25,000-psi 500°F Packer-Seal System
- Dennis Denney (JPT Senior Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 116 - 119
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 172 since 2007
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This article, written by Senior Technology Editor Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper SPE 159182, "A Completion-Technology Milestone - The First 25,000-psi 500°F Packer-Seal System," by James Doane, Guijun Deng, SPE, and Scott Collins, SPE, Baker Hughes, prepared for the 2012 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 8-10 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
As operators continue to drill into deeper and more-extreme formations, the demand for technologies suited to these environments increases. Much effort has been invested across the industry to overcome obstacles in developing safe and reliable completion tools that are qualified for conditions in excess of 15,000 psi and 450°F. A technological milestone was set recently in packer-seal-system development―the first 25,000-psi, 500°F packer-seal system.
The criteria for designating fields as high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) fields have changed over the years. Early on, HP/HT fields were those with pressures greater than 10,000 psi and temperatures higher than 300°F. During the last 20 years, the HP/HT designation changed to 15,000 psi and 350°F, an environment in which technical operational challenges have been mostly overcome. Other terms have come into use to designate new HP/HT thresholds. Extreme-HP/HT fields have pressures up to 20,000 psi and temperatures up to 450°F, and ultra-HP/HT fields have pressures up to 30,000 psi and temperatures up to 550°F.
High gas prices and the search for hydrocarbons in deeper formations are key drivers for development of new HP/HT completion technologies. Extreme-HP/HT wells are being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico, on the shelf and in deep water. Many of them have a total depth of more than 25,000 ft and exhibit reservoir pressures approaching 20,000 psi and temperatures exceeding 450°F. There is limited availability of specialized tools for these pressures and temperatures. In ultra-HP/HT environments, there are many technical difficulties that must be overcome, including seals and polymers, metallurgy, and test facilities.
The objective of this project was to design a sealing system for a packer for 7.625-in., 51.2–52.8-lbm/ft casing. The sealing system must be rated to 25,000 psi at 500°F. Qualification testing was conducted with nitrogen to all rating-envelope points at 500°F with a cool down to 250°F. To enhance performance in as-rolled casing and ultra-HP/HT applications, two existing systems were considered for the new seal design. System A is rated to 15,000 psi and 350°F. System B is rated to 15,000 psi and 500°F. In addition, the System-A packer has been qualified for applications with grooved or poor conditions on the inside diameter (ID) of the casing.
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