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Low-Frequency Water Hammer for Extended-Reach Applications

Topics: Coiled tubing

Horizontal wellbores typically encounter inefficiencies caused by friction during drilling and completion operations. In severe cases, advancing the bit or downhole tools farther into the hole is almost impossible because of the inability of existing technology and methods to overcome downhole-friction forces. This problem is experienced in drilling, completion, and intervention activities and is particularly acute in coiled-tubing (CT) -deployed bottomhole assemblies. It is proposed that a downhole pressure-oscillation tool be developed that enables managing downhole pressure-oscillation amplitude, independent of flow rate. It also is proposed that such a tool, operating at low frequencies, could simultaneously encode downhole measurements within the pressure-pulse signal.

Introduction

Significant innovation has been applied to the challenge of improving weight transfer and delaying the onset of helical buckling when using CT in the horizontal section of wellbores. Numerous technical approaches have been tried with varying degrees of success and economic benefit. Examples include lubricants; tractors; friction-reduction tools; and larger-diameter, tapered, or hybrid work strings.

Recently, the industry has shown interest in the performance of downhole friction-reduction tools in CT drillout operations. The general operating principle of this class of tools is to create a pressure oscillation at a particular frequency that induces motion in the CT. This motion reduces the friction force, improving weight transfer and extending the reach. The greater the pressure oscillation, the greater the induced motion and friction-force reduction.

This article, written by Senior Technology Editor Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper SPE 163883, “Investigation of Low-Frequency Water Hammer for Extended-Reach Applications,” by R. Macdonald, SPE, B. Jennings, and G. Vecseri, TeleDrill, prepared for the 2013 SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing & Well Intervention Conference & Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, 26–27 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Low-Frequency Water Hammer for Extended-Reach Applications

01 June 2013

Volume: 65 | Issue: 6

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