As operators look to reduce risk in harsh offshore environments, Baker Hughes’ newest technologies offer the latest solutions in long string, deepwater completions.
The Baker Hughes ZX-e™ Electronically Actuated Casing Packer remotely creates a mechanical barrier to flow paths during wellbore construction, completion, production and abandonment operations, while a state-of-the-art Wireless Top Drive (TD) Cement Head handles heavy casing strings and remotely launches plugs, balls and darts. The global oilfield service company’s latest technologies are both being commercially launched this week as part of the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
“Our advances in deepwater completions offer our customers technologies that assist with risk management while working offshore,” said Art Soucy, Baker Hughes’ President of Global Products and Services. “These two technologies combine to offer advances that enable our customers to run extremely long and heavy casing strings or liners and provide a gas-tight barrier that offers more reliable isolation than cement.”
The ZX-e remote actuated casing packer features an electronic trigger mechanism and sets the packer without pressure or pipe manipulation. The packer creates a gas-tight barrier between casing strings for critical applications and is the first to use a modular electronic trigger mechanism. This interventionless actuation method simplifies installation operations and provides a mechanical seal that offers more reliable isolation than cement in the casing annulus in both offshore and land wells.
A unique set of vibration signals are sent from the rig floor to activate the packer when it is set at shallow depths. In applications where the packer is set deeper in the well, the ZX-e packer uses a customized casing wiper plug with a specific magnetic field signature to initiate the setting timer. Surface-deployed “hold” commands and contingency setting options provide additional control in both settings methods.
“The ZX-e packer also incorporates proven ZX™ seal technology, which has delivered unsurpassed pressure and temperature ratings and rugged dependability in wellbores around the world,” said Neil Harrop, Baker Hughes’ President of Completions and Production. “By combining our advanced seal technology with the industry’s only electronic trigger mechanism, we have delivered a safer, more reliable packer system that provides a mechanical, annular seal between casing strings. We expect the seal created by our new packer will set a new standard within the industry.”
In conjunction with the ZX-e packer, Baker Hughes also is introducing the Wireless Top Drive (TD) Cement Head. The system is designed for running and cementing long, heavy casing strings associated with deepwater and subsea completions. The Wireless Top Drive Cement Head has a 2.5 million pound load capacity, which exceeds the capacity of today’s strongest API drill pipe connections. The Wireless Top Drive Cement Head functions remotely and wirelessly, removing rig employees from areas of potential danger during cementing operations.
The Wireless Top Drive Cement Head is fast to rig up and is versatile in operation. The system is compatible with the Baker Hughes Seahawk™ suite of reliable, high-performance offshore cementing equipment, and can be controlled wirelessly either from the Seahawk control unit or a hand held control panel.
“These technologies combine to offer our customers the key completion solutions they need in today’s demanding deepwater and subsea applications,” Harrop said. “As the offshore environment continues to pose challenges, we are listening to our customers, anticipating their needs and working to deliver the technologies and solutions that will help them to improve well integrity and deliver better returns on their investment.”