11. Formation Testing

TAMU - Pemex Offshore Drilling

Lesson 11 Formation Testing


Formation Testing 
Downhole Test Equipment - valve  Slip Joints  Test String  Surface Test Equipment  T = H + wd

Formation Testing
Exploration wells are drilled primarily for information (not production): from logs drilled cuttings cores DST¶s, etc.

Testing from floater is very expensive. Careful planning is therefore essential.
Appropriate selection of equipment for testing is essential. Order equipment early.

Safety Precautions - Well Testing 
1. Always set the test packer in the casing or in the liner, never in the open hole. 2. Perform testing in a liner or casing. 3. Use a test tree in the BOP stack. Include an emergency downhole shutoff near the formation. Safety devices will be discussed with the equipment.

Safety Precautions 
4. Stop the test if any of the following danger signals occur: a. Pressure approaches the pressure rating of any of the equipment used. b. Equipment becomes overloaded by excessive production. c. Annular pressure indicates communication between the annulus and the test string.

Safety Precautions
4. Danger signals, (continued) d. Gases reach explosive levels in critical areas, or poison gases are produced. e. Vessel motion approaches unsafe conditions.


Safety Precautions
5. Commence flow during daylight 6. Release packer during daylight


Test Valve operated by Annulus Pressure

Apply 1,000-1,500 psi to start flow

Apply Annulus Pressure 2,000-2,500 psi

Halliburton and Johnston both have test valves of this type. Below 1,000 psi valve is closed. 8

Johnston MFE
(Multiple Flow Evaluator) Valve is opened by reciprocation and requires a full cycle before actuation. When tool is first set down on packer, the test valve will open after 3-5 minutes. Picking up and setting down will shut off the flow.

Johnston MFE


Each alternate reciprocation cycle will open or close the valve. Valve can be opened or closed any number of times.

Halliburton Hydraspring Tester is
opened by compression; is closed when no compression. Set for ~ 20,000 lbf.

Top of Upper Most Slip Joint Valve Mandrel of Slip Joint Safety Valve Bottom of Lower Slip Joint Seal and Port Section of Safety Valve

Slip Joint Safety Valve.
Opens when in tension. Closed when in compression. Shuts off flow. RUN below mud line.

Figure 8.3 Volume pressure balanced slip joint.

Chamber for Tubing Fluid Port to Tubing Chamber for Annular Fluid

Port to Wellbore
Designed to eliminate pressure and flow surges resulting from vessel heave. V = const (?) {not needed with heave compensation system}

Figure 8.4 Example of seafloor shut-in equipment.
K&C Valves Open - to monitor annulus pressure Pipe Rams Closed Valves Open Hang-off Joint During Test (a) During Test Annulus Pressure Control

Produced Fluids to Surface

Shear-Blind Rams Closed

Valves Closed

(b) Well Shut in. Connections to Surface Removed

Tree inside the BOP and Wellhead. Hydraulic pressure from surface holds valves open. 13

Space Out for Test Tools
The space out procedure can be as follows: 1. Land shoulder in wellhead and mark pipe (only the large shoulder will land in the wellhead). 2. Pick up at about 18 feet (shoulder about 4 feet above rams) 3. Close rams & land shoulder by lowering 4 feet

Space Out-continued 
4. Mark Pipe 5. Open rams and pick up 20 feet a. Lower slip joint stroke 12 feet b. Tester open 2 feet c. Packer set distance 1 foot Half of upper slip joint 5 feet 6. Set Packer

Space Out-continued 
7. Lower handoff shoulder and hang off on rams. When the packer is set, the hang off point on the tool will be about 19 feet above the rams. NOTE: A weight loss approximately equal to the weight of the string below the upper slip joints will indicate that the packer has been set.

Hydraulic line

Figure 8.5 Example test string arrangement
Subsea test tree Slip joints Slip joints safety valves Pressure recorder Test valve Packer


Hydraulic Hose for Test Tree Mudline

Upper Test Tree Shoulder Landed on Pipe Rams 20,000 lbs of 3 1/2´ tubing

3 1/2´ Tubing

Figure 8.6 Test string - flowing position

7´ Casing
Upper Slip Joints

Reciprocal Tester (Open)

Packer Perfs.

Lower Slip Joints


Test Valve Procedure:
The test tree in the example (Table 8-1) has the distance of eight feet between the upper hang-off shoulder and the lower hang-off shoulder. In this case, the procedure might be: 1. Land the tree in wellhead and mark pipe (only large shoulder will land in the wellhead).

Test Valve Procedure: 
3. Close rams and land upper shoulder by lowering string about 4 ft. 4. Mark pipe. 5. Open rams and pick up about 17 ft. 6. Set packer and lower string to about 10 ft. below the lower mark. 7. Close rams and land lower shoulder on the rams by lowering the string about 2 ft.

1. Gas Oil Flushing 2. Water Flushing 3. Pressure Testing 4. Kill Line Separator Heater Separator


Flowline Manifold


Piston Pump

Legend SSV SA CI Surface Safety Value Sample Connection Chemical Injection

Figure 8.8 Schematic of an oil well test system.

DWT Dead Weight Tester TI HP LP Temperature Indicator High Pressure Low Pressure

Horizontal Test Separator

Measure flow rates for of gas and oil. Record pressures and choke size. Do not overload. 22

Isometric section of a 10,000 BOPD burner
Gas Inlet Heat Shield Water Spray Forward Water Spray Atomizing Gas/Air Inlet

Oil Inlet Smokeless Incineration - i.e., complete combustion
Atomize the oil spray, add air or air/gas mixture. Ignited by pilot. Electric ignition. Heat shield 23

Prove: T = H + wd
Consider a small section of the anchor chain: E

(T = ?

(W = w (s
(T = (W sin E
Along chain: 7F = 0

Prove: T = H + wd
(T = (W sin E But, (W = w (s so, (T = w (s sin E But, (s sin E = (h so, (T = w (h 7 (T = 7 w (h = w 7 (h

(T = ?

(h E


Prove: T = H + wd
(T = w (h 7 (T = 7 w (h = w 7 (h T - H = wh T = H + wd

(T = ?



Alternate Proof:

T = H + wd



Alternate Proof: T = H + wd
H ! T cos U dy ! tan U dx H y ! d w (i) (ii) (iii)


dy when x ! 0, ! 0 (iv ) dx


T = H + wd

of Catenary :
H ¨ xw ¸ y ! cosh © ¹ w ª H º

dy H ¨ w ¸ ¨ xw ¸ @ ! © ¹ sin h © ¹ dx w ª H º ª H º


@From Eqn.(ii):

¨ xw ¸ tanU ! sinh © ¹ ªHº


Prove: H = H + wd
Fr . (i) : T ! c sU ! H sec U ! H sec 2 U

¨ xw ¸ From Eqn. (vii) : ! H 1  tan U ! H 1  sinh © ¹ ª H º
2 2

T ! H cosh


¨ xw ¸ ¨ xw ¸ ¹ © ¹ ! H cosh © ª H º ª H º

Prove: H =T- wd


¨ xw ¸ cosh © ¹ H º ª

( )

wH ¨ xw ¸ From Eqn. (v) : T ! cos h © ¹ ! wy w ª H º

H¸ ¨ From Eqn. (iii) : T ! w © d  ¹ ! wd  H wº ª


T ! H  wd


NAVSTAR: Navigation System with Time and Ranging  GPS: Global Positioning System


Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is GPS? 2. How is GPS used? 3. Who uses GPS? 4. What¶s the status of the GPS? 5. What is the Standard Positioning Service? 6. Where can I find courses on GPS? 7. What is the status of Selective Availability (SA)? 8. What is GPS Rollover?

A space-based radio positioning system designed to provide highly accurate, continuous, world-wide positioning, velocity, and time information . . . to an unlimited number of suitably equipped users anywhere on or near the surface of the earth.


System Components  Space (Transmitter)  Control  User (Receiver)

Space Segments 
Consists of a constellation of 24 satellites in six orbital planes (inclined at 55 degrees) orbiting at an altitude of 10,900 miles. Nominal period of orbit is 12 hrs.


Control Segment based at Falcon AFB, CO 
1 - Master Control Station 2 - Monitor stations & ground antennas for communications and control Users Vehicle tracking to surveying Handheld to large vehicles

Transmits continuously on the same two L-band Frequencies C/A-Code-Coarse Acquisition (Civilian) P-Code-Precision Code (Encrypted Military)

Unknowns (4)

U ,U ,U , n

Knowns (4)

Loran C/D 

Ground based radio navigation Coverage --- regional Range --- 1,800 miles Error 2-D --- 1,500 ft


Eight very low frequency transmitters ground based radio navigation Coverage --- 98% of globe (night) 88% of globe (day) Error 2-D --- 2-4 nautical miles 1,000 to 2,000 ft DN mode

Five to eight satellite constellation low altitude polar orbit Space borne radio navigation system Coverage --- global but intermittent 2-D Error --- 1500 ft

C/A-Code-Coarse Acquisition (Civilian) Coverage --- Global instantaneous Error 2-D --- 330 ft P-Code-Precision Code (Encrypted Military) Error 2-D --- a few ft

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