Schlumberger

Case Study: SAFETHERM Application is a Success in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

Challenge: An operator in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico required thermal protection of its production wells to maintain produced liquid quality, prevent annular pressure buildup and inhibit the formation of production blocking gas hydrates. In addition, the solution would have to provide threaded connection, elastomer seal and cement bond integrity. The occurrence of any of these problems could seriously jeopardize the success of the entire project. In order to comply with the completion design, the packer fluid for this application required a density of 11.5 lb/gal (1.38 sg).

Solution: The operator selected the M-I SWACO SAFETHERM insulating packer fluid, which was engineered specifically to meet the requirements of this particular project. SAFETHERM was designed with a thermal conductivity (K) value of 0.19 BTU/hr-ft-°F, heat capacity value of 0.58 BTU/lbm-°F, yield stress of 34 lbf/100ft2, and density of 11.5 lb/gal (1.38 sg). These properties gave SAFETHERM the ability to minimize conduction and convection and offer maximum protection against thermal cycling-related production problems. Laboratory testing was conducted to ensure no pumping-related problems would be encountered. Based on the lab data the strategy was to mix the system at the mud plant with 30% of SAFETHERM VIS L with the remainder added on the rig to allay concerns over the safe transfer of fluid from the workboat to rig.

Result: SAFETHERM was installed successfully in the annulus above the TIP packer without any problems or QHSE incidents. The system was uniquely engineered for this specific application to minimize conduction and convective heat loss, prevent production line blockage and casing string collapse. The design of the fluid was based on calculations derived from T PRO ST the proprietary M-I SWACO behavior modeling software comprising an exclusive heat transfer computer model. The mixing and pumping procedures determined through M-I SWACO laboratory testing proved effective for the operation.

An operator in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico required thermal protection of its production wells to maintain produced liquid quality, prevent annular pressure buildup and inhibit the formation of production blocking gas hydrates. In addition, the solution would have to provide threaded connection, elastomer seal and cement bond integrity. The occurrence of any of these problems could seriously jeopardize the success of the entire project. In order to comply with the completion design, the packer fluid for this application required a density of 11.5 lb/gal (1.38 sg).


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"SAFETHERM was efficiently mixed and pumped in the Gulf of Mexico without any problems or QHSE incidents.”
Mena Nasrallah
Fluid Engineer
M-I SWACO