 ft. The three smallest positional errors recorded were in wells AMP "a. which were drilled in Indonesia with rigs without top drives and using a standard kelly. Details of the same well between 6. and slide (rotate) section lengths varied widely.1) Eight of the wells had TVD differences greater than 5 ft. and thus a greater chance for TVD differences to occur. Angola and Indonesia were captured and processed. (More detailed results can be found in Stockhausen and Lesso. The shorter survey interval of 30 ft did not allow for large differences between the continuous surveys and the minimum curvature assumption to accumulate.7 ft at 7. reveal the true nature of the slide (rotate) pattern used (Fig. The delta TVD curve reveals how the error accumulated to reach a maximum difference of 23. about every 30 ft. BHA reports and slide sheets also were gathered.000 and 7. surveys were taken at every joint of pipe." BKPorg. 5 shows the stationary and continuous inclination data for one of the Nigeria wells. Fig. Continuous inclination data .
033 ft). The continuous inclination tended to directly overlay the line connecting the stationary surveys and little or no delta TVD developed.600– 5.100–9.700 ft) did TVD differences occur. do not see this effect. taken at about 90-ft intervals.000 to 7. A significant positional error is possible on 60% of horizontal wells studied. The stationary inclination survey points. The line drawn between the stationary inclination points indicates the constant rate of curvature assumed by the minimum curvature method. Positional error can be greatly influenced by directional drilling procedures. It is important to note that in this well (Fig. The probability is high that horizontal wells drilled with PDM steerable systems on a top drive rig will have a TVD positional problem large enough to cause well-placement problems. the BHA did a good job of holding angle when rotary drilling. During the drilling of the hold sections (3.000 ft the overall delta TVD accumulates from 14 to 23 ft deeper. Two conclusions arise from this study: 1. Only when correction slides were made (near 4. indicating that the well is increasingly deeper—or shallower when above the line. The obvious criticism of these conclusions is that 13 wells are not a large sample.700 ft and 7. When the nonconstant curvature shown by the continuous surveys is below this line. From 6. 5) almost all of the TVD difference occurs as a result of attempting to build or drop angle.700 and 7. .show that angle builds while sliding and holds during rotary drilling. the delta TVD accumulates. 2.
marker beds above the target reservoir are used to help determine wellbore position relative to the target. additional TVD positional error can accumulate during the final approach to target. Petrophysical data modeling and navigation techniques developed over the last decade have made it possible to deal with most unexpected changes by maneuvering the drill bit to land the horizontal wellbore on target. resulting in overshooting or undershooting the desired location and perhaps losing some lateral section. Trajectory adjustments are made accordingly. positive-displacement motor system. The process is ongoing. or the lateral section of a horizontal well. WELLBORE POSITIONING— Rotary drilling with positive-displacement motors can introduce positional inaccuracies that remain undetected with stationary surveys and lead to potentially mistaken drilling decisions. as well as from the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico. but to date the percentage seems to be holding. poorly placed wells usually are attributed to an unexpected change in geological structure. During geosteering operations. But. With current knowledge in hand. This article further illustrates positional issues using PDMs and then discusses rotary steerable systems and the impact of lithology on accurate well placement. Because neither operator nor service company personnel are typically aware of this problem. can lead to poorly placed drainhole sections or missing the target reservoir completely. An earlier study by Lesso and Kashikar2 noted that about 40% of horizontal wells encountered a "geological surprise" that resulted in a 10-20 ft TVD shift. it is interesting to speculate on how many of these shifts actually were caused by nonconstant curvature in survey calculations. Tangent sections A tangent section is the angle hold section in a standard slant or "S" trajectory.Additional wells have been reviewed from the study area. . the borehole angle and direction will be maintained. Part 1 revealed where positional inaccuracies occur in horizontal wells and how frequently they happen when drilling with a conventional steerable. caused by nonconstant curvature in surveys. Landing horizontal wells TVD positional differences in horizontal wells. It is generally expected that when rotary drilling with a conventional steerable PDM assembly. assuming that the vertical thickness and dip angles of the intermediate beds remain constant.
weight-on-bit. perform slide sections when the objective is to hold angle in a tangent section. The Fig. To maintain the wellbore at 90º. a directional driller can add short slide sections to the drilling sequence. to neutralize a rotary section of 86 ft dropping at 1º/100 ft in a 100-ft drilling section. 1 shows a model of what stationary and continuous survey data can look like when rotary drilling a lateral section with a BHA that drops at 1º/100 ft. The continuous surveys show the actual inclination for this pattern and have values greater than 90º. Here the slide is placed immediately after the stationary survey depth. except at the stationary survey points. .However. it is sometimes necessary to use active directional drilling. the driller has added a slide section of 14 ft. The build or drop and turn tendency of a bottomhole assembly (BHA) can change with differing formations and operational parameters such as flow rate. The wellbore TVD position calculated from the continuous surveys will drift shallow as compared to the position calculated from the stationary surveys. 2 models demonstrate how this drift can impact decisions in drilling a horizontal well. that is. All stationary surveys read 90º when this pattern is repeated.7 ft/500 ft drilled. To counter undesired rotary drilling tendencies. building at 6º/100 ft. Fig. and it would be assumed that the wellbore is perfectly flat. and rpm. In this case the drift rate is 3.
500-ft lateral section below the top of a relatively horizontal pay zone and above the oil water contact (OWC). 2a shows the well trajectory interpretation that likely would result using stationary surveys to guide the planned placement of a 1. and recoverable reserves estimates would be lowered since the full. The logical conclusion would be that the formation dips downward. Drilling would be stopped.Fig. yet the wellbore exits top of pay after drilling only 810 ft. . 1.500-ft lateral drainage field was not achieved. The stationary surveys show that the wellbore has been held at 90º with no change in TVD.
which are required with steerable motors. a tool face of 20º could be used with 35% of total force available.Fig. RS systems produce curve rates by selecting a tool face angle and percentage of side force in the direction of the tool face angle. Relatively long slides maintain approximately 90º to offset a relatively strong dropping tendency while rotating the BHA. One would expect the BHA to maintain a relatively constant hole angle and direction. . This well was eventually sidetracked when the top of pay was encountered earlier than expected. A neutral setting of 0% and the tool face angle would be irrelevant. To increase angle and turn slightly to the right. 3 shows an actual case of using slide sections to compensate for a rotary dropping tendency during planned hold sections. It indicates that the well path had drifted upward and that the original structural interpretation was correct. By monitoring well position in real-time with the continuous (cDNI) measurements. one can avoid negative scenarios like these in the future. The power setting would be changed to 100% in order to steer more aggressively. Rotary steerable systems Rotary steerable (RS) systems have eliminated the need for large curve rate changes between slide and rotary drilling sections. Fig. 2b shows the interpretation with the same drilling scenario using continuous surveying in a post-mortem analysis.
These systems also allow greater overall penetration rates for a well. can result in TVD positional differences. Stationary surveys were taken after drilling each pipe stand. That figure shows an example from a North Sea well during its final build to horizontal. as in Fig.000 ft interval. Effects of lithology Lithology changes such as tight streaks. Four different tool settings were subsequently applied over the 3.100-4. Such corners can cause up to a 2-ft TVD difference-occurrence and in this case accumulated to about a 3-ft TVD difference. . and changing bed dip angle can alter directional tendencies. When these are encountered between survey stations. however. similar to what happens with RS systems. A bit run with a steerable motor finished at about 3. In two cases the steering settings were changed between stationary survey points resulting in an apparent "rounding the corner" effect between the continuous and stationary inclinations. changes in rock strength. a TVD difference can develop when settings change between survey points. a rounding the corner effect. The continuous inclination measurements demonstrate the consistency in build angle for each set.100 ft and was followed by an RS run.Directional drilling with an RS system can produce long. consistent curve rates that are smooth and predictable. 4.
these events can be identified and remedial action taken to minimize their effects. Fig. Tight streaks can result in a large dogleg over a short interval and cause drilling and completion problems in addition to TVD differences. these events are difficult to detect with long survey intervals. By monitoring the cDNI data in real-time. The trajectory decreases to 82º from 95º inclination while drilling a sinusoidal horizontal well profile.Typically isolated incidents. . 5 shows the reaction of an RS drilling assembly with a high-density tight streak in a horizontal wellbore.
000 ft. would indicate that the bed dip is constant and the wellbore is kinked. Bottomhole assembly (BHA) stiffness causes the inclination to recover and the bit hits the hard streak a second time before the general downward tendency in inclination continues. diameter section of a North Sea well. on the other hand. In this case. postdrilling surveys Many have believed that the nonconstant curvature caused by slide and rotate drilling with PDMs is reamed out by pipe rotation and tripping actions as the well progresses. Interpretations of continuous surveys. Fig. continuous measurement-while-drilling (MWD). This assumption was long unquestioned until continuous surveys made while drilling could be compared with continuous gyro surveys taken after drilling each section. as shown by the continuous inclination. the TVD positional differences cancel out. as previously demonstrated in Part 1. . Angle was built during the slide sections and held during rotation. Changes in directional drilling and surveying practices could lead to a reduction in positional errors arising from nonconstant wellbore curvature. Some have thought that wellbore tortuosity and positional difference were thereby eliminated. While drilling. The stationary surveys do not register this event. would indicate folded beds and dip changes.The bit hits the bottom of a hard streak at 5. 1 shows stationary. using an image log and stationary surveys. resulting in a smooth borehole.750 ft and bounces down. The dip interpretation. and continuous gyro inclination survey data from a 1. 121/4-in.
Several solutions are available based on modifying directional drilling methods. The population of wells with this positional problem is clearly a subset of wells with sensor-accuracy issues. Fig. Back track or move forward? The problem of positional difference resulting from nonconstant curvature in wellbores has gradually crept into directional drilling practices. therefore. It would not require the introduction of new procedures to the directional drilling industry. survey calculations. Be careful not to confuse the two. greatly reduce a popular feature of top-drive drilling by interrupting the drilling of 90-ft hole sections. a majority of the tortuosity remained. and procedures in drilling measurements. The survey accuracy issue affects every directional well. Positional errors. however. The obvious solution to this problem would be to go back to taking surveys every 30 ft.000/offshore . 2 shows how using 30-ft stationary surveys reduces the TVD difference between continuous and stationary inclination measurements.Gyro data taken after drilling the 121/4-in. Analyses made during the studies cited in Part 2 indicate that positional differences would be reduced by more than 90% by returning to 30-ft surveys. Both of these attributes of survey analysis are real and independent of each other. returning to 30-ft survey stations is the simplest way to minimize this problem consistently. One estimate showed that adding back the two surveys per stand would require another $50. such a comparison is misleading. It would. section show that some reduction in the curve rate tortuosity did occur as drilling progressed. however. The nonconstant curvature issue affects wells in which curvature changes significantly. One is an accuracy based on sensor characteristics. Since there is yet no methodology for combining stationary and continuous survey data and maintaining manageable sensor error models. To return to 30-ft surveying would add time and. while the other is an effect based on sensor use. There are distinct and separate methods for reducing the effects of both sensor accuracy and nonconstant curvature. sensor accuracy The positional difference found when computing wellbore location from directional surveys with nonconstant curvature is not the same as the positional accuracy calculated with accepted error models. operational cost. and survey spacing is greater than 45 ft.
Placement of the slide section for each stand of pipe is more discretionary. Two things could be changed: the surveys could be taken at different depths.well on average. Taking positional issues into consideration at this point should not be a problem. surveys are taken after drilling a stand and as close to the bottom of the hole as possible without increasing the risk of sticking the pipe. The slide is usually placed in the first part of the stand being drilled. This would not eliminate the contrasting curvatures found with PDM drilling. however. taking hole cleaning procedures and sticking avoidance into consideration. A balanced sliding approach A closer look at how positional differences develop shows that the problem occurs as a result of where in the drilling sequence the stationary surveys are taken relative to where within each stand of pipe the directional driller chooses to slide. The location of a slide section within the drilling of a stand of pipe can be balanced to minimize the effect of noncontinuous curvature on wellbore position. . and half would be below. Currently. Half of the difference between continuous and stationary survey data would be above the line drawn between stationary surveys. This procedure is nearly universal in directional drilling. less-efficient procedure when continuous survey data exist? Several alternatives exist. Yet why return to this older. The directional driller typically decides the footage needed for each slide section to achieve trajectory objectives. but it would alter the locations of these curvatures so that they cancel out one another before positional differences can accumulate. The net difference would be zero. and the depths of the slide sections could be changed. more in deepwater situations.
could be used in this type of survey calculation. Simulated surveys could be added to the stationary survey data based on continuous survey results. the stand length. Operational procedures for implementing this solution currently are under investigation. Fig. Should hole cleaning. Other alternatives It is feasible to develop a new method for calculating position from survey data that account for nonconstant curvature. and the slide section length. commonly found in a directional driller's slide sheets. or sticking problems override this recommendation. including real-time analysis of continuous and stationary survey data to minimize the delta TVD difference between the two survey sets. Several approaches are possible. This is an easy computation that the directional driller can make for each stand of pipe to determine a recommended footage to drill in rotary mode in the stand before initiating sliding. but do include records of directional tactical operations in well reports. the stationary survey location can be changed to balance the slide. The location and tool face for slide sections. These simulated surveys would have the effect of altering the positional calculation in the stationary surveys so that it matches the position calculated from the continuous surveys alone. . This may be the best solution for historical data that do not include continuous survey measurements. stability. 3 shows how these factors come together to produce the desired result.Factors that must be considered to balance a slide section include: the distance from the bit to the MWD survey sensor. the standard stationary surveying distance off-bottom. based on previous knowledge of the curve rates for slide and rotary directional drilling.
Findings Positional errors can result from nonconstant curvature between stationary surveys taken at spacings of 90 ft or greater. Rotary steerable systems produce wellbores with a more constant curvature. potential positional errors are greatly reduced. At the same time. low-cost method that greatly reduces potential errors. accurate. but it has problems. The availability of continuous surveying today will allow these solutions to be further developed and tested. These errors have crept into directional drilling with the wide use of PDM steerable motors and top drive systems. Long-term. real-time surveys can be used for definitive survey purposes. Monitoring positional differences between continuous and stationary measurements in realtime and taking additional stationary surveys when necessary effectively minimize the four primary sources of TVD positional errors. Another is the number of simulated surveys to be used between the stationary surveys. can be combined with normal stationary surveys taken every stand to provide unprecedented wellbore positional accuracy. New methods of calculating the position of a wellbore from stationary survey data are possible and numerous. Balancing the location of the slide sections is a nonintrusive. Care must be taken to obtain survey data at points where the settings are changed. Using these data in real-time to compare and contrast survey results would significantly help to improve the placement of directional wells. and traditionally placed.This approach achieves the desired result. Thus. 90-ft surveys are inadequate when TVD position is important. Positional errors can result from the relationship between the location of stationary surveys and the nature of slide and rotate directional drilling patterns. up to 60% of horizontal wells may have positional errors because of current directional drilling and surveying practices. In fact. continuous survey data. supported by a proven data error model. Drilling on Muskeg Using Mats . One is that there are many ways to make the calculation. Analysis of continuous MWD and gyro survey data has quantified two facts: survey frequency matters.
Mats are high density polyethylene Photos: (Top) Spring Thaw. Middle: Using Mats Photos (Bottom Left) Lease Road. (Bottom Right) Lease Road with mats Coiled Tubing .
One of the greatest advantages of coiled tubing is the capability to re-enter a live well. . There is no need to stop and connect pipe joints (advantage in underbalanced drilling). This eliminates the potential of damaging the formation or reservoir by killing the well with heavy weight fluid before removing production tubing as is done with conventional workovers. it is also possible to circulate continually while tubing runs in and out of the wellbore. Coiled tubing runs in and out of the wellbore faster than conventional pipe since it is continuous tube.
Most coiled tubing (CT) applications are aimed at increasing production.675 m wells on Sakhalin Island using 2 3/8 in. Coiled tubing sizes range from 1 ¼ to 3 1/2 inch outside diameter high strength. Exxon-Mobil is drilling 10. by removing sand. scale deposits and debris from the wellbore or by stimulating the formation by acidizing or fracturing. CT . low alloy steel.
000 feet of 2 3/8-inch. a gigantic 19-foot diameter reel capable of handling the 36. which also makes it the strongest ever built. In addition. The coiled tubing string. the system includes a 750-ton capacity tension lift frame. is constructed of 120. the longest ever deployed.The massive 19-foot diameter reel for Halliburton's new high pressure. 120. twice the size of normal lift frames.000 pound yield strength tubing.000 feet of 2 3/8-inch coiled .000 pounds yield strength alloy steel. high temperature coiled tubing system can handle 36.
60. The primary element of the coiled tubing unit is the coiled tubing pipe itself.000. Texas. "All of the surface equipment components were designed and constructed around the ability to deploy 2 3/8-inch diameter coiled tubing. inside diameter (ID). The unit’s 9-ft [2. Production Optimization Division.212-in. (1998): Early coiled tubing (CT) technology can be traced to project PLUTO (Pipe Lines Under The Ocean)—a top-secret effort to install pipelines across the English Channel during World War II. is rated to 15. Courville says. outside diameter (OD) pipe. product manager. "The 135. Halliburton's Energy Services Group. built by Bowen Tools and the California Oil Company in 1962. The antennae were stored on a spool beneath the injector for easy extension and retrieval.220-m] sections. The depth requirement relates to the ability to store on a reel package the necessary pipe footage and weight including the fluid inside the pipe.7-m] diameter storage reel included a hub with a rotating fluid swivel to allow continuous pumping down the coiled tubing. These basic concepts aided in the design of CT units and injector systems. Most of the lines were fabricated from 40-ft [12-m] joints of 3in. These larger pipe sections were welded end-to-end. 95. wall thickness steel pipe welded together to form 4. Houston. The first such unit. While there are other coiled tubing units with an equivalent pressure rated BOP. an air-purged zone 2 operator's cabin and an electronic data acquisition system." The blowout preventor package for the new system. 80. Successful deployment of 23 pipelines ranging in length from 30 to 70 miles [48 to 113 km] set the stage for future development and use of coiled tubing in oil and gas wells. H2S rated BOP.1 In June 1944.000 pound-force injector significantly increases the pull-off-bottom potential for this unit in comparison to other coiled tubing units in the Gulf of Mexico. for example.608 kg] that ran a continuous string of 1. "Other coiled tubing units that are available in the GOM typically have injectors with pull capacities of 40. . 0. included an injector rated for surface loads up to 30.tubing and a 135.000 psi. Elements of modern CT injector heads can be found in a device developed by Bowen Tools during the early 1960s for deploying radio antennae to the ocean surface from submarines submerged as deep as 600 ft [183 m].000 lbm [13.315-in." Specifications of the system include a zone 2 power package.000ft [1.000. Coiled Tubing: The Next Generation A History of Coiled Tubing (Wright TR Jr and Sas-Jaworsky II A (eds): World Oil’s Coiled Tubing Handbook. Allied engineers deployed several pipelines to provide fuel for D-day invasion forces.000 or 100. USA: Gulf Publishing Co. they are not equipped with as large a flange and bore diameter.000-pound injector.000 pound-force.000. spooled onto 40-ft diameter floating drums and towed behind cable-laying vessels." explains Perry Courville.
or formed. 2 7/8-. OD pipe. as well as corrosion resistant alloys.. larger diameters and the need to reduce costs were key factors behind the CT revolution of the 1990s. an overall poor success rate and a reputation for limited reliability continued to plague CT operations. 2 5/8-. began using 3. Since its introduction to oilfield operations in the early 1960s. well-intervention work. OD coiled tubing. In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. Today. The early 1980s saw the introduction of 1 1/2-in. and 1 ¾ in. 100. Brown Oil Tools. low yield-strength steels and the numerous end-to-end. coiled tubing was milled for a permanent well completion. In 1990. equipment breakdowns and fishing operations to retrieve lost coiled tubing caused operators to lose confidence in this technique. or butt. These changes allowed larger coiled tubing sizes to be used at greater working depths. Soon after that suppliers began manufacturing 2 3/8-. In 1983. Hydra Rig Inc. related surface equipment and associated workover. welds required to fabricate continuous tubing could not withstand repeated bending cycles and high tensile loads. 3 1/2. The late 1970s and early 1980s represented a turning point for coiled tubing. continued making improvements in CT equipment and injector heads. Once considered high-risk and applicable only for niche services. and Otis Engineering. Southwestern Pipe introduced 70. drilling and well-completion techniques. this technology gained wider acceptance among operators because of its ability to reduce overall costs. In 1980. In addition.000-psi (70-ksi) [483-MPa] high-strength. and subsequently accounted for the extraordinary increase in concentric. which up to that time was milled. Unfortunately. and reduced the number of surface equipment failures. including Bowen Tools. or through-tubing. improved coiled tubing performance and reliability. coiled tubing describes continuous lengths of small-diameter steel pipe. Quality Tubing Inc.000-ft [914-m] sheets of Japanese steel to reduce the number of required welds by 50%. Uni-Flex. greatly improved reliability and an expanding range of applications.and 4 ½ in. 758 and 827 MPa]. coiled tubing is manufactured from steel with high yield strengths of 90. Quality Tubing introduced bias welding to eliminate butt welds. the first string of 2-in.500-ft [457-m] sections. This process involved cutting flat steel strips diagonally to enhance coiled tubing strength and life by spreading the heat-affected weld zone spirally around the tube. Higher strength steel. 110 and 120 ksi [620. Inc. manufacturing companies. OD sizes for well-servicing applications. CT utilization . Later in the 1980s. in 1. 689. coiled tubing (CT) is now an essential tool for many well-intervention operations. In 1978. improved manufacturing quality and continuous milling allowed fabrication of 1 ¼ in. a better understanding of coiled tubing fatigue enabled improvements in reliability and pipe performance. Weld failures. From the 1960s through the 1970s. lowalloy (HSLA) steel for coiled tubing. which resulted in significantly increased CT activity Used generically.However.
These include quick mobilization and lower cost. These strings can be 31.has increased because of better manufacturing.2 in. expedited operations with no need to stop and connect tubing joints. or packoff. The large storage reel also applies back-tension on the tubing. controlled from a console in a central control cabin drives the injector head to deploy and retrieve coiled tubing. Modern CT equipment and techniques have several advantages over conventional drilling.450 m] long or more. larger tube diameters and advances in equipment that improved operational efficiency. This process is reversed to retrieve and spool coiled tubing back onto the reel. Coiled tubing is spooled onto a reel for storage and transport. A hydraulic power pack. The continuous tubing passes over a gooseneck and through an injector head before insertion into a wellbore through well-control equipment that typically consists of a stuffing box. riser and blowout preventer (BOP) stack on top of the wellhead. and reasonably high load capacities for deeper vertical and high-angle reach compared with wireline and slickline. depending on reel size and tube diameters. which range from 1 to 41.000 ft [9. workover and snubbing units. The flexibility of working under pressure in “live” wells without killing a well and the . or prime mover.
Better tubular manufacturing and quality control had a significant positive impact. perforation acid washes. The automated. BP performs drilling and completion . To save time. Deeper high-angle wellbores are increasingly common and many are beginning to require remedial interventions. Wellsite Efficiency A feasibility study in 2001 and subsequent engineering efforts resulted in a new offshore CT unit. fishing and milling. downhole monitoring or control. but detailed planning is required to ensure job safety and efficiency. data or power cables inside coiled tubing strings facilitates well logging. Adding an electric line.unique capability to pump fluids at any time regardless of position in a well or direction of travel are also advantages. cementing. directional drilling and electrical submersible pump (ESP) installations. CT is a viable option for these demanding remedial operations. requiring stronger pipe and injector heads plus improved fluids. Going into deeper wells increases coiled tubing weight. but equipment optimization and improved operational techniques and procedures have been equally important in improving CT performance and reliability. Efficient Automated Solutions system was first installed on a BP Valhall field platform in the North Sea Norwegian sector. These capabilities are especially useful in wellbore cleanouts.eld horizontal well requires 5 to 12 separate fracture stimulations. underreaming and underbalanced drilling. A typical Valhall . which was launched in 2003. acid or fracture stimulations and sand-consolidation treatments. modular CT SEAS Coiled Tubing Safer. jetting with inert gases or light fluids.
The first CT run performs wellbore cleanout and perforating.operations simultaneously on the platform. job parameters are monitored. the improved skid designs have fewer valves and some piping is connected and tested in advance as modular components. Control cabin ergonomics allow operators to react quickly and efficiently to any situation. The injector head is transported with the connector installed. Conventional offshore CT units typically involve 54 crane lifts during rig-up. reel and power pack. recorded and plotted by the CoilCAT coiled tubing computeraided treatment system for real-time data acquisition. but leaves a sand plug to isolate the preceding fracture. The new design targeted decreases in rig-up and overall operational cycle times to achieve a 15% efficiency increase and a 30% reduction in CT personnel. The stimulation vessel then pumps a proppant fracturing treatment. Automated process and equipment control reduces crew requirements from 13 to 9 members and allows the unit operator to focus on wellintervention efficiency. The equipment spread consisted of a control unit. Flexibility in equipment layout reduces rig-up time and improves CT operations. Recent extended-reach wells with 2. During CT operations. and an injector-head stand. An evaluation of platform operations and requirements. well-control equipment. After well-completion equipment is installed. The CT SEAS system has 36 hydraulic connections instead of the usual 84 of older units. flow valves and chokes. The next CT run cleans out excess proppant. The resulting CT SEAS unit consists of modular components that are easy to deliver and assemble.562-ft] horizontal sections drilled to tap outer areas of the field are more challenging than previous wells. two-way communication that makes field data available at all stages of a CT operation. The next interval is perforated. the new unit cuts this number to 36. A large CT unit and a stimulation vessel complete the wells. and local regulations helped engineers develop the new CT SEAS unit. and this cycle continues until all zones are stimulated. The InterACT realtime monitoring and data delivery system provides secure Web-based. In the past. the drilling rig skids to the next wellhead slot. Process-control software incorporates automated safety features that reduce risk exposure in settings prone to human errors. The ability to use larger. To simplify hookups and pressure testing. . mud shakers. conventional CT units operated with a 13-member crew. coiled tubing would increase operational efficiency and allow completion of additional intervals. produce zero discharge and optimize space utilization offshore. CT SEAS components travel to the wellsite preassembled and pretested on skids to reduce the number of crane lifts and the amount of manual equipment handling. two high-pressure positive displacement pumps. heavier 2 7/8-in. but required a redesigned CT unit.000-m [6. A self-folding gooseneck and partially automated process for stabbing coiled tubing into the injector head limits personnel exposure to hazards. Distributed electric control of valves in place of centralized hydraulic control reduces the number of hydraulic connections.
all of the targeted efficiency gains have not been realized on the Valhall platform. depth and other parameters while running in or out of a well. cementing and high-pressure applications. and provides electrical and hydraulic power. There are also separate stand-alone control panels for operation of individual equipment components. This unit is designed for applications involving relatively low pump rates. applied load. Tubing remains stabbed in the injector head during transportation. or pull. Programmed safety limits provide overpull protection and emergency shutdown for downhole obstructions. Predetermined trip schedules and slow-down points protect completion equipment. provides automated control of CT conveyance. A dropin-drum tubing reel and innovative BOP pressure-test stand facilitate unit mobilization. About 83% of the failures were triggered by a downhole event. a better understanding of stresses and fatigue and more effective pipe management have improved service quality and job safety. This system performs automated injector load. . This is particularly important during critical logging. The unit operator controls the reel. which is compatible with both conventional and new CT SEAS units. The combination pumper includes a liquid nitrogen tank and liquid-additive systems. IIC technology ensures that CT operations remain within specified job parameters. or weight-sensitive milling or drilling operations.000 m [1. It provides the same capabilities as conventional units with five-person crews. resulting in forces that exceeded safe CT working limits. such as profile nipples. The need for efficient CT technology is not limited to offshore operations. The capability of running up to 6. tests and controls speed. which utilizes available personnel more effectively and improves wellsite communication. no hydraulic or electric connections have to be made on location. Schlumberger developed the CT EXPRESS rapid-deployment coiled tubing service for intermediatedepth onshore wells. moderate pressures and continuous operations for long periods. Statistics from CT operations show that inaction or incorrect actions contribute to at least one-third of all failures. eliminated the need for frictionreducing chemical additives and reduced overall job times. To date. the current and future success of this technology can be attributed to platform designs tailored to CT requirements. In the new CT unit design.829 ft] of 2 7/8-in. and the bottomhole assembly (BHA) can be assembled and pressure tested prior to arrival on location. For rig-up safety and efficiency. This system comprises two trucks—a purpose-built CT unit and combination nitrogen and liquid pump—operated by three people.The CT SEAS unit has improved wellbore cleanout efficiency and allowed completion of more difficult flank wells. the Schlumberger IIC Intelligent Injector Control. injector head and BOP stack from a cyber-based control cabin. The automated IIC control system protects wellbore and completion equipment and helps prevent downhole failures caused by human error. To address this problem. but with each campaign the team moves closer to those goals. In conjunction with CoilCADE coiled tubing design and evaluation software. coiled tubing at faster rates has improved well cleaning. In addition to improvements in CT units and surface equipment.
Failures while coiled tubing is in a well or being bent at the surface can have a catastrophic impact on safety. . Schlumberger investigated and classified failure causes and mechanisms. Schlumberger developed the CT Pipe Management Program to track and address tube flaws and failures. and quality assurance plans. These data provide valuable input for research. Schlumberger implemented preventive field procedures to mitigate coiled tubing failures. Based on identified trends and failure causes. development and engineering efforts.Tube Reliability Results from an eight-year Schlumberger analysis of tube flaws and failures indicated that coiled tubing utilization efficiency is improving.6 in 2003. The result was a steady increase in the number of Schlumberger jobs per 1.000 ft [305 m] of coiled tubing purchased from 2 in 1998 to 3. As part of an ongoing Coiled Tubing Failure Analysis Program. A better understanding of tube failures and a focused pipe-management program contributed to increased CT reliability and improved service quality. the environment and intervention economics. Significant improvements have been made to reduce the number of CT failures. The number of successful jobs between failures also improved from 100 in 1999 to a high of 235 in 2001. training and competency programs.
The CoilLIFE coiled tubing life prediction model helps assess fatigue damage and remove coiled tubing from service before it reaches the end of its useful life. Certain well environments. Fracturing and acid stimulation through coiled tubing erode or corrode the steel. help address operational safety. and planning tools. The PipeSAVER coiled tubing storage inhibition system has improved coiled tubing handling by mitigating mechanical damage and corrosion.Tube materials. The Schlumberger global tubing inventory has aided in understanding coiled tubing performance by requiring that failures be recorded. Training personnel in the proper use and maintenance of the pipe. analyzed and categorized. such as CoilSAFE coiled tubing risk assessment system. such as chrome tubulars. cause external coiled tubing abrasion. and CT . manufacturing processes and quality control before coiled tubing goes to the field have improved through an alliance with CT supplier Precision Tube Technology Inc.
The new ultrasonic CT InSpec real-time device. the effects of flaws on coiled tubing life. for example. The CT InSpec device does not address all CT inspection issues. such as pitting and corrosion. Combining this technology with existing magnetic-flux leakage or ultrasonic shear measurements may allow detection of localized flaws. string abrasion and erosion effects and critical load-conveyance effects. remaining string life. Technology is currently being developed to address flaw identification and description. Wall thickness is directly related to tubular burst strength. and assessment of related risks.is being used at higher pressures. but is a significant step forward. and give an average wall thickness have niche applications. These limitations drive ongoing research and development in CT inspection. Other systems that detect cracks and pits. . Several CT inspection systems have been developed. with the definition of “high-pressure” constantly increasing. but none are completely satisfactory. These increased demands require a better means of monitoring CT integrity. The universal tubing integrity monitor (UTIM) measures tube diameter and ovality. These measurements help users optimize string life and reduce tube failures in the field. monitors both ovality and wall thickness.
To address this problem. block the passage of wireline or other downhole tools. improved jetting nozzles. new developments are optimizing wellbore cleanout operations. hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC). PowerCLEAN fluids create a low-friction. design software and a real-time system that monitors returning solids at the surface. fracturing proppants or other solids from wells. Conventional CT techniques often leave solids behind. Water. Wellbore Remediation About 50% of CT operations involve removing formation sand. requiring repeated cleanout attempts over an extended period. xanthan and viscoelastic surfactants (VES) can also be used with the PowerCLEAN system up to their temperature limit—about 250°F [121°C]. Previous CT nozzle designs commonly have forward-only or forward and backward jets that do not effectively remove solids from high-angle .In addition to improved CT string management. These materials limit or prevent production. high viscosity stable solution that extends cleanout effectiveness to 325°F [163°C]. and interfere with completion and well-intervention operations. guar. Schlumberger conducted extensive testing directed at understanding solids transport by cleanout fluids. Mixed with fresh water or seawater. which increase costs and delay production. The resulting PowerCLEAN engineered fill removal service is an integrated approach that consists of specialized fluids.
This helps ensure that the coiled tubing can be pulled out in the event of lost circulation because of pump failure or excessive fluid leakoff.ll. The real-time PowerCLEAN solids monitor uses acoustic sensors to detect returning solids at the surface and help determine whether a cleanout is progressing as planned. The solids bed is not allowed to exceed a specified height that avoids drag on the coiled tubing.700 to 16. These safety constraints typically result in multiple sweeps to remove large fill volumes. Job parameters include circulating rate.400 ft . entrained solids concentration. liner. and number and length of sweep before running back in. particle-bed depth. but create a swirling effect that provides continuous jetting.wells. A 59bbl [9. higher friction pressures and stuck pipe. acceptable bottomhole pressure (BHP). This nonintrusive monitor mounts on an elbow of the flowback line. Additional constraints ensure safe. The software accounts for factors such as maximum surface pressure and pump rate. After hydraulically fracturing a gas well completed with a 7-in. problem-free cleanouts. the operator needed to clean out the wellbore at balanced pressure conditions to avoid damaging the well. the volume of solids that can be lifted above the nozzle is limited. The PowerCLEAN software integrates cleanout simulation with job optimization. New PowerCLEAN nozzles have no moving parts. CT running speed when penetrating . CT pulling speed for sweeping solids uphole. fluid leakoff or inflow and solids transport. The PowerCLEAN system recently played a key role in wellbore-cleanout operations in continental Europe and the Gulf of Mexico. this utilizes fluid energy more efficiently and removes solids at greater than twice the rate of conventional nozzles. In addition.4-m3] volume of bauxite proppant filled the wellbore from about 13.
320 to 70. coiled tubing string pumping the new cleanout fluid penetrated fill at about 6 to 10 ft/min [1. the PowerCLEAN service was used to remove excess bauxite from a Gulf of Mexico well in order to replace the gravel-pack screen assembly. An optimal flow rate through the 21. prevents access to deeper sections of a well and ultimately may block the tubing completely.000 psi [27. Each CT penetration into the fill was limited to 80 ft [24 m]. the PowerCLEAN nozzle with a xanthan-base fluid resulted in an optimized cleanout. so tubing replacement was not an option. A 1 3/4-in. Additional scale growth decreases tubular flow area. confirming that the well was clean. At a BHT of less than 200°F [93°C] and a 0. The PowerCLEAN software predicted that other fluids would not provide an effective cleanout because of the high BHT and large casing.5 MMcf/D [14.[4.600 m3/d]. a length of 2. well production increased from 0. In Brazil.999 m]. increasing frictional pressure and restricting production.5 to 2. After gravel-pack screens were replaced.176 to 4. Petrobras used abrasive-jet CT technology to clean heavy barium sulfate scale from production tubing in an offshore well.401 m] of coiled tubing was achieved at pressures below 4. Scale buildup changes the surface roughness of tubulars.8 to 3 m/min].75-bbl/min [0.000 ft [6. The maximum well inclination at this depth was 31° and the bottomhole temperature (BHT) was 304°F [151°C].484 kg] of bauxite in 12 hours. liner and had a complex trajectory with a 3 1/2-in. which minimized the solids dune height and prevented coiled tubing from becoming stuck if fluid loss occurred or pumping stopped. insoluble scales. A subsequent CT run tagged the gravel-pack assembly rope socket. In another well. Based on real-time monitoring. CT provided a means of conveying mechanical scale-removal tools and circulating cleanout fluids without a conventional rig.500 lbm [7. cleanout operations removed 16. may form when injected seawater breaks into a well.12 m3/min] pump rate. Extremely hard. Downhole deposits of inorganic scales in wellbore tubulars are a serious well-intervention problem. This wellbore was completed with a 3 1/2-in.6 MPa] because of the low-friction PowerCLEAN fluid. Sweep speed while pulling out of the well was 10 to 20 ft/min [3 to 6 m/min] to ensure complete fill removal.700 ft [823 m]. It also determined that several sweeps would be required to remove solids that settled in highangle wellbore sections. liner and had a complex trajectory with a maximum deviation of 70°. Solids returns were monitored at the surface in real time. The well was located on a fixed offshore platform and no workover rigs were available. such as strontium or barium sulfate. . The well was cleaned without problems and 59 bbl of bauxite proppant were recovered.
Schlumberger Blaster services use high-pressure jetting technology to remove downhole deposits. . The small tapered mill partially removes the scale deposit while jetting removes the rest. shape. nozzle head. researchers achieved unique properties that remove scale without damaging steel surfaces. mixing products and abrasive materials. This specialized system uses solvents or special abrasive material to remove scale without damaging tubulars or completion equipment. tapered mill with the radial jetting tool and the Sterling Beads system modified to prevent PDM clogging. subsurface safety valves or sliding sleeves. such as gelling agents. The software also estimates consumables. density and fracture toughness. Blaster design software helps select jetting tool geometry—drift ring. residual debris fell to the bottom of wells and blocked the perforations.Methods such as chemical dissolvers. Scale Blaster and Bridge Blaster scale removal services. The Scale Blaster approach uses the Sterling Beads safe hard scale-removal system developed at Schlumberger Cambridge Research in England to remove hard. however. Jet Blaster techniques use conventional fluids or scale-dissolving solvents with a radial jetting tool. port size and configuration—required fluid rates. size. abrasive material concentrations and scale-removal rates. Removal rates are higher than with conventional milling. requiring additional cleanout operations. expected treating pressures. By properly selecting particle hardness. This technology comprises three techniques—Jet Blaster. inert scales. slickline brushes and downhole motors had successfully removed scale in other area fields. The Bridge Blaster technique combines a positive displacement motor (PDM) and a 1 5/8in. such as profile nipples. This system drills scale deposits or cement plugs through tubing without damaging wellbore equipment. In some of these cases.
stimulation of bypassed pay and re-stimulation of previously treated intervals. It is common for wells in mature fields to experience scale deposition. CT-conveyed fracturing protects wellbore tubulars from high treating pressures and abrasive proppants.000 psi].4 to 49. Unfortunately. problems with conventional packers limited fracturing success because of differential pressures in excess of 9. other platform wells had to be shut in for a short time to clean the production separator. including Duri field in Indonesia and several North Sea fields. As a result.130 m [10. three-step mill. liner. CoilFRAC techniques are applicable for initial stimulation treatments in new wells. This final stage took 12 hours to clean out 43 m [141 ft] to 3.000 psi [62. In addition to use in wellbore cleanouts. At 3.2-in.27 m3/min [1. Using a xanthan-gelled brine and 3%-by-weight Sterling Beads abrasive particles.087 m [10. oil production increased 1.025%. Reservoir conditions allow low-rate. Pumping at 0. CT has become an important tool in formation stimulation. The total operation generated about 66. which resulted in a 19-day payout. CoilFRAC stimulation through coiled tubing treatments provided an alternative to conventional workover rigs.5 to 1. high-temperature (HPHT) wells of the Hassi Messaoud field using coiled tubing-conveyed fracturing and new packer technology.000 lbm [27.1 MPa] across the isolation packer.546 m [8. After the job.000 lbm [2.722 kg] of scale and 60.000 lbm [29. Reservoir Remediation In Algeria. Sonatrach stimulates deep high pressure. The availability of CT units was an additional advantage. this part of the job required 36 hours and three jetting tools. Some treatments resulted in costly fishing operations.353 ft] in the Petrobras well. Scale Blaster technology effectively removed barium sulfate scale from completion tubing and hardware in conditions under which conventional methods had failed in the past.128 ft].2 ft/hr] from 2.546 to 3. Blaster services have been applied in several other locations to save time and money. In the past.7 bbl/min] with circulating pump pressures of 24. high pressure hydraulic fracturing treatments. Most scale-removal jobs now use a temporary separator to capture solids before they reach the production separator. . 60 m [197 ft] below the tubing and inside the 7-in. the jetting tool was replaced with a PDM and a 21.087 m.500 to 4. which significantly increase productivity and prolong the economic life of these wells.937 kg] of debris—6.1 to 27.6 MPa [3.23 to 0.269 ft] and completely consumed the mill. Coupled with more reliable mechanical packers for downhole isolation. many wells require remedial cement squeezes or tubing replacement to address tubular-integrity problems before stimulation operations can begin. the Jet Blaster tool achieved a cleanout rate of 12 to 15 m/hr [39.216 kg] of abrasive particles—that were captured in the platform production separator.The coiled tubing BHA encountered scale at 2.
In October 2001.993-m] 2 3/8in. The packer withstood a maximum 8. and 9 5/8-in. casing. paid out in 39 days. postfracture production was 2.736 kg] of 20/40 proppant in the formation at a maximum concentration of 3. tubing. this well had pressure between the 7-in. Excessive hydraulic forces .660 ft [3. The treatment. The average surface treating pressure was 8.7-MPa] differential pressure at 9 bbl/min [1. The treatment placed a total of 21.464 lbm [9.4 m3/min]. Prefracture production was 860 B/D [137 m3/d] of oil. Completed with a 4 1/2-in.3 MPa]. A 13.1 pounds of proppant added (ppa) per gallon of treatment fluid.800-psi [60.600 psi [59. Sonatrach performed the first CoilFRAC treatment in Hassi Messaoud Well OMP843.coiled tubing string isolated wellbore completion tubulars. At that time. cemented and perforated liner and 4 1/2-in. including deferred production.280 B/D [362 m3/d] of oil. The CT packer was set at 10.100-ft [3.249 m] above a profile nipple in the production tubing. this was the deepest well fractured through coiled tubing.
. Modifications included optimizing the slip area. Bottomhole pressure gauges verified the modeling of downhole forces and guided modifications to the CT packer.caused the packer to release twice during prejob injectivity and treatment-calibration tests. Development of the OptiSTIM MP mechanical packer for stimulation design led to consistently successful treatments.
000-gal [37. The packer was exposed to an average differential pressure of 5.8 m3] before the end of the flush. and 9 5/8-in. Fracturing through coiled tubing in Hassi Messaoud field required modified packers and improved computer software to model downhole forces. The packer was then released and any remaining proppant was circulated out prior to retrieving the packer.designing a more robust J-type latching mechanism. CoilFRAC technology can tap previously bypassed gas reserves and optimize well productivity.2-in. Pumping rates can range from 8 to 25 bbl/min [1.2 MPa] at screenout.529 lbm [9.105 m]. The cemented production tubing made a conventional workover impossible.3 to 4 m3/min] with 5 to 12 ppa. which can now be performed in wells as deep as 12. cemented production tubing and a 5-in. software must be developed to optimize treatment designs and reduce excessive packer loads.875 kg] of 20/40-mesh high-strength proppant at a maximum bottomhole concentration of 4 ppa. an oil producer completed with 41. and between the 7-in. variable loads and stresses greater than those normally encountered by stimulation packers.9 MPa].000 psi [68.220 ft [3.600 psi [66. These improvements increased the reliability of CoilFRAC treatments.8 kPa/m]. the pump rate was reduced to stay below the maximum allowable treating pressure of 10.4 bbl/min [1 m3/min] with the packer set at 10.500 psi [37.186 ft [3. Sonatrach pumped 23. Performing a fracture treatment through coiled tubing isolated the wellbore tubulars from high treating pressures and abrasive proppants.9 MPa] and a maximum differential pressure of 9. especially in low-permeability gas reservoirs.000 ft [3. a 10. slotted liner.92 psi/ft [20. Because coiled tubing-conveyed fracturing often induces difficult-to-predict.6 bbl/min [1 m3/min] and surface treating pressure of 9.9-m3] calibration treatment pumped at 6. The primary fracture treatment was pumped successfully at an average rate of 6. which gives a fracture gradient of 0.658 m]. . This well had communication between the 4 1/2-in. The new software and redesigned OptiSTIM MP packer were used on Well OML862.8 MPa] indicated a closure pressure of 10. and adding two equalizing ports and a pressure-balance section to the emergency release mechanism. casing. This software can also be used to monitor job progress and make necessary corrections in real time. The latest OptiSTIM ST straddle packer provides added .300 psi [71 MPa]. Reservoir applications from perforating to selective zonal isolation and stimulation have generated several new downhole CT tools. The well is producing 65 m3/d [409 B/D] while Sonatrach optimizes the gas-lift system. With the packer set at 10. When a screenout occurred 24 bbl [3.765 kg] in the formation.exibility for selective isolation and stimulation of individual zones. placing a total of 21.115 m]. casing strings. production tubing and 7-in.975 lbm [10.400 psi [64.
In the past. expand and then seal in larger casing.Advanced Downhole Tools Effective zonal isolation for CT applications requires inflatable packers that can pass through tubing. these systems were rarely used in hostile environments because of expansion limitations and susceptibility to high .
. high-temperature through-tubing inflatable anchoring packer to address the limitation of conventional inflatable packers.8-in. single-element CoilFLATE HPHT high-pressure. and corrosive fluids or chemicals.temperatures and pressures. Schlumberger developed the 21.
and as a cement retainer or packer for throughtubing gravel packing. CoilFLATE ST straddle tool version for stimulation applications uses the same principles as the CoilFLATE HPHT packer. In each of these applications. acidizing and fracturing. This new tool combines a traditional casing collar locator (CCL) to detect magnetic variations at casing joints with pulsetelemetry technology that sends pressure signals to the surface. A large internal diameter allows high-rate fluid treatments. high-angle or horizontal wellbores on coiled tubing or on jointed pipe using a snubbing unit. Tapered slats in the tool body. Steel parts in the 2 1/8-in. The proprietary elastomer and packer elements are resistant to hydrogen sulfide [H2S]. perforating. CoilFLATE HPHT packers do not rely on a ballvalve to initiate inflation. These packers can be run in vertical. or internal crush sleeve. This eliminates the need for a workover rig and allows remedial operations without killing the well. depth correlation was critically important. . high-temperature straddle packer for a stimulation treatment in the Middle East. temporary zonal isolation and permanent abandonment. as permanent and retrievable bridge plugs for water and gas shutoff. The wireless DepthLOG CT depth correlation log is used for well logging. resulting in an inefficient seal. A CoilFLATE HPHT carcass restraint system (CRS). allow narrow sections near the end of a packer to provide the required load-bearing cross section. while the wider sections provide the necessary extrusion barrier and coverage for the inflation bladder. The composite elastomer bladder uses carbon fibers to eliminate axial strain and allows the packer circumference to expand freely. and a high-pressure. high-pressure cement retainer application in the Gulf of Mexico. a screenless sand-consolidation treatment in North Africa. This design provides a reliable seal at final-to initial expansion ratios of greater than 3 to 1. or carcass. These chemically resistant systems can also be used for sand consolidation. or soft set. carbon dioxide [CO2] and other chemicals.CoilFLATE HPHT packers extend critical concentric zonal isolation to previously inaccessible downhole environments. setting tool are replaced by nickel-based high-strength alloy components to make the entire BHA fully H2S compatible. high-expansion. setting sand plugs. This center-out inflation prevents end sections of the packer element from inflating first and trapping fluids. imposes a constant axial load on the slats during inflation that creates tension on the packer to ensure progressive inflation from the center toward both ends. CoilFLATE HPHT packers were used recently for a deep. A 2 1/8-in. and for positioning straddleisolation tools during selective stimulation treatments. bridge plugs or mechanical packers. CoilFLATE HPHT packers can isolate wellbore sections for pressure testing.
Wireless technology decreases the number of trips into a well.Subsurface depth correlations are determined quickly and accurately by comparison with baseline well logs. saving up to 12 hours per operation on typical coiled tubing-conveyed perforating and stimulation operations. Flow-through capability provides unobstructed coiled tubing for pumping .
The CoilFLATE packer was positioned at the target depth and inflated to an internal pressure of 4. coiled tubing has been used to construct thousands of vertical and directional wells. and nitrogen was pumped to flow spent acid back while pulling the coiled tubing out of the well. especially for shallow gas reservoirs and gas-storage projects and environmentally sensitive locations. . An initial attempt without DepthLOG correlation resulted in packer inflation across the lower perforations and ineffective treatment-fluid diversion. Set-down weight on the coiled tubing verified complete packer inflation before pumping an acid treatment.1 MPa]. Inherent advantages—fast trip times and continuous circulation without pipe connections. The production tubing did not have to be pulled and only one trip was required to achieve a sustained 326%increase in oil production from 238 B/D [37.9 m3/d] to 776 B/D [123. To maximize workover economics.000 ft [914 m] • safety-sensitive operations • through-tubing reentry • underbalanced drilling.atable packer in combination with wireless DepthLOG technology. CT drilling applications include deepening. The packer had to be accurately positioned to isolate a high permeability upper interval from the less permeable lower zone. four CT drilling applications have proved technically and commercially viable: • new wells to about 3. activation or release of downhole tools. The DepthLOG tool was added to the BHA. this acid treatment had to be conducted without a rig. Remedial operations in Well MD 264 of the Hassi Messaoud field with two perforated zones required isolation and stimulation of an underperforming lower interval. This operation created a maximum differential pressure across the packer of about 3. A separation of only 10 ft [3 m] between zones at a depth of about 10. sidetracking and drilling new wells.6 MPa].000 psi [27. After a decade of profitable operations. Reentry and Underbalanced Drilling Since 1991.services and stimulation treatments.048 m] presented additional challenges. Immediately after completing the treatment. Two upward passes while pumping fluid and receiving pressure pulses from the DepthLOG tool clearly indicated casing collar locations. live well intervention with improved pressure control and a smaller footprint for reduced environmental impact—that make CT attractive for remedial wellbore and reservoir applications are also advantages for coiled tubing drilling. The ability to drop ball-type actuators through the DepthLOG tool allows setting or inflation of CT packers. significantly higher than other inflatable packers can handle. and detonation of perforating guns. Sonatrach was first to use a CoilFLATE in. which was run in the well to a point below the lower zone.000 ft [3.4 m3/d]. the packer was deflated. In Algeria.500 psi [24.
. Typically. executes cementing operations and conducts wireline logging. this barge drills a 12 1/4-in. each requiring an average of four days to complete. casing. Specialized equipment runs 9 5/8-in. Schlumberger drills and completes more than 100 wells per year with coiled tubing.000 to 1. drilling underbalanced minimizes formation damage and differential BHA sticking. A self-contained CT drilling barge. designed specifically to minimize the impact of encountering shallow gas zones in Lake Maracaibo. hole 1. Schlumberger has constructed more than 275 vertical wells in Lake Maracaibo. The majority of vertical CT drilling activity occurs in Venezuela where 30 to 60 surface-hole sections are drilled and cased each year. In depleted zones.800 ft [300 to 550 m] deep.CT drilling is ideally suited for underbalanced drilling. was commissioned in 1995.
A typical North Slope CT drilling well involves a directional through-tubing reentry to access bypassed oil.5 MPa] to less than 2. The operator believed that overbalanced drilling had caused formation damage.8 MPa]. Plans called for setting flow-through.Operations on the North Slope of Alaska. resulting in extensive well cleanup. Considerable gas and condensate reserves remain. despite a significant 20% annual production decline in early 2003. Two fit-for-purpose hybrid CT drilling units operate continuously on the North Slope. including the Prudhoe Bay field. represent one of the most successful CT drilling applications of the past decade. casing above existing perforations. To date.000 ft [3.000 psi [13. Underbalanced CT drilling operations were designed for wells previously completed with free-hanging 5-in. through-tubing whipstocks in 7-in.658 m] true vertical depth (TVD) declined from 7. The objective was to improve well productivity and unlock additional reserves with multilateral wellbores connected to existing primary vertical wellbores. Recent horizontal rotary drilling programs had suffered massive.900 psi [54. incurable lost circulation and severe differential sticking. more than 400 North Slope wells have been reentered using CT drilling technology. reservoir pressure in the Thamama limestone reservoir at 12. In April 2003. United Arab Emirates (UAE). clearly demonstrating CT efficiencies and economics.casing. BP-Sharjah embarked on an underbalanced CT drilling program to perform through-tubing sidetracks from existing wells in the Sajaa gas-condensate field. . tubing inside vertical 7-in. each capable of drilling and completing three wells per month. which prevented some wells from reaching their geologic and drilling-length objectives. Since initial production in 1980.
.000 ft [457 to 1. In addition to incremental production and improved reserve recovery. reentry access to sidetracks from an openhole main wellbore (TAML Level 1 junction) or openhole drains and dropoff lateral liners in a cased well (TAML Level 2 junction) was not possible.515 ft [5. Over the past five years.743 m] of open hole drilled underbalanced in a single reentry well in the UAE Sajaa gas field during 2003 • the deepest whipstock casing exit at 16. 6in. With increasing activity. coiled tubing and wireline heptacable. Threefold production increases are common.000 ft [3.75-in.000 ft [20. these worldwide CT drilling campaigns are yielding continual improvements in wellsite safety and operational efficiency. polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) or a 4. Because of BHA limitations. Three or more openhole laterals were to be drilled to access up to 10.950 m] and deepest total CT drilling reentry depth of 17. and 4 1/8-in.After milling a 3. In several wells.1-in. These successes motivated BP-Sharjah to pursue additional CT drilling well candidates and extend the campaign. wired CT drilling BHA attached to 2 3/8-in. and either a 3. particularly in vertical wells.000 ft [2. Exit-window depths and CT drilling lateral lengths should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.117 m] of new open hole.800 ft [4.048 m] of additional reservoir per well.816 m] whipstock casing exit in Colombia during 2002 • more than 9. bicentered bit—would be used to drill underbalanced with nitrogen [N2] energized fluids. average CT drilling lateral lengths have ranged from 1.500 to 3. production tubing.5 m]. However. Schlumberger developed the Discovery MLT multilateral tool to selectively access all types of multilateral junctions using standard CT equipment.000 m3/d]. directional CT drilling plans should target build rates less than 50° per 100 ft [30. This prevented remedial operations on individual laterals and precluded effective reservoir management. Up to five laterals have been drilled from a single exit window. hole sizes and larger can be drilled under some conditions. Accessing Lateral Well Branches In the past. limited by the flow restriction of 5-in.8-in. casing-exit window. are considered optimal for CT load capacities. underbalanced CT drilling has increased production from about 5 MMcf/D [143. the CT drilling operating envelope continues to expand: • a 15. a PDM designed for compressible fluids.200 m3/d] to more than 25 MMcf/D [716.240 ft [4. holecleaning fluid velocities and surface equipment specifications.339 m] in Alaska during 2004.044 m]. Directional hole sizes of 2 3/4-in. the CT drilling BHA—a specialized 3-in. The initial phase of this campaign involved drilling 10 wells and 29 laterals with more than 66.
Zakum Development Company (ZADCO) applied this tool in the UAE.The Discovery MLT tool provides CT-conveyed cleanout. Reentry operations are performed in a single trip into the wellbore. a pressure-telemetry signal to the surface confirms lateral access. stimulation. Multilateral completions in the Upper Zakum field tap several reservoir layers with as many as 12 laterals drilled from a single main wellbore. the tool is indexed through 360° to establish the lateral orientation. A flow-activated bent-sub controls tool operation. Initially. This acid-resistant tool operates solely on pressure and flow. After repeating this process to confirm the junction location. cementing and well-logging options for wells with previously inaccessible junctions and for multilateral completions without specialized diverter equipment. .
which paid back the investment in two days. These jobs took seven days—four days of operations and three days of mobilization.Previously. In a second well. This practice also created large voids that could collapse and prevent future access to the lateral or restrict production. which prevented effective stimulation and production logging of individual laterals to evaluate treatment results and monitor production. Production increased by 11% in the first well and 30% in the second well. ZADCO performed a selective treatment in one lateral of a well with four branches. cost-effective lateral reentry solution that helps maximize the productivity and performance of multilateral wells. ZADCO successfully acidized openhole laterals in two offshore wells using Discovery MLT technology. remedial access to individual branches was not possible. Acid had to be bullheaded—pumped from surface—down wellbore tubulars or coiled tubing with the end of pipe near a lateral entrance. demobilization and weather delays—and cost 65% less than using a drilling rig. . the Discovery MLT system helped selectively cement a lateral and shut off water production utilizing coiled tubing. two of the five laterals were treated individually. The Discovery MLT tool has proved to be a simple. leaving the remainder of the lateral branch untreated. In the first use of this tool. The majority of the acid reaction occurred at the entrance of the openhole section. In another UAE well for a different operating company.
Artifical Lift .In Oman. Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) successfully performed production logging in a Saih Rawl field multilateral well.23 PDO selectively reentered and logged three lateral branches to determine the water-injection profile and identify possible fractures in the formation.
Today. CAMCO company REDA installed the first submergible pump on coiled tubing in 1992 and the first coiled tubing ESP and power cable system in the UK in 1994. well casing and the ESP power cable. This represented a total savings of more than US$ 5 million in a recent 60-well program. The self-supporting Friction Deployed submergible pump power cable minimizes CT unit and installation costs. Petroleum Development of Oman (PDO) used CT to optimize plug and abandonment (P&A) practices. The coiled tubing can also be used as a hydraulic conduit for pressure actuation of packers. Prior to being purchased by Schlumberger. As CT reliability improves. To that end. CT equipment and string reliability continue to be the focus of efforts to reduce downhole risks and decrease operational failures. Controlling wells with kill-weight fluids prior to an ESP installation is expensive and timeconsuming.000 B/D [3. REDACoil submergible pump technology installs and supports the ESP power cable inside 2-in. casing. operators are reevaluating candidate wells and targeting more completions for through-tubing or concentric remedial interventions. have made it possible to produce high flow-rate wells at up to 20. Rigless methods with new cement and sealant technologies minimize costs while ensuring long-term environmental protection in these once prolific oil wells.180 m3/d]of fluid inside 7-in. including some wells previously considered too risky for CT operations. but remains protected in an inhibited fluid. subsurface safety valves or other downhole equipment. including internal power. and often results in lower well productivity because of formation damage. data and fiber-optic cables. safe coiled tubing deployment into a well under pressure. . CT saved up to 30% compared with P&A campaigns using conventional drilling and workover rigs. placing a REDACoil system inside 7-in. coiled tubing. CT continues to be a workhorse for many conventional well operations and services. For well conditions that do not allow flow up the casing. Placing the power cable inside coiled tubing assures a secure seal within the BOP and stripper head during installation. Recent advances in REDACoil technology. The REDACoil system allows for quick. production pipe isolates produced fluids from both the 9 5/8-in.A CT-deployed ESP lifts fluid through the coiled tubing or up the annulus around a coiled tubing string. The cable is no longer banded to the coiled tubing during deployment at a wellsite. or 2 3/8-in.
Offshore Rigs .
Production. therefore. New concepts continue to appear. 3. This is particularly true for deploying new concepts in deep water and in a harsh environment. 6. and offloading (FPDSO) vessel. and offloading (FPSO) vessel without drilling. 5. 2. but these are mostly variations on the basic six themes. Production and drilling. Floating production. . 5. drilling. 2. Deep-draft semisubmersible (DDsemi) unit with and without drilling. 3. Spar or deep-draft caisson (DDCV) production unit with and without drilling. Production and storage. storage. Semisubmersible (semi) production unit with and without drilling. Wellhead platform. The figure represents only the potential functionality of the concept and does indicate the technical feasibility for using it in a deepwater harsh environment. This article. Floating production.Floaters The study identified feasible concepts for a deepwater harsh environment reasonably quickly because of the industry's experience with deepwater developments and extensive study of various concepts over the past 10 years. These new concepts also involve a long lead-time for proving acceptability in the industry and with regulatory authorities. The study matched these five functualities with the six concepts in a matrix shown as Fig. Production only. drilling. 4. 2) are as follows: 1. storage. The six such concept types or groups (Fig. The floating facility functionality covers the following five combinations: 1. 4. does not discuss them. Tension leg production (TLP) platform with and without drilling. 3. and storage.
TLP .Fig. 4 shows the main results from the ranking of floaters.
risers. Also it can accommodate most riser systems because of its excellent motion characteristics. however. . A TLP also can combine wet and dry trees or include only wet trees. requiring highly qualified construction yards. The spar may accommodate most riser systems. The study. and therefore the concept is essentially for production with dry trees. This fact severely restricts late changes either in well count or topsides weight. The design concept also can accommodate storage of produced fluids in the hull. Spars The industry has installed spars or DDCVs in up to 1. therefore. the extreme metocean criteria combined with water depth targets encompasses significant challenges for TLPs. Completing the spar would probably require a challenging float-over deck installation in order to be competitive. Other challenges relate to inspection. and Heidrun fields off the UK and Norway and up to a 1. pitch and roll) issues in the Northern Europe metocean conditions are a challenge. it does not allow for storage of produced fluids. It. but the risers and platform motion (heave. TLPs have the main benefit of minimizing heave response. Snorre. is somewhat less sensitive to topsides weight changes than the TLP. considered the TLP primarily for dry trees only. The greatest technical risks relate to motion behavior and mooring system design and performance. The spar concept is insensitive relative to water depth.200-m water depth in the Gulf of Mexico fields Ram-Powell and Ursa. but will require oil on water storage to be economical. Hence. The TLP usually is a highly optimized structure.TLPs have been installed in up to a 350-m water depth in Hutton. air-cans. but it likely is uneconomic for the latter. While a TLP provides a stable platform for drilling. and the concept may also include wet trees. The greatest technical risks for TLPs relate to tendon design and installation.460-m water depths in the Gulf of Mexico's Hoover-Diana field and has undertaken several studies on installing the structures off Northern Europe. and is thus exposed for waiting on weather. TLP installation requires calm weather. maintenance and repair of hull. The spar provides a stable platform for dry trees and drilling. The spar also is an optimized structure that restricts late changes. and keel-joint in a harsh environment location. and will require large riser strokes for the top-tensioned risers.
Norne. riser. and installation. A semi accommodates many risers and most riser systems tailored for wet trees. Its design is less sensitive to changes in well count than TLPs and spars. however. due . The dry-tree case has challenges related to motion (heave. Schiehallion. however.360-m water depth in the Campos basin off Brazil.DDsemi The industry has not deployed any DDsemis. several design concepts-studies demonstrate their potential feasibility. The DDsemi accommodates most riser concepts and has less sensitivity to late changes in well count and topsides weight than TLPs and spars. and turret-swivel systems. Åsgard A. transportation. height requirement).840 m. FPSO The industry regards FPSOs as proven technology for harsh environment such as Foinaven. The deepest moored semi was P-36 in 1. although drilling from the semi remains an option. Åsgard B in 300-m water depth in the Haltenbanken area is at present the largest production semi in operation. the study expects the semi concept to be considered for wet trees only. for harsh environments in relatively shallow water. etc. The extension of FPSOs to deepwater harsh environments will require improved mooring. Concept studies also have proposed storing produced fluids in the hull. and roll) and the required riser stroke. The greatest challenge or hurdle for the DDsemi is that it would be a "first of a kind" and the potential upside of using it may not be sufficiently great to counteract the associated risks. 1. The production semi for the Thunder Horse development in the Gulf of Mexico will be in deeper water. The DDsemi is principally for dry trees and drilling but also may include wet trees. Because of the motions a semi would experience in the North Atlantic. pitch. and it will be larger. Semisubmersibles The industry regards semi technology as mature for drilling vessels in deepwater and production vessels. Other challenges relate to fabrication (draft. it is sensitive to topsides weight changes and cannot accommodate oil storage. Again.
The six concepts were categorized in three groups with priority as follows: FPSOs and semi's are relatively mature. however. which is the "first of a kind" risk. increase the design and operational complexities and the associated risks. and in addition these concepts have some aspects where technical feasibility has not been confirmed or the time and cost for deployment may be excessive. drilling. assuming adequate space is available. but the concepts have no major constraints. is robust against late topsides weight changes. fabricate. Some issues remain that need further development. the study considered FPSOs only for wet-tree applications with produced fluid storage in the hull. furthermore. The drilling function complicates the turret and fluid-transfer system. The FPSO can accommodate somewhat fewer riser concepts than the semi. 5) include the following five main categories: 1. FPDSO FPDSOs extend FPSO technology by including a drilling capability. with storage in the hull. Risers The selected riser concepts (Fig. and combined steel and flexible pipe (hybrid system). flexible pipe only. Floaters concepts The study considers floater concepts targeting subsea completed wells as somewhat more mature than concepts for platform-completed wells. . The industry has undertaken some studies on this concept but has deployed no FPDSO. Its size and complexity. The FPSO. TLPs and spars require significant development in some areas for application in harsh environment and 1. and offloading). it is less sensitive to late changes provided that it has sufficient slots in the turret-swivel system. The FPDSO also was considered only for wet-tree application. furthermore. imply that it will be very challenging to design. Flexible risers. and install on schedule and budget.000-m water depths.to the magnitude of FPSO motions. DDsemi and FPDSO concepts also require significant development in some areas. Also the simultaneous multi-functionalities (production. The largest hurdle for the FPDSO will be the same as for the DDsemi.
Hybrid risers such as J-legs/Catenary hybrid riser (CHR). single pipe without insulation. 7 defines the assessment of compatibility between riser and floating systems. but it presents the overall compatibility. and compliant vertical access risers (CVARs).2. riser tower. technical maturity. 4. Highly compliant (metallic) risers (HCRs). Note that it does not reflect the advantages and disadvantaged for each system as presented in Fig. and concentric offset riser (COR). and installation aspects. but the exercise highlighted their advantages and disadvantages. Fig. . Fig. 6. 3. 5. The riser screening exercise did not intend to rank the risers because each may serve a different purpose and apply to different floater types. Combined riser and mooring (CRM). These include steel catenary risers (SCRs) that have single pipe with insulation. single-line offset riser (SLOR). and pipe-in-pipe (PIP) as well as lazy-wave risers. Top-tensioned risers (TTRs). 6 shows the main results. which is mainly related to motion compliancy.
cross-section profiles.).Flexible risers Flexible risers are compatible with all the screened vessel types. unless the industry introduces new products (such as new materials or components. etc. . The study considered them to be reasonably mature with a relatively well understood technology.
. yielding low cost risks. Highly compliant metallic riser The highly compliant metallic risers include several significantly different concepts. water depth. furthermore. injection. and repair) methods amplify this issue. although the pipes are fragile and therefore may require dedicated installation vessels and crew. Conventional flexible risers have considerable worldwide shallow-water experience. temperature. penalizes payload sensitive floaters and may raise significant hull design issues. including harsh environments. which may require multiple lines. such as production. Installation and fabrication practices are well established and understood. along with stroke requirements and design of tension providers. The risers may provide direct well access. although they have diameter limitations. Other issues relate to accommodating pigging operations and chemical use. dynamics. The high-tension requirement. These risers have short installation times that may reduce installation costs. but limited deepwater experience. however. The risers also do not have much design flexibility because they are "tailor-made" with respect to diameter. in particular clashes with the drilling riser. These risers also can serve as export lines. Tieback of satellite wells to dry-tree platforms. Limited IMR (inspection. The risers accommodate most flow assurance aspects well and are compatible with gas lift. pressure. is possible. Top-tensioned risers Top-tensioned risers are compatible only with floaters exhibiting low-heave motions and are applicable for dry trees on all types of wells. TTRs have considerable worldwide experience in deepwater benign environments on TLPs and spars. and on TLPs in shallow-water harsh environments off Norway. maintenance. and export. or use of composite armors. Long-term pipe integrity is another key issue because deterioration or ageing of polymers and fatigue performance of steel components. The risers have flow assurance issues related to slugging (shaped configurations) and thermal management because of a relatively high overall heat-transfer coefficient (U values).These risers primarily are for production and injection with wet trees. Also key components such as stress joints and keel joints (for a spar) face critical design issues. These risers have a downside related to well-bay spacing requirements because of riser interference. Also undesirable are the high weight to tension (except for the hybrid solution with flexible and steel. and service application. both of which are new unproven products for harsh environment application) along with high pipe costs (in particular for new products) of these risers.
Its main drawbacks relate to accommodating a large density variation and riser buckling. It offers direct access with step out of wells. spar. particularly if a project has many SCRs. installation (requiring floater to be pushed-pulled over). The riser tension and hence impact on payload are lower than for TTRs. however. pipe centralizers. but they have less fatigue and risen interference concerns. soil-structure interaction. and welding procedures linked to fatigue performance. The riser offers good flow-assurance properties and easily can accommodate gas lift. Hybrid risers Hybrid riser systems also have several systems that vary significantly. while insulated (external foam) and PIP solutions may serve as tieback risers for production and injection. The PIP solution is an exception because of less mature design experience and analysis tools and methods. They. and this may affect schedules. The systems have no severe flow-assurance issues.Free-hanging steel catenary risers are sensitive to vessel motions and hence not compatible with an FPSO and FPDSO in harsh environment but may work for certain applications for a semi. do have in common the same advantages and disadvantages offered by the flexible risers. and DDsemi). upper termination (stress-flex joint). The systems have such critical areas as thermal buckling. Key issues for all SCR systems relate to fatigue. and long-term integrity management of PIP systems. where they may serve as production and injection risers. vortex induced vibrations (VIV). and installation. Risers without insulation only are likely for export. and mooring restrictions (including riser-mooring clashing). SCR technology is relatively mature and numerous SCRs have been installed. . Tie-in. with a potential use also on a semi. although they represent high U-value systems (except the PIP solution). They represent relatively simple and low-cost systems (except the PIP solution). It also has a high risk because of the lack of a track record. The industry understands well their design. thereby lowering costs and risks. fabrication. These risers have the same key issues as raised for SCRs and TTRs. albeit in less harsh environments. Pre-installation of the systems is not considered possible. however. The study considers the compliant vertical-access riser only for heave-restrained floaters (TLPs). Free-hanging SCRs comply best with floaters exhibiting low motions (TLP. Only desk studies have been made on the concept. to an FPSO or FPDSO turret is complicated. The lazy-wave steel riser exhibits good in-place motion performance and could be used for different applications on all vessels. and they accommodate pigging and chemical treatment.
whereas the riser tower has limited inbuilt redundancy. thermal properties. Although technically feasible for TLP. restricted pigging operations and use of chemicals). flow assurance (slugging. only exists for the riser-tower alternative. they are unlikely to be installed with a TLP. VIV fatigue of vertical section and installation (if towed. Furthermore. But it would not be recommended to have a dual structural and flow-path role for central pipe or a dual insulation-buoyancy role for the tower in harsher environments. except the COR concept that has similar design challenges as the PIP solution. the systems have reduced scheduling risks. . however. The disadvantages of these systems relate to poor flow-assurance properties because of potentially severe slugging. The system consists of well understood and mature components. although no field experience exists. Key critical issues are long-term integrity and IMR of flexible jumpers. All vessel types can accommodate the J-legs/Catenary hybrid riser system. which may serve as a subsea tieback for production and injection. erosion of goosenecks. Multiple vendors and fabrication yards can provide the systems. the systems are unlikely to be cost-effective and they lack field experience. The SLOR and COR concepts can be added when needed. thus reducing schedule risks (SCRs and long lead items such as the buoyancy tank). requiring multiple lines. spar. although there may be some diameter limitations on the flexible jumpers. mooring The combined riser and mooring system is an innovative solution. The systems consist of well-known components. The SCR response is decoupled from vessel motions but susceptible to localized VIV induced fatigue. Because they can be partly pre-installed. Field experience in deepwater benign environment. and complicated gas lift system. Hybrid risers may also serve as export solutions. or DDsemi. imposing weld fatigue issues versus using threaded connections not being qualified). Riser towers in less harsh environments have a track record. but less compatible with a weather-vaning FPSO in harsh environments because of significant dynamic loads in the SCR risers. DDsemi and semi. limited remediation means (chemicals and pigging restrictions of flexibles). spar. and installation of the tank and risers in a confined area. All vessel types can include riser tower systems. which is considered applicable for spread-moored FPSOs in benign environments. and SLOR and COR concepts. These systems also can accommodate easily gas lift at the riser base. Key critical issues are long-term integrity of the tank and flexible jumpers.All vessels may consider hybrid riser systems. The system can be partly pre-installed. Combined riser.
Also. One can combine several riser systems with the different floater concepts. A variety of riser systems is needed because of various service applications and fluid properties. The dry-tree units provide more flexibility to the riser designer than motion exposed floaters used for wet trees. and installation complexity and risks. long-term integrity. but it needs more extensive development work. This implies that more effort must be put into drytree than wet-tree solutions in order to achieve comparable maturity between the two main categories. complexity of buoy. At present. tether design (including snatch loads). Considerations The technical challenges of deepwater harsh environments are more similar to those already faced in existing (relatively shallow) harsh environment developments than to those for existing deepwater developments in mild environment. concepts that target subsea completed wells are somewhat more mature than concepts for platform completed wells. It is essential to recognize that the ranking matrix should not be read in isolation from the text of this article that explains the discussions at the workshops and sets the context and rationale behind the assigned colors in the ranking matrix. flexible jumper design and capabilities have potential limitations. as follows: Dark green—This technology is applicable to deepwater harsh environments with some limited development work. vessel-buoy-riser interactions. Light green—This technology is applicable to deepwater harsh environment.Their main benefits are a saving of mooring-line costs and the fact that the systems may be partly pre-installed. Yellow—This technology has a high priority for development to improve the concept's maturity. therefore. Critical areas include combined use of riser and mooring (potential regulatory issues). Red—This technology needs more extensive development and requires an estimation of the development time and cost. Recommendations for development work for each concept are inherent in the colors used in the figures. One. should mainly use the harsh-environment experience as the starting point for new developments in deepwater harsh environment. .
and 2. It currently produces 185. .124 m of water (Fig. and in 1987 Petrobras discovered the Marlim Sul field in 1.000 bo/d.600 m water depths.47 billion boe of proved reserves and an additional 1. 1. Drilling extended-reach wells or horizontal wells in unconsolidated. the field has been under development since 1994. Sand control systems for preventing sand production. Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) selected a four-module program for developing its large deepwater Marlim Sul oil field. The Marlim Leste discovery. 13% of Petrobras' oil production in Brazil. followed in 1986. It contains 1. thin sandstones lying under a thin sediment section. The main development challenges include: • • • • • Subsea flow through long flowlines at low temperatures. Discovered in 1987 in the Campos basin off Brazil. Availability of lay-support vessels. Lying in 800-2. 1). Geological and reservoir uncertainties during technical and economical feasibility studies. the field contains 14 reservoir blocks in a large 600-sq km area that require various development techniques because of the large variability in water depth and oil characteristics.5 million cu m/d of gas. etc. Current plans In 1985.15 billion boe of probable reserves.Offshore Heavy Oil in Brazil-Marlim Field Phased program lessens Marlim Sul development risks To lessen risks. Petrobras discovered the Marlim field in 853 m of water. drilling platforms. deepwater equipment.260 m of water.
The field development plan includes four modules (Fig. and offloading (FPSO) vessel.000-1. The first phase of the Marlim Sul development. moored in the neighboring Marlim oil field. The vessel will increase the oil producing capacity to about 250. 2). Module 1.500-m water depths. .000 b/d from the current 185. Another 3 wells connect to the P-37 and P-26 FPUs. Of these wells. in operation were 14 producers and 9 water injectors in 1.000 b/d. consists of 35 wells (21 producers and 14 water injectors). 20 tie-in to the P-40 semisubmersible floating production unit (FPU). In mid-2004. Nine of the 35 wells in Module 1 will tie into this FPSO. As of September 2003. storage. Petrobras plans to start operating the Marlim Sul floating production.
Module 2 will include 10 producers and 9 injectors in 1. The initial feasibility studies indicate Module 3 will need 23 wells. The Marlim Sul development. with production expected to start in 2012. these systems do not provide all necessary reservoir information and using only this information may lead to incorrect conclusions.Module 2 development started in 1999 with two-wells connected to an FPSO for an extended production test. 20-22° in Module 2. therefore. This pilot test lasted until December 2001 and provided important reservoir and production information.700 m water depths. so that the reservoirs require water injection for maintaining reservoir pressure. Reservoir engineering Marlim Sul has many separate reservoirs. To reduce development risks.000 bo/d. with a maximum 100-m thickness. The development strategy involves having lateral continuity between producers and injectors. Gas in solution provides the producing mechanism. Pilot production systems allow evaluators to obtain important reservoir information. and 14-18° in Module 3. consisting basically of Oligo-miocene and Eocene turbidity sandstones. The zones have excellent rock quality with 25-38% porosity and 2-16 darcy permeability. This evaluation led to adopting horizontal wells for developing all of the modules. Petrobras initially identified 20 reservoirs but newer interpretation indicates that the field has 14 separate blocks. Feasibility studies for Module 4 will follow. These well provided information for calibrating the seismic interpretation and the geological characterization.200-1. This requires both seismic control and high-performance horizontal wells. Petrobras obtained 3D seismic during the exploration phase and used it as a basis for determining exploratory and appraisal wells locations. The oil gravity is 23-27° in Module 1. has used an approach that evaluated various alternatives. between 10 and 20 m. The producers will tie into an FPU capable of processing 180. This phase has many technological challenges that will require innovative solutions. The area is in deeper 1. The pay zones typically are thin. The company expects to start producing from Module 2 in 2006. . But.500 m water depths and the reservoirs contain a highly viscous.7002. Petrobras also drilled several appraisal wells in the Module 2 area. The wells in these ultradeep waters will require long horizontal laterals drilled in a thin sedimentary section. besides contributing to production and revenues. heavier 14-18° crude. The appraisal wells in Marlim Sul reduced data uncertainties because of the reservoir fluid and rock samples collected and the logging information obtained.
it plans to drill all Marlim Sul with horizontal sections of at least 500 m. with most wells now having a damage ratio less than 1.000 b/d). built-in conductor. A 171/2-in. which has reduced total drilling time.Because of the effective synergy between the reservoir and well construction groups. and a 51/2-in. base pipe) and openhole gravel pack. Well construction Module 1 has horizontal wells with potential productivity up to 5. These tools allow the bit to stay inside the pay zone and obtain a smoother trajectory. The typical casing program has 30-in. casing. hole with 95/8-in. Its standard horizontal well design has four sections: • • • • Three joints of 30-in. base-pipe screen that is gravel packed in an 81/2-in. density. the practice. is to drill the pilot in the high angle section and then set the 95/8-in. 95/8-in. Sand control and openhole gravel packs are mandatory in the wells because of the unconsolidated sandstone reservoirs.5 from the initially expected 2. Now. An 81/2-in. the groups have reduced the horizontal well damage ratio to an expected 1. Petrobras no longer uses the practice of drilling a vertical pilot hole to check for reservoir depth before drilling the horizontal lateral.000 cu m/day (30. Most of these were in shallow water. Also rotary steerable tools have improved the quality and lessened the time for drilling the build up and horizontal sections. These low damage ratios have contributed to P-40 reaching its processing limit with fewer than the initially planned 30 wells. production casing. screen (51/2-in. The polycrystalline-diamond compact (PDC) bits used have increased penetration rate and bit life. and sonic sensors. It was therefore necessary to install another processing unit. surface casing. Until 1997. horizontal section. Well completion . FPSO Marlim Sul. resistivity. 133/8-in. A 121/4-in. hole with 63/8-in. to tie into the other 9 wells. Azimuth tools with an inclination sensor positioned near the bit have reduced the time spent on navigation while drilling the horizontal section. Now. The drillstring includes logging-while-drilling (LWD) tools with gamma ray. Petrobras had drilled only 19 horizontal wells in water depths up to 900 m. casing shoe at the top of the reservoir. Drillers use a pressure-while-drilling (PWD) sensor to check for hole cleaning. hole with 133/8-in. conductor casing. casing to the top of the reservoir at about 90°.
inside the casing. without a packer specified. But new technologies with diverter equipment are giving better results.Completion programs typically use only one packer. also include fiberglass internally cased transition joints in the interfaces between the injection string and gravel-pack assembly and between the injection string and 13% chrome subsea tree. Petrobras usually does not stimulate Marlim Sul producing wells. All producers typically have a permanent downhole gauge (PDG) and a temperature and pressure transducer (TPT). A well includes a tubing seal receptacle (TSR). The installation of subsea production trees on injection wells provides advantages for controlling hydrates and also provides more flexibility in planning. This often did not achieve damage ratios less than 2. Petrobras increased the initial 5 joints to 10 joints to permit setting another packer inside the 13% chrome section if it became necessary to redrill the horizontal lateral and run a new gravel-pack assembly. tubing instead of 51/2-in. Subsea tree Marlim Sul producing and injection wells have guidelineless subsea trees with three independent vertical connection modules (VCMs) for 1. Injectors have a digital TPT inside the subsea tree. in order to reduce hydrate risk. Damage ratio Petrobras stimulates all injectors in Marlim Sul to reduce the damage ratio. This reduces the time spent as well as providing good diversion and consequently efficient damage removal. Petrobras does not include a downhole safety valve (DHSV) in wells because its Marlim Sul reliability study indicated that DHSVs were unnecessary for isolated wells. inside the 95/8-in. In the program. Selective acid-stimulation tools allow stimulating preferentially in multiple stages in the same run. A temperature and pressure transducer (TPT) monitors the production and annulus bores. Eliminating the DHSV reduces operating expenditures. producing wells have 13% chrome production casing for the 10 first (lower) joints. The chrome joints prevent damage to the casing below the packer from the produced fluids and galvanic corrosion. these jobs were done through wash pipe without mechanical diverting equipment. The wells. The packer is inside the horizontal lateral. Chrome casing Because of the presence of CO2. In the past. whenever it is not planned to abandon a well temporarily. Wells have 65/8-in. Petrobras requires that subsea tree manufacturers test all valves with gas. casing. Injection wells have a chrome 1% chrome injection string and a 13% chrome gravel-pack assembly.500-m water depth. . to prevent galvanic corrosion.
The pigs are pumped through the annulus lines from the FPU to the subsea tree and return through the production line. This practice saves about 4 days of rig time. Removal is difficult because of the high hydrostatic pressures and low temperatures in this environment. The 121/4-in. Planned maximum gas-lift injection rates are 200. The BOP is rerun after installing the PAB. without depending on having the subsea tree installed. Wax Analysis reveals that oil from Modules 1 and 2 has about a 20° C. All production strings have a single orifice gas-lift valve. Module 2 will include gas-lift automation for optimizing production and multiphase metering for increasing reservoir management control. hole because its drift is smaller than the 121/4-in. The conventional PAB is set after drilling the 121/4-in. Also. Produced gas after being treated and compressed on the FPU enters a surface gas-lift manifold that distributes the gas to the wells annuls lines. hole.000 cu m/ day/well. Petrobras technicians have designed a new PAB with a 121/4-in. lowdensity pigs can remove mechanically some wax deposition. casing) and before running the BOP. without interrupting the production. It is set after drilling the 121/4-in. wax appearance temperature (WAT). Chokes control the gas rate and there is no subsea gas distribution manifold. . respectively. in Modules 1 and 2. Artificial lift The artificial lift method for both Modules 1 and 2 is continuous gas lift. The reaction generates a large amount of heat and nitrogen gas that fluidizes the wax deposition and consequently unplugs the flowline. drift that will be installed after the 171/2-in. Other options are also available in case the wax deposition decreases production.000 and 250. Petrobras has developed and patented a nitrogen generating system that consists of an in situ chemical reaction between two nitrogen salt-containing aqueous solutions. and pulling the BOP (blowout preventer) stack. Hydrates Hydrate crystals that form and plug lines and valves pose major problems in deep water. For instance. the flexible flowlines have thermal insulation. phase (133/8-in. indicating a potential for wax deposition inside the flowlines. The PAB has the other advantage of allowing the subsea tree to be pulled for repair without needing to disconnect the flowlines. These pigs are used because annulus lines and production lines have different diameters. hole is drilled with the PAB and BOP installed. To prevent wax deposition.Petrobras uses a production adapter base (PAB) set on the wellhead housing before it installs the subsea tree. This allows it to connect-disconnect flowlines directly to and from the PAB.
Therefore the new wells will include a 21/2-in.000 m under static conditions. The program in Module 1 allowed for both bundle and individual flowline launching. For Module 2. gas-lift line instead of a 4-in.In Marlim Sul. or 8-in. Also. Flowlines Marlin Sul has flexible flowlines that have been upgraded for water depths of 1. FPU . The Marlim Sul development does not included any subsea manifolds because of the high well flow rates and short distances between wells and FPUs. Also. line. it has used the VCS in Marlim Sul. 3) that is simpler and costs less than other approaches. static and riser flexible flowlines. is slacked off above the sea bottom. Modules 1 and 2 have 6-in. thus providing more time for reducing the pressure and fluids that make hydrate formation possible. Petrobras developed and in 1992 introduced the vertical connection system (VCS). This also eliminates the extra cost of manifolds. This helps minimize the possibility of forming hydrate. the approaching and positioning phases depend more on operational procedures than equipment. and the locking and sealing phases include connectors similar to those on the subsea trees and wellhead systems. operators can reduce the hydrate risk by injecting a thermodynamical hydrate inhibitor (ethanol) through the electrohydraulic umbilical from the FPU to the subsea tree. VCS is a diverless system (Fig. So far. After some improvements. the thermally insulated flowlines maintain higher temperatures during flow. This allows the VCM to be moved towards the wellhead position without pulling the line. The flowline. This delays the temperature drop in case flow ceases. The annulus line serves both as gas lift line and also as an auxiliary line for displacing fluid through the production flowline. A cable or drillpipe string can handle the VCM. An offshore laying simulation (DIP tests) qualified them for this application.500 m under dynamic conditions and up to 2. Each Module 2 subsea tree will have three vertical connection modules (VCMs). pulling a single line for maintenance is easier. In the system. The process facilities have a dehydration system and a means to check the gas humidity before the gas enters the gas lift or export lines. production flowline. instead of being pulled to the position. Petrobras plans only individual launching of flowlines mainly because of the flexibility in having a wider range of lay support vessels (LSVs) available that can lay individual lines. the project has had no severe wax problem in the 6-in.
4 shows the forecast for the production processed by P-40. and compress 212 MMcfd of gas.000 bw/d. . P-40 started operations in Marlim Sul December 2001. Converted in 2000 from a heavy-lift crane barge. inject 220. Fig.000 bo/d.Petrobras 40 (P-40) is a semisubmersible platform that can process 150.
The average anchoring radius is 1.P-40 is taut-leg moored (Fig. is transferred to P-38. Its main advantages are: • • • Reduced mooring radius. data and telecommunication transmission interconnect P-40 and P-38. Some power generated on P-40. Increased ratio between the load capacity and the total cost.080 m water depth with 16 lines. The VLA is designed to work embedded 30 m below the sea bottom. In Marlim Sul. Reduced platform offset movement.700 m of polyester rope in a total length of 2. Each mooring line has 1.000 m of water. Petrobras pioneered its use and currently has this system installed in four production units. occupying less subsea area. P-40 is anchored in 1.150 m. P-40 and P-38 have taut-leg systems. using the produced gas. an innovation developed by Petrobras and its suppliers. .800 m. The taut-leg system is one of the technologies validated in Marlim Sul. the company plans to use it in many other units in the future because this system allows for mooring in up to 3. A subsea electrical and optical umbilical for power. 5). Moreover. This system consists of polyester ropes as part of the mooring lines and a vertical loaded anchor (VLA).
Petrobras completed the first offshore ERW in Brazil. strings contributed to the successf because these string sizes minimized hydraulic constraints especially in the critical 16-in. Well MLS-42H The MLS-42H extended-reach well (ERW) in Marlim Sul has reduced flowline length. The well has a productivity index (PI) of more than 150 bbl/d/psi. SEST. and a well cleaning simulator. thereby minimized the effects of low subsea temperature and pressure losses on oil flow. has a pay zone at 2. and the GOR is 530 scf/stock-tank bbl. . Drilling with 65/8-in. Drilling with low build rates contributed to maintaining torque and drag within safety limits. The acceptable limit it 20 ppm. The maximum in Marlim Sul has been 15 ppm. It has a 3. with the maximum month average of 8 ppm. Well MLS-42H.00 bo/d in December 2001 and now produces about 36. The well. and cost less than $27 million. 6 shows how the well was completed. The drilling and completion of the well took 166 days. It produces from a zone with 34% porosity and 1.862 m TVD and measured TD of 5.258-m departure and an 89° inclination. Optimized fluid parameters and tandem pills were important for keeping cuttings transport under control. MLS-42H reached a peak production of 43. in 2001 (Fig. holes. Drilling the 16-in.000 bo/d.P-40 discharges effluents according to environmental specifications. which is the highest rate for a well off Brazil. 6).211 ft. hole was the most difficult part of the operation because of the build angle (trajectory control) and wellbore cleaning. SIMCARR. and 51/2-in. and 121/4-in. Fig. completed in 1. The oil gravity is 24°. a Petrobras simulator for wellbore stability.308 md permeability. For drilling.212 m of water. correlated well with the actual drilling results.
714-m TVD and 3. production riser and flowline combined with a large 7-in. The well is a two-zone injector with a 500-m horizontal lateral. so that it is possible to control the flow rates individually for each zone. . altering them according to the pressure monitored or reservoir requirements.605-m MD. MLS-67H Petrobras installed the first subsea intelligent completion off Brazil in Well MLS-67H (Fig. production string.170 m and has a 2. BarBi is named for Petrobras engineers Paulo Barata and Luis Bianco. The injection string has two electric flow-control chokes that allow selective injection to each reservoir. This well started injection in August 2003 and is injecting 5. The high production rates result. in a large part.200 bw/d into MRL-260 reservoirs. who proposed the design. 7).The distance from wellhead to P-40 is 7-km. BarBi Well The MLS-53H well (BarBi well) has a new design that lessens rig time by reducing the well sections drilled.000 bw/d into the MRL-100 and 8. because of the large 8-in. The well is in 1.
expandable screens for sand control. • • • • Drilling a 143/4-in. Petrobras finished the first such well in November 2003 and currently is completing a second such well. and 103/4-in. Also the 7-in. and a rigid 7-in. hole to 2. liner has a port collar for cementing the liner. Drilling an 81/2-in. including build and horizontal sections. shoe. and setting a 7-in. The Module 2 drilling campaign that will start in September 2004 adopted this configuration for all producing wells.The new design has three sections: a 30-in. conductor. An external casing packer is set above the 7-in. production string and running production tests after installing the subsea tree. liner combined with a 51/2-in. The well construction includes: Drilling a 36-in. at the bottom. casing. with a 163/4-in. joint on top.350 m with combined casing string of 10 joints of 95/8-in. hole to 3. • Installing the 7-in. Module 3 Module 3 requires a more complex development scheme than Modules 1 and 2. 8). and 81/2-in. Setting the PAB and installing the BOPs. expandable sand screen (Fig.335 m. a 103/4-in. one 133/8-in. liner combined with 51/2-in. hole and cementing or jetting in 30-in. slender well housing. casing. joints. Some alternatives being studied include: .
line heating. Design subsea equipment for 2. and risers. and multisize pigging for preventing wax deposition at the lower temperatures foreseen for Module 3. are led and conducted by the Petrobras Research and Development Center (CENPES) in cooperation with the operating units. Petrobras' technological programs created to analyze and overcome these challenges include: • • • • PROCAP-3000: Technological program on ultradeep water exploitation systems. normally. Include possibly optical technology. especially inside thin and unconsolidated sandstone reservoirs and under thin sediment cover. • • • • • Optimize production by automating gas lift. Evaluate thermal insulation. • Improve intelligent completion technology to make it less expensive and more reliable. Develop new techniques for dealing with hydrates. although multilaterals are not planned for Module 3 at this time. New sandcontrol equipment will be needed in this low fracture gradients environment. and new techniques for discharging produced water. Optimize the designs for large-capacity production topsides. • Developing new safety valves for gas lift and gas export lines to prevent or reduce flow back in case of damage or failure in gas flowlines near the topsides. . Upgrade electric submersible pump boosting equipment for ultradeep water. • • • Study the potential of multilateral wells for developing heavy oil.Drill longer and larger bore horizontal and extended-reach wells. These programs involve the whole organization and. with such equipment as subsea separators. PRAVAP: Technological program on enhanced reservoir recovery. Also develop pull-in and inspection procedures for both flexible and rigid risers. Alternatives also include the hydraulic submersible pump (HSP) and multiphase pumps. and installing multiphase meters. new solutions for handling produced water injection and raw water injection. valves. PROAMB: Technological program on environment. PROPES: Technological program on heavy oil.000-m water depth with such technology as largediameter swivels.
The company has multiple rigs rapidly batch-drilling horizontal wells from pads. along with the gamma ray and resistivity LWD data. such as for redefining the well trajectory. This activity requires an ability to monitor and effectively communicate complex geoscience and drilling engineering data. The intention of this article is to illustrate how the various proven systems are brought together to benefit the project. reservoir sands. It should be noted that most of this technology is not new. The survey information (inclination and azimuth). The braided stream sands generally are more predictable and match better with the interpreted earth model. With this information. The meandering channel sands sometimes have sand bodies with limited lateral and vertical continuity. Geology Sincor's Zuata area has very soft unconsolidated. resulting in laterally discontinuous sand bodies. The reservoirs are typically either meandering channel sands formed within a major deltaic deposit or fluvial deposits dominated by braided streams. are loaded directly and automatically into a Landmark Graphics Openworks database. This allows the rig site team or Caracas team to view the information from their offices or homes. Petréleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). Each rig site transmits real-time logging-while-drilling (LWD) and surface drilling parameter data via satellite. and Statoil AS. 300 km to Sincor's Caracas headquarters. of well construction. the geoscience and drilling engineering teams both in Caracas and at the rig sites can immediately make more-informed decisions. Sincor has improved its overall operational efficiency through a multidiscipline integration at the planning stage coupled with real-time monitoring. Sincor is an operating company owned by TotalFinaElf SA. . so that intelligent well-construction decisions are made based on current information. These discontinuities may require that a planned well path be changed during drilling. thus ensuring 24-hr coverage. Multiple wells are monitored simultaneously. Miocene age. The well trajectory with LWD curves then can be viewed on the seismic profile. in real time.Venezuela: Sincor Orinoco and Lake Maracaibo Drilling In developing the Zuata area of Eastern Venezuela's Orinoco heavy-oil belt. from multiple locations. Sincor posts the seismic profile automatically on its intranet.
The overall structure has an average 2° dip towards the north and northeast. Well design The extended-reach horizontal wells (Fig. as follows: . while the south and southwest areas have had more erosion. The collision between the Caribbean and South American plates produced the faulting. The northeast area has a more complete stratigraphic column. 1) have three hole sections. Existing faults generally exhibit only a few meters of throw and may have an additional strike-slip component.
A 16-in.7. usually about 900 ft above the target sand. A vertical 121/4-in. surface hole to about 400 ft measured depth (MD) with 133/8-in. lateral sections. two processes are in place that help improve efficiency. Batch drilling reduces the job to a series of short and repetitive cycles that become familiar to the rig crew and supervisors. build sections. a new horizontal well is completed about every 11/2 days. and then finally all the 81/2-in. including drilling. cementing. followed by the build section with average build rates of 5-6 For the 12-24 wells/pad. including drilling. and skidding rig. With all rigs running. thus improving operational efficiency. followed by all the 121/4-in. Three to four days for the 81/2-in. Typically. Sincor has four to five rigs drilling at any time. Sincor uses a batch-drilling strategy that consists of drilling all the 16-in. casing for protecting the well from shallow freshwater sands. Planning stage At the planning stage. completion of the sections is averaging: • • Two days for the 121/4-in. hole to a kick-off-point (KOP). and skidding rig. in the traditionally labor-intensive task of generating an approved well-construction plan. . hole sections for a particular pad. running liner. running casing. Currently. build sections. laterals. 8.
and skid the rig. case. The provisional well path is then accessed and brought into the Windows NT environment by the well planning engineers with Landmark Graphics Compass software. Once the well path is optimized. particularly when batch drilling 121/4-in. Interactive drilling . then the loop starts again until both the geoscience and drilling engineering teams are satisfied. then the plan is approved and posted on the intranet. Geoscientists start the process by generating a provisional well path generated from the earth model in the UNIX environment using Landmark Graphics software Wellbore Planned. 3). and anticollision analysis (Fig. torque and drag limitations. This workflow process improves well planning efficiency when compared with moretraditional planning methods. build sections. If there are discrepancies. which allows direct access to the UNIX system. which improves integration between the multidiscipline team members. This efficiency is necessary. The targets are directly on the seismic plane in depth. and the provisional trajectory is obtained by visually intersecting the favorable reflectors or sweet spots on this seismic plane (Fig. cement. it is reimported into Wellbore Planned where the adjusted trajectory is reverified against the earth model. In Compass. the provisional well path is optimized for drilling engineering criteria such as build-rate restrictions. If all target criteria are met. which take less than 48 hr to drill. is called collaborative well planning. Transfer of coordinates can be facilitated by a link from Compass.The first process in the prewell stage. 2).
The ease of use of the interactive drilling program allows last minute edits to the drilling program. geoscience. Such placement facilitates fast responses to program changes by all teams. . These edits are necessary when wells are rapidly drilled and where adjustments are constantly being made on proposed well paths based on updated earth models and information from the previously drilled wells from the respective pads.The interactive drilling program keeps up with the rapid pace that the project demands by allowing interaction between the different teams involved in the drilling. Network A major component of the planning and monitoring systems is the transfer and sharing of information between different team members at multiple locations. The program consists of individual spreadsheets linked to a central file that summarizes all inputs. The teams include drilling engineering. mud-cementing. The program is easily placed on the network or intranet. and directional drilling engineering. The Sincor Network has been established to facilitate this. Every team member can modify its sheet as required and can access the other sheets if necessary.
At each rig site. have 256 kbps and 128 kbps bandwidth access. The company man. LWD sensors include directional measurements of inclination and azimuth. . and hook-load. the information is acquired and stored in the rig server's database. This system is a Windows NT-based data acquisition and management system. The telephone and telefax also share this bandwidth. rig. Two additional field locations in the network. At each rig site. surface rotary speed. and resistivity. wellsite engineer. allowing well monitoring from their respective rig offices (Fig. resulting in minimal bandwidth utilization. This setup facilitates data replication to a secondary server in the Caracas office.Each active drilling rig has a 64 kilobits/sec (kbps) data rate available for a real-time data transfer. gamma ray. 5). 24 hr/day. intranet. and internet access. active sensors acquire the data. Surface drilling parameter sensors include pump rate. The PWD tools measure annular and bore pressures that enable the calculation of real-time downhole equivalent circulating densities (ECDs). e-mail. Each rig drilling and transmitting realtime data has an assigned secondary server in Caracas. 4). Rig-server to secondary-server replication takes place only as updates or edits occur. real-time window summarizing all current well activities and current drilling parameters. and internet access. measured depth and true vertical depth logs. and wellsite geologist have rig-site workstations that can access the rig server via the rig local area network (LAN). with 64 kbps available on each rig and 256 kbps available in the main Caracas office. respectively (Fig. and ASCII files of LWD and survey information. Downhole drilling efficiency sensors include drillstring vibration sensors and pressurewhile-drilling (PWD) tools. Intranet access also is possible by dialing in from any remote location with preassigned security passwords. Information available on the intranet includes well-survey proposals. This access allows members of the multidiscipline teams to view the well information and plans. All locations have full network. Each office. daily drilling reports. which acquires all LWD and surface parameter data at the rig site on the rig server. intranet connection. seismic cross sections with real-time updated well paths and logs. The rig server also replicates its database to a secondary server in Sincor's main geoscience and drilling engineering decision center in Caracas. surface torque. well-drilling programs. Pariaguan and San Diego. Sperry-Sun Drilling Services' INSITE system provides the project with real-time monitoring capability. standpipe pressure. and remote location is networked via the main satellite (Intelsat 805). while at home or remotely from the operational offices.
This access allows well monitoring from different workstations within the office.Members of the multidiscipline teams can access the local database on each secondary server via the office LAN. In Sincor's model. Geoscience Standard log plots are available directly from the rig or from secondary servers for rapid log correlations (Fig. the system can update the data at any desired time or depth interval. data from each of the secondary servers (Windows NT-based systems) is passed directly into the appropriate Openworks project in the UNIX environment. On each secondary server. allowing access to the main UNIX Openworks database. 6). Openworks NT is installed in client mode. By using the INSITE-to-Openworks (IOW) link. . LWD and survey data from each secondary server in Caracas are loaded automatically into the Openworks database where the earth model resides.
the system loads these curves for each well into the Openwork database. the data are projected onto a selected seismic cross section generated using Landmark Graphics Stratworks software. the most practical tool for visualization is to display the gamma ray and resistivity log curves along the actual well trajectory on a depth-based seismic cross section. The rapid drill rates dictate that data be transferred to the earth model every 2 min via INSITE-to-Openworks. Every 3-4 min. 7). . Cut-offs on the gamma ray give a quick visualization of sand and shale. the system takes a snapshot of the updated seismic display with logs and trajectories at 4 min intervals and posts it to the intranet (Fig. The system subsequently computes six curves from this imported data using the specific cut-off values for the gamma ray and resistivity. along with an updated trajectory. For each well. The proposed well path should also be superimposed on this section. Then. Both gamma ray and resistivity curves are color coded according to predefined cut-offs. This procedure allows the multidiscipline team members visually to monitor a rapidly drilled horizontal well and to view complex ideas across the network. while cut-offs on the resistivity curves give information on the fluid content of the drilled formations.Once the data are in the earth model.
then alarms are activated and recommended changes to the drilling parameters are displayed. The push to avoid having to trip to rearrange weight components of the drillstring through the lateral section has been partially achieved by carefully monitoring surface parameters in conjunction with downhole ECD. Surface-drilling parameter data such as pump rate.The expert members of the multidiscipline teams can make faster and more informed decisions with the real-time monitoring of LWD and survey information and by comparing this to the earth model and predefined well path. which indicates the amount of hole cleaning. . The effects of changing drilling parameters on downhole vibration can be monitored with visual warning displays set up on the rig floor and in the office. surface torque. These decisions include casing-point definition. Drillstring vibration sensors have monitored downhole vibrations. surface rotary speed. Reduced downhole vibration has extended downhole tool life and reduced time-consuming trips to change out equipment. theoretical torque-and-drag models. the monitoring of equivalent circulating density (ECD) downhole with the pressure-while-drilling sensor is helping to ensure better hole cleaning and to reduce the risk of either differential sticking or packingoff. real-time updates of the models have resulted in optimized procedures and drillstring configurations. and hook-load are used to monitor and optimize processes both while drilling and while running liner. navigation corridors. The capability to monitor and compare real-time also allows other critical decisions to be performed more efficiently. These decisions allow redefinition of the optimum well trajectories while drilling and thus help ensure a maximum pay zone in a well. If excessive vibration is encountered. and openhole sidetrack determination. standpipe pressure. The real-time update of data into the earth model also promotes expedient redesign of future wells in the batch-drilling program. Drilling engineering Acquisition and distribution of real-time drilling data also have improved operational efficiency. Engineers at the rig sites and in Caracas can monitor the same information and come to a joint decision as to when to short trip or circulate the well clean. Optimization of these decisions saves time and avoids potential hole problems. During drilling of extended lateral sections. By the careful monitoring of actual data vs. Real-time updates dispense with waiting to receive and import appropriate LWD curves when needed to update or verify an earth model. leading to better decisions and considerable time savings.
no additional manpower is required at the rig site to operate the real-time network. The traditional barriers of information exchange between the office and wellsite no longer exist. This will further enhance collaboration between the technical teams in Caracas. At present. The 24-hr Caracas office support consists of two engineers working 12-hr shifts. A single Sincor data manager performs intranet maintenance and Openworks database management. These engineers provide a secondary well planning role. 24-hr coverage is also necessary to monitor the secondary servers receiving data from the rig servers and to ensure that the flow of data is current to the earth model. redefining well trajectories if required. thus saving much time. Experts do not have to be in the field and can overview multiple wells simultaneously. In the Caracas office. The system is stable. The benefit of having drilling engineering information available in multiple locations is the ability to call upon more experts to ensure maximum optimization of the well engineering process. For example. The roles and responsibilities of both the office and field-based technical team members have evolved to integrate the real-time processes. all associated LWD and survey data quality-control procedures are followed. Because the LWD engineers work rotational shifts providing 24-hr coverage. The system automatically posts all drilling engineering data to the web page for distribution through the intranet with updates every 3 sec. Human resources At the rig site. however. this allows office-based geophysicists to work with real-time LWD data and wellsite geologists and directional drillers to expedite any recommended trajectory changes. operator input is required for such procedures as changing well names with openhole sidetracks and to re-initialize the INSITE-toOpenwork link.This has enabled the lateral sections to be drilled in a single run without rearranging the drillstring. . The LWD engineer initiates the real-time transfer of this information to Caracas. Future plans Sincor may install a 3D "visionarium" center to monitor and plan future wells. provision for the office support engineers is included in the directional drilling/LWD contract.
Photo: Pad Well Drilling Sincor Photo: PdVsa East Coast Lake Maracaibo . reservoir engineering.This new facility will also allow more complete drilling. and complex geological modeling that will be integrated into the planning and real-time decision making processes.
Alaska North Slope Heavy Oil Drilling .
The produced sand and the produced proppant damaged the electric submersible pumps. Random siderite stringers are throughout the OA and OB sands: Sand control equipment was installed early in the pool’s life. The Schrader Bluff holds 2 billion barrels of 18-22°API oil. This area was discovered in 1969. development of the supergiant Prudhoe Bay preceeded any development drilling of these heavy oils. a Light Automated Drilling System (LADS) has 1/3 of the footprint and ½ of the crew of a conventional rig. A ‘frac and pack” approach was then used to hydraulically fracture the rock. while the Ugnu formation has 10-14°API oil. Now. Here. This reduces the footprint and the number of projected Schrader Bluff wells from 500 to 150-200.The Alaska North Slope heavy oil of the West Sak and Ugnu formations that underlie the main producing horizons of the Kuparuk River. BP is working its way into the downdip area. History The unconsolidated and weakly consolidated sands were laid down in the Upper Cretaceous. Chevron/Texaco. Horizontal wells were then drilled in the late 1990’s using sand control or no sand control. The approach then led to ‘frac percent control’. Schrader Bluff and Milne Point fields at depths of 1000–1200 m are being explored using horizontal wells and multilaterals. 12 km of pipeline and 1. there is 1213 billion barrels OOIP. The major breakthrough came when multilaterals were drilled using slotted liner completions which reduced the drilling cost by 30%: In 2002. prop it open with gravel and then add screens. The operators in these areas are BP-Amoco-Arco.6 km of road. each about 7. artificial coarse grain gravel was used as a proppant with a resin coating that glued all the proppant grains together to hold the sand back. However. The West Sak formation oil gravity is 14-24°API. a well can be drilled beyond 3 km using 1 pad. however. Conoco/Phillips and Unocal. closer to the oil-water contact and where the oil is even more viscous using multilaterals: . There are two siltstone and sand pay zones called OA and OB. There are nonproductive siltstones above and below the Schrader sands. These Schrader sands lie above the separate Kuparuk River (2130 m TVD subsea) and Sag River (2680 m TVD subsea) reservoirs which contain lighter oils. Alaska’s north slope is shown here: This area contains between 21-36 billion barrels OOIP. but that also reduced the well’s productivity. Recoveries are expected to be 22%. In the West Sak field. the low temperatures (the reservoir temperature is 27°C) caused the resin coatings and the gel fluids not to decompose and thus it was difficult to clean up the fractures. Exxon/Mobil.6 m in the Schrader Bluff reservoir.
The following well designs were tried: A) Dual Lateral Both laterals were sidetracked out of a 4 ½ inch L-80 slotted liner from the shallow high departure wellbore. Faulting caused zone displacement and so sidetracking was necessary to complete the first lateral. and 7 inch casing sizes. Both laterals were sidetracked out of the existing 5 ½ inch liner using 4 ½ inch by 5 ½ inch whipstocks and completing them with 2 7/8 inch predrilled liners. but the second lateral was drilled. including wiper trips in 63 hours. The first lateral targeted the upper OA sand and the second lateral exited above the first lateral using a flow-through whipstock targeted to the lower OB sand. The project involved drilling through 4 ½ tubing out of 4½ . The two laterals were 684 m and 746 m in total lateral length and completed with 2 7/8 in predrilled liners. After 41 hours of drilling. the first lateral was built with 58°/100 feet dogleg severity turning 180° . B) Dual Lateral Both laterals targeted the OA sand but in different fault blocks and from opposite directions.Photo: Alaska North Slope Seismic Survey Coiled Tubing Drilling Coiled tubing drilling sidetracks had been used extensively in Prudhoe Bay and this technique is now being used to target the Schrader Bluff reservoir. 5 ½.
C) Additional Lateral Using coiled tubing. There is a modular resistivity sub above the measurement sondes which uses two transmitters. The lengths were 717 m and 824 m. The circulation valve is opened for circulation on trips. It has a 2 7/8 inch OD high torque. A bidirectional electric line provides power to the measurement sensors to give high speed control to the BHA. there is a electronically controlled hydraulic orienter and the downhole measurement sondes. 949 m lateral length was created in the OB sand by drilling out the low side of an existing horizontal lateral. hydraulically setting whipstocks and to increase the flowrates in the casing after wiper trips through the open hole. There was good accuracy with the zero solids mud system and where chlorides can exceed 30. These motors reduce stalling when drilling into something hard with too much weight on bit and thus the bit is pulled off bottom less. two receivers and two frequencies (2 MHz and 400 kHz) to make four fully compensated resistivity measurements for deep investigation and thin beds. The second lateral was drilled to a lateral length of 802 m in 5 days using a smaller build section. It contains a dual-flapper valve and an electric-line anchoring assembly contained in . pumping pills. The circulation valve is also used to avoid turning the bit inside the casing while pumping to prevent fluid freezing and to avoid pumping methanol (used for coil freeze protection) through the rubber components of the BHA. It rotates within a range of 400° at 1°/sec and allows for orientation while on bottom. positive displacement motor with an adjustable kickoff sub for directional control. D) Dual Lateral Two laterals were sidetracked using 4 ½ inch by 7 inch whipstocks and completed with 2 3/8 inch predrilled liners. directional sensor. Above this resistivity sonde is a circulation and disconnect sub containing a bypass valve and release tool. Above the motor. gamma ray sensor and sensors for annular and interior pressure as well as direct weight on bit.000 ppm. The hydraulic orienter allows the directional driller to control the orienter with a computer mouse. The Schrader Bluff Coiled Tubing Drilling Project used modular coiled tubing drilling and an evaluation bottomhole assembly (BHA).azimuth with a length of 505 m. The upper quick connect allows connection to the coiled tubing without rotating the entire BHA. The downhole data is captured every 5 seconds since in coiled tubing drilling. it is difficult to know what is going on downhole due to stretching and buckling of the coil. It was completed with 2 7/8 inch predrilled liner.
Let us examine the drilling operations of the dual lateral case D) above.flapper valve sub.2° bend.995 inch ID) coiled tubing with a standard coiled tubing connecter. The existing perforations in the OA and OB of the parent wellbore were plugged by cementing and isolated using a cement retained at 1387 m. and the well was back to 1716 m MD and drilling in zone. lower quick connect. the dual laterals were drilled from the existing 7 inch casing and through 4 ½ inch production tubing to target the OA and OB sands. The BHA used the high performance motor set at 1. The driller then performed a low side openhole sidetrack at 1482 m MD with a 1. standard positive displacement motor.5°bend motor. setting sleeve. electric circulation and disconnect sub. The flexible subs between the motor and orienter and flexible lower quick connect allows passage through dog-legs severities of more than 45°/100 ft.XXXXXX. . The lower lateral drilling into the OB sand required a diamond speed mill. mechanical release tool. orienter. The driller then set a 4 ½ inch by 7 inch whipstock at 1383 m measured depth and 51° inclination. A standard short-radius motor with 2.5° bend was used and the well was drilled with a 40°/100 ft build section to 1430 m MD. The bottomhole assembly attaches to the 2 3/8 inch OD (1. setting tool. After drilling less than 305 m (to 1716 m). upper quick connect with CCL and the coiled tubing connecter. The BHA contained the whipstock. using high speed gamma ray and CCL for accurate positioning. the formation dip was found to be less than expected and the wellbore was going out of zone. string reamer. a flapper valve sub the rest of the BHA.a housing with non-rotating threads. Here.
Top Drive Rigs .
New Tools .
.Drilling Waste In Alberta.
30%. Ameriven designed its central waste-treatment facilities (CTRD. Petrolera Ameriven SA. The CTRD receives and processes both heavy-oil drilling and production waste generated by the Hamaca operations (Fig. the facility will process wastes from 250-500 wells. Four R's .Drilling Waste in Venezuela A waste-management plan reduced the cost for handling drilling and production wastes for the Hamaca heavy-oil project in the Orinoco belt of Venezuela (Fig.000 b/d during the commercial phase. or Centro de Tratamiento y Recuperación de Desechos) with the technical support of two units of Halliburton Energy Services Group: Halliburton Total Fluids Management and Baroid. 2). The CRTD facility receives both heavy-oil drilling and production wastes (Fig. The project operator. 1). and Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) 30%. Ameriven expects that during the 30-year project life.000 b/d of extra-heavy crude. Its current development phase produces about 80. is a joint venture of ConocoPhillips 40%. To implement the plan. 2). ChevronTexaco Corp. and this will increase to 190.
the Baroid and Ameriven teams have increased wastemanagement efficiency by eliminating steps in the physical handling of drilling and production wastes. and recycling of the waste streams.2 Ameriven currently estimates that the plan has reduced waste management and disposal costs at this site by 22% since operations began. recovery. reuse. Before the construction and operation of the CTRD. required transporting materials for long distances. This helps reduce the overall cost for the entire project and simultaneously decreases potential risks associated with heavy-oil drilling and waste-management operations. companies in the Orinoco area of Venezuela had few waste-disposal options. thereby helping to increase operational efficiency and lower overall costs. Site selection Table 1 lists the typical drilling and production waste streams coming from the Hamaca operations. Using an innovative design. The CTRD has processed waste from more than 120 wells to date. the 1. All treatment takes place at one facility near the operations generating the waste.3-acre CTRD facility was designed to reduce waste-handling activity at the rig site. the main options. Previously. . landfarming and landspreading. in accordance with the minimization strategy (four R's) and in compliance with the Venezuelan environmental regulations. and only a few companies possessed appropriate experience to provide waste-management services.The primary CTRD objective emphasizes four R's: reduction. Strategically situated on an old drilling location within the project block. thus increasing environmental and safety risks and the costs associated with waste disposal. This strategy already has realized important cost savings through the consolidation of waste treatment at one location near the source and implementation of efficient wastemanagement practices.
The CTRD provides optimized treatment capacity through use of multifunctional, interchangeable equipment and treatment technologies (Fig. 3).
Table 2 shows the components selected and integrated based on the three key functions of environment, economics, and technical. The CTRD is on an old drilling location with low environmental sensitivity, a remote, unpopulated area that previously was deforested and surfaced with asphalt. Therefore, CTRD construction did not require removal of pristine growth and habitats. Furthermore, run-off is controlled easily because the site slope is less than 2%. The groundwater table at the site is more than 80 m deep, and the stratigraphic evaluation showed that the site has 1.5 m of sandy topsoil that rests on 40-60 m of clay. Ameriven derived many economic benefits by centralizing the waste-management function with one service company at one location. These benefits include economies of scale, the continuous availability of specialized technicians, a useful selection of related equipment
and chemicals, energy conservation, and constant environmental monitoring of on and off site soil and groundwater. Also significant costs were saved from a reduced need to transport waste materials long distances for disposal. The CTRD has good access roads and is equidistant from the waste generators such as well pads, central operating base, and pipelines.
Adjacent to the CTRD are the recipient soils that have the required environmental conditions for landspreading and landfarming (Fig. 4). The area has sufficient space for fully installed and implemented treatment technologies needed for waste minimization management. Disposal technologies The team evaluated the following waste disposal technologies as candidates for the CTRD:
• • • • • • • •
Dewatering. Centrifuging to recover oil from sludge. Incineration. Thermal desorption. Stabilization-solidification. Biotreatment (landfarming, composting, and biopiles). Burial. Well injection.
Reuse of some wastes as construction materials for well pads and access roads, or as treated fill material for the environmental restoration of abandoned pits in the Hamaca area.
The CTRD receives drilling and production wastes generated from four major sources: waste from the central operating base (COB), drill solids from Rig A, drilling fluid from Rig A and Rig B, and completion fluids from production. The facility can process up to 2,000 b/d of drilling and completion fluids, and it has storage and treatment capacities for 2,000 bbl of solids. COB waste Three main sources generate the COB waste: 1. Crude storage tanks (60% solids, 32% crude, and 8% water). 2. Electrostatic separators (28% solids, 58% crude, and 14% water). 3. Pipeline cleaning (no samples are yet available but Ameriven expects the waste to be similar to the separator samples). Based on these sample results and hot-spin tests, the waste is separated into two distinct phases (solids and fluid). Super vacuum trucks, 70 bbl/truck, pick up the COB waste and then deliver and discharge it into two 500-bbl agitator tanks. One receiving agitator tank holds about six truckloads plus about 15% diluents (light crude). The resultant mixture is heated to about 55° C. (131° F.) and continuously agitated before being pumped at 30-40 gpm to centrifuges, set up in series or parallel depending on final product-quality requirements. The resultant fluid discharge is analyzed to ensure it contains no more than 5% solids. It is then stored in two 500-bbl tanks before being transported back to the COB. At the COB, the fluid is mixed with the dilute crude before separation of the associated gas and produced water. Analysis ensures that the solids discharge complies with the Venezuelan environmental regulations on the level of oil-on-solids (OOS). The discharged solids are then bulked up with sand and landfarmed with a tractor to a depth 30 cm, as per Venezuelan landfarming requirements. Additionally, Ameriven reuses the treated waste construction material in well pads and access roads (as first priority), and as fill material for old pits. Rig A solids The solids generated on Rig A (Fig. 5) come from two main sources:
A purpose-built sump collects the whole mud run-off. The landspreading practices comply with Decree 2635 of the Venezuelan environmental regulations. and centrifuges (Fig. generating excess volume. The solids are dried as much as possible on the dry beach area. and landspread with a tractor in the specified cell in the CTRD (Fig. Solids discharge from two centrifuges with 10-15% MOC. 5).000 bbl/12-hr working day. if necessary. which is then pumped to one of the 500-bbl mud storage tanks prior to being dewatered. Rig A produces drilled solids from the shale shakers. Two main sources generate the drilling fluid: 1. Change out of the complete drilling fluid system. The treated material is reused in a manner similar to the COB solids discharge previously described. 2. 2.1. while the horizontal section has a specially formulated drilling fluid that can incorporate 810% oil contamination from the reservoir. Depending on the quality of the drilling fluid received. desander.500-2. Drilled solids from the shale shakers. and desilter with 30-50% mud-oncuttings (MOC). desilter. . prior to being bulked up with sand. 4). Drilling fluid Drill water and native mud with bentonite sweeps is the typical top-hole drilling fluid. Supervacuum trucks (70 bbl/truck) pick up and deliver the solids to four 500-bbl dry beach cells. the CTRD can process 1. desander. Daily dilution to the active system.
and dust control.000 bbl of completion fluids/12-hr working day. where adjustments are made to the pH of the excess fluid. From there. 6). rig clean up. and 8% crude. the rig receives more than 80% of the treated water for reuse in the active mud system. and centrifuges remove the flocculated solids. it can be treated with aluminum sulfate and clarifying agents and then transferred to the water-treatment storage tanks. one of the four 500-bbl completion fluid tanks receives the fluid. Completion fluids The process can handle 1. Flocculants and coagulants are added to the dewatering-unit input stream. rig clean up. The rig receives more than 80% of the treated water for reuse in the active mud system. and 1% crude or 20% solids. 94% water. In the first scenario.500-2. As with the drilling fluid. A tractor landspreads the solids generated and the reuse complies with Venezuelan environmental regulations. depending on the quality of fluid received and completions fluids from up to 10 wells at a time. Centrifuges and dewatering units are part of the waste treatment system (Fig. Flocculants and coagulants are added to the input stream of the dewatering units. a dewatering system processes the fluid and adjustments are made to the pH of the fluid. The rest is diverted to onsite irrigation. and centrifuges remove the flocculated solids. the fluid enters a dewatering system (Fig. The fluid is delivered in 2.The CTRD receives fluid from both sources and stores it in one of the five 500-bblcapacity mud storage tanks. The rest is diverted to onsite irrigation. 6). Each batch typically has 5% solids. 72% water. From there.000-bbl batches. and dust control. Clarifying agents then treat the resultant fluid before it is transferred to the five 500-bbl water-treatment storage tanks. . If the resultant fluid contains less than 3% crude.
2 days the overall time to drill the surface. and disposal.In the second scenario. tractors landspread the generated solids. principally rainwater percolation. leading to a more efficient and cost effective process. if the received fluid contains more than 8% crude. mineral oil. The treatment and disposal process complies with all permit requirements and includes such HSE compliance testing as: TCLP (toxicity characteristic leaching procedure) for determining the mobility of contaminants in a waste when it is exposed to the natural elements.3 days from 14. transport. Ameriven has reduced to 6. and grease) test for determining the quantity of petroleum-based hydrocarbons present in the sample. • Metallic elements test for determining the content of metallic elements of interest in fluid sample. Ameriven expects further cost reductions. Since project start-up. it will be processed through the previously described two-phase process with the resultant fluid being returned to the COB where separation of the oil from the water phase takes place. the cost of drilling fluid and waste management has decreased by 36% (Figs. 7a-b). . In both cases. Through optimized solids control. Laboratory centrifuge hot-spin pilot tests performed on all fluid received for determining the composition and consequently the most efficient method of processing. and reuse complies with Venezuelan environmental regulations. This results in the exact quantities of diluents and temperature requirements being known and later applied. treatment. cost advantages The CTRD established for the Hamaca project in late 2002 demonstrates the value of totalfluids-management operations. Operational. and horizontal sections of a well. • • • TPH (total petroleum hydrocarbons. Because total fluids management service is a continuous improvement system. build. efficient waste handling.
each piece is evaluated for efficiency and mechanical competence. aromatic. therefore. Operators have seen significant improvements in drilling efficiency and lower wastemanagement costs from the total fluids management system in several fields throughout Venezuela. Respirometry (CO2 production) test for determining the CO2 production from biodegradation activity and with CFU indirectly evaluating the landfarming process efficiency. field. and landspreading of processed solids and cuttings. landfarming. Other essential elements of total fluids management service include rig. expressed as the CFU/g of soil. resin. . water treatment. and plant supervision. dewatering. Often. • • • CFU (culture formation unit) test for evaluating microbial activity and bacterial density. Solids-control equipment performance is a critical factor in waste reduction.SARA (saturate. and asphaltene hydrocarbons) and TPH tests for directly evaluating the landfarming process efficiency. • Paint filter test for ensuring that free liquid is not present in the solids centrifuged. Several integrated processes A thorough rig audit is one of several integrated processes implemented for the efficient disposal of drilling waste products. operators can reduce the amount of solids-control equipment and improve efficiencies if the equipment is properly configured and modified for maximum efficiency.
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