New Baker Hughes lab focuses on deepwater chemicals reliability

Posted on 30 April 2013

BakerHughesDeepwater

Baker Hughes recently opened its new Upstream Chemical Deepwater lab, where FATHOM subsea-certified chemicals are assessed for product reliability, quality and performance. The lab uses equipment, such as visual hydrate rocking cells, as part of a 16-step FATHOM deepwater subsea-certification process.
Image courtesy of Baker Hughes.

By Katherine Scott, associate editor

Baker Hughes is further investing in the deepwater frontier with the opening of its new Upstream Chemicals Deepwater Laboratory in Houston on 25 April. Located within the company’s Center for Technology Innovation (CTI), the $4.5 million lab is dedicated to deepwater research, studies and testing.

“A lot of focus in this market talks about ‘no more easy oil.’ It’s been that way for quite some time,” Mark Lewis, vice president of upstream chemicals, said at the launch event. “In my view, deepwater is the definition of ‘no more easy oil.’ This means a need for exceptional technology developments in seismic, drilling, completions, production and production treatment as E&P companies push further out and push the envelopes of performance, particularly around HPHT.”

The lab features equipment to assess product reliability and quality, as well as performance of the company’s FATHOM subsea-certified chemicals, designed as deepwater flow assurance treatments. Through a 16-step deepwater subsea-certification process, the lab can confirm that each chemical product is qualified for subsea application through tests such as hydrate stability, high temperature thermal stability and chemical fluid compatibility. The FATHOM test is built on standards recommended by the Blockage Avoidance in Subsea Injection and Control Systems (BASICS) joint industry project and published in API specification 17A TR6.

Equipment in the lab includes a high-pressure rheometer, cloud point/pour point analyzer, proprietary high-pressure umbilical approval test loops, a high-pressure viscometer, temperature cycling ovens, a high-pressure density meter, particle size analyzer, visual hydrate rocking cells, a paraffin cold finger, high-pressure asphaltene flocculation tester, dynamic tube blocking equipment for scale and a core flood apparatus.

With water depths reaching 10,000 ft, pressures up to 30,000 psi, and temperatures of 400°F in some deepwater environments like the Gulf of Mexico’s Lower Tertiary, Ann Davis, director of deepwater solutions at Baker Hughes, said more needs to be done to operate in HPHT. “The industry currently doesn’t have all the necessary tools they need to manage these conditions. My team is hoping to take some lessons learned at CTI and expand our capabilities in the lab to be able to evaluate our products under those conditions. We’re also hoping to expand our FATHOM capabilities to be able to test our products at those conditions.”

Just a couple of days before the opening of the Houston lab, Baker Hughes also launched its new Center for Offshore Cementing, Fluids and Chemicals in Broussard, La. It is designed to support the continued growth of the deepwater market as well. The company envisions using the centers to collaborate on technological development. “We’re starting to push our capability in deepwater out to where the deepwater hubs are, ” Mr Lewis said. “The upstream personnel in Louisiana will work in tandem with the technologies that we develop both out of the Houston facility and in our Sugar Land facility.”

FATHOM is a trademark of Baker Hughes.

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 31 October 2014

    Japan Drilling to operate new jackup under construction at Keppel

    The KFELS Super B Class design has a drilling depth of 35,000 ft. The rig's leg structure is designed to provide enhanced robustness for operations at 400 ft water depth...

  • 29 October 2014

    New intelligent water management solution based on oxidizer technology

    Nalco Champion has launched the RenewIQ line of oilfield water reuse solutions to help operators reduce freshwater consumption and associated handling costs...

  • 29 October 2014

    Baker Hughes launches all-electric intelligent well system

    Baker Hughes has commercially released its MultiNode all-electric intelligent well system. It allows operators to remotely monitor and control a greater number of production zones...

  • 29 October 2014

    Tercel collaborates with TOTAL to design MicroCORE PDC drill bit

    Tercel Oilfield Products has launched the MicroCORE cutting system at the 2014 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Amsterdam. The MicroCORE cutting...

  • 28 October 2014

    First extension well in pre-salt Libra leads to oil discovery

    The Libra consortium announced that the drilling of the first extension well in the Libra area, known as 3-BRSA-1255-RJS (3-RJS-731), has proven the discovery of high-quality oil...

  • Read more news