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NextTier Oilfield Solutions announced today that it has recently started field testing electric fracturing pump technology developed by National Oilwell Varco (NOV). The two Houston-based energy companies are looking to the electric-based systems, also known as e-fleets, to improve efficiency and lower emissions at unconventional wellsites in the US. NextTier is currently using prototypes in the field and, if the pilot proves out, then the pressure pumper may end up purchasing the first e-fleet manufactured by NOV, the announcement said. NextTier added that its pending adoption of e-fleets would complement its dual-fuel fracturing fleets that can run on either diesel fuel or cleaner-burning natural gas. Like other commercial e-fleets, NOV’s system relies on gas turbines to generate power that is then used to drive the high-horsepower pumps.
Ordonez Varela, John Richard (Total S.E.) | Boero Rollo, Jean Grégoire (Total S.E.) | Le Beulze, Aurélie (CVA Engineering) | Ochi, Jalel (Total S.E.) | Vellaluru, Neeharika (University of Michigan) | Dutta, Partha Pratim (University of Michigan) | Benken, Alexander (University of Michigan) | Gianchandani, Yogesh (University of Michigan)
An innovative and practical solution for well monitoring of pressure, temperature, inertial, and magnetic parameters is reported. Tiny and robust systems integrating microscale technologies for telemetry, wireless charging, and physical sensing were developed, characterized, and ultimately deployed on a live installation. The microsystems were designed and developed by the University of Michigan and characterized by Total S.E., whereas the intervention protocols were designed and implemented by TOTAL in TOTAL E&P CONGO offshore facilities. This work demonstrates how regular downhole monitoring of assets can be performed at low cost, thus optimizing production while also de-risking future development plans such as infield wells. This novel approach also reduces risks associated with conventional downhole monitoring methods.
In a Japanese oil field, which applying jet pump (coiled tubing running, standard flow type, produced oil as power fluid containing asphaltenes and waxes) since 2014, unstable power fluid injection pressure has been observed since 2016 due to asphaltene deposition on jet pump nozzle area, which limited power fluid rate and therefore production rate. The objective of this study was to achieve high oil production rate by overcoming the pressure fluctuation due to asphaltene deposition problems.
Asphaltene inhibitors (AI) from various suppliers were tested to measure asphaltene deposition amount as a laboratory screening. The best AI candidate was implemented in a field trial test during which, asphaltene deposition amount in strainers were measured, production oil was collected to measure asphaltene deposition rate under stock tank condition, and operation data was monitored and analyzed. To confirm the new AI efficiency, these data were compared with the ones during the original AI before starting the field test.
This paper presents specific features which were found in the field test. Selected AI was efficient at dispersing asphaltenes. It achieved stable injection pressure and reduced asphaltene deposition amount in production oil sample. However, it became worse again within one month. The main reason was that the new AI worked as dispersant to delay asphaltene deposition so that asphaltenes finally accumulated under jet pump production system which is semi-closed loop. Asphaltene deposition amount on strainers increased during winter, especially shut down periods, because process temperature was close to ambient condition. This temperature-dependent observation means asphaltene deposition was highly influenced by wax deposition. A follow-up laboratory test revealed the asphaltene deposition amount decreased by adding paraffin inhibitor (PI). This field test result revealed the asphaltene and paraffin interaction in field scale.
A North Sea operator had abandoned one of the inner slots of an offshore normally unmanned platform (NUI) that contained a stuck conductor, with the conductor shoe positioned 108 m below seabed at 1° inclination. Attempts to recover the conductor at the time proved unsuccessful and the slot was abandoned. However, the remaining slots on the platform were drilled and completed. With limited space and reservoir targets still to be developed, the operator later decided to use the abandoned slot to drill a production well. Given the stuck conductor and crowded platform, there were concerns for the integrity and safety of the surrounding wells.
Drilling of production wells must not only allow the reservoir to be developed, but also protect the integrity of the existing wells, and proceed in a safe manner. This requires compliance with company and governmental procedures, regulations, and best practices. To help ensure safe utilization of a compromised offshore slot (i.e., with a stuck conductor) on a congested platform, drilling had to comply with the company's strict anticollision (AC) policy of isolating health, safety, and environmental (HSE) risk wells. Extensive preventive measures were executed, including shutting in high-risk wells, evaluating current and offset wellbore conditions, and selecting the most appropriate drilling tools.
A custom drill bit was designed to provide the bottomhole assembly (BHA) control necessary to help minimize damage to the outside casing of any accidentally contacted well. This would further help mitigate the potential for drilling through multiple well barriers, and prevent expensive and complex remedial work. Field testing was critical to the design modifications and validated feasibility before use in the abandoned slot. These tests evaluated the new drill-bit design versus a conventional drill bit in a comparable, controlled environment.
Downhole drilling motors are the workhorse of our industry and are used on almost every well drilled globally. This makes an instrumented drilling motor the perfect tool for geosteering with near-bit inclination and formation-change-detection sensors. There have been a number of drilling motors and near-bit subs designed to provide near-bit inclination and gamma/azimuthal gamma measurements over the years. These designs provide the measurements but typically compromise drilling motor mechanical strength or directional response. This paper explains a new type of instrumented drilling motor with real-time continuous inclination and drilling dynamics.
The instrumented wired motors described in this paper have taken a completely different design approach. Using already-existing drilling-motor technology, the necessary sensors, electronics, wiring and short-hop technology have been transplanted into the centerline of the drilling motor without compromising mechanical strength. In addition, the design allows for fast turn-around service times in an existing drilling-motor workshop.
Directional drillers rely on measurement-while-drilling (MWD) real-time data to maintain the well-path on trajectory or within zone. MWD measurements are taken behind the drilling motor and are typically more than 50 feet behind the bit. Real-time near-bit inclination measurements allow for more accurate and precise directional drilling. The new instrumented drilling motor delivers real-time near-bit inclination just 5 feet behind the bit. In addition, near-bit vibration measurements can be used to identify formation changes. The new instrumented drilling motor can be used for geosteering using vibration measurements.
The instrumented wired motor has undergone extensive testing in West Texas to ensure the main components are reliable and can survive harsh drilling conditions. Testing was performed in three main phases; 1) through-wire communication, 2) dynamic inclination and vibration measurements; and 3) short-hop to MWD.
When all three phases of testing were complete the entire instrumented wired motor was deployed to deliver near-bit real-time inclination and drilling dynamics measurements to improve directional drilling. The near-bit inclination measurements allow the directional driller to respond to unpredictable directional changes such as formation push and formation tracking. This provides increased accuracy to keep the wellpath in the zone of interest, particularly in lateral wellbores. This paper will detail the innovative drilling motor design and results obtained during product validation.
Weatherford International and an Aberdeen-based startup called Safe Influx have agreed to co-market their respective managed-pressure-drilling (MPD) and automated well control technologies. The complementary systems aim to provide greater well integrity during drilling and well construction operations. Founded in 2018, Safe Influx completed the first field trial of its new well control technology late last year on a Weatherford-owned test rig in Aberdeen. In addition to the ability to retrofit existing assets, the trial done on the 40-year old rig proved the interoperability between the two company’s distinct technologies. Safe Influx says its automated well control system reacts to gas kicks and executes shut-in actions up to five times faster than traditional human interfaces, resulting in more manageable well control events.