Tubular engineering design is essential for production operation, especially in the mature oil and gas fields. The complex interaction among oil, natural gas, and water, complemented with wax, scale, inorganic compound, and deformation brings complexity in analyzing tubular integrity. This challenging problem will be more severe if the wells are located in offshore environment, therefore finding the cause of tubing deterioration is a challenging.
Field X, which has been in production for 30 years, cannot avoid the possibility of tubular thinning and deformation. The degradation is slowly developed until severe alterations are observed on the tubing body. The current state of the wells is complicated since the deformation inhibits the fluid flow and increases the risk of wellbore collapse and complications during sidetracking, infill drilling, workover, and other production enhancement measures. The risks can be harmful in the long run if not mitigated properly.
The current condition encourages us to conduct more comprehensive study on tubular degradation. It is to model the multiple degradation mechanisms, such as corrosion, scaling, and subsidence, under the flowing formation fluid. The model is then coupled with reservoir simulation in order to provide a better outlook on tubular degradation. We used multiple case studies with actual field data to identify the dominant mechanism on tubular degradation. The case study cover various reservoir and fluid characteristics and also operations problems to develop general equation and matrix for risk analysis and field development considerations.
We present the degree of tubular degradation and its effect to overall field performance and economics. Current field practices do not encourage a thorough tubular assessment during early life of the wells, which create complex problem at later stage. The study indicates that a proper planning and preventive action should be performed gradually before tubular degradation becomes severe. The paper presents a field experience-based model and guideline matrix that is useful in developing new areas from the perspective of well and facilities integrity, so that the degradation-related issues could be recognized earlier.