Schlumberger

Case Study: SAFETHERM is Part of the Strategy to Minimize Production Related Problems in Deepwater Environment

Challenge: A Gulf of Mexico operator required thermal protection for a deepwater production well. In deepwater production wells, thermal protection is required to maintain produced liquid quality, prevent annular pressure buildup and the formation of production blocking hydrates, as well as provides threaded connection, elastomer seal and cement bond integrity. The occurrence of any of these problems could seriously jeopardize the success of the entire project.

Solution: M-I SWACO recommended its SAFETHERM insulating packer fluid that would be engineered specifically to meet this particular application. SAFETHERM was designed with a thermal conductivity (K) value of 0.27 BTU/hr-ft-°F, heat capacity value of 0.75 BTU/lbm-°F, yield stress of 20.25 lbf/100ft2, and density of 9.5 lb/gal (1.14 s.g.). These properties would give SAFETHERM the ability to minimize conduction and convection and offer maximum protection against thermal cycling related production problems.

Result: SAFETHERM was successfully installed in the annulus of the well from above the production packer to the mudline. The system was uniquely engineered for this specific application in order to minimize conduction and convective heat loss and prevent production line blockage and casing string collapse. In addition, SAFETHERM proved to be compatible with the elastomers and fluids used in this well, as well as the surface processing equipment. The system comprised environmentally acceptable components and was mixed straightforwardly at the M-I SWACO Port Fourchon, La liquid mud plant and pumped trouble free on the rig. The design of the fluid was based on T PRO ST, the M-I SWACO exclusive thermal behavior modeling software employing a proprietary heat transfer computer model. The system was pH buffered, corrosion inhibitive, and thermally stable for the expected well life of 5 years.

A Gulf of Mexico operator required thermal protection for a deepwater production well. In deepwater production wells, thermal protection is required to maintain produced liquid quality, prevent annular pressure buildup and the formation of production blocking hydrates, as well as provides threaded connection, elastomer seal and cement bond integrity. The occurrence of any of these problems could seriously jeopardize the success of the entire project.


Download: SAFETHERM is Part of the Strategy to Minimize Production Related Problems (0.45 MB PDF)

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"SAFETHERM insulating packer fluid is used to stop heat transfer from produced fluid in order to prevent annular pressure build up and hydrate formation.”
John Carboni
Project Engineer
M-I SWACO