Steel packer technology
The development of expandable steel packers has opened new horizons. The basic concept of attaching an expandable steel sheath to the outside of the casing by welding (cost effective) or crimping (high anchoring and pressure ratings without impacting the base casing characteristics) opens up a wide range of products and applications.…
The Xpandable Steel Packer is slid onto the casing, and sealed by welding or crimping. Hydraulic pressure is applied in the completion casing to expand the metallic sleeves through an inflation port, up to the contact with the formation or casing it is set in. The stainless steel sleeves plastic deformation creates a solid and permanent annulus seal. Robust to run, set quickly, with a high pressure life of well seal, this is the ideal solution for annular zonal isolation.
The sealing is achieved with a layer of bonded elastomer on the outside of the metallic sleeve which molds the borehole geometry. It enhances the sealing efficiency and reliability, while minimizing formation stress at the packer/borehole interface. Dynamic seals can be mounted between steel rings to enhance the sealing capacity and increase the temperature range. The end fittings protect the expandable sleeve while running in the well.
Pressure compensation systems
Pressure compensation systems incorporated in certain steel packer
versions, provide very high differential pressure ratings, well above
anything else available in the industry.
As more and more successful operations are recorded, and the notion of a steel barrier between casing and borehole is shown to be the most effective possible, we can expect to find expandable steel packers becoming the industry standard for annulus integrity. Cement has been used for annulus isolation for over 100 years, replacing it by a steel barrier may well be the next revolution in the oil industry!