An operator working in the Elm field of the Montney formation in northwest Alberta was looking to overcome challenges previously experienced while installing completion systems in extended reach laterals.
The robust capabilities of the PrimeSET® Liner Hanger from Packers Plus were identified as the ideal solution to enable rotation during installation and ensure the next system reached the desired total depth (TD). Additionally, Packers Plus worked closely with the operator to simplify operations by combining the PrimeSET Liner Hanger with the AeroSTAT™ Glass Barrier Sub for the successful flotation and installation of the system.
The continuing trend towards extended reaches horizontal wells has compounded the challenges operators face during the installation phase of completion operations. 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. When the ratio of measured depth (MD) to total vertical depth (TVD) of the wellbore is high (i.e., the horizontal section is significantly longer than the vertical section), installation operations are hampered by insufficient completion string weight in the vertical section.
Some of the conventional methods to improve installation efficiency include using heavyweight drill pipe (HWDP) above the liner hanger, the use of completion tools that allow for rotation (torque through), or jarring of the system, and circulating with fluid additives. However, suppose these operations cannot overcome the friction forces caused by the drag of the completion string along the bottom of the wellbore. In that case, it may become stuck, resulting in additional costs or revenue losses.
Successful Tool Combination
A recent innovation has been the design of tools that enable casing flotation of extended reach completions. 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.
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.
The operator ran a cemented sleeve completion system run on 114.3 mm (4.5-in.) liner into the well that had a measured depth of 5,038 m (16,525 ft) and a true vertical depth of 2,320 m (7,610 ft). The full completion system included two Packers Plus Toe-AP™ Hydraulic Sleeve subs to initiate flow and stimulate the first stage and a PrimeSET Liner Hanger. The glass barrier sub was run on a drill pipe with five stands of HWDP above the PrimeSET Liner Hanger.
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.
By using the PrimeSET Liner Hanger to enable high-torque rotation during installation and the AeroSTAT Glass Barrier Sub for successful flotation during system, the operator was able to ensure the completion system reached TD and avoid increased costs associated with operational issues.
Packers Plus has been a leader in lower completion technology since 2000, and the engineering advancements of the company’s downhole tools result from more than 20 years of continuous innovation. For more information about Packers Plus’s completion solutions, visit packersplus.com.