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Technology Applications

Dennis Denney, JPT Technology Editor

Fig. 3FlexClad System from Enventure Global Technology.

Fig. 2R&M Energy Systems Moyno ERT power section.

Fig. 1Pathfinder Energy Services Incs. Gravity MWD system.

to downhole movement during surveys, allowing operation in environments where gyroscope surveying can be problematic. The system is designed for use in casing drilling, drilling out of casing shoes and casing windows, re-entry work, geothermal wells with high magnetic interference, drilling relief wells, drilling in anticollision situations, and drilling multilateral wells, and for use with the companys Winner Well Interference Navigator passive-ranging technique for wellbore avoidance. This MWD surveying method uses a second accelerometer-sensor package to derive azimuth rather than using magnetometers. It is, therefore, not prone to magnetic interference or the resulting drawbacks of conventional MWD. The technique uses the inherent bending of a bottomhole assembly between the two sets of accelerometers, 100 ft apart, to measure the relative change in azimuth. The accumulated changes show the well-path trajectory. The system uses high-speed mud-pulse telemetry to communicate data and has been used at depths greater than 28,000 ft. Downhole Power SectionR&M Energy Systems, a unit of Robbins & Myers Inc., has introduced its Moyno ERT Power Section, with its new even-rubber-thickness stator (Fig. 2). This new stator technology can improve the overall performance of power sections used in downhole drilling applications. The stators have internal contours that

are precision-machined, rather than hydraulically formed. The resulting tubes have durability and tolerance that optimize the benefits of the technology. Applying an even thickness of rubber to the stator contour and supporting each lobe with steel minimizes the rubbers degree of dimensional change during use as a result of high temperature, chemical attack, and loading. This design allows the companys power sections to produce up to 100% more power output compared with conventional stators. This higher power density results in greater rates of penetration. The high power density allows the use of shorter power sections with performance output that is comparable with that of a longer conventional product. This shorter power section can improve the motors directional response as well as MWD and logging-while-drilling quality by placing the sensors closer to the bit. Expandable-Tubular IsolationEnventure Global Technology LLC, in conjunction with Halliburton Energy Services, recently installed the first solid-expandabletubular system in Latin America for Pemex E&P A 270-ft-long, 41/2-in.-diameter . FlexClad system (Fig. 3) was installed to isolate perforations in an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. This system adapts expandabletubular technology to high-pressure/hightemperature wells. Expandable sealing sections, called flex hangers, are separated along the length of the liner using conventional tubulars and flush-joint connections. This configuration of expanding just the flex hangers enables the system to be used in smaller casing sizes. The system is run through existing casing, then expanded and clad to the inside wall of the existing casing. The process forms a seal to minimize loss of

Interference-Free SurveyThe Gravity MWD system from Pathfinder Energy Services Inc. is an interference-free survey technique. The system uses the modular HDS-1G tool (Fig. 1) that eliminates magnetic interference that prevents the use of conventional measurement-while-drilling (MWD) tools. The system is very insensitive



hole diameter. In addition to its isolation capabilities, this system can repair existing casing and provide a gastight liner. Offshore-Stimulation VesselBJ Services Co. announced successful completion of hydraulic-fracturing services from its MV Vestfonn, an offshore stimulation vessel, in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. In this operation, the production string through which the treatment was to be pumped contained a travel joint that limited movement. In 1988, when the well was completed, fracturing was not considered. Therefore, the short polished-bore receptacle, which allows tubing movement of only 15 ft, was not an issue. The operational envelope is dictated by the physical conditions of the completion. Because the bottomhole temperature of this well was moderate to high, concern existed about the cooldown effect during treatment. While on the vessel, the fracturing-fluid temperature was dictated by the ambient water temperature in the storage tanks. Treatment simulation with a fluid-injection temperature of 50F indicated that the reduction in temperature gradient of the completion string would cause contraction in excess of 15 ft. Fracturingfluid temperature of 70F or higher would provide an acceptable contraction of the string. The vessel was modified to heat the water directly in the storage tanks (Fig. 4). The primary treatment could require in excess of 100,000 gal of fluid, and the pretreatment injections such as the breakdown, step-rate test, and minifrac would require additional fluid. Because of the time required to heat these large volumes, it was necessary to heat several water tanks individually. Heaters were installed in six of the vessels water tanks (i.e., 140,000 gal), as required by the design criterion of heating

the water from 50 to 70F in a 24-hour period. Two additional temporary generators were required, which had to be placed on the cargo deck and accordingly cabled to the heater in each water tank. The two-stageconfiguration elements reduced the start load on the generators. Seismic-Wave StimulationApplied Seismic Research Corp. has introduced its HydroImpact technology. The new technology uses seismic-wave stimulation to release oil trapped in existing fields. The procedure was developed to enhance oil recovery in depleted fields by restoring previously abandoned wells to productive status and to increase the yield in currently producing fields. Record of a 1-year-long stimulation of the Elk Hills field was presented to the Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates Texas crude-oil production, and an application to treat seismic stimulation as an enhanced-recovery technique was approved, granting it tax-abatement advantages. This technology produces shockwaves with a power ranging from 2 to 10 million W (compared with 10 to 100,000 W for other methods) and a pressure at the wave front in excess of 3,000 psi. The shockwaves, traveling at 1.5 miles/sec, cover distances of more than 1 mile and in all directions. The shockwaves release oil that otherwise would never have moved. Sandstone, carbonate, diatomite, waterflood, and natural-waterdrive fields, as well as one gas-injection oil field, have benefited from use of this technology.

the tubular goods, inducing excessive stress in the metal that can affect casing-to-cement bonding. Engineered for deepwater, permafrost, and other cold-temperature environments, this packer fluid provides thermal protection for produced oil. Aqueousbased or water-miscible fluid minimizes the conduction of heat away from the production string. The base fluid resists thermal conduction and contains no suspended solids. It can be formulated for densities ranging from 8.33 to 12.5 lbm/gal. It is pH buffered and inhibited to minimize corrosion. It is hydraulically optimized to yield low plastic viscosity with elevated lowshear-rate viscosities and yield stress. The fluid has a flat rheological profile over a wide temperature range, is thermally stable over extended time periods, and can be mixed and pumped on the rig. Reducing Pipe-Wall FrictionVortex Flow LLC tools improve production by increasing the efficiency of fluid flow in pipelines and tubing strings and by reducing or eliminating the accumulation of paraffin in pipelines. The tools work by separating gas and liquids into a two-flow pattern, with the liquids flowing in a spiral along the wall of the pipe and the gas flowing through the center. This vortex (rotating) pattern prevents liquids from dropping out of the flow and permits efficient movement over long distances and through substantial changes in elevation and direction. This enhanced flow efficiency also has been observed in single-phase gas and singlephase liquid flows by reducing pipe-wall friction and, therefore, reducing pressure losses. A variation of the downhole tool, the Vortex Flow DXR, can be installed by use of slickline without the need to pull the tubing. The vortex flow in gas-well tubing strings reduces the critical gas-production velocity required to lift liquids from the wellbore. Laboratory tests have shown that the tool increases liquids lifted by 12% and reduces pressure drop from friction by up to 15%. The tools create a liquid boundary layer on the inner wall of the pipe that acts as a cushion. This cushion reduces friction and helps to reduce accumulation of paraffin or scale on pipe walls.

Insulating Packer FluidSafeTherm insulating packer fluid from M-I Swaco helps overcome temperature-related problems that can reduce, or even stop, production. The combination of cold temperature and high pressure can lead to temperature cycling in the wellbore, salt precipitation, or the formation of production-blocking hydrates, paraffin, and asphaltenes. Heat transfer away from produced fluids results in a product that can become incompatible with the available surface processing equipment. Multiple casing strings allow transfer of heat into unvented annuli and can increase temperature and pressure in the sealed space, posing a serious risk of casing collapse. Well shut-ins for short-term suspensions and interFig. 4Control room onboard BJ Services vention operations can cause therMV Vestfonn stimulation vessel. mal expansion and contraction of

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