Permian Basin 2018

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PERMIAN BASIN: TECHNOLOGY 48 | October 2018 | even more valuable, according to the company. Customers don't need coil, and unlike other dis- integrating plugs with cast iron or ceramic compo- nents, they don't need to spend any extra time or money circulating heavy plug debris out of the well. The SPECTRE plug leaves behind no debris. "One of our customers recently told us that by running full wellbores of SPECTRE plugs and reducing coiled tubing cost they can save several hundred thousand dollars per well," Casanova said. "But the savings go beyond just coiled tubing. The low-temperature SPECTRE plugs also help to reduce the time between completion and produc- tion, bringing wells online faster than ever before." Slugging it out in the name of longevity When Canadian independent producer TriAxon Oil Corp., a deep Bakken player, developed a system capable of smoothing out inconsistent flows from the wellbore, it soon became the talk of the town. In 2015, it began providing the service to neighboring operators looking to mitigate slug flow and keep their artificial lift pumps working for longer. The system generated enough operator interest that it made sense to spin out the technology into a new service company called Production Plus Energy Services. "The turning point came when we started to make the correlation between pump failures and downtime," explained Jeff Saponja, CEO of HEAL Systems, a joint venture (JV) between Production Plus Energy Services and Schlumberger. "Anytime we had a power failure in the field or the downhole artifi- cial lift pumps had to go down temporarily, when we started one back up again, we would often soon after have pump failures. We started to explore why and study the flow behavior of the gas and oil and water and all the different mixtures of fluids coming out of the wellbore. We discovered that the flow coming out of the horizontal part of the wellbore was incon- sistent, very sluggy. What this means for example is there would be 10 minutes of straight gas coming out of the wellbore followed by 10 minutes of liquids, then 10 minutes of nothing. The flow behaves like a geyser, and pumps don't like these inconsistent flows. We hypothesized that maybe the key to artificially lifting these wells efficiently is smoothing out these inconsistent flows before they reach the artificial lift pump. This is fundamentally where the HEAL System was born. We are a slug flow mitigation company." The HEAL System is best described as an effi- ciency driver for artificial lift systems. Artificial lift systems were designed for vertical wells and were not designed to handle slug flows. The HEAL System handles the slug flows and is a downhole solution that seamlessly integrates an artificial lift system in the curved or bend section of a horizon- tal well. With no moving parts, it is designed to perform for the life of the well. It is made up of the HEAL seal at the lower part of the bend section, an engineered variable-internal-diameter tubing interval through the bend section called a sized regulating string, and a vortex or cyclonic separa- tor positioned at the top of the bend section. This positions a traditional artificial lift system in the vertical part of the wellbore, where it can operate most efficiently. The seal forces production from the horizontal section through a smaller diameter flow path in the build section. Production therefore flows up the sized regulating string, and due to the smaller and variable internal diameter is condi- tioned into a desired multiphase state that lowers fluid density to lift the liquids from the horizontal to the vertical and simultaneously regulates the flow to mitigate slugs. The conditioned flow is then delivered to the vortex separator, which discharges The SPECTRE frack plug offers the same flexible stage placement as traditional composite plugs, but the entire plug fully disintegrates downhole in the presence of wellbore fluids, requires no post-frack intervention and leaves no debris. (Image courtesy of Baker Hughes, a GE company)

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