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High-Pressure/High-Temperature Challenges

Topics: HP/HT

High-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) challenges are being addressed in a variety of locations around the world. These include the very challenging HP/HT wells in Malaysia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, the South China Sea, the US Gulf Coast (both onshore and in shallow water), and the US deep water. The deepwater challenges are somewhat different because they involve high pressures but somewhat milder temperatures than seen in other regions. The deepwater challenges also require high-pressure equipment in large-bore configurations adapted for subsea use.

In response to these various HP/HT challenges, industry standards organizations have been working to develop foundational technical standards to provide design and qualification guidance for new equipment and systems. One of these key standards, American Petroleum Institute (API) Technical Report PER15K, details the verification and validation protocols for HP/HT equipment rated for working pressures above 15,000 psi or temperatures above 350°F.

PER15K was published as a first-edition industry standard in March 2013. It provides a holistic approach to the development and qualification challenges for the new HP/HT equipment and systems. Functional specification guidance is provided, covering environmental conditions, specified loads and loading characteristics, and life-cycle considerations. Guidance on technical specifications is supplied so the specifications are developed effectively to address the detailed functional requirements. Best practices and guidance are provided on materials, design verification, failure mode and effects analysis, validation testing, manufacturing processes, and quality systems.

Following PER15K, parties will be able successfully and consistently to develop the industry’s next generation of HP/HT equipment and systems. The new PER15K was developed by use of overarching principles and is not specific to any single type of equipment. Therefore, the various API subcommittees that govern specific equipment class standards are developing and codifying the HP/HT protocols for their respective drilling, completion, subsea, well-control, interventions, and production equipment. This work is already well under way, so interested parties who would like more information are encouraged to contact these standards work groups.

As the industry takes on new challenges, including those in HP/HT, consensus industry standardization plays an important role. It provides the approaches and the methods for developing and qualifying new equipment and systems that are robust, fit for purpose, effective, and efficient. This new industry standard has been developed to enable those outcomes for all who properly apply it. Lessons learned from current HP/HT equipment development and qualification will be used to feed back continuous improvements and enhancements to these standards. Key industry standards such as PER15K form the basis of safe, reliable well operations in all phases of our upstream industry and are especially important in challenging areas such as HP/HT.

This Month's Technical Papers

Design Advances of Ultra-HP/HT Completion and Production Tools

Innovative HP/HT Drilling Practices in Malaysia: A Case Study

Challenges in Testing and Completion of an HP/HT Reservoir in Kuwait

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE 166574 Shearwater—Securing the Chalk—Effects of Depletion of an HP/HT Reservoir on Chalk Overburden by P.F. van Bergen, Shell UK, et al.

SPE 167067 First Reverse-Circulation Cement Job in Australia Executed in HP/HT Geothermal Well in Cooper Basin by Daniel L. Bour, Geodynamics Limited, et al.

SPE 166179 Thermally Stable Explosive System for Ultrahigh-Temperature Perforating by James M. Barker, Halliburton

Mike Payne, SPE, is a distinguished advisor and segment engineering technical authority in BP’s upstream group. He has more than 30 years of experience, including with drilling operations, computing, technology, and consulting. Payne holds BS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from Rice University, an MS degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Houston, and an executive business certificate from the University of Chicago. He has extensive industry publications to his credit and has held key leadership positions with the American Petroleum Institute and the International Organization for Standardization. Payne has been an SPE Distinguished Lecturer and received the SPE International Drilling Engineering Award in 2000. He has been chairperson or cochairperson of several SPE Advanced Technology Workshops and serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.

High-Pressure/High-Temperature Challenges

Mike Payne, SPE, Distinguished Advisor, BP

01 April 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 4

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