What Can Deepwater Operators Do … (Part II of III)

to Help Improve Drilling Safety and Ensure Well Integrity?

This is part two of three on the recent, “Effects of Water Depth Workshop”, report about the effects of water depth on offshore equipment and operations. This blog is limited to a discussion of future industry needs as described in the EWD report, Technical Summary of Workshop Session #3 – Well Drilling and Completion Design and Barriers. We will highlight a total of five future development needs under the heading B) Trends and/or Notable Technologies Envisioned for the Near- & Longterm. To download the entire report, please see part one of this blog.

Second Development Need – Reliable Intelligent Completions

White Paper Comments:4) Intelligent Completions “…In an effort to reduce well intervention requirements, many deepwater wells are being constructed with intelligent completions. A high level of equipment and systems reliability is required for this approach to be successful.

Halliburton Comments:

The reliability of intelligent completions, such as SmartWell® completion systems, has been field proven to maintain operational integrity for many years. The July 2006 issue of the Chevron “NEXT” newsletter discusses their first of eight “i-fields” in the East Texas Carthage natural gas field on page 14. In the same newsletter on page 20, Chevron states the following on visualization technology that is also used for i-fields “…But as the industry pushes deeper, “every well is a project,” says Glenn Warner of Chevron’s Well Design and Execution Collaboration Center (WellDECC) in Houston, Texas. Built and operated with Halliburton, Landmark Software and Services, Sperry Drilling and others, WellDECC is helping Chevron reduce risk and increase precision in its growing portfolio of challenging wells.”  Later in 2008, Chevron reported on their successful Agbami deepwater project where 38 intelligent wells (producers and injectors) are planned with downhole pressure/temperature (P/T) gauges, downhole flow meters and interval control valves. See SPE 115367 titled “Implementing i-field™ Initiatives in a Deepwater Green Field, Offshore Nigeria” by O. S. Adeyemi, S. G. Shryock, Chevron and S. Sankaran, Halliburton, presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Denver, Colorado, USA, 21–24 September 2008. In a January 2011, SPE 127691, Chevron reports a positive conclusion on the i-field intelligent completions operations: “Implementation of the i-field system in Agbami has led to significant benefits with measurable value similar to those reported or predicted in the literature.”

Halliburton Smart Well system - ReliabilityThe graph to the left is of one Halliburton SmartWell® system showing that reliability has steadily improved from about 86% in year 2000 to 97-98% in 2005 and has remained at this high level to date. In addition, SCADA/DCS data acquisition and Landmark WellSolver™ software have provided an integrated workflow that has delivered cost savings and field operational performance improvements as depicted in the illustration.

A recent Offshore magazine article, Closing the Loop on Intelligent Completions, provides more examples of intelligent completions in Brunei, North Sea, and Middle East wells.  The figure below shows the intelligent completions process for surface-operated zonal control, which provided the means for selective production from different sections of the reservoir. Intelligent completion technology controls reservoir flows by managing production or injection or both. For example, to shut off gas in an oil producer, sliding sleeves or valves are operated and monitored for comparison to the initial production profile. This allows the operator to identify and shut off the unwanted gas zone.

Intelligent completions process for surface-operated zonal control

Third Development Need – Wired Drill Pipe

White Paper Comments:

“Wired drill pipe technology has matured to the point where it interfaces with all major logging while drilling (LWD) technology providers. Wired drill pipe provides a much higher bandwidth for data transfer than conventional pulsed telemetry techniques. This allows the transfer of continuous high-frequency real-time data from the bottom hole assembly. Benefits have been derived in managing wellbore stability using image logging techniques. Additionally, pressure and temperature measurements, distributed along the drill string, are available to enhance monitoring of hydraulics and hole cleaning. The ability to read downhole temperature and pressure data in real-time, and without circulation, offers significant benefits for data collection and enhanced well control.”

Halliburton Comments:

Apache’s Van Gogh offshore project used NOV’s IntelliServ® wired drill pipe along with Halliburton’s rotary steerable system and LWD tools which provided many benefits, such as increased drilling rates, precise TVD control, high-resolution real-time logs, smoother wellbore profiles, reduced wireline requirements, precise geosteering, drilling dynamics analysis, and reductions in downhole tool failures due to better real-time drill string management. See OTC 20067 titled “Intelligent Wired Drill Pipe System Provides Significant Improvements in Drilling Performance on Offshore Australia Development” by L. Lawrence, Apache Energy Australia; B. Redmond, R. Russell, Halliburton; D. McNeill, M. Reeves and M. Hernandez, NOV Downhole Telemetry presented at the Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 4–7 May 2009.

This is part two in a series of three.  Read part one here.

[toggle title=”Learn More About Ron Sweatman”]

Ron Sweatman
Chief Technical Professional – Halliburton’s Global Technical Solutions and Deepwater Team based in Houston.

Ron Sweatman has 42 years of experience in several well construction and production/injection technologies. Ron majored in Chemistry at Louisiana State University and in Petroleum Engineering at University of Louisiana, Lafayette. He has served on 20 industry committees, co-authored over 60 technical publications, received six industry awards, and invented 30 patented technologies. Ron has a broad range of oilfield-services experience, including assignments in laboratory testing, engineering design, field operations, regional management, and technical support groups. His deepwater experience started in 1978 working on the Baltimore Canyon well in 2,686 feet of water on the Atlantic Ocean Outer Continental Shelf and has continued in other offshore areas including the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, and North Sea.

For more information, please feel free to contact me.



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