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Casing, cementing, and completion installation operations have, until now, not possessed the capability of real-time, downhole data. As well complexity increases, the incidences of failure and/or sub-optimal installation of downhole completion systems has risen dramatically. This has led to large increases in nonproductive time (NPT) as well as impaired production.

Until recently, almost all completion installation operations were carried out effectively blind to downhole conditions, using only surface measurements and models often at variance with what was actually happening downhole. Real-time data collection during a frac pack or gravel pack installation requires the ability to transmit data with a variety of different fluid conditions including low flow, no flow, high rate, and proppant laden, all while maintaining an unrestricted through bore. Additionally telemetry must also operate while the blowout preventers (BOP) are closed and in reverse circulating conditions.

A customer drilling a well in deepwater Gulf of Mexico faced this type of situation. The well trajectory was S-shaped with a build up to 30 degrees followed by a drop-off to the reservoir at about 15 degrees. Surface measurements and models could not adequately predict with the required degree of certainty the actual weight applied downhole.

Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), recommended the XACT™ downhole acoustic telemetry service. The tool was deployed to monitor the downhole conditions including pressures, temperatures, and weights applied during screen installation, packer setting, and manipulation of the crossover tool during critical operations such as the mini-frac, step-rate tests, and frac operations. After screen out, the actual downhole overbalance was also monitored prior to picking up to the reverse position, which was also confirmed from the downhole pressures.

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Challenges & Results
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Challenges

  • Monitor S-shaped completion
  • Predict accurate weight applied downhole
  • Reduce impact to rig operations

Results

  • Acquired real-time data to deliver accurate completion engineering data
  • Incurred minimal impact to standard rig operations
  • Provided industry-first downhole real-time data during a deepwater frac pack