Well-intervention services can make deepwater operators more efficient. Whether they are looking for permanent P&A (Permanent Wells) or downhole maintenance, well intervention services can help.
Subsea Well Completions Facilitate Access to the Well for Downhole Maintenance
Well-completion engineering focuses on installing and operating equipment and casing in the excellent bore. It is essential to design a well to maximize its integrity of the well and avoid costly failures. The design must also satisfy several competing requirements.
First, the well needs to be effectively isolated. This can be achieved by constructing a wellhead that provides structural support and a pressure barrier. A wellhead can be made from metal tubing or carbon fiber-reinforced pipe.
Another method is to use a coiled tubing unit. This enables multistage completions with a single trip. However, this system has limitations due to its limited capacity and the sensitivity of metal tubing to fatigue.
In addition, there is a risk of reverse ballooning. This occurs when the external pressure exceeds the internal pressure. If the pressure is lost, the well can become locked. A safety valve is installed in the tubing string to prevent this. This valve is held open by hydraulic pressure from the surface.
Innovations in the Subsea Intervention Market
To improve the efficiency and productivity of healthy offshore well intervention projects, cutting-edge technology is being developed. Deepwater operators are retooling their equipment inventory and enhancing their good intervention tools. These innovations are keeping wells producing above water.
For example, the company is developing a technology that will increase the effectiveness of promising interventions. The company’s AX-S (“access”) system is remote-operated, making it safer and more cost-effective than other intervention methods. It can be deployed from a monohull vessel and operate at depths of up to 10,000 feet.
Another innovation is rigless intervention systems. This technology removes the need for expensive drilling rigs and provides reservoir isolation barriers. This system can work with riser-based methods.
Other innovations include the development of coiled tubing from light vessels. Some companies are already offering this technology. Ultimately, however, the best innovations will be improvements over existing technologies.
New plays are being developed, but oil prices need to be higher to support the expense of forming new fields. This means operators are seeking to replace dwindling resources. They are also using low rig capacity for exploration and production drilling.
Lighter Well Intervention Systems for Brownfield Applications
Over the past few years, one of the most critical developments in the subsea well intervention industry has been the development of lighter well intervention systems. These systems help increase recovery rates in deepwater wells by using minimal equipment. They are also a more cost-effective way to perform interventions.
For starters, there are new types of vessels that can run interventions. These vessels can be smaller and less expensive than traditional workover ships. In addition, they can be dynamically positioned to deliver light-well-intervention services. This innovation helps the subsea industry to more effectively manage and control the volume of interventions and the overall cost of conducting them.
The riderless light well intervention (RLWI) is another innovation that has been a boon to the subsea industry. It is a means of improving recovery rates and reducing barriers to suitable subsea interventions.
With an aggressive approach, the company has significantly cut the time spent on each individual. During the past three years, the average time on each well has been cut by about 65 percent.
Permanent P&A of Wells
Deepwater operators have their unique set of challenges for permanent P&A of wells. These include subsurface shifts that have caused casing to be sheared and compacted, resulting in subsidence. In addition, accessing deepwater wells can be difficult.
The costs associated with plugging and abandoning wells are staggering for deepwater operators. They range from $500,000 for a shallow water well to $10 million for a deepwater well. This figure also depends on the type of well and the structures associated with it.
Permanent P&A of wells involves setting barriers in several spaces, including in the production zone and at different depths. The success of this operation depends on a stable long-term seal.
Following government regulations and safety standards are essential to properly conduct plugging and abandonment. Additionally, the costs of decommissioning a well can affect the company’s value.
The industry has tried to improve the existing method of plugging and abandoning wells. However, there is a need for more innovative research to advance P&A.