The Value of Solid Expandable Tubulars in Openhole and Casedhole Environments
Since its inception in the late nineties, solid expandable tubular technology has saved major and independent operators significant capital whether used in drilling operations or in workover projects. In drilling operations, these systems have been used as a contingency string and as a primary casing string planned into the well design. Incorporating these systems into the initial wellbore plan has helped reduce the overall costs of some wells by up to 30%. For workover projects, solid expandable tubulars repair and/or reinforce existing casing while minimizing loss of hole size that enables use of the same 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. In addition, these systems have provided the impetus for operations that result in compelling returns on production-enhancement projects for old and new wells and fields. This paper will explain how solid expandable tubulars have been used in a myriad of environments and conditions to address a variety of drilling and workover challenges and problems. Actual openhole and cased-hole case histories will be used to illustrate how this technology was advantageous to the projects, albeit economic or technical.