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Technology roundup: Packers Plus, Halliburton and Varel offer innovations in fracturing, bits

Posted on 16 August 2011

The Packers Plus RepeaterPORT sleeve enables fracturing of up to 60 stages per lateral.

The Packers Plus RepeaterPORT sleeve enables fracturing of up to 60 stages per lateral.

Packers Plus Energy Services this week introduced the RepeaterPORT sleeve, which enables fracturing of up to 60 stages per lateral, according to the company. The stage multiplier technology increases the number of stages available in the company’s StackFRAC HD system. By using the same-size ball, the RepeaterPORT sleeve multiplies the number of available stages that can be fractured, allowing for optimization of fracture crews and the use of less frac fluid. There are a variety of ball seat sizes, allowing numerous stages to be run in sequence, the company says.

“We can actually drop the same-size ball multiple times and activate specific ports within the system,” Packers Plus president Dan Themig said.

The RepeaterPORT has been field-tested in the US and is available worldwide.

Halliburton is now offering the RapidFrac completion system, which uses a metering process that enables a single ball to open multiple sleeves isolated within an interval by swellable packers. Each sleeve can be tailored to specific fracture requirements along a horizontal wellbore to enhance post-frac production. Up to 90 sleeves can be incorporated into one horizontal completion. By facilitating continuous pumping, the system reduces stimulation cycle time from days to hours and reduces the volume of water consumed.

Initial system deployments have occurred in the Bakken Shale with Brigham Exploration and Williams Production Company. However, Halliburton believes this technology has application for shale developments on a global basis.

To prove this technology with Halliburton, Williams drilled two comparable offset wells. The first was completed with the traditional “plug and perforate” method and the second used the RapidFrac system.

The RapidFrac system allowed the company to complete the well in less than half the time of a “plug and perforate” system, according to the companies. “This is a major step forward in completion efficiency,” said William Stenzel, vice president, Williams Williston.

Varel International is moving its High Roller series roller cone drill bits to commercial availability. The bits, ranging from 14 ¾ in. to 18 ½ in., are sealed roller bearing designs with either steel tooth or tungsten carbide insert cutting structures. The series responds to increasing demands being put on larger-diameter roller cone drill bits in terms of weight on bit and rotations per minute (RPM), according to the company.

This addition to Varel’s product line includes patented conical seal gland geometry technology. The conical seal gland positions the seal to better handle pressure fluctuations and still maintain a preferred dynamic sealing interface. There’s also a larger, anti-friction bearing package that reduces heat generation and bearing torque for higher RPM runs. Additionally, a larger greaser reservoir increases greaser volume by five times compared with the previous design.

The V-Jet hydraulics package was also incorporated into this series to enable precision aiming of the nozzle flow for cuttings cleaning while avoiding erosion of the bit’s cones and the borehole wall due to recirculation.

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