Perforating High-Pressure Deepwater Wells in the Gulf of Mexico | SLB

Perforating High-Pressure Deepwater Wells in the Gulf of Mexico

Published: 10/30/2011

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A large number of well perforation jobs are conducted successfully worldwide each year. However, gunshock related damage poses a significant risk when perforating high-pressure wells. This paper presents gunshock studies done with a simulation tool specifically developed to predict perforating gunshock loads and the associated structural loads on the equipment. This simulation effort includes results from seventeen Tubing Conveyed Perforating (TCP) jobs on high-pressure deepwater wells, with pressures ranging from 13,800 psi to the highest pressure wells ever perforated in the Gulf of Mexico at 20,700 psi. The results show very good agreement between software predictions and actual field data.

When planning perforating operations in high-pressure wells, engineers strive to minimize the risk of equipment damage from perforating gunshock loads, such as bent tubing and damage to packers. The risk of equipment damage from perforating gunshock loads increases very rapidly as the bottomhole pressure increases beyond 15,000 psi. The simulation tool used to perform gunshock studies is fast and can reliably identify perforating jobs that have a high possibility of gunshock related damage. For those cases where the chance of gunshock damage is high, design changes can be implemented to reduce or eliminate those potential risks.

In this review, computational predictions are compared with high-speed pressure gauge data, with the residual deformation of shock absorbers, and with high speed acceleration data. Fast gauge pressure data shows that predicted wellbore pressure transients are sufficiently accurate in magnitude and time. Peak pressure amplitudes measured at the gauges are, on average, within 8 percent of the predicted values. Residual deformations of shock absorbers correlate favorably with predicted peak axial loads, and available fast gauge acceleration data shows that the asymptotic gunstring acceleration is well predicted, both in amplitude and frequency. The ability to identify and reduce risks in perforating operations is important because the value of deepwater wells is very high and rig time losses are costly. With the software tool presented in this paper, engineers can optimize high-pressure well perforation designs in order to minimize the likelihood of gunshock related damage and the associated rig time losses.

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Location
Gulf of Mexico, United States, North America
Society
SPE
Paper Number
146809
Presentation Date
2011
Products Used