Attaining Significant Value with Solid Expandable Tubular Technology
The advent of solid expandable tubulars in the late nineties ushered in a new way to approach wellbore design, to mitigate common drilling problems and to revitalize existing or shut-in wells. With over 490 installations, solid expandable tubulars have established a legacy as an adaptable and enabling technology that provides reliable solutions without sacrificing hole size or the desired completion. As the technology matures, the application realm continues to broaden to include the installation of multiple systems in a single wellbore, expansion through milled windows and use in high-pressure, high-temperature conditions, to name a few. The technology also boasts an adaptable edge that enables it to be used on any of the large offshore rigs as well as the standard land rigs, without the need for any modifications. Expandable tubulars have saved major and independent operators significant capital whether used as a contingency string or as a primary casing string planned into the base well design. Incorporating these systems into the initial wellbore plan has reduced the overall costs of some wells by up to 30%. These savings have enabled projects to be given the green light that were previously deemed cost prohibitive. This paper will outline the basic operational process of the technology and explain how solid expandable tubulars have been used in a myriad of environments and conditions to address a variety of drilling challenges and problems. Actual case histories will be used to illustrate how this technology was advantageous to the projects, be it economic, technical or environmental. In addition, this paper explains how the planning and implementation process best ensures that the maximum value of the solid expandable system is attained.