CAS DataLoggers provided the data acquisition solution for MTS Solutions, an oil field service company headquartered in Bakersfield, California. MTS has been providing well stimulation services in California for over 30 years, maximizing production for clients using both traditional and green products. Data Acquisition Operations Engineer Kevin England explains, "We're a small business 25-man crew, as opposed to a multi-national company, so we needed a cost-effective monitoring solution for our jobs that still had the advanced functionality our customers require."
New CT drilling technology delivers downhole results
Performance of downhole lubricants solves many drilling challenges
For oil and gas operators worldwide, friction has been the major nemesis of downhole drilling since the industry’s inception. Yet, despite the industry’s ongoing innovative technology as a whole, friction is the one problem that experienced no real breakthrough solution until scientists in a California laboratory developed a unique lubricant. That technology, after proving it could improve downhole drilling, became the building block for spin-off technologies including one for the increasingly popular coiled tubing (CT) drilling.
Seeking better solutions
As operators are aware, CT looks just like its name implies (long metal tubing delivered as a spooled product) and offers versatile applications in the oilfield. For example, it can be employed as a less expensive approach to workovers, for well interventions, for circulation or deliquification, as production tubing or even for debris clean-out on wells, to name a few.
As a result of this versatility, analyst forecasts show the CT market growing from just over $3 billion now to approximately $4.5 billion in the next five years. Although North America is the primary market, largely as a result of shale oil and gas extraction, other oil and gas producing regions such as Asia Pacific, China and the Middle East are also projected to grow the CT market. As could be expected, service companies are active suppliers of CT and in North America (within the continental U.S. generally), ProOne’s CoilPro CT product has already been utilized in the Bakken with excellent results.
For all the unique flexibility that CT provides, its bendable characteristic simultaneously creates a variety of potential problems which may be encountered with downhole deviations. CoilPro lubricant was specifically developed as a pipe-on-pipe technology to make the CT drilling process function more smoothly.
When Tribologists at ProOne Inc. originally developed XPL+ lubricant, the enthusiasm about beginning production and shipping barrels to sites was huge. Performance expectations were rewarded, with one operator after another confirming that the technology did work as sales data indicated that it would.
Advancing the technology
But, since downhole lubricants are certainly not a new development, what makes this new technology different? The answer is centered on having a positively-charged molecular structure with a strong positive charge. That effectively translates into a lubricant which, over and above its other attributes, migrates toward extreme heat and pressure instead of away from it and it bonds to all metal downhole without exception.
A quick summary for operators is that the lubricant is the time-proven solution to more than a dozen major drilling challenges. These include dramatically reducing wear on pumps, allowing for straighter vertical with less corkscrewing, casing can be set faster, personnel can slide liner faster, it increases rate of penetration (ROP), curve can be drilled in about one-half the typical time, torque can be greatly reduced and hook load is significantly reduced, to name a few key capabilities.
These capabilities continue generating typical savings for operators – up to $100,000 by saving drill bits and mud motors, up to $500,000 by increasing ROP and saving trip costs and up to $1 million by minimizing twist-off risk, helping free stuck pipe and finishing the well. Tested and proven in more than 700 wells in North America, lubricant sales expanded to international distribution in 2015 at more than 300 locations.
Field application example
In North Dakota, an operator was experiencing problems with getting CT to the end of 20,000-foot laterals. Following its usage of CoilPro the company achieved, and continues to have, a perfect record in getting coil to the end of the well and has also set a record in drilling frac plugs to depth of 21,600 feet.
These accomplishments were made possible by the way this lubricant works. It bonds with metal at the literal point of friction, allowing considerably more weight to be exerted at the end of the CT. While precise figures are unavailable since weight on bit (WOB) cannot be measured in CT operations, downhole drilling results with this lubricant have clearly demonstrated that friction reduction is considerable.
Yet, another performance attribute was what particularly got the customer’s attention: the pipe-on-pipe treatment helps mill all plugs, not just some, which adds up to notable savings. This customer drills frac bridge plugs in the following manner: a combination of initially drilling without CoilPro and then with the lubricant. In a 20,000-foot well they drilled out plugs without using lubricant until drilling reached a 14-15,000-foot depth. At that point, they pulled out with a wiper trip and conditioned the hole with the pipe-on-pipe treatment.
Upon resuming drilling, rig personnel added the lubricant to the mud at a rate of 1/2-gallon for each 10-barrel rub, up to 1-1/4-gallons per barrel tub when working with difficult of badly deviated holes. A 2-inch tapered drill string was run with agitator in 4-1/2 inch casing and they also utilized a friction reducer to continue pumping pressures under 5,600 psi. Standard usage is 1 gallon of the treatment for every 1,000 gallons and for deviated wells, usage is 2 gallons for each 1,000 gallons. Well personnel observed that the treatment was easily dispersed, whether choosing to add it through pre-mixing or through a hopper right into the active system.
Overall on its wells the customer reports that the changed results speak for themselves. Before using CoilPro on its wells, the customer said rig personnel typically left up to four plugs in the hole at least half the time. Now, with this new pipe-on-pipe treatment they drill every single plug on every single well – no exceptions. Their most recent well, according to the company, is a very timely example. First the drill string locked up at 15,200 feet. The treatment was applied, they broke loose and subsequently they were able to drill all plugs to a 21,000-foot depth.
That was accomplished by delivering pipe-on-pipe extreme pressure reduction and rheological stability at the customer’s well site, helping ensure optimal drilling efficiency as well as lowering well costs. Lower operating costs are not limited by the type of well, but instead apply to vertical, deviated or horizontal wellbores.
As a side benefit for the customer when drilling bridge plugs, these are brought up the wellbore and carried out of the hole as what could be called chunks in layman’s terms. If these large fragments are not lubricated they can cause wear on the pipe. By lowering the coefficient of friction, that potential problem is eliminated. In fact, this treatment not only lubricates the entire casing and CT bottom hole assembly (BHA), it coats the CT itself and during the downhole drilling process increases lateral reach as a result.
Significant well operations improvement
As use of this lubricant expands in field applications on a global basis, positive reports from CT operators continue to emerge. For those who had just become aware of the key properties in the original technology incorporated into CoilPro, they are most surprised that the old saying “a lube is a lube is a lube” is simply not accurate anymore.
And the advantages become readily apparent when the product goes downhole, including the lubricant’s attraction to hot spots, withstanding high heat, reducing pipe-on-pipe friction, exhibiting film strength exceeding 200,000 psi, reducing pinholes, helping increase WOB, functioning as a rheological stabilizer and increasing ROP – plus the most-talked about feature of milling all bridge plugs, not just some. CT drilling has become a more streamlined operation with fewer aggravations involving deviated wells and doglegs.
At the same time, operators are realizing that other benefits apart from enhanced drilling operations and cost savings are appealing, too. For example, the product offers minimal disposability problems since the lubricant is formulated for easy disposability and meets rigid standards for biodegradability.
On the subject of on-site chemical spills, this treatment is not even classified as a reportable event because it is plant-based and ultimately 100 percent biodegradable.
Its enviro-friendly qualities also mean that it is safe for human contact or, in this context, rig personnel, in terms of minimal inhalation, skin contact or ingestion problems.
After the issue of “mean time between failure” (MTBF) of critical parts on a well had persisted for entirely too long, Tribologists at ProOne got the epiphany that maybe the solution did not require rocket science. Since virtually every major downhole drilling problem could be traced to friction, maybe the answer was to engineer friction reduction more radically than ever.
Initially applied in the industrial sector to lubricate and protect parts, ProOne developers built on that success to the next logical market: downhole drilling. And that has changed the cost picture forever where profitability is often a delicate balancing act.
Jim Farr is with ProOne Inc.
More from Drilling & Production
Baker Hughes announced that the Baker Hughes Rig Count for the U.S. is down 8 rigs from last week to 934, with oil rigs down 6 to 764, gas rigs down 2 to 169, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1. This is the tenth straight week that the American rig count has declined,
Single Phase Power Solutions, the world's only manufacturer of high horsepower single phase electric motors, match their motors to a pump to provide instant productivity. Available from 30 to 100 HP these single phase pump solutions are easily installed by simply connecting to available single phase utility power - they do not require a phase converter or Variable Frequency Drive (VFD). The company incorporates their Belle Single-Phase MotorT which uses Written-PoleR technology to power standard suction end centrifugal pumps, rotary gear pumps, and turbine pumps in both horizontal and vertical configurations. These pump solutions are ideal for irrigation, drinking water distribution, well pumps, aquifer management, water treatment, wastewater pumping, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment and discharge, and other water and wastewater processing applications. With expertise in pump systems design and manufacture, Single Phase Power Solutions team helps determine the correct materials and style of pump to suit specific application requirements.
CIRCOR International, a worldwide manufacturer of valves for the power generation, industrial, marine and oil and gas markets for over a century, features high-quality R.G. Laurence on/off control valves for applications demanding rapid opening and sealed closure. ATEX-certified and Factory Mutual-approved R.G. Laurence valves offer reliable performance in high temperature and extreme service conditions.
Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for July 2019 was 1,162, up 24 from the 1,138 counted in June 2019, and up 165 from the 997 counted in July 2018. The international offshore rig count for July 2019 was 255, up 9 from the 246 counted in June 2019, and up 38 from the 217 counted in July 2018.
RTK, a CIRCOR International brand, and an international leader in the design and manufacture of control valves and actuators, introduces the REflex Quick Change Seat Control Valve with REact 30 DC-PoP smart actuator, a flexible all-in-one solution for noise reduction and high pressure drop applications.
Baker Hughes announced that the Baker Hughes Rig Count for the U.S. is down 4 rigs from last week to 942, with oil rigs down 6 to 770, gas rigs up 2 to 171, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1.
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), in its third update to its 2019 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, announced that it is decreasing its forecasted number of wells to be drilled (rig released) across Canada for 2019 from 5,300 (May 2019 revision) to 5,100 wells drilled. PSAC based its updated 2019 Forecast on average natural gas prices of $1.60 CDN/Mcf (AECO), crude oil prices of US$57.00/barrel (WTI) and the Canada-US exchange rate averaging $0.76.
Weir Oil & Gas, an upstream provider of pressure pumping and pressure control equipment and services, has introduced the new SPM Quintuplex Extended Max (QEM) 5000 E-Frac Pump. This pump is the only true continuous-duty electric or gas turbine-capable 5,000-horsepower pump in production today, the company states.
Cenovus Energy Inc. recently reached one billion barrels of cumulative production from its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands facilities in northern Alberta. Cenovus is the first company to produce one billion barrels of oil using steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology.
Frac Shack Inc.'s newest innovation, the NG SideKick, is the industry's most sophisticated on-pad gas processing unit that takes in field natural gas and processes it down to a safe and usable state for multiple uses on any location. The SideKick depressurizes, heats, and removes liquids and hydrocarbons from field natural gas to ensure the gas is safe and available for use in any natural gas and bi-fuel engine on a hydraulic fracturing location.
Messer highlights new "Huff 'N Puff" treatment to recharge well stimulation at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2019
At URTeC 2019, Messer is highlighting its RECHARGE HNP, or "Huff ‘n Puff," technology, a proven solution for well production enhancement. Ideal for re-stimulating depleted oil and gas wells, the energized RECHARGE HNP treatment combines the proven enhanced recovery properties of carbon dioxide (CO2) or nitrogen (N2) with the latest in advanced nanoparticle technology from Nissan Chemical. URTeC takes place July 22 – 24 in Denver.
ESG successfully completes commercial test of high-temperature, high-pressure downhole microseismic system for hydraulic fracture monitoring
ESG Solutions has recently completed a successful commercial test of its new HOTSHOT downhole microseismic system in the Eagle Ford shale. HOTSHOT represents ESG's latest commitment to acquiring the highest quality microseismic data. The new downhole system was designed specifically for high-temperature, high-pressure operational environments up to 177°C/350°F and 10,000 psi.
SCHROEDAHL, a CIRCOR International brand and an international leader in pump protection and flow control technology, announces that new, self-modulating TDL Automatic Recirculation Valves (ARVs) are now available in more than 35% lighter cast material. These reliable all-in-one pump protection solutions are designed to keep pumping systems in process, firefighting, refinery, power and chemical applications modulating and running smoothly, without cavitation or overheating.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has commenced federal environmental assessments for the proposed BHP Canada Exploration Drilling Project and the Tilt Cove Exploration Drilling Project. The two projects are located between 300 and 325 kilometres east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, in the Atlantic Ocean.
Cleansorb, a provider of patented chemical well treatments that enhance hydrocarbon production for the international oil and gas industry, announced that following a series of successful ORCA for OBM treatments on offshore oil production wells and a water injection well drilled with OBM, increased production and water injectivity have been achieved on behalf of a major operator in the Middle East.
Baker Hughes Rig Count: U.S. - 6 to 969 rigs
- U.S. Rig Count is down 6 rigs from last week to 969, with oil rigs down 1 to 788, gas rigs down 5 to 181, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 0.
- U.S. Rig Count is down 90 rigs from last year's count of 1,059, with oil rigs down 75, gas rigs down 13, and miscellaneous rigs down 2.
- The U.S. Offshore Rig Count is up 1 rig to 24 and up 4 rigs year-over-year.
Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for May 2019 was 1,126, up 64 from the 1,062 counted in April 2019, and up 159 from the 967 counted in May 2018. The international offshore rig count for May 2019 was 240, down 11 from the 251 counted in April 2019, and up 42 from the 198 counted in May 2018.
Schlumberger has introduced the GAIA digital exploration platform at the 81st EAGE Conference & Exhibition. The GAIA platform enables exploration teams to rapidly discover and access basin-scale data and manage their exploration opportunities.
NETZSCH Pumps North America, LLC, experts in solutions designed specifically for difficult pumping applications, will be highlighting its NOTOS multiple screw pumps at the 2019 Global Petroleum Show (GPS), which will be held June 11-13, 2019, at BMO - Calgary Stampede Park, in Calgary, Canada. Visit Booth #1394 to see the NOTOS, which is ideal for pumping everything from light fuel oil to viscous asphalt. Also to be featured are NEMO full service-in-place (FSIP) progressing cavity pumps and TORNADO rotary lobe pumps.
Rotork intelligent full-turn electric actuators have been supplied for upstream shale gas production wells in the USA.
Siemens enters Permian gas processing market with innovative electric-drive centrifugal compression solution
Siemens was recently awarded a contract to provide three residue compression trains for two, 250 million (500 million total) standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) cryogenic gas plants in the Delaware Basin. The customer, a key producer in the region and long-term user of reciprocating compression equipment, recognized the benefits of centrifugal compression and looked to Siemens for a fully integrated, turnkey solution that includes compressors, motors, variable frequency drives, and associated process equipment.
ProSep, a technology and service provider for integrated process solutions to the global energy industry, has successfully secured a contract with Aker Solutions to provide two MAX+ ProSalt mixers to Equinor's Heimdal Gas Centre Platform in the North Sea.
Wellbore Integrity Solutions (WIS), an affiliate of private equity firm Rhône Capital, and Schlumberger jointly announced that they have entered into an agreement for WIS to acquire the businesses and associated assets of DRILCO, Thomas Tools, and Fishing & Remedial services, along with part of a manufacturing facility located on Rankin Road in Houston, Texas. The transaction is valued at approximately $400 million and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect to close the transaction by year-end 2019.
ITT Inc.'s BIW Connector Systems brand will showcase its enhanced electrical wellhead penetrator solutions for the upstream oil and gas market at the Society of Petroleum Engineers Gulf Coast Section's ESP Symposium May 13-17, 2019 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center near Houston, Texas.
Quartzdyne, Inc., a producer of pressure transducers for the oil and gas industry, introduced its Gen2 Quartz and Piezo Memory Tools at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
Wild Well Control, a Superior Energy Services company and global leader in well control, engineering and training services, has launched a new online well control e-learning course, Introduction to Drilling Operations.
Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for April 2019 was 1,062, up 23 from the 1,039 counted in March 2019, and up 84 from the 978 counted in April 2018. The international offshore rig count for April 2019 was 251, up 4 from the 247 counted in March 2019, and up 57 from the 194 counted in April 2018.
From 2016 to 2018, capital investment in Canada's upstream oil and gas industry (essentially, exploration and production) increased 15 percent compared to 41 percent in the U.S. over the same period, finds a new study released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
Schlumberger introduced the IriSphere look-ahead-while-drilling service at the Offshore Technology Conference. The new service provides the industry's first application of electromagnetic (EM) technology for detecting formation features ahead of the drill bit in oil and gas wells.
At OTC 2019, Weir Oil & Gas introduced its new SPM EXL Frac Pump - engineered from the ground up to be the most durable, longest-lasting 2500 horsepower pump on the market, the company states. With the highest rod load rating in its class at 238,000 pounds, this pump is designed to withstand today's harshest fracking conditions and ease maintenance for operators' field teams.
The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved two applications to abandon the NEB-regulated parts of Exxon Mobil's Sable Offshore Energy Project and Encana Corporation's Deep Panuke Project. These projects, both located offshore Nova Scotia, had reached a stage of naturally declining production. The Sable Offshore Energy Project stopped producing natural gas in December, 2018 and Deep Panuke ceased production in May, 2018.
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), in its Midyear Update to the 2019 Canadian Oilfield Services Activity Forecast, lowered for a second time its Forecast for the number of wells drilled (rig released) in 2019 across Canada to 5,300 wells - a drop of 1,300 or twenty per cent (20%) from the original Forecast of 6,600 in November 2018. PSAC has based its updated Forecast on an average natural gas price of C$1.65/mcf (AECO), crude oil price of US$57.00/barrel (WTI), and a U.S.-Canada exchange rate averaging $0.75.
Leucrotta Exploration Inc. is pleased to announce the following update: Leucrotta drilled and completed an Upper Montney horizontal multi-frac well at 8-22-81-14W6 ("8-22") in the Mica area of north east British Columbia. The well was considered a major step-out given it was approximately 7.5 miles from the closest producing horizontal Upper Montney well. This well confirms that a large portion of our land base that has previously been delineated as highly productive in the Lower Montney is also highly productive in the Upper Montney, effectively significantly increasing the size of the potential development of the resource.
The cost of building
and operating oil sands projects has fallen dramatically in recent years and
total oil production is expected to rise by another 1 million barrels per day
(mbd) by 2030. But external factors—such as price uncertainty caused by
pipeline constraints—are contributing to a more moderate pace of production
growth than in years past, a new report by business information provider
Cenovus Energy Inc. delivered strong operating and financial performance in the first quarter of 2019, generating more than $1 billion of adjusted funds flow, $731 million of free funds flow and cash from operating activities of $436 million. The company's excellent financial results were driven by strong operating performance, a significant narrowing of light-heavy oil price differentials in early 2019 and Cenovus's low-cost structure and continued commitment to capital discipline.
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions announces the launch of the new XploR S-Seal and XploR FS-Seal that have been developed for demanding high pressure sealing environments, such as those found in oil & gas downhole tool applications.