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Technology Applications

Streamlined Mud Reporting

Pegasus Vertex has released a new version of its MUDPRO software (Ver. 2.6.4) for drilling-mud reporting (Fig. 1). The software records drilling information and mud properties, keeps track of inventory, generates daily reports, and performs well comparisons. By looking at an end-of-well review report, engineers can identify the most costly drilling interval and make necessary modifications to the mud program for future wells. This release has new features that include mud-­volume checking, version compatibility, and an American Petroleum Institute standard formula for solids analysis. The software can be used with water-based, oil-based, and synthetic-based muds and can be used for onshore and offshore wells. Enhancements were also made to the wellsite-information-­transfer standard-markup-language reports.

Well-Construction-Technology Integration

Weatherford’s Total Depth service integrates several core well-construction services. Combining the company’s topdrive casing-running system with a rotating and hoisting cement head (Fig. 2) exemplifies an application that helps operators achieve high-integrity cement placement and improved zonal isolation. Rather than manual handling and transition time to rig down the casing elevator and bails and then rig up and connect the cement head to the topdrive, the company’s integrated solution allows the cement head to be made up to the casing-landing string quickly with minimal manual handling, cutting the transition time from 1 hour or more to approximately 10 minutes. The modified cement head can eliminate the need to rig down any tubular-handling equipment after the casing string is run and enable immediate circulation and reciprocation of the casing string. Hole cleaning can begin immediately in advance of cementing operations. The modified cement head has been used in cementing casing/liner tiebacks in deeper, higher-pressure wells. Placing cement behind the tieback seal assembly enhances wellbore integrity by extending the cement pressure barrier up the annulus above the liner hanger. The technology has been used in more than 30 applications and has been accepted as an effective tool for improving cementing and efficiency.

Energy-Efficient Standard Motor

WEG has launched its W22 Super Premium range of motors (Fig. 3) that provide high levels of energy efficiency. The electric motor exceeds the yet-to-be-­implemented IE4-Class regulations. These motors provide high performance across the full power range from 3 to 355 kW, and they have up to 40% lower losses compared with previous designs. The three-phase induction motor is based on the company’s popular W22 motor mechanical design. With features such as an innovative aerodynamic frame, a redesigned cooling system, and a unique insulation system, the motor is quieter, more reliable, easier to maintain, and more cost-effective than previous models. The motor has low operating temperatures, which increases the insulation time and results in a long service life. The motors have longer lubrication intervals, resulting in minimal maintenance and servicing. Special bearing seals extend the lifetime of the motor in aggressive environments by protecting it against the ingress of water and dust. Suitable for low-voltage supplies, the motor range covers two-, four-, and six-pole motors.

Gas Chromatograph

Siemens’ Maxum gas chromatograph (GC) has been upgraded with a color touch-screen user interface (Fig. 4). The color touch-screen user interface replaces the black-and-white panels. The 10-in. display is suitable for hazardous locations and is certified for use in Division-I/Zone-1 environments. The new display combines previous menu-driven options with additional intuitive icons and graphical elements to increase the speed and simplicity of interactions with the GC during maintenance and operation. Built for use in harsh conditions, either directly online or nearby in at-line process-measurement laboratories, these GCs enable sample analysis of feedstock, partially-processed-­product streams, final products, and process byproducts, including wastes and environmental hazards. Gas chromatography is a flexible process used for gas analysis and is used to improve product quality and increase the yield and energy efficiency of processes. The analytical products are integrated for automatic and unattended measurement of specific process and quality-relevant constituents, systems, and application capabilities.

Rigless ESP Installation

Artificial Lift Company’s Advantage System rigless electrical submersible pump (ESP) was installed in Eni’s Val d’Agri field, in southern Italy. The ESP contains a lightweight, compact permanent-magnet motor (Fig. 5) and provides full-tubing access after retrieval. The system design made it possible to run coiled tubing and latching tools for the flow-isolation valve in the well below the ESP. Downhole oil and gas separation is in a shroud that feeds into a dual completion, with the larger tubing for oil production and the smaller tubing for gas venting. Ambient-operating-­condition ratings are 5,000 psi and 300°F. The maximum pressure drop across the pump is 4,000 psi. The downhole three-phase side-pocket wet connector is rated at 5 kV and 125 A. The system is designed to be run with a subsurface safety valve and packer where needed. The maximum motor-assembly outer diameter is 3.75 in. The system is compatible with industry-standard pumps, cables, gauges, variable-speed drives, and slickline tools and accessories. Full-bore access is available when the ESP is retrieved. Live-well intervention is possible by use of a lubricator. Retrieval is made by use of slickline, or by coiled tubing for highly deviated wells.

Variable-Speed Drive

Robbins & Myers Energy Services Group offers its Guardian II Variable-Speed Drive (VSD) (Fig. 6) technology as a digital solution for effective oil- and gas-well production control. Progressing-cavity-pump (PCP) applications can be very dynamic and can change in a manner of seconds. The VSD is designed to operate PCP systems in harsh conditions with maximum efficiency and flexibility. A PCP speed controller is integrated with the VSD to enable simple startup steps. The PCP speed controller was designed to minimize downtime and to provide the logic and control functionality needed to diagnose, prevent, adjust, and repair problems that may occur in the field without multiple trips to the site. Performance and production information is stored in a local (on-site) data repository that can be displayed in a browser-based user interface. These data can be used for analysis to determine if the action was correct or if any operational parameters need to be adjusted. Pump optimization is implemented in the system to maximize the available production while maximizing pump life. Several downhole- and surface-sensor systems integrate with the system.

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Water-Management System

Swire Oilfield Services has launched its HydroLutions water-management system for transferring water during hydraulic fracturing. The technology handles fluid management at every stage of a hydraulic-fracturing job (Fig. 7), offering sustainable solutions that prevent soil and water pollution. The system also mitigates safety risks by minimizing the need for labor during deployment, operation, and retrieval. A key component is the HydroDrive water-transfer system, which features high-volume pumps, discharge manifolds, a specially designed retrieval and deployment system, and a leak-free flexible pipe. The pipe can be manipulated to curve around the land, does not leak like traditional aluminum pipe, and handles 140-bbl/min flow rates. The extruded through-the-weave single-wall thermal plastic urethane lay-flat pipe deploys quickly and safely, requiring no lifting and fewer workers than traditionally needed to lay aluminum pipe.

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Fail-Safe-Closed Safety Valve

The Baker Hughes REACH Performance, Extreme Performance, and Ultra Performance surface-controlled subsurface safety valves (SCSSVs) are for deep-set wells, deep water, and extreme high-pressure/high-temperature applications surpassing 10,000 psi and 350°F. These valves can be set as deep as 20,000 ft, and ensure fail-safe-closed operation through the use of heavy-spring closure technology that eliminates the need for a nitrogen charge. Tubing pressure is isolated from the control system, enabling the valve to be opened at much lower operating pressures, reducing the cost of umbilicals in some applications. Because the valves can be operated at a low operating pressure, they are suitable for applications with low-opening-pressure limitations such as subsea completions or where supply-pressure capability is limited. The slim outside diameter of the valves allows control-line bypass and smaller-casing programs. 100% metal-to-metal sealing technology ensures containment of wellbore fluids when the valve is closed and provides gas-tight sealing in harsh environments, providing a high-tensile-strength rating for the valve.

Spear Bit for Shale

Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company, has released the next generation of its Spear shale-optimized steel-body polycrystalline-diamond-compact (PDC) drill bit (Fig. 8), tailored for unconventional shale plays. A range of application-specific features were incorporated into the next-generation bit, including improved body geometry and hydraulic enhancements. It was engineered to minimize blade packing, improve cutter cleaning, and increase rate of penetration (ROP). Cutter layouts were fine tuned with the company’s IDEAS integrated drillbit-design platform to deliver improved ROP while ensuring smooth directional control. In the Eagle Ford shale, the first-generation steel-body PDC bit established the field benchmark for drilling the lateral in one run. The next-generation bit design was introduced into the same application and set a new performance record. For one customer, the new bit drilled the entire lateral at an average rate of 79 ft/hr, compared with the median performance of 65 ft/hr, representing a 22% improvement in ROP.