The HiWay flow-channel hydraulic fracturing technique, formally released by Schlumberger late June, is designed to maximize production and hydrocarbon recovery through the creation of open flow channels within the propped fracture.
HiWay uses a combination of placement and completions techniques, fluid engineering and process controls to create a complex network of stable channels within a fracture. The channels extend from the wellbore to the tip of the fracture, allowing for longer effective fracture half-lengths and better fluid and polymer recovery.
‘The productivity of the fracture is decoupled from the actual permeability of the proppant used, so rather than flowing through the proppant pack, hydrocarbons flow through the highly conductive channels,' Schlumberger explained.
The technique has been used on wells in Argentina, Russia, Mexico and the US. In Argentina, YPF used it to restimulate and increase production from a late- Jurassic Eolian reservoir. According to YPF stimulation advisor Emmanuel d'Huteau, HiWAY boosted initial production by 53% over wells treated with conventional fracturing techniques and is expected to increase hydrocarbon recovery per well by 15% over ten years.
ROV READY FOR DUTY: Schilling Robotics rolled out its HD model ROV in late June and announced that two systems had been ordered for delivery this year. the HD, or heavy duty, system is a smaller, 125HP cousin to the company's successful ultra-heavy duty uHD system.
the HD, which completed deepwater sea trials this summer, is a high-performance work-class ROV targeting customers who require a vehicle that uses less deck space. the ROV has a water depth rating of 3000m with an option to upgrade to 4000m, and is capable of excursions up to 425m.
Schilling said the system is ideal for the IMR, drill support and medium-duty construction markets. It incorporates the company's own power management system and integrated subsystems, helping to reduce complexity and keep vehicle owning and operating costs down. the HD includes dedicated interfaces for integrating intervention or survey tooling.
Deepwater fiber optic hookup
Ocean Specialists recently introduced its Portable Dynamic Riser (PDR) technology, a skid-mounted cable package that allows MODUs and other mobile assets to establish a connection to an in-field fiber optic network without having to install a custom-designed dynamic riser.
The PDR has a topside winch and launch frame that lowers a spooled subsea flying lead via a lightweight reinforced fiber umbilical. A work-class ROV is used to connect the lead to a nearby drill center or umbilical termination assembly with an available fiber connection. When the service period ends, the flying lead can be disconnected and the components spooled back onto the skid and made ready for the next deployment.
Designed for compatibility with the submarine fiber networks operators are increasingly deploying in deepwater field developments, the PDR units are produced by Ocean Specialists' development partner Seanic Ocean Systems.
Korean contractor Samsung has outfitted the upper decks of two new Arctic class drilling and production platforms destined for Gazprom's Shtokman gas field (see page 36) with six high-efficiency steam generators from Clayton Industries. The units will be used for de-icing, space heating and oil processing on the platforms, which are slated for completion in late 2010 or early 2011.
Gazprom in 2008 entered a contract with Samsung for construction of these sturdy but compact topsides, designed to withstand severe Arctic temperatures and wave heights of up to 32m. Samsung said in a release that it selected the explosion-proof Clayton heating units because of their compact size and capability to be powered up quickly. ‘These units heat up faster, provide rapid response to load changes and can be turned on and off when needed without the risk of damage to the system,' Samsung noted.
Wire rope record
Italian specialty steel wire rope manufacturer Redaelli Tecna recently claimed a place in the Guinness Book of Records when it loaded out the world's heaviest steel wire rope from its new dockside facility in Trieste harbour, opened last November.
The record-breaking 361t Flexpack rope, a compacted non-rotating steel wire rope for ultra-deepwater applications, had a nominal length of 3000m and a nominal diameter of 160mm. Redaelli's managing director Maurizio Prete said this Flexpack rope order, entirely designed and manufactured by his company using state-of-theart technology, acknowledged Redaelli's commitment to innovation and confirmed its competitiveness in design and production. ‘This is our answer to the offshore industry that is asking always for longer and stronger hightech steel wire ropes for their subsea applications,' he declared.
Prete added that the new Trieste facility provided ‘a perfect base with high technology capabilities and logistics infrastructure for export cargo handling'. The company has another wire rope factory at Gardone Valtrompia, also in northern Italy.
Aberdeen-based Deep Casing Tools successfully ran its new Turborunner system in the central North Sea earlier this year. Having experienced placement challenges in previous wells, PetroCanada selected the Turborunner for a horizontal application in the UKCS Saxon development well, 21/23b-S2, and achieved successful placement of a 3000ft pre-drilled liner from a semisubmersible.
Specifically designed to assist completion engineers with open hole completion placement operations, the Turborunner combines optimized washing with a rotational reaming capability without the need to rotate the completion string. According to Deep Casing Tools, the new tool's very low operating pressure allows for integration with most completion systems and assists in the first time placement of liners or completions.
PetroCanada UK senior drilling engineer Steve Salter commented: ‘We felt the tool gave us an operational advantage with little or no operational risk and were happy with the performance it provided.'
Mark Presslie, Deep Casing Tools sales manager, said: ‘Credit must go to the JW Mclean drilling team for overcoming what proved to be a significant challenge due to hole instability and also running the tool to depth from a semi.' The PetroCanada wells delivery team's confidence in the Turborunner was, he added, ‘extremely encouraging and represents an important step towards the uptake of this new technology in challenging well scenarios'.
GREENER FRACCING: ceramic proppant manufacturer carbo has introduced a traceable proppant technology that the company says is a more environmentally responsible way to place proppant. carbonRt, which can be used with any proppant in the carbo product line, incorporates a non-radioactive taggant that allows downhole, near-wellbore detection of ceramic proppant and helps engineers determine fracture propagation and geometry ‘in a manner that is designed to optimize stimulation effectiveness and maximize productive capacity', the company said.
the proppant is engineered for extended identification, which allows post-frac logging for months or years after fracturing. ‘carbonRt is a unique product that offers the e&P industry a traceable proppant without the halflife and potential environmental hazards involved with radioactive tracers,' said Gary Kolstad, carbo's president and CEO.
Oil & gas industry vessels will be less susceptible to pirate attack if they install the simple, cost-effective and easily produced P-Trap (pirate trap), believes Dutch firm Westmark.
Easy to install and operate, the lightweight system provides a first line of defence against pirates by creating a safety zone around a ship's most vulnerable points and keeping unwanted guests at a safe distance. Westmark says the Royal Navy and the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution have already successfully tested the system and heavy lift transportation firm Dockwise was among the first purchasers.
Once the P-Trap is installed it works without monitoring, day and night. Lines floating at the surface from the P-Trap are designed to disable a pirate vessel's engine by blocking its propeller. Once caught in the propeller the line is quickly released and replacing it takes a matter of minutes, says Westmark. The system can be adjusted to suit the dimensions of any ship.
Port Hedland surveyed
Utec Survey Australia in Perth has completed a fivemonth bathymetric survey campaign for the Port Hedland Port Authority's channel and harbour capital dredging campaign. The hydrographic survey work, finalized mid- July offshore Port Hedland in northwest Australia, was carried out using the dedicated 21m survey vessel No Limit fitted with a high-resolution Reson 8125 multibeam, navigation, acquisition, hydrographic personnel and full charting systems.
The vessel, which also has towed side scan sonar and reflection seismic capabilities, was expected to be available for more hydrographic and geophysical work in Australian waters. Interested parties should email [email protected] utecsurvey.com.
Dialing down drilling decibels
GE Transportation has introduced a new water jacket AC drilling motor that is said to increase reliability while producing less noise on offshore drilling rigs. The completely enclosed, water-cooled and flameproof AC motor, developed for drawworks and top drive applications, is cooled with circulating water instead of with a blower, and can be enclosed against moisture and air circulation to protect its windings.
The new motor ‘has the potential to offer increased reliability especially in extreme weather conditions', said Becky Sidelinger, GE business leader for drilling. ‘The elimination of the blower is intended to decrease noise on the rig for a more appealing work environment.' The motor, which has a 50% smaller envelope and the same footprint as current GE IP56 motors, offers the same installation interfaces allowing it to be retrofitted where additional axial length is available. OE