With each installation of solid expandable tubulars, the opportunity exists to redefine the operating parameters of this enabling technology. A recent planned-in installation of a 6,935 ft (~2,115m) solid expandable openhole liner not only set a record as the longest expandable installation to-date, but also marked the first offshore-well application that combined swellable elastomer technology and solid expandable tubulars.
Operators have relied on solid expandable tubulars to mitigate and manage downhole wellbore problems for several years. However, the recent fundamental change in advanced drilling engineering philosophy is to plan solid expandable liners into the basis of design (BOD) to preserve hole size and reduce non-productive drilling time (NPT). For example, the most-recent record-setting solid expandable openhole liner (7-5/8 × 9-5/8 in.) was planned into the wellbore architecture of a previously drilled well to help explore deeper high-pressure high-temperature (HP/HT) reservoirs approaching 24,000 ft (7,315m) TVD. The swellable elastomers used on the expandable system ensured the required zonal isolation for a successful leak-off test, thereby greatly reducing the possibility for costly cement squeeze operations.
This paper discusses how solid expandable liner systems have facilitated multiple exploration and development projects in the region to address drilling and completion challenges. This paper also describes how combined technologies enable a greater application realm and uses the record-setting case history to illustrate the value gained by planning and using solid expandable technology.