Technical Paper: Optimizing Pipe Management with a New Approach of Coiled Tubing Integrity Monitoring

Society: ICoTA
Paper Number: 168303
Presentation Date: 2014
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Pipe management refers to the proper handling and treating of coiled tubing pipe to prolong its life and prevent failures. Current pipe management practices are based largely on assumed mathematical models and unpredictable best practices. Among these inadequately tracked and assessed parameters is coil tubing fatigue life. Fatigue life is based on assumed models without any physical measurement of the phenomena. Unpredictable best practices govern the use of chemical inhibitors, expended at varying degrees of effectiveness, without treatment evaluation.

While these current practices are proactive in prolonging the life of coiled tubing strings, they are inconsistently applied and often without an actual method of assessing ever changing pipe integrity. With the advent of operational Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) measurement devices, coil operators are now able to see many of the previously invisible defects as they occur and advance. Coiled tubing operators will be able to understand the circumstances that caused these defects, the conditions that worsen them, and the methods to prevent their progress. Pipe management can now be based on job-to-job, continual, physical measurements.

The integration of an MFL measurement device into coil tubing operations will redefine pipe management practices, ensuring pipe integrity. This work will present an object oriented tracking system that allows coil operators to monitor defects as they evolve over time. Defects will be tracked continually with specific criterion recorded simultaneously, including MFL signatures, coil tubing characteristics, as well as critical job parameters.

In the case of fatigued material, micro fractures, and internal defects, there is no other way of observing the damage rendered to the pipe during operation. MFL measurements also bring characteristics such as bias welds into clear resolution. Additionally, metallurgical defects can be identified by an experienced MFL pipe inspector. Furthermore, with the inclusion of coil tubing characteristics and critical job parameters, the capabilities of observing issues resulting from irregular occurrences associated to job specifics are obtained. With this systematic method we are able to evaluate the damage incurred, quantify pipe elongation, assess internal corrosion, and overall improve pipe integrity monitoring.

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