Archived News

Risk-ranking thermal wells for integrity

Thursday, August 29, 2019

In collaboration with Devon Canada (now CNRL), we developed a tool to quantitatively risk-rank SAGD wells for subsurface barrier integrity based on identified damage mechanisms and associated, readily available influential attributes or proxy attributes.

Such a tool can aid significantly in identifying wells at a higher risk of casing and cement sheath damage or failure; the specific mechanism and barrier at risk; the associated diagnostic, mitigation steps and resources to deploy to achieve optimal benefit; and a means to support the transparent identification, communication and tracking of risk levels and actions related to wellbore integrity.

On behalf of authors Todd Zahacy of C-FER and Barkim Demirdal of CNRL, Brian Wagg will be presenting the summary of this development at the upcoming SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Calgary, Alberta at ePoster Screen G on Monday, September 30, 2019. 

You will learn about the approach and workflow to develop the risk-ranking model, which is based on the probability of failure and associated consequences, as well as hear about how it was applied by Devon Canada in their commercial Jackfish Lake SAGD project and the aspects of the model and supporting data identified for on-going advancement.  

The paper, Risk-ranking Approach for Thermal Well Integrity Using Readily Available Application, Well and Operational Parameters, will be available through SPE’s OnePetro following the presentation.

 

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How flow control devices may benefit Geothermal Applications

Thursday, August 29, 2019

This year, C-FER will be presenting a paper entitled, An Introduction to Flow Control Devices and the Potential Benefits to Geothermal Applications.

Geothermal operators face several significant challenges in creating and maintaining optimal production from their wells. One of these challenges is the uniform distribution of both injected and produced fluid to and from the reservoir. Preferential production of fluid from one zone of a reservoir can result in thermal drawdown, reducing the temperature of the produced fluid. Additionally, the formation of direct pathways between injection and production wells, commonly referred to as "short-circuits", can heavily impact downhole heat transfer efficiency, particularly in Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) operations. Thermal heavy oil producers, particularly those who use Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), face a very similar challenge (though reversed in terms of heat transfer). In SAGD operations, the injected steam needs to be uniformly distributed in the target oil reservoir, or the operators risk abating the area effectively heated by the steam. Additionally, there is a risk that some of the injected steam may flow directly to the production well, resulting in an inefficient reservoir heating process and similar short-circuiting.

To help address this problem, SAGD operators have begun to employ Flow Control Devices (FCDs) to provide an effective means of well control. Though the concept of FCDs is not new, having been utilized in conventional Oil and Gas for many years, the widespread adoption of this technology in SAGD wells is relatively recent. The first commercial deployment of FCDs in a SAGD well was completed in 2009 by ConocoPhillips Corporation at their Surmont SAGD Project; however, in the last 10 years FCDs have since become more widely adopted.

Several SAGD operators have reported significant process improvements since the introduction of FCDs, including: better reservoir conformance, more efficient production of oil (i.e. less water and energy use, and lower GHG emissions) and increased total production. Given the similarities between the challenges faced by SAGD and Geothermal operators, FCDs may be a viable technology to help mitigate imbalanced reservoir flow in Geothermal operations. In order to evaluate the potential of FCD technology for Geothermal applications, there are key differences between the operations of a SAGD well and a Geothermal well that need to be assessed.

This paper summarizes the current state of commercially available FCDs and their operation, how FCDs are typically used in the Oil and Gas industry, and the potential benefits and limitations if operators used FCDs in the Geothermal industry.

Date:

Monday, September 16. 2019

Time:

5:00 PM

Location:

Room (TBD)

Presenter:

Wayne Klaczek, MSc, PEng Manager, Production Operations C-FER Technologies

Session Chair:

Brandon Curkan, PEng Senior Research Engineer, Production Operations C-FER Technologies

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How to optimize SAGD production with AICV

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Flow control devices are used in SAGD wells to balance the oil inflow along horizontal wells and mitigate unwanted fluid breakthrough.

The newest generation of flow control devices for SAGD wells, Autonomous Inflow Control Valves (AICVs), can:

  • optimize oil production;
  • reduce SOR; and
  • significantly restrict the inflow of unwanted fluids.

To assess the performance of AICVs, we conducted testing in a full-scale high temperature laboratory flow loop that replicates SAGD production conditions. Details of the test program, and the principles that make up the AICV technology, are presented in a paper co-authored by Steven Swaffield.

The paper will be presented as an ePoster at the upcoming SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Calgary, Alberta on Oct 1, 2019 at 3:15 p.m. The presentation will be at ePoster Screen G . You will learn about the single-phase and multi-phase flow performance behavior of AICVs and how they can reduce steam use in SAGD projects.  

The entire paper – Verification of Autonomous Inflow Control Valve Flow Performance within Heavy Oil SAGD Thermal Flow Loop - is available through the 2019 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

Steven Swaffield is a Research Engineer-in-Training in the Production Operations department at C-FER. His focus is on experimental fluid mechanics and thermal applications.

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How a new FCD can optimize thermal SAGD operations

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

As part of a Joint Industry Project focused on studying FCDs for SAGD operations, a new device was investigated that inhibits the influx of steam while allowing the flow of emulsion into a production well. This new device was tested in C-FER’s lab using a high temperature, multiphase FCD flow loop and a three-phase FCD erosion loop, and in the field at Cenovus and Suncor sites. Details of the test program and the performance results of the new FCD device are presented in a paper co-authored by Daniel Booy.

The paper will be presented at the upcoming SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Calgary, Alberta on October 2, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. The presentation will be at Palomino A-C. You will learn about the performance of this new flow control device, specifically its ability to limit steam breakthrough in thermal operations.  

The entire paper – Laboratory and Field Testing of a Steam-Limiting Flow Control Device Developed for Thermal Applications - is available through the 2019 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

Daniel Booy is a Senior Research Engineer in the Production Operations department at C-FER. His focus is on experimental testing of flow control devices.

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How to use fiber-optic sensors to validate FCD performance

Monday, August 26, 2019

As part of a Joint Industry Project focused on optimizing FCD design and selection, fiber-optic based instrumentation was deployed in FCD-equipped SAGD producer wells to collect distributed temperature and acoustic sensing data to better understand the fluid inflow distribution.

In addition, acoustic instrumentation was installed in parallel with a high temperature, multiphase flow loop located at C-FER to try and better understand the correlation between an FCD’s operating condition and its measured acoustic response. Details of the test program, including observations from the lab and field data, and the proposed next steps are presented in a paper co-authored by Daniel Booy.

The paper will be presented at the upcoming SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Calgary, Alberta on October 2, 2019 at 9:20 a.m. The presentation will be at Palomino A-C. You will learn about the suitability and limitations of fiber-optic logging to validate FCD performance in active SAGD wells.  

The entire paper – Characterization of Flow Control Device Performance with Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensors - is available through the 2019 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

Daniel Booy is a Senior Research Engineer in the Production Operations department at C-FER. His focus is on experimental testing of flow control devices. 

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What may be changing in Annex B of CSA Z662-2023?

Friday, March 29, 2019

CSA Z662 is the Canadian standard for oil and gas pipeline systems, with Annex B specifically focusing on how to perform risk assessments for pipelines. Annex B is currently under review by the Risk Management Task Force and will likely be undergoing significant changes in 2023 to include more guidance on performing risk assessments and quantitative risk criteria for both natural gas and liquid pipelines.

Task Force Chair Maher Nessim, and Task Force work group leaders Mark Stephens of C-FER Technologies and Shahani Kariyawasam of TransCanada, will be leading a work group session at the Banff Pipeline Workshop to discuss the development of the guidance and risk criteria, and how these changes will impact pipeline design and integrity management decisions. If you are interested in learning more about the potential upcoming changes to Annex B, the details of the work group session are as follows:

Work Group 7 – Pipeline Risk and Reliability Management
Session F – Update on the Development of Comprehensive Risk Assessment Guidance and Associated Criteria for CSA Z662-2023 Annex B – Guidelines for Risk Assessment of Pipeline Systems
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.
https://www.banffpipelineworkshop.com/working-group-sessions/

Maher Nessim, PhD, PEng, FCAE is a C-FER Fellow and C-FER Technologies’ Chief Engineer. He is a member of the CSA Z662 Design Technical Sub Committee, Class Location Task Force, Chair of the CSA Annex C/O Task Force and the Risk Management Task Force, and has been a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers since 2013.

Mark Stephens, MSc, PEng, is a Senior Engineering Consultant at C-FER Technologies with over 30 years of experience in the areas of advanced structural analysis, large-scale testing, and engineering system risk and reliability with an emphasis on pipelines. He has also been actively involved in the development of sections of CSA Z662 pertaining to Risk Assessment and Limit States Design.

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How to manage circumferential cracking in pipelines

Friday, March 29, 2019

C-FER is leading work group 5 - Management of Cracking Pipelines - at the 2019 Banff Pipeline Workshop

Management of circumferential cracks in pipelines has been a secondary concern to axial cracks, and integrity assessment techniques are not as mature as those available for axial cracks or those from other industries. In order to give industry members an opportunity to share their experiences and learn from other’s successes and failures, Mark Stephens of C-FER Technologies, together with Lyndon Lamborn of Enbridge and Elvis SanJuan of Riverol, will be leading a work group session on circumferential crack management at the Banff Pipeline Workshop.

Discussion is anticipated regarding construction weld quality control, integrity assessment limitations, regulatory requirements, and geohazard management. If you have something to share or are interested in learning more about circumferential crack management, the details of the work group session are as follows:

Work Group 5 – Management of Cracking Pipelines
Session G – Management of Circumferential Cracking in Pipelines
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 3:30 p.m.
https://www.banffpipelineworkshop.com/working-group-sessions/

Mark Stephens, MSc, PEng, is a Senior Engineering Consultant at C-FER Technologies with over 30 years of experience in the areas of advanced structural analysis, large-scale testing, and engineering system risk and reliability with an emphasis on pipelines.

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New Version of WellXplore Released

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Learn about the new features added in this latest release

C-FER Technologies is pleased to announce the release of a new version of Well Xplore Software.

New features of Well Xplore v1.4 include:

  • Import wells, logs, and pads into new and existing Well Xplore files;
  • Nominal ID and OD are now overlain on the cross-section view;
  • Quickly delete a log – no more simultaneous loading while deleting; and
  • Improved SQL database compatibility
    • Solved crash issues when sharing files between systems with different versions of SQL Server
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New version of PC-PUMP features rod string additions, AMPCP Wear Prediction and more.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

C-FER is pleased to announce the release of an update to PC-PUMP.

PC-PUMP v3.7.3 has the following additions over PC-PUMP v3.7.2:

  • Minor Bug Fixes: some minor PC-PUMP software bugs have been fixed in v3.7.3. These fixes improve the integrity and usability of PC-PUMP by removing bugs that could potentially cause unexpected behaviour in the software.
  • Windows 10 Improvements: we have been working to improve the appearance of PC-PUMP in Windows 10 over the last few versions.  In v3.7.3, all of the main input and output windows have now been updated to the new format.  We will continue to work on some of the lesser-used windows.
  • Production Data Analysis: PC-PUMP can now link directly to external databases or spreadsheets to perform batch analyses over a range of actual operating conditions over a period of time.  Also, the user may import any type of data for comparison to PC-PUMP results, and not just values which can be PC-PUMP inputs.  The output window for these analyses has also been updated and improved.
  • Rod String Additions: users may now select certain spin-through rod guides for use with continuous rod.  Also, certain specialty rods which use non-API connections are now properly handled in the software, so that only the correct connections may be specified.
  • AMPCP Wear Prediction: C-FER’s All-Metal PCP (AMPCP) wear prediction model has been added to PC-PUMP as an optional module, available to users for an additional cost.  This model is briefly described in SPE 190945 by O. Becerra and J. Sheldon.  Please contact C-FER for more information on this module or to inquire about gain access to it.

For more information or to download the latest version, visit our PC-PUMP website.

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How to assess corrosion with reliability-based criteria

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Examples of burst and leak event in pipelines.

Reliability-based Limit State Design and assessment corrosion criteria have been developed as part of a joint industry project to optimize corrosion mitigation for vintage pipelines. The criteria is calibrated to meet specific reliability targets within a certain tolerance but does not require probabilistic calculations for application. Comparison of the criteria to the CSA Z662 and TransCanada’s in-house reliability-based criteria was undertaken to evaluate the performance of the criteria.  

Dr. Dongliang Lu is presenting the results of this project at the upcoming Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management Conference in Houston, Texas on February 21, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. You will learn about using reliability-based criteria to assess corrosion features affecting onshore pipelines.  

The entire paper – Reliability-based Criteria for Corrosion Assessment - is available through the the conference.

Dr. Dongliang Lu is a Research Engineer in the Pipeline Integrity & Management department at C-FER. His focus is on pipeline integrity assessment, and risk and reliability management.

 

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How to evaluate and verify external leak detection systems

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Schematic Representations of Operating Areas 1 and 2

A leak detection evaluation framework for onshore transmission pipelines has been developed in conjunction with PHMSA. The framework is to be used by pipeline operators to evaluate and verify leak detection systems that operate external to the pipeline, specifically those with the ability to detect small leaks.

In addition to developing the framework, we have shown how the developed framework can be used through a demonstration exercise, which involved assessing the ability of candidate technologies to meet specific performance requirements.

Mr. Mathew Bussière is presenting the results of this project at the upcoming Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management Conference in Houston, Texas on February 22, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. You will learn about how to apply the leak detection evaluation framework to identify and evaluate external leak detection systems for deployment on onshore transmission pipelines.

The entire paper – Development of a Framework for Evaluating and Verifying External Leak Detection Systems for Pipelines - is available through the 2019 Pipeline Pigging and Integrity Management Conference. The complete framework is also available for download through the PHMSA website.

Mr. Mathew Bussière is a Senior Research Engineer in the Pipeline Design & Construction department at C-FER. His focus is on the application of external leak detection technologies.

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