Field Trial Proves Upgrades to Solid Expandable Tubulars
A 3,142-ft length of solid expandable openhole liner was installed successfully in a BP-operated well in Novemb er 2001. This established an industry record length and demonstrated two improvements: (1) 654 ft of liner were simultaneously expanded and pumped to the bottom of the well without the need to stop to make connections; (2) a sliding sleeve valve permitted cement placement postexpansion prior to drill-out. These improvements delivered significant time savings and offer reduced risk plus greater flexibility in the use of solid expandable liners. This work was conducted as a technology field trial at an onshore location before trying it in the higher cost offshore environment. Key steps were taken to reduce the risks of this trial, including provisions to completely recover the expandable equipment from the well in the event of a problem. Also, risks unique to the relatively shallow depth of this installation were addressed and minimized.