Installation of Solid Expandable Tubular Systems Through Milled Casing Windows
During development, the potential of solid expandable tubular technology promised to revolutionize the design, construction, and remediation of wells through conservation of hole size and maximization of pass-through and flow area. The increased use of this technology and value-based applications by major and independent operators is making this promise a reality. One installation after another, operators are realizing significant value creation in new well construction and increased production from remediated wells. Initially, the envelope of well criteria in which solid expandable tubular systems were qualified was limited to relatively straight holes. However, the full application potential of this technology can only be realized by a continual broadening of the expandable operational envelope. Ongoing testing and actual field installations continue to reduce the limitations of using solid expandable tubular systems in candidate wells. Currently, the performance of solid expandable tubular systems is proven for use in high-angle and horizontal wells, deepwater wells, multiple installations in the same well, situations that require a relatively long expandable casing string, various cementing scenarios, among others. One application of solid expandable tubular systems that was not qualified in the past was a sidetrack through a milled window. However, recent testing and successful field applications proves the viability of using solid expandable tubular systems in these circumstances. This paper discusses factors that potentially threaten the reliable installation of solid expandable tubular systems through a mi lled casing window into a sidetrack or lateral wellbore, the steps taken to mitigate these factors, the procedures used to test and qualify the performance in this situation, and the results of surface and field testing. The current limitations of using solid expandable tubular systems in this application are also presented.