A major oil field operator in the Gulf of Mexico had a well that was posing significant challenges to their perforating strategy, due to the extreme pressures that were expected. The operator required a perforating system that would survive in an environment with pressures as high as to 35,000psi.

Technology that would enable any perforating system to withstand these extreme pressures had not been refined within the industry at the time of the customer inquiry, due to the limited number of projects with such extreme conditions. Therefore, a service company committed resources to develop and ultimately refine this product and identify the best system for the customer to achieve the optimum operational results with no lost or non-productive time from this service. The service company carried out detailed pre-design modeling to identify any concerns that would aid in tailoring the complete system.

This paper reviews the development of this perforating system and identifies concerns that were encountered during the design and manufacture of the system. In addition, this paper describes the value that was brought to the project through the use of a detailed, customer-supported quality plan. The importance of correlation between real-life testing and modeling results in delivering a streamlined and fit-for-purpose system is also discussed.

In summary, the paper describes and quantifies the inherent risks associated with perforating projects in extreme high-pressure environments. Moreover, this paper demonstrates how the service company responded to these risks in the design process to improve the system. Lessons learned are also discussed, along with information on service quality delivery.

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