The continuing trend towards extended reach horizontals has compounded the challenges operators face during the installation phase of completion operations. Some of the conventional methods to improve installation efficiency include the use of heavy weight drill pipe above the liner hanger, the use of completion tools that allow for rotation, and circulating with fluid additives. However, if these operations cannot overcome the friction forces caused by the drag of the completion string along the bottom of the wellbore, it may become stuck, resulting in additional costs or revenue losses.
Packers Plus engineered the PrimeSET® Liner Hanger with robust capabilities to enable rotation during installation and ensure systems can reach the desired total depth.
“Typically, the weight of the casing string in the vertical section of the wellbore is used to push the completion system through the horizontal section to the desired planned depth,” says Jay Geist, Senior Global Applications Engineer with Packers Plus. “When the ratio of measured depth to total vertical depth of the wellbore is high, installation operations are hampered by insufficient completion string weight in the vertical section.”
Another recent innovation to assist in system installation in extended reach completions is the design of tools that enable casing flotation or mud over air installations. In this method, a glass disc barrier is placed in the drill pipe or the tool string to maintain fluid in the upper completion while preventing fluid from entering the lower completion. In this way, fluid in the vertical section provides added weight to push the lighter, buoyant horizontal section of the completion such that it can be “floated” into the lateral.
An operator working in the Elm field of the Montney formation in northwest Alberta worked with Packers Plus to combine the PrimeSET Liner Hanger with the AeroSTAT Glass Barrier Sub to solve its installation challenges.
“The glass barrier sub prevents fluid from entering the lower portion of the completion string, increasing buoyancy of the lower string and reducing friction during installation, while fluid weight above the sub facilitates getting the tool string to the planned depth,” adds Geist.
To enable successful installation using the AeroSTAT Glass Barrier Sub and the PrimeSET Liner Hanger, Packers Plus performed engineering modifications and flow testing in an expedited timeframe to ensure a wiper dart would pass through both tools following cement operations, ensuring a clear wellbore prior to stimulation operations.
Additionally, Packers Plus technical experts ensured hydraulic activation pressure of each tool in the completion system was ordered in the correct operational sequence.
Torque and drag simulation modeling performed prior to the installation was close to observed installation weights on the bottom (~34,000 daN), and after the completion string was successfully run to planned depth, the glass barrier sub functioned within 2 percent of the shear pin setting. The rest of the Packers Plus tools in the system functioned as designed and, with the successful first run of the PrimeSET Liner Hanger with a glass barrier sub, the operator deployed the combination of tools on other wells in the area.
With the success of Packers Plus completing the first successful run of the PrimeSET Liner Hanger with the AeroSTAT Glass Barrier Sub in the Montney formation, the operator deployed this combination of tools on additional wells in the area.
For more than 20 years, Packers Plus has provided field-proven lower completion solutions designed to provide higher production and cost-effective operations. These innovative solutions can be deployed in a variety of applications, including horizontal, multi-lateral, high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) and offshore wells.
For more information about Packers Plus’s innovative completion solutions, visit packersplus.com.