The Development and Applications of Solid Expandable Tubular Technology
For years the reduction of tubular internal diameter (ID) limited the exploration and production of oil and gas. Operators faced significant loss of ID in the course of the normal drilling process, during re-entry and deepening of existing wells, or when installing additional casing strings to remediate well problems. The industry confronted this dilemma with innovative problem solving that stretched the boundaries of physics in the guise of solid expandable tubular technology. As this tubular system moved from its infancy and discovery phase into one of a more adolescent technology, successful applications proved its reliability in a variety conditions and environments. Solid expandable tubulars continue to build a legacy as a solution to problems involving gas shut off, subsidence repair, water shut off, lost circulation, and remediation of wells slated for abandonment This paper will discuss solid expandable tubulars from theory to reality, following the technology from its inception through development to application. Case histories will be cited to illustrate how solid expandable tubular systems are applied in a myriad of drilling challenges The paper will also discuss how the technology continues to evolve, leading to the monodiameter well where casing diameter remains constant throughout the total length of the well.