By Joanne Liou, associate editor
Additional capacity on a new stimulation vessel dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) will allow multiple treatments for well stimulation, fracturing and acidizing, and sand control operations in a single trip – lowering costs and reducing NPT. Baker Hughes’ StimFORCE vessel, which began sea trials on 5 November, targets the GOM shelf market and can operate in water depths as shallow as 18 ft, Rick Jeffrey, product line sales manager for Baker Hughes, said. The vessel provides customized pumping stimulation solutions, with an emphasis on frac packing service and well stimulation services the GOM.
The stimulation system onboard the vessel, also called StimFORCE, is made up of a flexible tank system, which provides up to 1,400-bbl solvent-xylene capacity and/or an acid system package with capacities of up to 25,000-gal raw acid storage. The vessel, which can be rigged up with job-specific modular components, provides increased flexibility for well stimulation operations. StimFORCE GOM was built to free up Baker Hughes’ two other stimulation vessels in the region for deepwater operations, Paul Unwin, director-pressure pumping, GOM geomarket, said during a media tour earlier this month in Houma, La.
Because of the imbalance in supply and demand of stimulation vessels, Baker Hughes had to turn down jobs in the GOM. “We saw a need to add more capacity to meet our clients’ need in the market,” Mr Jeffrey added. Baker Hughes deployed a StimFORCE system in 2007 in West Africa on a client-provided supply vessel. The deployment of future StimFORCE systems are being considered based on market demand, Mr Jeffrey noted.
The StimFORCE GOM vessel is the newest addition to Baker Hughes’ fleet of stimulation vessels since the Blue Tarpon was launched in 2011. The vessel is equipped with five 15,000-psi triplex pumps and two 45 bbl/min frac blenders. The vessel is configured with flexible-steel umbilical lines that allow up to 70 bbl/min pumping rates with a pumping capacity of 8,800 hydraulic horsepower. The pressure-pumping flexibility supports low-rate, low-volume gravel packing with a gravel infuser and supports fracturing and large-volume well stimulation operations.
Designed and constructed by Bordelon Marine, the DP2 vessel features a 185-ft by 44-ft cargo deck, Wes Bordelon, president/owner of Bordelon Marine, explained. The deck provides flexibility and space that can be reconfigured based on a job for multiple well acid or chemical treatments in a single trip.
The open-deck design of the StimFORCE and ISO twist-lock connections supports the flexibility of its modular system. Equipment can be moved or replaced without chains or temporary attachments, Mr Jeffrey said. A quality control laboratory is onboard the vessel, and the stimulation system enhances reliability with a mix-on-the-fly fluid system.
Baker Hughes’ Blue Tarpon and Blue Dolphin stimulation vessels in the GOM target deepwater operations. The Blue Tarpon is equipped with 15,000-psi pumps with 24,000 hydraulic horsepower. The Blue Dolphin launched in 2009 and is rated to 20,000 psi and provides 23,000 hydraulic horsepower. Both have a maximum pump rate of 80 bbl/min.
StimFORCE is a trademark of Baker Hughes.
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