(October 2000) Baker Oil Tools has been commended by Norwegian operator Norsk Hydro for the recent installation of the hydraulically operated InForce Intelligent Well System™ in a dual-zone completion in the North Sea's Snorre field. This installation, which allows each zone of the well to be remotely accessed or closed in less than 5 minutes, expands the success record established by previous installations of Baker's hydraulic intelligent well systems in the Middle and Far East.
Norsk Hydro Drilling Superintendent for Snorre, Olav Helgesen congratulated Hydro and Baker engineers on their teamwork in installing a completion that will reduce rig cost while putting the P-30 well on production faster. Helgesen commented that these benefits are possible because the individual zones can now be opened and closed remotely rather than requiring the use of the rig. In a letter of commendation to Baker Oil Tools, Helgesen wrote, "Norsk Hydro is particularly pleased with the planning and pre-installation testing that Baker Oil Tools has performed, and the cooperation between your engineers and the Norsk Hydro engineers assigned to the task."
The Snorre completion controls the flow of fluids from two separate zones at a measured depth of 15,600 ft (4775 m) to 17,056 ft (5,200 m) and allows each zone to be accessed or closed remotely in less than 5 minutes without the costly coiled tubing intervention required by conventional completion systems. The total well length is 6,600 m MD. Coiled tubing interventions in the North Sea generally cost in excess of $30,000 US per day with a normal 10 day minimum intervention charge. This results in a cost of over $300,000 per intervention, which does not include all associated services. Considering that five or more interventions are commonly required during the 15-year life span of a typical North Sea completion, the ability to minimize or eliminate these types of interventions and associated deferred production will have significant impact on operating expenses. This well is producing 25000bopd, initially, and each coiled tubing intervention takes about 10 days total, with production shut in for 6-7 days per intervention. The volume of oil deferred by each intervention is therefore significant, and this, together with a 5-6 days earlier production start up than would have been the case if mechanical sleeves were used resulted in good economics for the installation of this system. In addition the risk associated with the interventions are eliminated.
InForce system operationThe InForce system uses Baker's HCM™ Remote Controlled Hydraulically Actuated Sliding Sleeves and downhole permanent gauge monitoring to achieve remote flow control and to shorten detection and response times in the face of changing downhole conditions. Baker Oil Tools multi-feedthrough packer technology accommodates control line passages to allow multiple sliding sleeves to be located within the precise zone of interest. Each hydraulically operated sliding sleeve is activated from the surface by two hydraulic control lines. The sleeve may be opened or closed by pressurizing the corresponding "open" or "close" line. During pressurization of one line, the other line serves as a balanced line to allow a pre-determined amount of displaced hydraulic oil to be collected at the surface. This simple concept provides a positive indication of whether the sliding sleeve has successfully closed or opened.
The dual-zone InForce system was installed on the Snorre P-30 well, located approximately 130 mi (210 km) northwest of Bergen. The well's total measured depth is 21,648 ft (6,600 m) with the remote controlled zones being between 15,600 ft (4775 m) to 17,056 ft (5,200 m); a vertical depth of approximately 8,900 ft (2,700 m), and inclination is 80 degrees at the reservoir. The system controls reservoir flow from two zones within the 9-5/8-in. casing. The remaining flow is not remotely controlled and is delivered from a perforated 5-1/2" liner to TD.
The dual-zone completion was installed with a 13 ppg (1.56 SG) oil-based mud across the perforations and heavy brine from perforations to surface. The isolation of the individual intervals was accomplished by using two 9-5/8-in. retrievable feed-through packers that incorporate a feature to allow bypass of the control lines while providing for proper barrier requirements. A total of six control lines accommodated two HCM remote controlled hydraulic sliding sleeves, one tubing/annulus temperature and pressure gauge, and one tubing-retrievable safety valve. The HCM sleeves were actuated five times during the well initial cleanup and flow tests.
The Snorre project represents the first installation of Baker's InForce system in the North Sea. Systems were successfully installed in the Middle and Far East in 1999. Those systems' abilities to remotely open and close sliding sleeves repeatedly and reliably, within expected time frames, have significantly reduced the time, costs, and risks associated with conventional mechanical sleeve actuation.
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