Solid expandable tubular technology has seen an impressive uptake in recent years. The technology has the potential to reduce cost, increase production and give access to new reserves. In 2004/2005, Shell Malaysia Exploration & Production installed solid expandables in seven wells, putting itself at the forefront of the technology and adding significant value to the business.

The design philosophy that has been adopted in Shell Malaysia can be described as:

  1. Use solid expandables as a planned-in contingency application in case the "trouble zone or event" is encountered. This approach allows for planning of aggressive well designs that fall back to expandables to mitigate problems.

  2. Use solid expandables in base-case casing design for deepwater wells with more than 5,000 to 6,000 ft below mud line and with four casing string design.

This paper describes four case histories of solid expandable tubular technology for the Sabah Deepwater exploration campaign in Malaysia. The technology was successfully applied and was very instrumental in achieving the well objectives and delivering a successful exploration campaign.

The key to this success was strong management support throughout the process. This took the form of creating an enabling environment to taking on board new technology and also by supporting actions to build up solid expandable tubular stock in the region to be able to quickly react to opportunities.

Technology support in Malaysia was provided through representation of Shell’s Global Implementation Team for solid expandables, making sure that global lessons were shared and best practices were applied. The Global Implementation Team also worked closely together with the technology provider on QA/QC and job planning aspects, which helped to keep a 100% success record with solid expandables tubulars for Shell in Malaysia.

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