Use of TDP-PO as flotation device helps ensure successful installation and full bore access in Midland field, TX

On 8 June 2014, TCO Products Inc. reached a milestone in the US shale gas market with the successful installation and opening of the Tubing Disappearing Plug - Pump Open (TDP-PO) in the Midland field, Texas. Along with the establishment of the company's US office, this achievement forms an excellent basis for future success in the North American market.

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Product: TDP-PO completion barrier plug

Location: Midland TX, USA

Challenge

To reduce drag and friction during the installation of shale gas completions in wells with short vertical and long horizontal sections.

Solution

The TDP-PO completion barrier plug offers an interventionless remote opening solution through the integration of a hydraulic removal pump-open system, which enables the glass package to be shattered open by applying topside pressure. When the well is pressured up to the pre-set differential pressure value, the pump-open mechanism is triggered and the plug will open. The patented laminated glass material provides a secure, non-corrodible seal under high temperatures and axial loads, and is capable of withstanding extreme levels of differential pressure. 

The TDP-PO is designed to be installed and run as an integrated part of the completion string, which increases the efficiency of the installation process and provides full bore access when the plug is removed. Substantial verification and testing have shown that the TDP-PO has an impressive opening accuracy of within +/- 2% of the pre-set differential pressure value.

In the Midland field, Texas, the TDP-PO was installed as part of the 5½” frac sleeve completion string down to a TVD of 1,040 m / 3,412 ft. The plug functioned as both a temporary barrier and a floatation device. By separating the air-filled casing from the volume of fluid above, the plug increased the buoyancy of the casing, reducing drag and friction while running in hole in the well's long horizontal section. The plug was set to open at a shear-out differential pressure of 2,300 psi, and was successfully opened at 750 psi surface pressure in line with theoretical calculations (hydrostatic + surface-supplied pressure).

Result

Use of the TCO TDP-PO enabled the operator to reliably and successfully carry out shale gas completion operations in challenging wells with short vertical and long horizontal sections. Compared to alternative solutions, the TDP-PO significantly reduced operational risk and saved rig time, since no wireline runs or retrieval operations were necessary.

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