Drilling & Completion Tech Digest

Chevron signs up for dual-gradient services for 5 years

Chevron signed a master well services contract and a service order in June for AGR to provide dual-gradient drilling offshore operational services for Chevron’s deepwater Gulf of Mexico program for up to five years, commencing this year.

Pacific Drilling’s Pacific Santa Ana drillship, equipped with a custom-built dual-gradient drilling system, will be operational for Chevron in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico this year.

Chevron will use AGR’s technical services and the Chevron-owned DGD system as an enabling technology on complex deep-zone wells. “On the premise of improved efficiency, it is becoming increasingly apparent that DGD-related services will have an important place in the future of offshore drilling for difficult deepwater and deep zone wells,” David Hine, AGR’s enhanced drilling solutions division’s executive vice president, said.

Globe Energy adds rigs for improved performance

Globe Energy’s Mustang 600-Class rigs require less support equipment and reduces operating costs.
Globe Energy’s Mustang 600-Class rigs require less support equipment and reduces operating costs.

Globe Energy Services has added new rigs to its fleet designed for quicker and safer rig-up/rig-down. The Mustang 600-Class rigs feature Globe’s mast design with 116 ft of clear height, requiring less support equipment and reducing operating costs.

Both the operator platform and drilling floor are adjustable up to 30 ft with the mast height of 116 ft to accommodate the more complex and taller wellhead control equipment without the need of a rig-up ramp and the other equipment required by shorter-mast rigs. The high mast allows the tubing string to be run in doubles with extra set-back capability. Much more rigid than previous equipment, the rig’s 290,000-lb static hookload capacity safely handles long tubing strings.

Other features include the wireline spool on the carrier, which allows the tubing line to be slipped and cut for a more efficient operation. A block positioning system allows for blocks to be set at a high and low heights for safer operations. The rig has a 1 1/8-in. tubing line, which allows the blocks to be strung on six lines to reach the maximum derrick and line rating, resulting in faster trip times.

Mpact Downhole Motors sets vertical-section record

An Mpact Downhole Motor recently set a Permian Basin-New Mexico drilling record for the fastest recorded vertical section. The assembly drilled a total of 3,164 ft in 13.5 hrs, for an average ROP of 234.4 ft/hr.

The motor was configured with Mpact’s 7833 performance power section with a displacement of 0.14 revolutions/gal. The motor also utilized a high-performance stator elastomer, a straight fixed housing and slick sleeve.

IOR project improves recovery by more than 300%

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has improved oil recovery at a 106-year-old Illinois field by more than 300% using a new method of extraction that could help pull as many as 130 million additional barrels of oil from the depleted field, which is past peak production using traditional drilling.

Supported by the DOE and operated by Rex Energy, the project at the Lawrence oil field in Lawrence County, Ill., has been able to increase production from 16 bbl/day to 65 to 75 bbl/day of oil using an innovative alkaline surfactant polymer (ASP) flooding technique.

ASP flooding increased the overall oil cut in the 15-acre project area from 1% to 12%. Based on this potential, Rex Energy is expanding testing to a 58-acre portion of the field. In 2013, Rex Energy will continue the project, investing in ASP flooding technology at a 351-acre parcel south of current operations.

Downhole tool returns well to production in 10 days

Baker Hughes recently used the TeleCoil downhole communication system to determine both the cause of reduced production on a shut-in well in the North Sea and the necessity for remedial work. After testing and treatment, the well was returned to production in 10 days.

The TeleCoil system was selected because it can convey logging instruments and provide coiled-tubing operations with depth-correlation capability. The Tornado coiled-tubing nozzle was used during the initial run to clean and prepare the well for a production logging test run using the TeleCoil logging adapter.

Logging data showed damage to the screens, indicating that sand production was occurring primarily from the lower zones of the well. A Baker Hughes N1 bridge plug was also run using coiled tubing and the TeleCoil system for accurate depth correlation. This provided isolation for the primary sand-producing zone.

DOE to fund projects on ultra-deepwater drilling

The US Department of Energy has selected 13 projects focused on ultra-deepwater environments for development. The projects, aimed at reducing risks while enhancing the environmental performance of drilling for natural gas and oil, will lead to awards totaling $35.4 million, adding to the research of the Office of Fossil Energy’s Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Program.

The projects address: (1) new ways to monitor displacement during casing cementing using intelligent casing and smart materials, and (2) assessing corrosion, stress cracking and scale at extreme temperature and pressure. All projects aim to develop new technologies to enhance safety and environmental sustainability.

The total value of the projects is more than $56 million over four years, with approximately $21.2 million of cost-share provided by the research partners in addition to the $35.4 million in federal funds. The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America will administer the research contracts.

Red Spider completes 100th operation by eRED 

Red Spider’s eRED tool typically reduces slickline runs from eight to one, reducing risks and costs.
Red Spider’s eRED tool typically reduces slickline runs from eight to one, reducing risks and costs.

Red Spider has completed its 100th operation using its eRED tool. The tool has been deployed across 30 fields in the UK, Norway, Australia and Equatorial Guinea to help operators reduce risk and maximize production time by removing wireline runs from operations.

“eRED has allowed major operators to save more than £300,000 (USD $466,600) during a single subsea completion operation, typically reducing slickline runs from eight to one. In deepwater workover operations, savings of up to 36 hours and £500,000 (USD $777,700) have also been recorded in a single job, as well as major reductions in risk,” Steve Nicol, Red Spider chief executive, said.

eRED, a battery-powered through-tubing device, works like a wireline plug but without requiring intervention to deploy or retrieve the plug when a barrier needs to be put in place or removed.

SmartWater Flood shows potential in recovery

Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center has implemented the SmartWater Flood research program to explore the potential of increasing oil recovery from carbonate reservoirs by tuning properties of injection water (e.g., salinity, ionic composition and interfacial tension).

Field tests were recently completed, demonstrating the potential of increasing oil recovery from Saudi Arabian carbonate reservoirs using conventional seawater injection by tuning the ionic composition of field injection water.

“Considering these field trials are the first-ever applications in carbonate reservoirs, they further provided another confirmation that SmartWater Flood has strong potential to be a new recovery method targeting Saudi Aramco carbonate reservoirs,” Mohammad Y. Qahtani, vice president of petroleum engineering & development, said.

Statoil designates MudCube as proven technology

Statoil has designated Cubility’s  MudCube as a proven technology following extensive tests to qualify its solids control equipment. The system replaces traditional technologies with a single enclosed and integrated system that applies a vacuum to pull the drilling fluid through a rotating screen. Testing focused on leakage, fluid handling capacity, filtration efficiency, screen quality and more.

US, Japan complete field trial of methane hydrate production

The US Department of Energy has partnered with ConocoPhillips and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp to conduct a test of natural gas extraction from methane hydrate using a unique production technology, developed through laboratory collaboration between the University of Bergen, Norway, and ConocoPhillips.

A mixture of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen was injected into the formation and promoted the production of natural gas. Analyses of the data sets will determine the efficiency of simultaneous CO2 storage in the reservoirs. This test was the first of a methane hydrate production method where CO2 was exchanged in situ with the methane molecules within a methane hydrate structure.

ADCO to use wireless infrastructure for major field

Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) will implement a digital oilfield system with Redline Communications Group. Redline will create a wireless infrastructure for a major oil field operated by ADCO in the United Arab Emirates.

Redline’s systems integrator Alcatel-Lucent will deliver the complete and integrated digital oilfield system that will provide reliable, real-time communications between the many sensors located on the wellheads and the centralized control center where the entire operation will be monitored and controlled remotely.

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