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Pragma is bringing the industry’s first 3D metal printed, ultrahigh expansion bridge plug to market, the Aberdeen-based company said in a press release. Its patented M-Bubble bridge plug has successfully completed final lab testing and is due to begin field trials by the end of 2020. Initially targeted at both the plug-and-abandonment (P&A) sector and water shutoff applications, the first M-Bubble addresses a gap in the market for a lower-cost, fast-turnaround, permanent plugging solution, with a high pressure differential (3,000 psi) capability, the company said. The plug can be set without additional cement to save rig time and “waiting-on-cement” time, which can accumulate significant savings for the operator, especially in deeper, extended-reach wells. It also provides barrier-integrity reassurance when there is the possibility of a poor cement bond or cement channeling occurring on the high side of deviated wells, the company added.
With an increasing number of wells transitioning to their abandonment stages, associated operational efficiency and cost cutting have become a major focus in the industry. An operator had an objective to permanently abandon an offshore well that was suspended in 2016. The key challenge was to develop a long-term well abandonment solution leaving the completion tubing and gauge cables in the well. All the associated operations had to be completed utilizing a lightweight well intervention vessel.
Traditionally, retrieving the entire 5 ½-in. production tubing during plugging and abandonment operations has added operational complexity and costs and increases the risk of exposure to health, safety, and the environment (HSE) hazards. Alternatively, a sealant technique placing cement through and around the completion tubing with gauge cables in-situ exists. However, this technique is associated with a heightened risk of leak path development over time. Ongoing experimental work suggested that enhancements to the conventional cement sealant systems would be beneficial to improve long-term sealing; thus, an active self-sealing cement system that would seal microannuli or small fissures around the tubing and gauge cables was designed. The set cement sealant characteristics include low Young's modulus to resist failure from wellbore stresses and the ability to regenerate the original seal upon contact with any hydrocarbons that may seep through any isolation defects through the life of the abandoned well. To achieve proper cement placement, advanced fluid simulation software and carefully tailored fluid density and rheology profiles were used.
During the operation, a plug of the self-sealing cement sealant was pumped through the production tubing and squeezed into the perforations to create a permanent barrier across the reservoir section. Next, a mechanical plug was set inside the production tubing to isolate the lower section, and the tubing was perforated to provide access to the A-annulus above; subsequently, a balanced plug of self-sealing cement (SSC) system was spotted above. After 30 hours, the plug passed a 3.4-MPa [500-psi] verification pressure test. The operator estimated the operation saved 2 to 3 days of rig time, valued at approximately GBP 400,000 to 600,000. The operator also avoided the risk of leaving the well on long-term suspension with mechanical plugs while waiting for a rig to complete the isolation, and the operation minimized the number of intervention steps required for abandonment, thereby limiting scope growth.
Operators are constantly looking for ways to increase reliability, improve efficiency, and minimize risks, and therefore, abandonment techniques are evolving. The developed solution is a novel and robust alternative to conventional well abandonment using an advanced cement sealant technology for the first time and an innovative placement technique.
Conventional well plug and abandonment (P&A) can sever and remove the tubing to access casing or leave it in situ when it does not interfere with providing a seal over an indefinite time frame. This paper assesses the viability of pushing rather than pulling severed production tubing to gain casing access. The P&A decision to push, pull, or leave the tubing in situ depends on confirming existing seals and then placing suitable sealants, such as cement, to keep the risks of future well leakages as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). Pushing or compacting tubing into the liquid space of a well could be used with smaller rigless units, which cannot hoist the production tubing, but can use production intervention or decommissioning logistics with coiled tubing or wireline cutting and severance. Associated pumps could then drive an inflatable piston to compact split and severed tubing into a lower liquid space to access casing for logging and P&A plugging. Rigless tools and methods have provided dramatic cost savings where casing access was not needed, and thus the present study investigates the viability of accessing casing by means of pushing or compacting tubing to extend rigless P&A use and savings. The viability of pushing and compacting North Sea sizes and grades were confirmed in real-scale physical-compaction simulations of production-tubing joints pulled from offshore wells. Independent small-scale physical simulations and numerical modeling then confirmed that the real-scale results were predictable and repeatable to demonstrate an ability to design and provide a window or gap in a production-tubing string for use by other P&A methods.
The demand for well plug and abandonment (P&A) operations in Brazil has increased significantly during the last 3 years, resulting in a steep learning curve that can lead to development of state-of-the-art methodologies that save time, reduce operational risks, and provide reliable cost-effective solutions. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of recent well abandonment operations in a mature field in Brazil, which included wells that were depleted or no longer economically viable. A methodology is discussed and highlights the use of a casing collar locator (CCL) to perform depth correlation before setting packers and placing cement plugs, real-time pressure signals to monitor packer setting, and coiled tubing (CT) internal and external pressure management to help ensure that all cement is pumped out of the CT.
Well intervention challenges present opportunities to develop new technologies that increase operation efficiency and effectiveness. A revolutionary real-time hybrid coiled tubing (CT) service marks a new era of informed interventions. This paper highlights the results from 3 years of field operations using this real-time hybrid CT technology to improve well interventions economically, logistically, operationally, and technically by performing analysis and making decisions in real time.
Previous techniques used wireline units to perform real-time operations, which often required production shut-in and multiple runs to avoid operational issues (i.e., tool lifting in wells with high production rates). CT electric line units mitigate the shut-in requirement, but reduce the pipe pulling capabilities and limit the fluids and rates to be pumped through the pipe. CT with fiber-optics technology helps eliminate the shut-in requirement and the fluids and rates restrictions, without affecting the CT pulling capabilities. However, operating time is limited because of the power source life.
During the 3-year period, more than 1 million running feet of CT well interventions were performed in the eastern foothills of Colombia, where challenging conditions, such as high gas production rate, high tortuosity, and dogleg severity, were overcome using the real-time hybrid CT service.
The real-time hybrid CT service includes an open architecture system that provides the capability to pump any fluid type at different rates through the CT and hybrid downhole tool. Additionally, the system is compatible with all electric and mechanical tools using a plug-and-play adapter to attach tools in a single rig up, which helps eliminate additional rig up and rig down of units to perform other types of well interventions. A continuous power supply allows operations to be performed without time or power constraints.
This paper reviews previous case histories in which multiple interventions were successfully performed in a single run using real-time hybrid CT technology, including zonal isolation, well surveillance, access recovery, stimulations, production logging, injection logging, completion visualization, and perforating under extreme underbalanced conditions with extremely long bottomhole assemblies (BHAs).
The flexibility of the real-time hybrid CT technology provides multiple opportunities to address new challenges in the oil industry without limits.
Successful cement placement in horizontal wellbores requires solutions for several technical challenges. Zonal isolation provided by cement is considered an important factor for efficient stimulation. A cement system was designed and recently introduced in unconventional developments to mitigate hydraulic isolation challenges encountered when cementing horizontal wellbores. Herein, we disclose recent results that show the efficiency of the interactive cementing system (
At the 2018 SPE Annual Technical Conference, Kolchanov et al. described the
Water conformance is a common challenge in oilfield industry especially in water flood and active water drive reservoirs where water production has a significant impact on production economics, oil recovery and facilities constraints. Water shut-off (WSO) is an essential solution to delay or minimize water production however effectiveness depends on treatment efficiency. This abstract will demonstrate extensive mechanical and chemical WSO experience in horizontal drilled wells completed with passive Inflow Control Devices (ICD) completions, with case histories from North Kuwait giant water aquifer reservoir.
The main challenge during water conformance treatment is the proper diagnosis and the full understanding of the water flow profile; accurately identify the water source as well as reservoir understanding will help selecting the efficient WSO mechanism, which is crucial for a sound decision making considering the associated cost and the operational complications. Understanding reservoir geology, Integration of inflow profiling via Horizontal PLT and new technologies of water saturation logsare key to accurately identify the water source (heal, middle or toe side) and by turn WSO mechanism. This is done in integration of multidisciplinary domains of G&G, production and reservoir engineers and operation teams.
Mechanical WSO using inflatable packers' technologies were applied for isolating the toe side, while chemical WSO technologies used for heal side isolation in the open-hole passive ICD completions. Rig-less shifting of ICD sleeves used where active SSD-ICD's completion installed. The statistics of executed WSO results of many case histories have shown relatively good success ratio represented in reducing water cut from 80 – 90% down to 20 – 70%, increase oil production rate from 200 bopd up to 3000 bopd in some wells depending on water source. Furthermore, WSO enabled bringing some inactive high-water wells back to production. This helps extending well-life and by turn maximizes ultimate hydrocarbon recovery. Also, reducing the total water production to facility allowed increasing production of some other wells producing to same facilities. As key learnt lesson; managing the produced liquid rate and drawdown post WSO is essential to maximize the benefit of WSO and delay sharp increase of water cut.
WSO solutions are in constant improvement. Integrating reservoir characterization, fluid inflow profiling and proper selection of WSO technique is crucial for any successful WSO decision. WSO became a common practice to maximize the oil recovery factor from Lower Burgan reservoir of North Kuwait fields.
Copyright 2020, International Petroleum Technology Conference This paper was prepared for presentation at the International Petroleum Technology Conference held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 13 - 15 January 2020. This paper was selected for presentation by an IPTC Programme Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as presented, have not been reviewed by the International Petroleum Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any position of the International Petroleum Technology Conference, its officers, or members. Papers presented at IPTC are subject to publication review by Sponsor Society Committees of IPTC. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper for commercial purposes without the written consent of the International Petroleum Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented.