The Research and Development Laboratories have the equipment and staff needed to conduct all standard and virtually all non-standard testing on drilling, drill-in, and completion fluids. All items of test equipment are subject to programmed calibration and maintenance in accordance with documented procedures. Maintenance and calibration activities are scheduled and recorded by means of a computer database.
The availability of equipment is clearly important. However, we believe that the ability to utilize this equipment to deliver tangible performance improvements to our customers is paramount. Through utilization of this equipment, fit-for-purpose state-of-the-art drilling fluid formulations are determined, complex drilling problems solved, and cost savings to the operator realized.
Complex Well Support Equipment
FANN® 50 High Temperature Viscometer
The FANN® 50 HTHP viscometer is used to evaluate rheological properties at up to 500°F (260°C) and 700 psi to determine the temperature stability of a drilling fluid. When the viscosity of the drilling fluid increases or decreases over the heating and cooling cycle, the test results can indicate temperature instability.
FANN 70 and 75 High Pressure/High Temperature Viscometers
Both instruments are concentric cylinder viscometers capable of providing standard oilfield rheology data on fluids subjected to 20,000 psig and 500°F (260°C). The FANN 75 viscometer can also be used sub-ambient (to 41°F/ 5°C) to simulate low fluid temperatures encountered within deepwater risers.
FANN 70 and FANN 75 rheometers are used extensively during the planning and drilling of HPHT wells to measure rheology under field conditions. Measurement of fluid rheology under downhole conditions is critical to management of equivalent circulating density (ECD) and must always be considered in conjunction with any measured change in sag performance.
Extreme HPHT Viscometer
This viscometer will operate at temperatures up to 600°F (315°C) and pressures up to 30,000 psig to allow rheological property measurements on fluids designed for extremely hot, deep wells. The instrument has improved embedded electronics control module, data acquisition and control software, and pressure, temperature, and speed controllers.
Permeability Plugging Apparatus
The Permeability Plugging Apparatus (PPA) permits fluid loss measurement using ceramic discs available in a variety of permeabilities (5 micron to 190 micron) to simulate reservoir pore throat diameters. Filtercake is built on the underside of the ceramic disc. This orientation eliminates the effects of settlement during formation of the filtercake. Overbalances to 2500 psig can be reproduced. The cell can be heated to 500°F (260°C).
PPA is used extensively during optimization of pore throat bridging formulations using BARACARB® bridging agent (sized marble). PPA results are used to evaluate the effects of varying BARACARB bridging agent concentration and particle size distribution. The continued ability of field muds to provide suitable bridging is typically evaluated using a combination of PPA testing and particle size analysis.
FANN 90 Dynamic Filtration Test
The FANN 90 dynamic filtration test builds on the capabilities of the PPA in that it utilizes ceramic cores available in a range of different permeabilities. The FANN 90 dynamic filtration test differs from PPA in three important respects:
Filtercake is built on the inner surface of a vertically oriented, cylindrical ceramic core to more accurately replicate the wellbore.
A motor-driven rod inserted through the center of the core simulates the action of drill string rotation and annular fluid velocity on filtercake deposition and attrition.
Filtrate volume can be measured versus time. The FANN 90 dynamic filtration test simulates filtration properties downhole and implements unique Baroid filtration models to determine cake deposition index (CDI) and dynamic filtration rate to provide solutions preventing differentially stuck pipe.