Technology Focus: Wellbore Tubulars (June 2011)
- Casey McDonough (Chesapeake Operating)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 72 - 72
- 2011. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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- 31 since 2007
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Many believe that inventions arise from the need to solve a specific problem or need. Examine the need to be first in space or the race to build the first atomic bomb. Other inventions grow unintentionally; some would argue that most do. While an inventor may intend one purpose for the technology, it will take a culture or a society to exploit the technology fully, or find use for it. Thomas Edison’s phonograph is an example. He invented the phonograph in 1877 with the purpose of recording and playing back words. His idea was noble. He envisioned recording books so that the blind could read (the first “books on tape”), to preserve speeches, and to have words live beyond human life. He tried to market his phonograph as an office dictating machine, but nobody bought it. In fact, he believed that there was no real commercial value in the phonograph. It was not until others saw the technology and adopted it to record and play music, that his phonograph become popular. 20 years after the invention, he conceded that the main use of his phonograph was to record and play music. Sometimes it takes society years to develop a new, commercial, use for technologies that were intended and heavily marketed for different purposes.
None of the papers reviewed this year offer an “ah-hah” industry-changing technology; instead, they present technology seeking commercial acceptance. The 34 papers I reviewed this year have similar trends. Topics range from casing connections, corrosion control, and expandable casings to wired drillpipe. Each topic explores a commercial use of the technology. Some abstracts explain a technology to help exploit commercial viability, and some actually introduce a new material or method.
Many times, we feel the need to use new technology and materials to combat problems in well design. Often, the solution is just the proper use of conventional technologies, but many times the solution lies in applying existing materials and technology in an innovative way. We often forget the importance of good technique and procedure in applying connection technology. Torque-position is not a new technology, but it is a reminder of the importance of gas-tight strings for critical well applications. Tubular corrosion in the wellbore and corrosion of tools used in wellbore construction are problems that cost the industry billions of dollars. Several of the papers reviewed offered corrosion-control solutions. Expandable-casing technology is in its commercial infancy in the industry. When we understand the stresses applied to expandable casing when it is plastically deformed, we likely will broaden its commercial application.
Wellbore Tubulars additional reading available at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org
SPE 132989 • “Wired-Drillpipe Telemetry Enables Real-Time Evaluation of Kick During Managed-Pressure Drilling” by J.E. Gravdal, SPE, International Research Institute of Stavanger, et al.
SPE 131614 • “Enabling Materials and Corrosion Technologies for Gas Developments” by Eric J. Wright, ExxonMobil.
SPE 135389 • “Kinematic Hardening Characterization: Applications to Solid-Expandable Tubulars” by J. Durivault, Vallourec and Mannesmann Oil and Gas, et al.
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