With over 750 installations worldwide, solid expandable tubular systems have gone from an evolutionary idea to a technology that delivers on its promise. Long touted as a technology that can help operators mitigate downhole challenges, expandable tubulars are now being applied as enabling systems in wellbore construction, in field development, for casing repair and remediation and for field-wide revitalization.
The installation records for these systems are as wide as the application realm and exemplify the adaptable nature of the technology. This adaptability has led to the technology evolving from being used strictly as a drilling-problem solution to an integral wellbore component. Solid expandable systems have been used in a variety of environments, such as HTHP and ultra-deepwater projects, and for a myriad of conditions such as control of lost circulation zones, casing shoe extensions and isolation of unstable formations. In cased-hole situations, these systems have been used to isolate old perforated intervals or protect weak casing, replacing less reliable conventional squeeze cementing techniques. Solid expandable systems have helped operators reach and produce reserves that previously were unattainable due to drilling conditions and economic constraints, have provided flexibility for exploration-well uncertainties, and have reduced well costs with a slimmer well design.
Case histories will demonstrate how solid expandable tubulars have delivered on the promise and potential as an enabling technology. Case histories to be included will describe how solid expandable systems have been successfully incorporated in a field-development project in Malaysia, a casing-repair project in China and as a vital component in a total drilling-management project in the Arabian Sea. This paper will also validate the economic viability of these systems as a contributive and reliable technology.