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Expro’s Innovation Wins Another OTC Technology Award

10 March 2010

Leading international oilfield service company Expro has won an Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) ‘Spotlight on New Technology’ award for its innovative FlowCAT™ Wireless Safety Valve System.

The award recipients are recognised for producing innovative technologies that significantly impact offshore exploration and production. Expro triumphed in 2008 with its ViewMax sideview downhole camera and this year’s award will be presented on May 4th at the annual OTC in Houston, Texas.

FlowCAT is a wirelesscontrolled safety valve that can be retrofitted into a well after the tubing retrievable safety valveor control line has failed. Being controllable from surface and of a fail-safe design, FlowCAT provides a more dependable and safer alternative to a storm choke, a more cost-effective alternative to performing a well work-over; and minimises periods of deferred production.

The FlowCAT flow control system, which was developed in conjunction with Petrowell Limited, is a step-change technology that can be retrofitted into a well using conventional slickline intervention equipment and procedures. Of significance, FlowCAT requires no modifications to, or recertification of, the wellhead components.

The technology offers both functional and safety advantages over existing Sub Surface Controlled Safety Valve (SSCSV) solutions. SSCSVs are directly influenced by changing well conditions, meaning they can be notoriously unpredictable in operation. FlowCAT, which is controlled using Expro’s award-winning Cableless Telemetry System (CaTS™) technology, has fail-safe functionality and utilises non-elastomeric sealing faces for enhanced sealing and increased well safety.

The valve system recently completed a six-month field trial in a gas well located onshore Southern Italy. The 4 ½” FlowCAT valve was deployed into the well using standard slickline intervention methods and was cycled and inflow tested regularly during periods of both production and injection. The valve was seen to perform reliably and consistently throughout the test with no false closure events observed.

Brian Champion, Expro’s wireless well solutions general manager, said: “We are delighted to have won such a respected award. The wireless communications technology used in the new flow control system has been under development for more than 15 years and this accolade recognises the significant benefits that it brings to the market place.”

“FlowCAT is a stepping stone on the way to delivering Expro’s retrofit intelligent well vision, which is about applying smart well solutions to the existing well stock, when they are needed and where they are needed. Winning this award cements Expro’s status as one of the industry’s leading innovators and we look forward to continuing to develop and deliver the ‘smart’ solutions that our customers require to develop and exploit their reserves faster and more efficiently.”

An SPE paper covering the development and qualification of the FlowCAT valve is being presented on 24th March at the SPE / ICoTA Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition being held at the Woodlands, Texas.