The success of a pilot milling operation is dependent on the mill design, adherence to correct milling parameters and precise location of stabilizing members in the bottomhole assembly (BHA), especially while milling through large casings such as 20 inch inside 30 inch conductor. This paper discusses the importance of correct mill design and stabilization of the BHA, along with field results from milling with under-gauged mill and stabilizers.
Pilot milling interventions to facilitate open-hole side-tracking can be very effective and cost-efficient, especially in cases where retaining the original borehole size is necessary for further workover operations, for example, when liner is milled for this purpose. Pilot milling is a suitable option where sidetracking with a whipstock is not viable, as when casing has collapsed, with internal diameter restrictions, or situations where irreparable surface damage to conductor pipe and casing have occurred due to corrosion. Such situations might result in losing an offshore platform slot, which is a huge cost to operators.
One such situation was encountered where 30 inch conductor pipe parted at the water line due to corrosion. Prolonged exposure to corrosion further led to 20 inch casing parting at the water line as well. Surface repairs were attempted but were unable to arrest annulus leakage. In order to recover the slot, an improved and specially designed pilot mill was used. A stabilized milling bottom-hole assembly with precise sizes and locations of stabilizers was incorporated. This new mill design resulted in milling 585.6 feet of 20 inch casing with an average rate of penetration (ROP) of 2.6 ft/hr. The new mill design resulted in good mill life and only two mill runs were made in the entire milling operation. Results of torque and drag simulations to study the bending stresses and torsional stresses on mill string components while milling are discussed. Catastrophic effects of using under-gauged mill and stabilizers were also examined.
This improved mill and stabilized bottom-hole assembly design offers optimum ROP, improved mill life, reduced surface vibrations and a fine metal cutting structure that eases metal debris handling at surface.
Sengupta, Partha (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) | Katre, Narendra (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) | Suman, Abhinav (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) | Das, Barnali (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) | Pawar, Anil (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) | Deshpande, Sunil (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited)
In any onshore gas installation, bath-heaters and high pressure separators are provided as standard surface facilities to take production from high pressure wells having hydrate forming tendency. Medium pressure separators are also provided to take production from medium pressure gas wells. The paper deliberates on an optimized surface installation for handling high pressure well fluids with possibilities of hydrate formation. The study has been carried out through steady state multiphase simulation considering pressure & production profile of the wells, consumer requirement and flow assurance i.e. hydrate formation. An optimized process scheme and production strategy is presented for early production from both high pressure and medium pressure gas wells in a single separator and without any bath heater.
Based on well test data, well completion data and pressure profile, simulation studies are carried out in steady-state multiphase flow simulation software to look into possibility of hydrate formation in the flow lines or in process piping. Flow from wells having high well-head pressures in the range of 120 to 165 kg/cm2g (ksc) are simulated by varying the separator pressure, flow line size & length and choke arrangement. Flow simulations are carried out for different choke combinations and flow line arrangements to keep well fluid temperature above hydrate formation temperature in the entire flow path from well head to separators.
It was established from simulations that flow from the well having highest production as well as highest well head pressure of 165 ksc can be taken by operating the separator at 33 ksc and adopting a multi-choke arrangement along the flow line without any possibility of hydrate formation in the system. The multi-choke arrangement consists of putting chokes including well head choke at well site, at installation inlet and the final choke at installation inlet manifold. The arrangement also envisages additional small length of flow line as buried portion near installation inlet to take advantage of heat gain from soil. From 2nd year onwards of the profile period, it is observed that with reduction in well head pressure to 132 ksc as per profile, the well can be produced by operating the separator at lower pressure without any hydrate formation. For rest of the wells, only multi-choke arrangement is found to be sufficient to prevent hydrate problem while operating the separator at even lower pressure throughout the profile period. It is also observed that higher production can be taken from the wells from 2nd year onwards on account of operating the separator at lower pressure.
The optimized scheme has marked deviation from the earlier proposed standard scheme with substantial reduction in number of equipment and consequent reduction in CAPEX & OPEX. This novel process scheme and production strategy eliminate the need for investment in both high pressure separator and hydrate mitigation measures like heat tracing, methanol injection or bath-heaters. This innovative production strategy also facilitates better recovery from the gas wells on account of operating the separator at lower pressure.
Historically underreaming while drilling (UWD) operations were implemented in offshore field in Azerbaijan to decrease Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD) and have better hole quality for casing running. Lithology in this UWD, 8.5 × 10.25-inch section consists of sand and shales with 3-5kpsi Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS). Well trajectory has planned dogleg severity up to 3-3.5 deg/30m. In such a condition underreaming operations are known to be more challenging and complex compared to conventional drilling with bit only. In the offset well, an operator had fatigue related twist off at the reamer's lower sub connection which contributed to 58 hours of NPT.
Our challenge was to come up with the root cause of the twist off and then suggest changes in BHA to avoid this and prove that the modified BHA performs as expected. Our finite element analysis (FEA) based 4D modeling software can identify different vibrations (axial, lateral, stick slip), bending stresses and bending moment of each component in the BHA. Using this software, we were able to come up with the root cause of the twist off, which was due to high bending stress.
In UWD there are two cutting structures in the BHA, so optimizing both cutting structures has a significant impact on the overall performance. Successful run key points are to analyze the underreamer placement in BHA, operating parameters selection for different scenarios (when both bit and undereamer are in the same rocks or when the bit is in soft and undereamer is in hard rock), lateral vibrations and whirling phenomenon which can potentially damage and develop fatigue on BHA components. Multiple BHA's were simulated and based on the results the most stable BHA was recommended for the upcoming well.
The operator implemented the recommended BHA and a total of 1200m was successfully drilled and opened in one run without any NPT. All directional requirements were achieved and both bit and underreamer came out in good condition which confirmed that the new optimized BHA was stable in the downhole drilling conditions. The liner was also run without any issue confirming the borehole quality.
This paper will review the results of analysis and how modeling prediction was validated in the field.
A new class of permanent clay stabilizers has been developed inorganic based on an aluminum/zirconium-based compound. The increased charge density of the molecule allows it to bind more strongly to swelling clays, while its relatively low molecular weight allows it to stabilize the clay permanently without causing formation damage by blocking the pore throats and reducing permeability.
The most commonly used clay stabilizers are organic and inorganic chloride salts including trimethylammonium chloride, potassium chloride, and choline chloride. These salts have been used for years, are effective in most wells, and are both cheap and abundant. However, their high water solubility and the relatively small size of the cation means that these products are highly mobile and thus are quickly washed away during flowback. Several chemical derivatives were made from a tri-functional amine by reacting it with organic and inorganic acids such HCl, acetic acid, and formic acid; as well as alkylating agents, including chloromethane, benzyl chloride, diethyl sulfate, and paraformaldehyde.
Certain cationic polymers have also proven useful as clay stabilizers. These much larger molecules are not as easily washed away due to steric hindrance and a much higher charge density per molecule. These products have proved useful as long-term clay stabilizers, but their high molecular weights can lead to formation damage by causing them to be filtered out on the rock face.
In this research, several laboratory tests were carried out on the new clay stabilizer. These tests included coreflood experiments conducted on Berea sandstone cores to assess the stabilizer at high temperatures and the influence of different acids on its performance. Coreflood effluent samples were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) to measure the concentrations of aluminum and zirconium.
This new permanent clay stabilizer improved productivity from formations that have high clay content by minimizing clay swelling and thus preventing formation damage caused by clogged pore throats and subsequent loss of permeability. It worked well at temperatures up to 250°F and with 15 wt% HCl and regular mud acid (12 wt% HCl, 3 wt% HF).
In Vietnam, there was a need of a lean surface casing due to restricted drift inside diameter (ID). The 2nd slot of the splitter conductor only have 13-1/2" ID max pass through. The practical option is to drill with 12-1/4" bit and open to 14-1/2" hole to set 11-3/4" casing OD. Similar reasoning for the intermediate hole that will require to under ream the hole from 10-5/8" bit to 12-1/4" hole and set 9-5/8" casing OD. Although these under reaming operations are commonly practiced, the technical limitations are still inefficient and compromising. Conventional reamers still have limited activation/deactivation cycle for operational flexibility and long rathole of the reamer to bit depth for casing shoe placement.
The long awaited technology is now available with the presence of intelligent reamers that have unlimited activation & deactivation cycles and can be placed directly above the rotary steerable system for shortest possible rathole. The setup is to combine two intelligent reamers in a single BHA. The 1st reamer placed strategically on top of the MWD & LWD tools while the 2nd reamer is directly above the rotary steerable system tool. As both reamers can be both activated and deactivated through downlinking, the reamer has to be activated simultaneously to control the risks associated with hole opening and LWD data acquisition. The 1st intelligent reamer will be activated first while drilling the section formation and the 2nd intelligent reamer will then be activated at section TD to ream and shorten the rathole. For the purpose of cleaning the hole effectively, both reamers can be deactivated to execute high flow and RPM without creating new cuttings from the reamer blades and avoid making a bigger hole at the low side.
This enabled shoe to shoe drilling while under reaming and achieving less than 10m rathole. These operational capabilities saved at least 50% of the section rig time compared to having a 2 trip system. Combination of reduced casing shoe rathole and open hole exposure mitigated the well bore instability risks and helps in managing mud weight for both hole section intervals. The unlimited activation cycle provided flexibility in operations particularly in dealing with hole cleaning and wiper trips. Plus, the intelligent reamer provides realtime reamer diameter which gives confidence on the drilled hole size for casing running preparation and decisions.
Intelligent reamers have unique tool features that differentiate from the rest of current industry technologies. This feature helps to eliminate the risk of under-reamer balling, which improve the rate of penetration. The success of the operation has spread throughout operators in Vietnam, and now the intelligent reamer is considered as a game changer application in drilling lean casing profiles.
Directional drillers have faced numerous challenges due to the right and left BHA walk tendencies. Walk, build, and drop tendencies increase sliding time thus reducing ROP and increasing CPF. Drilling tortuous wellbores are more prone to NPT, increased torque and downhole drag. It was noted that bit side forces and the tilt angle influence the DLS of the wellbore. In this study, novel predictive analytic models were developed to understand the factors that influence BHA assembly walk tendency as well as uncover the hidden relationships between several different features influencing the walk tendencies. Sixty-eight wells are included in this study with an initial model training and testing being executed on eight wells. A blind test was later performed on 57 wells with 149 different BHAs. The model accounted for the number and locations of the various components in the BHA and their different types. The modified BHAs are assumed to be a continuous beam supported by PDC bits, PDM, stabilizers, and an assembly, mirroring the contact points of the BHAs, and the wellbore. For simplification purposes, the assembly assumes that all three components are made of non-magnetic material with comparable OD, linear weight, and material. The assembly was based on the fact that these components had the same bending stiffness due to similar material and thus elasticity.
Seven different ML models were experimented with to determine the lowest MAE. They included Gradient Boosting Machine, Random Forest, Artificial Neural Networks, and Adaboost. The attributes included mud density and formation type. Bit variables were composed of: OD, gauge length, length of inner and outer profile, TFA, manufacture, cutter size, and blade count. For PDM: location, OD, LW, length, bit to bend distance, and bend angle. The stabilizer included location, blade count, gauge length, gauge OD, LW, and stabilizer to bit depth and assembly specifications. Moreover, hole size, block height, hookload, WOB, ROP, differential pressure, mud flow rate, SPP, GR, Annular pressure loss, MSE, ECD at Bit, Bit RPM, Bit TOR, and bit aggressivity. The survey data had MD, Inclination, azimuth, and finally DLS.
The models showed that the side forces in the form of seven dominant factors were the main culprits in influencing the walk direction of the drill bit. There was a highly significant relationship with a MAE of 14.7% between stabilizer location, gauge OD, PDM bit to bend distance, bit gauge, PDM differential pressure, ROP, WOB, inclination, and Hookload.
These results prove to be a great advantage in controlling the drilling direction and reaching the target zone in minimal time. The optimized machine learning model helped optimize rotatory drilling time, ROP, smoother wellbores, and Lower CPF overall.
In recent decades, the widespread implementation of horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing in unconventional plays has increased the use of fresh water in oilfield operations. The formulation of fracturing fluids with non-fresh water sources such as seawater or produced water are attracting more attention due to the long term sustainability of non-fresh water use.
Fracturing fluids using seawater are available in the industry. But the compatibility between the composition of local seawater and reservoir brine can add complication in the formation damage consideration. For example, if a seawater rich in sulfate comes in contact with formation brine rich in calcium or barium, severe scale can be expected if the proper caution is not taken. Treated seawater with nano-filtration to removal sulfate is a good practice to eliminate this problem. This paper describes a fracturing fluid formulated by using nanofiltered seawater for high temperature applications at 300 to 325°F. The crosslinked fracturing fluid formulation was optimized in the lab to accommodate the nanofiltered seawater, resulting in satisfactory fluid performance thereby enabling the fracturing operations to conserve fresh water.
A high-temperature crosslinked fracturing fluid system was prepared with the nanofiltered local seawater. The fluid system showed robust stability at high temperatures. For example, the fluid viscosity stayed above 400 cP (at 100 sec−1 shear rate) for 2 hr at 300°F, with 45 ppt of the polymer loading. At 325°F, the fluid maintained viscosity above 300 cP for 2 hr with 60 ppt of the polymer loading. The nanofiltered seawater-based fluids was found to be compatible with a number of commonly used fluid additives including biocide, surfactant, and clay stabilizer. The fluid system also showed low formation damage and scaling tendencies. In the coreflow tests at 300°F, a regained permeability of greater than 95% was obtained. In the scaling tests without the presence of scale inhibitor at 300°F, traceable (<0.01 wt %) amount of scale was observed in the mixture of the nanofiltered seawater and high total dissolved solids (TDS) formation brine. Overall, it was found using the nanofiltered seawater can lead to better fluid stability at elevated temperatures, better fluid cleanup, and reduced downhole scaling tendency.
By careful selection of the fluid components, the nanofiltered seawater-based fluid relieve the burden of needing fresh water for hydraulic fracturing treatment, allowing for a more sustainable approach. This paper discusses the technical functions of the key fluid additives used in the fracturing fluid preparation.
This paper reviews how the Rotary Steerable System (RSS) market has changed over the last two decades. It explores current market forces; specifically the shift in RSS philosophy resulting from ever-improving motor steerable technology. It describes how the need for longer laterals with minimal tortuosity, maximum drilling efficiency, reduced risk of unplanned events, and elimination of AFE overspend, along with the paradigm shift in the directional drilling market seen since 2014, drove the specification for a newgeneration RSS tool. The paper describes the development of a new RSS with a topology and control concept that allows full proportional control of bias from a fully rotating, push-the-bit tool, with the ability to "turn off" any bias during operations where side force is undesirable and to minimize potential tortuosity. It describes how the design team focused on modular design and rapid turn around of tools, in order to maximize utilization and efficiency. Field-test results are included, which demonstrate build and turn at up to 10 /100 ft. and the ability to drill accurate lateral sections. Field results also include the use of ultrasonic imaging while drilling to investigate hole quality.
Clay minerals are commonly observed in the Neogene succession of North Kuwait, both in the two viscous oil rich sandstone reservoirs (S1, S2) and intervening shale layers. SEM and XRD analysis of the core samples explain that Smectite is the dominant and Palygorskite, Illite and Kaolinite as minor clay mineral constituents. The paper describes the vertical and lateral distribution of these minerals in different sedimentary facies from bottom to top and the impact of steam on them.
The bottom and second channel-dominated sand and intervening shale (S2B sand, S2 Shale, S2A sand) layers show variation in total average clay content, as well as the swelling clay (smectite, illite-smectite) and fibrous palygorskite, with a low content in the north and center (2-4.6%), a moderate content in the east (6.7-7.3%) and a high content in the south (11.2-14.4%).
The Middle shale layer (MShale), is recognized as a flooding surface, observed at base of muddy interdistributory bay/lagoonal or floodplain deposits, sharply overlaying the channel-filled sandstones. Smectite –Illite is the dominant clay constituent.
The first channel-dominated sand and intervening shale (S1B sand and S1 Shale) layers contain predominantly smectite, illite-smectite and palygorskite content. The northern, southwestern and southeastern parts of the field, with more argillaceous channels and floodplain facies associations, have a high average total clay content (9.6-20%). The central part of the field, which is predominantly contains clean channel sand bodies, has a lower, average total clay content (4.9-12.6%).
The topmost sand (S1A sand) layer contains higher proportion of muddier channels and interdistributary bay facies, in the northern part and has high (>7%) total clay content, but generally <2% swelling clays and palygorskite. The central part of the field, with clean channel sands, has relatively low (<7%) total clay content, with 0.8-3.2% swelling clays and palygorskite. The southern part of the field, with argillaceous channels, has a relatively high (>7%) total clay content, with 2.2-6.3% swelling clays and palygorskite.
The sealing Cap Shale (bound by maximum flooding surface at the base and an erosive surface at the top) comprises of marine and restricted marine shales capping the underlying S1A sandstones. The clay mineral comprises of illite-smectite, kaolinite and chlorite, with no palygorskite content,
As this viscous oil is planned to be produced by thermal applications, Clay stabilization experiments were conducted to ascertain the permeability reduction in the reservoir due to swelling of clay minerals and changes after exposure to steam. The steam flood experiments are conducted at 32, 65 and 232°C on actual core plugs and the conversion of Illite-smectite to smectite was observed, reducing the permeability. Chemical stabilizers were suggested for controlling these damaging effects at higher temperature.
Wellbore quality might not always be the top priority from a drilling perspective due to the misconception that quality comes at the expense of drilling efficiency. This is indeed a misconception since a compromised wellbore quality, which can be defined as non-uniform wellbore shape due to the presence of enlargements and tight spots, is a sign of energy waste. The result of this is actually drilling inefficiency. It is proposed that drilling quality and efficiency come hand in hand provided that they are planned to be connected by two factors: drillstring design and geomechanics modelling. Drillstrings are designed to prevent mechanical failure and produce the highest possible ROP. Another aspect of the design is preventing vibrations and hole patterns. This work employs surface drilling parameters and geomechanics principles to correlate the drilled wellbore quality to the drillstring design.
Surface drilling parameters and bit wear grading reports are used as diagnostic tools to check for dissipated energy and string vibrations, where the dissipated energy can be either mechanical, hydraulic, or both. This is then cross-referenced with multi-arm caliper measurements to confirm the influence on wellbore quality. A geomechanics model is incorporated to filter out in-situ stresses induced breakouts from breakouts and hole patterns caused by interactions with the drillstring. The role played by the drillstring design on this whole process is explored. Finally, drillstring modifications are proposed based on geomechanics considerations.
The illustrated case shows a strong correlation between the shape of the wellbore, the spacing of the different bottomhole assembly components, and the formation mechanical properties. Another illustrated case, which utilized a modified drillstring design showed significant improvement in the wellbore quality. The results of the different cases confirm that incorporating geomechanical analysis in the process of drillstring design will help reconcile both of drilling quality and of efficiency.