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Mechlok-R Swivels 24 Hours, Successfully Landing Lower Completion – Case Study Explained

10 June 2024

The completion of leg #2 of the tri-lateral well located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea stands as a testament to innovative oil and gas extraction techniques. This project showcased the effective use of advanced tools and planning to overcome significant operational challenges. In this blog we expand on our recent case study, “MechLOK-R Swivels 24 Hours and Successfully Lands Lower Completion”, giving more detail and insights into how our tool performed successfully on this project for major Norwegian operator.

Drilling and Clean-Up

After drilling the second leg of the tri-lateral well, the team performed a clean-up and retrieved the 8 ½” drilling bottom hole assembly (BHA) to the surface. This crucial step prepared the well for the next phase, involving the deployment of advanced sand control measures.

Deployment of AICD Success

To manage sand production and enhance oil recovery, approximately 1,300 meters of 5 ½” autonomous inflow control device (AICD) screens were deployed into the well. The goal was to drop off the screens at a depth of 6,984 meters within a horizontal open hole section spanning 2,784 meters.

Torque and Drag Simulations

Pre-run torque and drag simulations indicated that conventional tripping methods posed a high risk of failing to get the screens to the target depth due to significant friction factors in the open hole. To address this, the team anticipated the need for a drill pipe swivel to manage friction and avoid buckling the drill pipe near the surface.

Implementation of MechLOK-R Swivel

The MechLOK-R drill pipe swivel was a game-changer in this operation. Placed above the screens, with a combination of 5” drill pipe and 5 -7/8” heavy-weight drill pipe extending to the surface, the swivel was essential in managing drag and friction.

During the screen run, the drag caused the hookload to drop to nearly zero tons. However, upon activating the MechLOK-R swivel at 40 RPM, an immediate hookload gain of over 50 tons was observed. This significant increase in hookload allowed the team to successfully trip the screens to the desired depth over a 24-hour period, with an average hookload gain of 63 tons throughout the run.

Hydraulic Operations and Upper Completion

After reaching the target depth, the lateral liner top was released hydraulically.  The MechLOK drill pipe swivels are mechanically operated, ensuring they do not interfere with other downhole hydraulic operations. Following the retrieval of the MechLOK-R to surface, the upper completion was performed, involving an additional 7 hours of swivelling.

Conclusion

This case study highlights the importance of leveraging advanced tools and thorough planning in overcoming complex downhole challenges. The successful deployment and operation of the MechLOK-R swivel not only facilitated the placement of AICD screens but also ensured the structural integrity and efficiency of the completion process.

This project within the Norwegian North Sea serves as an exemplary model for future projects, demonstrating how innovation and precision engineering can drive success in the oil and gas industry.