Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Coil Tubing Drilling and Intervention System Using Cost Effective Vessel
Nautilus International LLC (Houston, Texas)
The primary objective of this research is to advance recently completed RPSEA project work in preparation for an offshore demonstration of a cost effective deep water Coil Tubing (CT) system for down-hole work in deep water Gulf of Mexico (GoM) satellite wells without the need for a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU). This work will facilitate improved resource recovery from existing satellite wells and make it practical to develop reservoirs that would otherwise not meet economic hurdles.
Recently completed research defined an effective, reliable deep water CT system consisting of a vessel, CT equipment, and a modular, reusable Self Supporting Riser (SSR) that bridges the gap between the deck and the seafloor. The system accommodates heave, pitch, and roll of a small vessel and allows a large watch circle. The system is suitable for currents and conditions in the central Gulf of Mexico. Overall cost to deploy and operate the system is less than half the projected cost of a MODU. Tubing fatigue life is better than with conventional onshore CT systems. Fabrication and installation of a suitable modular SSR has been demonstrated. This previous work will be used as the starting point for this project.
This project will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will include preparations for an offshore demonstration including adding detail to specifications, identification of candidate wells for the demonstration, and work toward agreements with an operator, vessel company, and CT service contractor. The second phase, subject to approval by RPSEA and availability of RPSEA and industry funding, and commitment of a well by an operating company, will include staging of equipment, mobilization to a vessel, and safe demonstration of downhole work using concepts developed as part of the 2010 and 2011 research. This work will require a permit, based in part on control system logic diagrams to be developed in phase one.
Principal Investigator: Keith Millheim
DOE Share - $1,250,000
Recipient Share - $14,662,500
Project Duration: 3 years