Created in 2004 and acquired in 2016 by Schlumberger, Saltel Industries is an upstream oil service company developing, manufacturing and marketing innovative solutions for downhole applications. Specialized in the plastic deformation of stainless steel tubulars and in high performance composite elastomers, Saltel Industries focuses on 2 main product lines: expandable steel patches (remedial services) and expandable steel packers (annular isolation for well completions)
SAGD Production Casing Failure Diagnosis and Repair with Saltel High Temperature Patch
Bill Plaxton, Trent Pehlke, Dennis Baxter, and Matt Crockett (Suncor Energy) |Trent Kaiser (Noetic Engineering)
The operator experienced an unusual casing failure at a producing SAGD (steam assisted gravity drainage) oil well in summer of 2017. The subject well in the Firebag SAGD field of NE Alberta, Canada had operated successfully for over 11 years. Once the problem was identified, the well was shut in to determine the nature of the failure and options for repair and recovery so it could be returned to operation as soon as possible.
Tasks included identifying and isolating the failure, establishing the cause and nature of the failure, and determining viable repair options. Logging diagnostics to measure/image the failure were performed, which included new ultra-sonic logging imaging technology, high-resolution multi-finger caliper logging, a downhole camera run and conventional eddy flux casing inspection log. Historical log data was also reviewed to assess whether the failure evolved over time, or if the mechanism was acute. Once the nature of the failure was established, the optimal repair method was chosen, planned and carried out.
Sophisticated analysis of multi-finger caliper log data, camera images and new technology in the form of an ultrasonic imaging tool for the casing were utilized and are presented. A discussion of potential root cause mechanisms for thermal wells is provided, including a variety of failure modes that could be ruled out. Confidence in the failure mode specific to this well was increased by considering information acquired from multiple diagnostic tools. The nature of the connection failure determined from this process is outlined, along the rationale behind the repair method selected to remediate the well.
Coiled tubing telemetry system improvements with real-time tension, compression, and torque data monitoring
Abstract (successful sand shut off with Saltel Patch)
In 2015, a permanently installed single-mode distributed acousctics sensing (DAS) fiber indicated several sand entry points along the wellbore. The operator tried to slow the sand inflow by choking production back nearly 50%, but this was not an effective long-term solution and would have lowered profitability.
The screen integrity needed to be fixed. Because of the well's configuration, the most feasible repair was to install expandable steel patches across six sections where sand was flowing in.
Conduct a concentric CT cleanout to remove sand from the wellbore and reach TD.
Set a bridge plug with the wire CTT system at the depth of 13,481 ft MD.
Set six 44.3 ft-long 3in OD expandable steel patches over two different intervals; between 13,173 and 13,327 ft MD (four patches) and between 12,710 and 12,787 ft MD (two patches).
Record surveys with wireline deployed DAS on e-line simultaneously with permanently installed DAS.
The job was successful in achieving the above objectives set out in the scope of work. [...]
A major operator in the Middle-East faced a casing integrity issue on a well drilled in 2015, due to several leaking production casing connections determined through analysis of a number of data sets including pressure test results, casing connection torque turn charts and caliper logs.
Potential remedial solutions were limited to those that did not involve directly remediating the production casing as the number of suspect connections made these solutions high risk. Potential solutions were also required to meet a V0 "gas-tight" pressure integrity requirement to meet the need for gas lift production as well as provide a post remedial ID suitable to deploy the upper completion equipment through. Lastly, any solution identified was to have a high probability of success through existing qualification testing and field deployments.
The solution identified and selected was an expandable tubular technology called "Expandable Steel Patch", deployed with a deformable element hydraulically inflated, called "Inflatable Packer". When pumped from surface into this high-pressure balloon, the outer diameter increases, applying a force inside a steel pipe. This pipe, the Expandable Steel Patch, is pushed against the casing and stressed above the material plastic limit. The deformation is permanent. An outer skin of elastomer creates both a gas tight seal and anchoring in order to lock the patch in place and restore the integrity of the covered section. The final expanded ID of the patch is sufficiently large to allow standard upper completion equipment to be deployed through the patch.
This paper will highlight the application limitations that had to be met, the solution selection process and the operational deployment of a record five expandable patches in a single wellbore. Deployment results and technology experience will be reviewed.
The purpose of this paper is to provide field experience feedback on achieving surface casing integrity with the use of an expandable steel patch. Casing integrity may be jeopardized during cement remediation or due to mechanical failure. If cement remediation requires casing perforations, then an expandable steel patch can be used to provide pressure integrity across the perforations. If casing pressure test cannot be achieved due to mechanical failures such as leaking DV tool or casing collar leak, a similar approach can be used to achieve pressure integrity. This paper will describe how to restore casing integrity allowing maximum pass-through diameter to continue drilling operations and maintain planned casing sizes when presented with these challenges.
Mark van de Velden (SPE/PDO/Shell), Said Al-Houqani (SPE/PDO), Hilal Al-Busaidy (SPE/IPC), Jean-Louis Saltel (Saltel Industries)
A major Middle East Operator has adopted a new type of solid expandable tubular technology to isolate shallow aquifers as well as fractured formations. The technology is based on a steel wired balloonexpanding a stainless steal into the wellbore. The simplicity of the technology combined with a significantly increased expansion ratio has opened a whole range of new applications to materialize low cost wells. This paper will outline the two trial wells in which the technology was applied, review the benefits of expandable tubulars for these applications as well as looking in candidate selection. Particular emphasis is given on the Operator's experience with the technology.
Isolation of shallow aquifers and fractured formations while drilling has been a major challenge for many years in Oman. The requirement for zonal isolation of the shallow aquifers is often compromised by the total losses encountered. Often a cocktail of chemicals followed by multiple cement jobs are used to achieve the objective. The latter can be costly not to mention the extra time incurred and HSE exposure. Also failure to isolate aquifers also increases the risk of cross flow between fractured formations what has been a significant contributor towards free water corrosion of the surface casing strings as well as subsequent issues referring to uncemented casing strings in thermal wells.
Inflating a sleeve into the formation has proved successful in terms of installation reliability, isolation of fractures and isolation of shallow aquifers. Well configuration based on expandable tubular solutions have improved well delivery times what is making this expandable technology a strong case for wells to be drilled in the coming years.