The present paper discusses performance evaluation of swelling elastomer seals used in oil well applications under different field conditions. Swelling elastomers are a new type of advanced polymers, and have started to play an important role in improving existing wells, and in aiding oil recovery from difficult or abandoned fields. On the other hand, failure of these swell packers can lead to significant losses in terms of time and money. Performance evaluation of swelling-elastomer packers and other sealing elements prior to being put to use is therefore critically important. Theoretical investigation of the elastomer seal bonded between a metal tube and a rigid casing is carried out in the present paper. Numerical modeling and simulation for swelling-elastomer seals is also conducted using a Finite Element (FE) package such as ABAQUS. All Theoretical and numerical results of this study will help in predicting the seal behavior under different well conditions and the parameter that will affect on the sealing performance. Also, the study investigates both the effect of the material and geometrical properties of the elastomer on its sealing performance under different loading conditions. For the sealing environment, the study investigates the effect of radial strain (tubular expansion ratio) and the annular fluid pressure on the sealing performance under different seal geometries.


Due to the continued forecast of increasing energy demand (oil and gas in particular), oil companies are stepping up their efforts in meeting the global demand. Drilling to increasing depths and producing from difficult reservoirs are already posing serious challenges to the petroleum development industry. Apart from this, there is a continued effort towards performance improvement, cost reduction and innovation for new tools and techniques to make the dream of a mono-bore diameter well a reality. Solid expandable tubular (SET) technology achieved quite a few milestones in this direction.

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