Cement retainers have changed very little in the past 10 years, but represent well developed technology. Their biggest shortcoming is a lack of versatility in that they are designed strictly for remedial cementing operations.
A new generation of drillable packers is becoming available to combine the convenience of drillability with the versatility of large bores and multiple valve options. These drillable service packers (DSP) will help fill the gap between drillable cement retainers and retrievable service packers. DSP are designed to give versatility so that time and money can be saved.
DSP will use valving similar to that in drillable cement retainers, which have been used for many years to control pressure and placement of cement during remedial cementing operations. This valving offers downhole pressure control that is not readily available with retrievable packers. This pressure control could be useful in operations outside remedial cementing to provide control before, during, and after testing and stimulation operations. Drillable service packers will allow for testing, treating, and squeeze operations to be performed through a single packer. This feature is extremely cost effective for both drilling and workover operations.
This paper will explore the use of drillable service packers and possible applications of this new downhole technology.