The focus on unconventional technology and operations, has been relentless during the last 15 - 20 years, while conventional operations have continued to tick along delivering their effective solutions globally. However, with unconventional operations dominating, it is inevitable that we run the risk of a fading knowledge base regarding the valuable contributions and hard lessons that have been learned with conventional techniques such as Tip Screen Out (TSO). This paper will present a global update on the development and application and continued success of this very specialised technique.
The paper will describe the original development of the TSO process, design, deployment, refinement, and its broader application. A suite of case histories will demonstrate that every major operator in every major basin worldwide has successfully applied this technique to enhance production, where its use was both applicable and conditions made it possible. From highly specialised applications in North Sea chalks, to field developments in higher and medium permeability in Alaska and Siberia. From utilisation as an enabling solution in gas-condensates of South America, Middle East, and South-East Asia; and additionally, with the development of the Frac-Pack technique, delivery of a key sand-control completion method, crucial to GoM, Brazil and Global soft-rock oil production delivery.
The paper will describe a range of requirements behind each consideration of deployment of the TSO technique, as well as specific in-situ characteristics that are required to support such application. It will describe the nuances of fracture design, material utilisation and adjustments that may be required to ensure effective delivery. The paper will also outline examples where the TSO process was the difference between success and failure. Finally, the paper will also cover some of the surveillance approaches utilised allowing a direct confirmation of the TSO process. All the extensive supporting evidence for this application will show how invaluable this technique has been to the Oil & Gas industry.
In summary the paper will demonstrate the value which this technique has delivered in all its varied forms of application. It will enshrine the knowledge and lessons learned over 40 years of application and ensure that any short-term technical direction does not run the risk of disregarding the previously hard- won experiences of previous decades. Enshrined as an option in conventional fracturing techniques, the TSO process demonstrates the longevity that is associated with fundamentally sound engineering.