Real World Examples of Solid Expandable Casing Applications
When most operators think of solid expandable casing they focus primarily on how its application relates to curing hole problems, while minimizing any loss of hole size incurred by running a casing string. However, many new uses for solid expandable casing are quickly growing in popularity. Some of the applications are remedial in nature, but more and more the technology is being planned in as part of the well design. Many of the normal drawbacks to conventional well designs can be mitigated with the application of solid expandable casing technology. From deepwater wells where solid expandable casing is being used to slim the well design to sidetracking in existing wells, the technology allows operators to preserve hole size, downsize their rigs and save on consumable items. Other applications have involved shutting off water-producing fractures by expanding against the formation and repairing casing by cladding the solid expandable system across the damaged section. One advantage realized by using solid expandable casing includes the ability to drill the next hole section beyond the expandable casing with larger drillpipe and bottomhole assemblies (BHAs), including measurements-while-drilling (MWD) and logging-whiledrilling (LWD) tools, which may have been impossible in the conventional casing plan. Larger production tubulars and related completion equipment also add to the value generated by using solid expandable casing. This paper will look at a number of specific examples of installations performed to date or in the planning stages. These examples will cover a wide spectrum of applications.