In difficult wellbores, the traditional method for deploying liners was to run drillpipe. The case studies discussed in this paper detail an alternative method to deploy liners in a single trip on the tieback string so the operator can reduce the overall costs of deployment. Previously, this was not often practical because the tieback string weight could not overcome the wellbore friction in horizontal applications.

In each case, a flotation collar is required to ensure there is enough hookload for the deployment of the liner system. The flotation collars used are an interventionless design using a tempered glass barrier that shatters at a predetermined applied pressure. The glass debris is between 5 and 10 mm in diameter and can be easily circulated through the well without damaging downhole components. This is done commonly on a cemented liner and cemented monobore installations, but more rarely with openhole multistage completions. The authors of this paper have overseen thousands of cemented applications of this technology in Western Canada, the US onshore, Latin America, and the Middle East. For openhole multistage completions, the initial installation typically requires a ball drop activation tool at the bottom of the well to set the hydraulically activated equipment above.

The effects of circulating the glass debris through one specific style of activation tool were investigated. Activation tools typically have a limited flow area and could prematurely close if the glass debris accumulates. Premature closing of the tool would leave drilling fluids in contact with the reservoir, potentially harming production. The testing was successfully completed, and the activation tool showed no signs of loading. This resulted in a full-scale trial in the field, where a 52-stage, openhole multistage fracturing liner was deployed using this technology.

Through close collaboration with the operator, an acceptable procedure was established to safely circulate the glass debris and further limit the risk of prematurely closing the activation tool. This paper discusses the openhole and cemented multistage fracturing completion deployment challenges, laboratory testing, and field qualification trials for the single trip deployed system. It also highlights operational procedures and best practices when deploying the system in this fashion.

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