Thousands of wireline conveyed perforating jobs are executed every month around the world; however certain jobs have a higher risk of weak-point breakage due to dynamic pressure loads, known as gunshock loads. Gunshock loads result from pressure waves in fluids and stress waves in structural components. Perforating under all conditions (i.e. static/dynamic overbalance or underbalance) can produce pressure waves and/or reservoir surge of large magnitude leading to wireline weak-point (WWP) failures and/or cable damage. These risks are assessed as part of the job preparations. In this paper we focused on Dynamic Underbalance (DUB) because perforating with DUB can deliver clean perforations with very low risk of gunshock damage when properly planned.

For any perforating job on wireline, the magnitude and duration of pressure and stress waves depend on job parameters that can be adjusted, such as type and size of guns, shaped charges, gun loading layout, wellbore fluid, placement of packers and plugs, and cable size. For perforation damage removal we need a job design to generate a DUB of enough magnitude, using the right gun types and loading to produce a DUB of large-amplitude but short-duration, thus removing perforating rock damage while minimizing gunshock loads on the WWP. Perforating job designs are evaluated with software that predicts the transient fluid pressure waves in the wellbore and the associated structural loads on the cable and tools. All aspects of well perforating are modeled including gun filling, wellbore pressure waves, wellbore and reservoir fluid flow, and the dynamics of all relevant solid components like cable, shock absorbers, tools, and guns.

When planning perforation jobs that may have a significant risk of weak-point breakage, we predict the peak dynamic loads on the cable and weak-point during the design process, and when necessary we make design modifications to reduce the peak load on the WWP. The software’s predictive capabilities are demonstrated by comparing downhole fast gauge pressure data (110,000 data points per sec), shock absorber deformation, and cable tension logs with the corresponding simulated values. Fast gauge pressure data from perforation jobs shows that the software predictions are sufficiently accurate to evaluate the gunstring dynamics and the associated peak tension load on the WWP as part of the job planning process. Residual deformation of shock absorbers correlate well with predicated peak axial loads at the WWP, and available cable tension logs from vertical wells show that the cable surface tension is well predicted.

The simulation software described in this paper is used to minimize the risk of unexpected release of tools and guns due to perforating dynamic loads, thereby minimizing the probability of non-productive time (NPT) and fishing operations.

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