SPE Offshore Europe 17: The importance of an open approach to innovation

5th September 2017

When I started my current role in our Wireless Well Solutions business, I didn’t foresee the huge change ahead of us in the industry – but that’s exactly what happened when I transferred in 2014.

At the time our primary focus was on long term wireless monitoring of abandoned and suspended E&A wells, by reducing reservoir uncertainties through wirelessly monitoring the reservoir for any observed pressure response.  However as the market switched from exploration and appraisal, to late life of field and well abandonment, it was important we evolved with it.

On reflection, an SPE well integrity and abandonment workshop was a key catalyst in considering how our CaTS technology could be applied to the well abandonment market.  The early workshops of 2015 were focused on bringing technology solutions to the abandonment toolbox, to bring operational efficiencies – something we knew was key for our clients.

After discussing this with a range of well abandonment specialists in operator companies, we realised the need for long term well integrity monitoring of primary well barriers on subsea wells.  This allowed companies to monitor their wells in real time, making informed well abandonment decisions for the duration of suspension or abandonment.

There were several significant engineering challenges to overcome, including extending the life of our system from five years to seven years, which uses high capacity lithium batteries, in order to meet regulatory guidelines for plug and abandonment applications. 

This now means that our CaTS technology can be used to re-enter a well for permanent abandonment, providing real time well integrity status data from the suspended of temporary abandoned subsea well. Key operational decisions can be made which significantly reduce cost by  saving two to three days of rig time, through to early Xmas tree removal (prior to rig arrival) and recovery of the upper completion without the need for wireline intervention – it can equate to millions of dollars in savings!

This was only made possible thanks to an open approach from operators in sharing their challenges, allowing us to invest in solutions driven by them.  As my colleague, Daniel More, commented in his blog at OTC earlier this year:

“Operators and services companies are well placed to work together to achieve this, supported by key organisations…..”

For us, the catalyst was SPE but the willingness to collaborate is truly what allowed this to happen. 

Donald is presenting at Expro’s SPE Offshore Europe stand 5D110. 5-8th September.  Full details, dates and times are available on our presentation flyer, or simply drop by the stand to speak with him.

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