Next-Generation Release Device: Strong, Safer, Efficient, and Rigorously Qualified
A new high-strength electrical release device has been developed that supersedes the typical weakpoint and achieves the same strength as the tool tension rating. A stronger release device facilitates running heavier tools on wireline, along with the ability to run significantly longer gun strings, which increases operational efficiency. The release device was subjected to a rigorous qualification program conducted to ensure the highest safety and reliability of this device under demanding conditions.
This technology uses a motorized release that holds two sections together via retractable dogs. The release device operates using new telemetry protocols that are combinable and segregated from other communication schemes. An optional battery with a preset timer provides redundant control if electrical communication is lost during operations.
After the electrical release signal is sent, the motor activates the release mechanism, enabling the device to separate, even with significant residual tension on the toolstring. Completion of rigorous qualification testing was necessary to confirm performance for the heavy load requirements and high shock levels characteristic of long perforating toolstrings.
The new electrical release device has delivered flawless performance in seemingly impossible well programs. In field cases, the device was the optimal answer in providing a secondary release device that is high functioning in the harsh perforating environment. One case presents the completion of a project that involved the collaboration of six product lines. The release device was used with coiled tubing deployment of extremely long gun strings in a reservoir containing high H2S and CO2 content. The device enabled a significant reduction in the number of coiled tubing runs, which resulted in a significant increase in operational efficiency. Another application enabled the conveyance of large gun strings using wireline, which reduced the number of descents required and saved valuable time for the operator. These well programs were successfully completed because of the extreme engineering qualification achieved. For example, surface integration testing involved a maximum allowable gun string of more than 120 ft in a well to model downhole exposure. If this trend continues, it is possible that this device will change the future of wireline perforating operations.
The new controllable electrical release device with exceptional strength enables the deployment of heavy tools and long guns on both coiled tubing and wireline. This will lead to efficiencies in well design as well as optimization and a higher standard in wireline perforating operations.