Expandable Tubular Technology-Drill Deeper, Farther, More Economically
Expandable tubular systems enable operators to access reserves that cannot be reached economically with conventional technology. This industry breakthrough meets urgent 21st century challenges posed by drilling in high pressure zones, deepwater environments, and troublesome sub-salt plays. Expandable casing is run after the hole section is drilled. A specially designed expansion cone is then run through the casing to increase its diameter. Tests have proven a routine expansion capability of 20%, at a rate of 25 to 60 ft/min. Higher percentages of expansion appear feasible. Before the advent of expandable casing, operators had to use sections of progressively smaller diameter pipe as they drilled deeper, resulting in a “telescoped” conduit. Using expandable tubular technology reduces this tapering effect and decreases the likelihood of running out of hole diameter before reaching potential pay zones. Using this technology operators can now drill deeper vertical wells, extend the reach of deviated wells, and conquer those deepwater wells that were previously considered impractical. Our presentation will provide a review of the technology and several types of jobs performed to date. Then we will look forward to the next generation of expandable tubular technology and its applications.