With the increasing demand for technology to perform in more extreme operating conditions, service companies continue to seek solutions that will enable operators to meet the increasing demands more efficiently.

This paper will focus on remotely activated Fluid Loss Isolation Barrier Valves (FLIBVs) that are used to retain wellbore fluids during completion/workover operations to prevent formation damage and improve the well productivity index. One of the current innovations for deep water is a remotely activated FLIBV. Remote activation offers significant benefits to the operator when compared to conventional fluid-loss devices; i.e., the operator can save days of rig time, as there is no need for well intervention to open or remove fluid-loss devices to bring the well into production.

Several designs have been deployed globally over the last few years, however, this paper will focus on one design that provided a remote-opening success rate of 94% in over 140 installations. The valves that did not open remotely were usually those that had been suspended with the ball closed in extremely debris-laden conditions. While the 94% success rate is certainly exceptional, the engineers that designed the equipment felt that the issues that were causing the valve failures should be addressed. When the failures were reviewed, it was determined that the problems concerned suspension in debris-laden conditions. The engineers subsequently made changes that would allow successful performance in the environments in which the original design had failed, and in the cases in which the new design was deployed, 100% remote opening success in over 20 installations to date was achieved. This paper discusses the improvements that were made to address:

  1. The opening of the remotely-activated FLIBV in debris-laden conditions

  2. The testing conducted to prove that the changes would provide a more reliable product that could operate after being suspended in the debris-laden conditions.

Case history data will be presented to illustrate the success of the enhanced remotely opened fluid-loss device.

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