Solid-Expandable-Tubular Technology: Case Histories From the Sabah Deepwater Campaign
- Karen Bybee (Assistant Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 76 - 79
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 42 since 2007
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This article, written by Assistant Technology Editor Karen Bybee, contains highlights of paper SPE 101222, "Solid- Expandable-Tubular Technology: Case Histories of Value-Adding and Enabling Applications in Sabah Deepwater Campaign," by Daniel Miessner, Ochuko Erivwo, Wouter Wenting, Chris Hopkins, and Erik Nijveld, SPE, Shell E&P, and Markus Kaschke, SPE, Enventure Global Technology, prepared for the 2006 IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition, Bangkok, Thailand, 13-15 November.
Solid-expandable-tubular (SET) technology has the potential to reduce cost, increase production, and provide access to new reserves. The full-length paper details four case histories of SET technology in the deepwater Sabah exploration campaign in Malaysia. The technology was used successfully and was instrumental in achieving well objectives and delivering a successful exploration campaign.
In 2004, Shell and its partners started an exploration campaign in deepwater Sabah, offshore northwest Borneo, Malaysia. Shell Malaysia acted as the operator. Drilling took place in water depths ranging from 1,931 to 4,831 ft. Geological characteristics and the overlying water depth posed the three following drilling challenges.
- Weak formation strengths in the shallow sections as a result of the reduced overburden stress.
- Sharp predictions of pore-pressure transition in the stacked reservoirs.
- Narrow drilling margin from the formation strengths and predicted formation pressures with the increasing probability of losses and well-control problems during drilling.
These constraints drove the casing designs for the exploration wells, with the need for sufficient contingency strings to achieve the set targets and exploration objectives.
SET technology includes expanded casings and liners and cladding in open as well as cased holes. SETs can be used in existing or new wells for extending casing shoes, slender sidetracking, fracture shutoff, sealing perforations, repairing casing or tubing, and for reaching reservoirs that cannot be reached easily. SETs also can be used during drilling to combat losses, to contain sloughing of swelling shales, or to add liners without increasing surface-casing size. SETs can be used to slim wells down and thus can affect rig selection. To date, SET products that have been used most are the cased-hole liner and openhole liner.
Since the first application of the technology in 1999, more than 500 jobs have been performed, with a total footage of more than 500,000 ft. More than 20% of these installations have been for Shell.
The first SET installation by Shell in Malaysia occurred in 2001, with a successful SET workover trial on Well E11-110. The availability of SET technology presented an opportunity to increase the effective conduit size and flow area. In Well E11-110, 7-in. tubing was replaced by a 7 5/8-in. pipe expanded against the 9 5/8-in. production casing. This changed the completion into a big-bore, long casing-flow completion. Production capacity increased 50% as a result of this recompletion.
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