Technology restores control to vital safety systems
HOUSTON AND FLORENCE – September 20, 2010 – Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI) announced today the commercialization of its Reconnect™ technology, which quickly and reliably restores surface control to subsurface safety valves, eliminating the need for more expensive or less reliable options. The Reconnect system was developed by BJ Services, a Baker Hughes company.
Baker Hughes’ Reconnect system provides a highly effective alternative for re-establishing surface hydraulic control to surface-controlled subsurface safety valves (SCSSV) that are inoperable due to compromised control lines or if the installation of a storm choke is undesirable. This technology is also a viable option for wells that were not completed with SCSSVs. The system includes a wireline-retrievable safety valve, a through-tubing replacement control line that stings into the new valve assembly and a wellhead adapter. Installation requires only a minimal crew and equipment suitable for almost any platform or wellsite.
SCSSVs are designed to stop flow in the event of a catastrophic failure. They are installed in the production tubing and are mandatory in most offshore wells and some land wells. Primary SCSSVs are held open by hydraulic pressure from a control line that runs through the annulus to the surface. If pressure in the control line is lost, such as during an emergency shutdown or if the line is cut, the valve will close and revert to its fail-safe closed position, stopping flow from the well. Historically, the only ways to regain surface control were to install a storm choke, which can be unreliable, or perform a costly workover intervention.
The new Reconnect system, which is approved by regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Bureau of Ocean, Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), does not require a workover rig and uses reliable, field-proven capillary and safety valve technology to rapidly restore an important safety barrier with the same complete surface control as was originally designed into the well. “Damage to the hydraulic system of a surface-controlled subsurface safety valve can compromise the operation of this critical safety and environmental protection system,” says Derek Mathieson, president of products and technology for Baker Hughes. “The Reconnect system provides reliable, fail-safe protection for personnel, the environment and our customers’ well assets.”
Case history – Gulf of Mexico: A mature well in the Gulf of Mexico developed a leak in the control line of its subsurface safety valve. Injecting sealants did not repair the leak. The operator considered installing a velocity valve, but the well was scheduled for a plug-and-abandonment operation for one zone and the perforation of a new zone. Adjusting and re-adjusting a velocity valve for the new zone was expected to be time-consuming and expensive because of the well’s remote location. Instead, the operator chose to install the Reconnect system to economically restore the well to normal operations.
The system was installed and tested to ensure compliance with U.S. BOEMRE regulations. The Reconnect system gives the operator the flexibility to vary the well’s production rate without the intervention required to pull the velocity valve and adjust the differential pressure settings. In addition, the operator can perform mandatory testing of the downhole safety valve without the added cost of a lift boat previously required due to the small platform’s limited crane capacity and deck space.
View the Baker Hughes press kit for SPE 2010.
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About Baker Hughes
Baker Hughes provides reservoir consulting, drilling, pressure pumping, formation evaluation, completion and production products and services to the worldwide oil and gas industry.
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