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Expro Celebrates Wireless Monitoring Success on Ormen Lange

07 January 2010

Leading international oilfield service company Expro is pleased to announce the successful first installation of its new large-bore CaTSTM mandrel system in phase two wells of the Ormen Lange Field development in Norway.

This success marks the first introduction of duplex (or two-way) communications functionality into Expro’s portfolio of wireless pressure/temperature monitoring and control products. With a growing track record in wireless data transmission from reservoir to surface, the introduction of duplex communications functionality in CaTS now enables commands to be transmitted from surface to downhole for the purpose of reconfiguring, or controlling downhole devices.

Expro’s CaTS (Cableless Telemetry System) is a revolutionary development in the field of reservoir monitoring and control, allowing information to be transmitted in real time to and from downhole instruments without the use of cables. Its two-way transmission capability enables the remote control of downhole instrumentation, opening the path to the radical redesign of downhole completions.

CaTS mandrel systems were installed in Ormen Lange wells A5 and B7 early in 2009 and were commissioned successfully in October 2009. A further four systems are planned for installation during 2010/11.

Steve Hudson, Expro’s wireless well solutions’ technology manager, said: “Delivering the duplex communications capability from ‘reservoir to beach’ has been the most challenging engineering project that we have performed to date and this latest success is testament to the tenacity and ingenuity of the talented individuals we have working in our team here.”

Brian Champion, general manager of Expro’s wireless business unit, said: “We are seeing mounting interest from our clients in wireless solutions that will deliver across-the-reservoir monitoring and control without the need for cables or packer penetrations. The successful implementation of duplex in-well wireless communications in this deepwater, subsea, high rate gas well environment, together with the recent successful testing of our FlowCATTM wireless flow control valve, marks a key achievement on the way to reaching our future goals in delivering production optimisation solutions.

“The logical next step is to apply the duplex wireless communications capability to selectively command inflow control devices that are located remotely across the producing reservoir interval.”


Shell comments
“Having access to high-accuracy sandface flowing pressure data allows determination of damage skin and the possibility of monitoring the sand face completion efficiency and integrity. Actual sand face pressure data also reduces the uncertainty of the drawdown at the sand face in constrained wells, compared to using multiphase flow correlations. An improvement of 1-2% in the calculated drawdown can improve production by 1-2 % in drawdown constrained wells. The CaTS data has allowed us to fine-tune our multiphase flow correlations that are used to calculate the frictional pressure drop throughout the completion, resulting in non-CaTS wells also being operated at their full potential (maximum drawdown limitation) as well. In addition, the CaTS data has already proven its value on one of the newly commissioned wells where produced water measurements at the Xmas tree were outside the normal operating range. By having the CaTS data available, we were able to demonstrate this was a metering issue, allowing us to continue ramping up the well.”

The technology
The big bore, high flowrate completion designs being used on Ormen Lange make it impractical to install traditional cabled permanent downhole gauge (PDG) systems in close proximity to the producing sandface. With an along-hole separation distance in excess of 1,000 meters between the PDG and the sandface, and with frictional pressure drop, gravity head differences and temperature effects to contend with, there is uncertainty in how the pressure measurements being recorded by the PDG relate to the actual sandface flowing pressure.

Resulting from an engineering development program extending over more than two years, the CaTS large bore mandrel system is being deployed as part of a lower completion / gravel pack assembly, with sand screens suspended beneath it. The incorporation of duplex functionality into the mandrel system enables the frequency of data transmissions to be varied on demand from the central control room located at Nyhamna, onshore Norway, and there is also an option to trigger high-density data capture for pressure build-up analysis.

Notes to editors

Expro’s business is well flow management. Expro is a market leader in providing services and products that measure, improve, control and process flow from high-value oil and gas wells.
Expro’s industry knowledge and commitment to deliver, combined with its innovative technology, empowers the company to offer exemplary solutions for its customers. With its head office in the UK, Expro employs 5,000 people in 50 countries, committed to delivering excellence in operations to customers around the world.