Labrousse, Sébastien (Schlumberger) | Guner, Hakan (Equinor ASA) | Kauffmann, Carlos (Equinor ASA) | Caycedo, Alberto (Schlumberger) | Opsahl, Jørn (Tomax AS) | Atallah, Rawad (WWT International Engineering Services) | Hatleseth, Tore Andreas (KCA Deutag Drilling Norge AS) | Moldekleiv, Rune (Schlumberger) | Nokland, Magnar (Schlumberger) | Andreassen, Ørjan (Schlumberger) | Nyborg, Benjamin (Schlumberger)
The purpose of the paper is to present how an integrated solution was designed to turn a challenging 6-in. section into a successful 6-in. production sidetrack in Norway. A threatening casing wear issue caused by the combination of slow progress and localized dogleg was addressed successfully with a complete redesign of the drilling system.
A 6-in. pilot section suffered slow progress due to low rate of penetration and tool failures. Significant amount of metal swarf was recovered while drilling. A casing wear log quantified the wear in the 9 7/8-in. casing, and this led to questioning the feasibility of the planned 6-in. production sidetrack. Operator, rig contractor and integrated services provider worked together to find a solution.
First, a detailed study of the wear was performed. A wear log was run, and the casing wear was quantified. Casing wear simulations were then calibrated based on wear logs and it appeared feasible to drill the 6-in. sidetrack if a minimum rate of penetration and a maximum number of revolutions were respected.
Second, the drilling system was optimized to ensure faster progress. This was done thanks to the learnings from the pilot section. The mud system was changed, and a lower density was used to increase the rate of penetration. The drillbit was optimized based on the limited wear seen in the bits used in the pilot section. As it was more aggressive, the perceived risk of downhole tool failure was mitigated with the use of an anti-stall tool.
Finally, to reduce the incremental wear from the sidetrack operation, casing protectors and lubricants were run. Also, the planned drillpipe was changed to a lighter drillpipe to reduce the sideforces.
The new system resulted in a successful drilling and section TD was reached ahead of the estimated perfect time.
With this paper we provide a detailed example of how a casing wear issue was addressed. The drivers we extract from this case are useful for the planning of future operations, especially in extended-reach wells.
Research and development drives success in shale plays throughout the world, enabling operators to deploy new drilling, completions, and production technologies to reach more reservoir area and extend the life of production wells. This work demonstrates the development, validation, and deployment of an extreme torque casing connection addressing technical challenges of tubulars in unconventionals.
Throughout the well lifetime, Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) experience various loads during the installation, stimulation, and production phases. Some of the challenges experienced during the stimulation and production phases relate to internal and external pressure resistance, sealability, corrosion and cracking, erosion, and wear. Furthermore, with the increase in lateral length and the more demanding well geometries, the OCTG capabilities related to high cycle fatigue, connection runability, and torque limits become more important to safely and efficiently reach the total depth of the well and ensure integrity throughout well life. Another scenario in which the torque limit of an OCTG connection is important is rotating while cementing, a practice undertaken to mitigate sustained casing pressure, improve well integrity, and completion efficiency.
We present the key elements in the development of a casing connection that overcomes these challenges and the decision process leading to a prototype. To prove the design concept, a fit-for-purpose testing protocol was adopted to validate its performance, replicating the installation, stimulation, and production phases under the expected loads. Once validated, a pilot involving casing installation, rotation while cementing and stimulation was completed in two wells, and its outcomes will be discussed in this work.
This novel casing extreme torque connection, designed to overcome the application challenges, enables the installation of casing in longer laterals, together with the improvement of well integrity through rotation while cementing.
The performance of the product, tested through a special procedure while ensuring reliability, was confirmed by the case study from the Niobrara shale. A new connection considering the challenges of wells in unconventional plays must account for several aspects from design to installation. We show the process, from the design stage and validation, leading to successful field deployment.
To arrive at the optimal solution, the design engineer must consider casing as a part of a whole drilling system. A brief description of the elements involved in the design process is presented next. The engineer responsible for developing the well plan and casing design is faced with a number of tasks that can be briefly characterized. While the intention is to provide reliable well construction at a minimum cost, at times failures occur. Most documented failures occur because the pipe was exposed to loads for which it was not designed.
Oilfield tubulars have been traditionally designed using a deterministic working stress design (WSD) approach, which is based on multipliers called safety factors (SFs). The primary role of a safety factor is to account for uncertainties in the design variables and parameters, primarily the load effect and the strength or resistance of the structure. While based on experience, these factors give no indication of the probability of failure of a given structure, as they do not explicitly consider the randomness of the design variables and parameters. Moreover, the safety factors tend to be rather conservative, and most limits of design are established using failure criteria based on elastic theory. Reliability-based approaches are probabilistic in nature and explicitly identify all the design variables and parameters that determine the load effect and strength of the structure.
The most important mechanical properties of casing and tubing are burst strength, collapse resistance and tensile strength. These properties are necessary to determine the strength of the pipe and to design a casing string. If casing is subjected to internal pressure higher than external, it is said that casing is exposed to burst pressure loading. Burst pressure loading conditions occur during well control operations, casing pressure integrity tests, pumping operations, and production operations. The MIYP of the pipe body is determined by the internal yield pressure formula found in API Bull. The expression can be derived from the Lamé equation for tangential stress by making the thin-wall assumption that D/t 1.
To evaluate a given casing design, a set of loads is necessary. Casing loads result from running the casing, cementing the casing, subsequent drilling operations, production and well workover operations. Temperature changes and resulting thermal expansion loads are induced in casing by drilling, production, and workovers, and these loads might cause buckling (bending stress) loads in uncemented intervals. In shallow normal-pressured wells, temperature will typically have a secondary effect on tubular design. In other situations, loads induced by temperature can be the governing criteria in the design.
An operator in west Texas experienced an obstruction pumping down a plug and perforating gun combination on a multi-stage frac operation in a 23,600-ft lateral. Following a 3.74" OD gauge run with 2-3/8" coiled tubing (CT), which hung up at 18,266 ft, a 3" gauge run was able to pass the holdup depth (HUD). To determine the cause of the restriction, the operator decided to run a video camera and a multi-finger caliper tool. However, due to some concerns with CT reach in the long lateral, issues with friction reducers, undesirable memory timers for recording the logs, and the inability to repeat logging in zones of interest or missing data, the camera provider recommended the logging be performed in "real time" on an electric-line (e-line) tractor.
A shop systems integration test of the combined tractor, caliper and camera was performed prior to running in the well. Clear fluid (fresh water) was pumped down the 5.5" × 4.5" casing from surface to obtain quality video downhole. Upon running the live system with the tractor, several over-torqued collars were identified as well as some buckling above those collars. The images were clear, and the problem areas were successfully identified. The total distance tractored was 10,063 ft, passing through the bad collars to the total measured depth of 23,511 ft.
This was the first time that a downhole video camera was run in combination with a multi-finger caliper tool on an e-line tractor in one run. This service benefits the industry in the following ways: Flexible logging program with real time diagnostics and decisions on additional passes in problem areas. No fluid darkening friction reducers necessary to achieve long lateral total depth. No CT helical buckling concerns. Small foot print for logging program on multi-well pads. Less chance of damaging logging tools on tractor than on CT if obstructions encountered.
Flexible logging program with real time diagnostics and decisions on additional passes in problem areas.
No fluid darkening friction reducers necessary to achieve long lateral total depth.
No CT helical buckling concerns.
Small foot print for logging program on multi-well pads.
Less chance of damaging logging tools on tractor than on CT if obstructions encountered.
This paper describes the operational details of this case and offers insights into the potential uses for such a service to the industry.
When wellbores are exposed to loads of geomechanical origin, the outer casings can become vulnerable to the transverse load components. These loads are usually non-uniform in character (
The simplest stress analysis problem in such situations consists of at least three cylinders, the innermost casing, the cement sheath and the formation up to the farfield boundary. Depending on the numerical methods employed in the geomechanical analysis, the farfield geomechanical loads are presented as displacements or tractions. In this paper, we present an analytical procedure to determine the mechanical response of a system of nested concentric cylinders exposed to an arbitrary traction or displacement on the outer radius of the outermost cylinder. We use the solution to quantify the effect of the loads on the concentric casings and the intervening cement sheaths, and to assess the effect of the formation. To this end we use well-known methods employed in the theory of elasticity to derive our solution. The analytical solution presented in the mathematical appendices can be implemented in a programmable spreadsheet.
Some of the first high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) development wells from Elgin and Franklin have been exposed to sustained casing pressures in their "A" annulus, threatening the integrity of the wells. The sustained pressure in the annulus was attributed to ingress through the production casing of fluids from the overburden chalk formations of the Late Cretaceous. The mechanism triggering the ingress into the "A" annulus was uncertain until access to the production casing was achieved. A recent campaign to abandon development wells of Elgin and Franklin that had sustained "A"-annulus pressure brings new evidence on the mechanism causing the ingress. Temperature surveys have been acquired in the production tubing to identify the fluid-entry points in the production casing. Multifinger calipers have been run in the production casing, revealing several shear-deformation features. These deformations are localized along various interfaces, and are attributed to the stress reorganization associated with the strong reservoir depletion. A detailed analysis of the surveys shows that fluid ingress is occurring at distorted casing connections, if located close to weak interfaces along which shear slip occurs. The shear deformation is suspected to cause a loss of the sealing capacity of the connection, leading to gas ingress into the "A" annulus. This conclusion emphasizes the need to consider any potential for localized shear deformations in designing casing for HP/HT wells.
C. H. Stone, W. W. Fleckenstein, and A. W. Eustes, Colorado School of Mines Summary The United States National Science Foundation has funded a sustainability-research network focused on natural-gas development in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. The objective of this specific study is the assessment of the use of existing water wells to monitor the risk of contamination by the migration of fracturing fluids or hydrocarbons to freshwater aquifers. An additional objective of the study is to modify existing risk estimates using the spatial relationships between the existing water wells and producing oil wells. This will allow estimates of single-barrier failure and multiple-barrier failure, resulting in contamination projections for oil and gas wells in areas without surrounding water wells to detect migration, dependent on well-construction type. Since 1970, the Wattenberg Field in Colorado has had a large number of oil and gas wells drilled. These wells are interspaced tightly with agricultural and urban development from the nearby Denver metropolitan area. This provides a setting with numerous water wells that have been drilled within this area of active petroleum development. Data from 17,948 wells drilled were collected and analyzed in Wattenberg Field, allowing wells to be classified by construction type and analyzed for barrier failure and source of aquifer contamination. The assessment confirms that although natural-gas migration occurring in poorly constructed wellbores is infrequent, it can happen, and the migration risk is determined by the well-construction standards. The assessment also confirms that there has been no occurrence of hydraulic-fracturing-fluid contamination of freshwater aquifers through wellbores. The assessment determines both the spatial proximity of oil and gas wells and surface-casing depth to water wells to then determine the utility of water wells to monitor migration in oil wells. Introduction The Wattenberg Field in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, Colorado, began oil and gas production in 1970. The field is the most-active oil and gas field in Colorado and is bordering the highest-population area of the state in the Denver metropolitan area (Figure 1).