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An operator in an exploratory well in Mexico’s northern deepwater region needed to recover core in a low consolidated soft sand formation with minimal geological data available. Additionally, the operator wanted to optimize well program runs that were twice the length typically used in the region, applying a core system never before deployed in the country.

Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) proposed employing the BHGE HT60 Core Barrel System, an advanced fit-for-purpose solution, to capture high-quality core samples. The HT60 has a hole diameter capacity of 12-¼ in. to 17-¼ in., a barrel diameter of 9-½ in., and delivers a 5-¼ in. core sample.

The BHGE team used the HT60 system with a low-invasion PDC core bit with anti-whirl features that help increase sample quality in soft formations by avoiding filtrate invasion of the core.

The coring plan was enhanced with the BHGE JamBuster™ anti-jamming coring system, which used telescoping core barrel sleeves to minimize the effects of core jamming and avoid the costs of unscheduled trips out of hole. BHGE GammaTrak™ wellsite gamma logging was used for scanning core-filled inner barrels to verify that the target formations were achieved.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results
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Challenges

  • Low consolidated soft sand formation
  • Minimal geological data available
  • High-quality runs to be obtained quickly

Results

  • Rig time reduced by 5 days
  • Savings estimated at $5 million
  • 341 feet of high-quality core samples recovered
  • Recovery rate was 100% for each run
  • First 120-ft core barrel BHA in the country