Long touted as a "cleaner" energy source, natural gas provides an attractive fuel in a world market increasingly conscious of the environmental impact to recover and consume fossil fuels. As one of the world's largest producers of natural gas, Canada remains on the cutting edge of implementing new and innovative technology to extract natural gas efficiently, economically, and safely due in large part to potential reserves and the diverse environmental conditions that dictate such.
Efficiency starts with optimizing existing wells through remediation, revitalization, repair, or restoration. Solid expandable tubulars, specifically cased-hole liners, have proven to be a viable solution on all counts without compromising hole size or rendering completion equipment inadequate. Operators have used solid expandable solutions to facilitate a practical approach to gas field management and well operations. An operator in Texas used six liners in one well in preparation for six separate acid and fracture treatments. The installations placed five packer seats in the horizontal section and one expandable liner in the vertical section to support the damaged base casing. On the other end of the spectrum, an operator in Colorado used expandable technology to convert a depleted gas well into a water-disposal well that adhered to federal and state specifications. The operator covered 45-year-old perforations with two separate solid expandable tubular systems for safe water disposal from several wells in a prolific gas-producing field.
The application realm for this enabling technology continues to expand as operators pre-plan its use to optimize production. This paper will discuss how solid expandable tubulars, openhole liners or cased-hole liners, provide a cost-effective and technically-savvy approach to gas recovery. Comparing conditions and applications will illustrate how applicable these systems are suited for similar operations in Canada. Case histories will be used to demonstrate the robustness of expandable technology for diverse environments and objectives.