Drilling & Completion Tech Digest

Johan Sverdrop record lift completed in three days

Equinor announced that it has set a record with a three-day lift of two final platform topsides, a bridge and a flare stack for Johan Sverdrop. It was the heaviest lift ever performed offshore, according to Equinor.

Equinor brought in the Pioneering Spirit vessel for a record offshore lift in the North Sea. Photo courtesy of Roar Lindefjeld & Espen Rønnevik – Woldcam.

“Putting the final building blocks of this gigantic project into place is important to ensure startup of the field as planned in November this year,” said Trond Bokn, Senior VP for Johan Sverdrup.

The two final platform topsides were installed using the heavy-lift vessel Pioneering Spirit and its single lift technology. The processing platform lift – nearly 26,000 tons – set a lifting record offshore and was carried out in four hours with a clearance of 25 m from the rest of the field center.

The lift of the utility and living quarters topside, 18,000 tons, was completed in just 3.5 hours. From the start of the lifting operation of the processing platform until the living quarters topsides had been lifted into place, it took less than 72 hours.

During the same period, the final flare stack and the bridge that links the processing platform to the drilling platform were lifted into place by the heavy-lift vessel Thialf. The final bridge that will connect the utility and living quarters topside to the rest of the field center will be installed in the next weather window.

The installation and completion phase offshore at Johan Sverdrup started with installation of the jacket for the riser platform in August 2017. After that, an additional three steel jackets, four topsides, two bridges, two flare stacks, 200 km of power cables, and more than 400 km of pipelines have been put in place. More than 2,000 vessel days associated with installation and marine activities have been carried out without serious harm to people or the environment.

Study reveals potential £59 million savings ahead of north sea decommissioning

A concept study and front-end engineering design (FEED) project carried out by Xodus Group has determined that a North Sea operator will save up to £59 million by adopting a Not Normally Attended (NNA) status ahead of decommissioning the field.

The North Sea field recently completed well plugging & abandonment (P&A) programs for two platforms. A third platform is not due to commence for at least two years. Although it operated as a manned facility, it ceased production several years ago.

The operator required support to convert the platform to a minimum facilities asset, which would significantly reduce abandonment support costs over a six-year period until the final decommissioning program commences.

Xodus initiated a concept study in October 2017, which was closely followed by a FEED project in December 2017. The transition of the platform to NNA status has now been completed. “The objective of the project was to look at the technical and economic feasibility of taking the manned platform with all the associated maintenance, inspection, operation and cost that goes along with it, and move it to a minimum facilities asset,” said Babak Alnasser, Xodus’ Technical Safety & Risk Manager and project manager for the work.

Primary means of access to the asset during the next few years would be via boat, facilitated by the installation of a boat landing access structure prior to the commencement of the NNA operating mode. Similarly, the topsides and export pipeline would be engineered down and cleaned, and air-gapped and full platform isolations would also be in place prior to NNA mode.  A full operations and maintenance philosophy was developed by Xodus during the FEED.

Battery consortium directs research to make ‘big leap’ in energy storage performance

The Consortium for Battery Innovation is preparing a new technical roadmap designed to extend both the performance and lifetime of core battery technology. The program, to be unveiled later this year, will fund projects designed to increase the cycle life of advanced lead batteries and further improve their ability to operate in multiple applications. Other areas highlighted for future study include research into the addition of elements such as carbon aimed at extending both lifetime and performance.

One study is under way in partnership with the Argonne National Laboratory. It uses the laboratory’s synchrotron x-ray source to study the chemical changes occurring during charge and discharge reactions in real time. Consortium Director Alistair Davidson said, “There is, of course, an ever-present need for better performance and longer lifetime, so our next set of research priorities will amount to a big leap in the technology’s capability to help meet this surge in demand.”

Delmar completes disconnect of West Phoenix’s mooring system in 2.5 hours in UK North Sea

Delmar Systems has completed an eight-line disconnect of the mooring system on Seadrill’s West Phoenix semisubmersible on the UK Continental Shelf. The rig disconnection was performed in two and a half hours without needing AHTS vessel assistance. The West Phoenix is under contract with Equinor for a three-well campaign, all of which are using Delmar’s Releasable Anchor Mooring System.

An eight-line disconnect of the mooring system on the West Phoenix semi was performed in two and a half hours on the UK Continental Shelf.

Delmar’s RAR Plus is the first dual-release action (acoustic and mechanical) rig anchor release. It allows for immediate rig transit after release, with the RAR Plus nested in their trigger sleeves against the rig fairlead. This eliminates the weather window requirement that is typical for AHTS operations during a traditional rig disconnect.

“The West Phoenix will have the Delmar RAR Plus on three wells to begin, and after a successful test period we will look for opportunities across our rig fleet,” said Jan Petter Leirvåg, Equinor’s Senior Consultant – Rig Move Operations.

The first disconnect of the three-well program was performed using group line releases of two lines, two lines, and four lines. Equinor’s three-well campaign is scheduled to continue through Q3 2019.

New rotary shouldered connection deployed on 4 wells in the Montney, made up to an average 30,000 ft-lb torque

Complete Group recently received results from its first commercialized drill strings featuring the DUO rotary shouldered connection. DUO is a drill pipe connection designed to address what Complete Group believes to be the critical shortcoming of high-torque connections: poor handling capabilities resulting in high repair frequency.

The increased torsional strength of a shallow taper thread  alongside the handling abilities of a steep taper thread permits DUO to stab three times deeper than most other high-torque connections, requiring as few as 4.5 revolutions from stab to spin up. Its capabilities are among the highest strength rotary shouldered connections available, according to the company.

Drill string threads are prone to suffering damage on the small points that come into contact when a connection is stabbed together on the rig floor. Uniquely, DUO’s transition region between the two tapers has been designed as a “landing pad,” which absorbs damage that inevitably results from stabbing. This feature is designed so the threads carry no critical torque loading; stabbing damage can simply be field dressed to reduce shop repair costs.

The design was commercialized in March 2018 to drill a series of four wells in northern Alberta’s Montney formation. The 400 DUO was deployed on a 4 ½-in. S135 drill string, where it was made up to torques averaging 30,000 ft-lb and withstood high rotary torques.

UAE operator recovers from stuck pipe by severing drill string in 2.5 hours

UAE operator recovers from stuck pipe by severing drill string in 2.5 hours

A major operator in the UAE has recovered from stuck pipe by severing its drill string in just 2.5 hours, according to Churchill Drilling Tools.

The company’s HyPR HoleSaver, a hydraulic pipe recovery system, was activated on a well offshore the UAE on 16 March after the bottomhole assembly (BHA) became stuck at 9,070 ft due to a pack-off in a challenging formation.

The HyPR HoleSaver enables operators to recover quickly and safely from stuck pipe incidents, which are estimated to cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Traditional pipe severance methods, including the use of explosives, often take days or weeks and the mobilization of tools, personnel and logistics.

However, the operator had placed a HyPR HoleSaver sub in its string as contingency against stuck pipe. Activating Churchill’s DAV MX CircSub, the operator first regained circulation and well control.  The HyPR HoleSaver Dart was subsequently dropped and pumped to redirect the flow of mud through the dart’s ports, creating a high-velocity stream of fluid to hydraulically sever the string.  After 2.5 hours of pumping at 550 gal/min, the operator applied some torque, and the string parted with ease.

Avoiding the need for explosives, chemicals or any additional equipment or rig personnel, the operator recovered 8,335 ft of challenging hole and was able to begin sidetrack operations shortly afterwards.

“This is the second successful cut in the region in a matter of weeks, which shows that operators are beginning to reap the rewards from placing HyPR HoleSavers in their strings,” said Nicholas Kjaer, General Manager of Churchill’s operations in the Middle East and Asia.

2019 OTC Spotlight on New Technology Awards Highlight Industry Innovations

AFGlobal, producer of the Active Control Device and the DuraStim pump

The DuraStim hydraulic fracturing pump is a variable displacement frac pump that was built for the extreme demands of long-duration and high-pressure fracs.

The Active Control Device (ACD) provides the prerequisite seal and diversion of annular wellbore returns using a novel, non-rotating device enabled by an actively pressurized, co-molded element. This purpose-built device eliminates the bearings and rotating components that are a regular source of maintenance and failure in conventional RCDs. 

The DuraStim 6,000-hp hydraulic fracturing pump is the industry’s first variable displacement frac pump. Built for the extreme demands of long-duration, high-pressure fracturing, the pump lowers cost, improves performance and creates new safety and environmental advantages.

Baker Hughes, a GE Company, producer of NovaLT16

The NovaLT16 double-shaft gas turbine was designed for mechanical drive and power generation applications in the 5-20 MW range segment.

The NovaLT16 is a double-shaft gas turbine designed for mechanical drive and power generation applications in the small power (5-20 MW) range segment. Utilized in both onshore and offshore applications, it provides for improved performance through maximized availability, high fuel efficiency, low maintenance and reduced emissions.

Dril-quip, producer of double expansion XPak liner hanger

The Double Expansion XPak Liner System eliminates the need for fixed landing profiles and risks associated with sub-mudline hangers, as well as increases operational flexibility and provides cost savings. The system deploys through wellhead restrictions to provide a metal-to-metal seal within seamed thin-wall casing and offers high hanging, lockdown and pressure capacities.

Futureon, producer of FieldAP, a Fieldtwin platform app

FieldAP is an Industry 4.0 cloud-based application enabling digital subsea field planning, subsea data and asset visualization, and installation planning for subsea projects. It enhances collaboration while reducing risk. Through digitalization, it helps to improve project margins and maximize investment returns on existing talent.

HYtorc, producer of LITHIUM SERIES II

The LITHIUM SERIES II electric torque tool was redesigned from the ground up with improved durability, usability and functionality for industrial bolting jobs. This lightweight 36-volt battery-powered tool has capacity up to 5000 ft-lb.

This is a Small Business award winner.

National Oilwell Varco, producer of Subsea Automated Pig Launcher

The Subsea Automated Pig Launcher allows pig launching from subsea to topside and promises a flexible and robust technology that enables a wide range of pigging operations. The system eliminates the need for a second flowline solely for pigging and wax handling.

Oceaneering International, producer of Subsea Pumping Technology

Subsea Pumping Technology allows operators to reduce or eliminate their topside footprint by moving chemical storage and injection systems subsea, reducing the cost and complexity of conventional umbilicals. SPT offers value-added contributions to tieback architectures and applications where chemicals are required for operational integrity management or flow assurance purposes.

Saipem, producer of Offset Installation Equipment

The Offset Installation Equipment (OIE) is a remotely operated subsea system designed to position a capping stack onto an erupting subsea well lying in water depths from 75 m to 600 m at the safe step-out distance of 500 m from the support naval spread.

Schlumberger, producer of Concert Well Testing Live Performance

The Vx Omni subsea multiphase flowmeter provides crucial data to understand how each well is performing.

The Concert Well Testing Live Performance brings digital automation and communication to well testing by giving everyone the same real-time information and interactive capabilities. This seamless access and sharing of data, diagnostics and analysis improves efficiency, data quality and safety to mitigate uncertainty and achieve actionable test results.

Schlumberger Onesubsea, producer of Vx Omni subsea multiphase flowmeter

The OneSubsea Vx Omni subsea multiphase flowmeter is a compact, highly accurate and reliable flowmeter available in all applications, pressures and environments for all fluid phases. It provides crucial data to understand how each individual production well is performing, enabling operators to enhance reservoir recovery and facilitate safer operations.

Siemens, producer of BlueVault energy storage and Subsea Power Grid

BlueVault is a lithium-ion battery-based energy storage solution that is suited for both all-electric and hybrid applications. The solution is designed to help continuity of power and minimize emissions on vessels and offshore drilling rigs.

The Subsea Power Grid transforms field developments by extending tiebacks and allowing flexible subsea processing. It has subsea transformers, switchgear, variable speed drives, wet mate connectors and a remote control and monitoring system.

Stress Engineering Services, producer of condition-based maintenance of drilling riser systems

This condition-based monitoring technology provides automation, digitalization and data analysis techniques, empowering drilling contractors to make real-time data-driven decisions on drilling riser asset integrity. These insights focus on safety by identifying measurable risks and manages economics for the drilling contractor with actionable data that provide a health assessment of the asset.

TechnipFMC, producer of Subsea 2.0 In-line Compact Robotic Manifold

The Subsea 2.0 In-line Compact Robotic Manifold has transformed the traditional manifold design to improve subsea field economics. The compact manifold design reduces size, weight and manufacturing cost. It incorporates a robotic arm for valve actuation, can be installed using the same vessel laying the flowline and increases flexibility over the life of the field.

Van Beest, producer of Green Pin Tycan

Green Pin Tycan is a fiber lifting chain that has the performance and flexibility of steel chain but a fraction of the weight. It’s non-corrosive and waterproof and provides greater efficiency and a safer working environment. This is a Small Business award winner.

Weatherford, producer of Tr1P single-trip completion system

The TR1P single-trip completion system reduces deepwater completion installation time by up to 60%. By combining the upper and lower completions in one trip, the system reduces personnel risk and increases efficiency. Using RFID technology, the field-proven system delivers 100% interventionless operation in both producer and injector wells.

Xsens, producer of XACT ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeter

The XACT ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeter provides flow rate and fraction measurement at accuracies that were only obtainable by in-line technologies.

The XACT ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeter provides flow rate and fraction measurement at accuracies that were only obtainable by in-line technologies. Installation does not compromise pipeline integrity. Its size and weight are just a fraction of conventional flowmeter systems, and it is ideal for retrofit applications. This is a Small Business award winner.

Winners in the Small Business category are HYTORC, producer of LITHIUM SERIES II; VAN BEEST, producer of Green Pin Tycan; and XSENS, producer of XACT Ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeter.

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