Wellbore Tubulars

The roles of wellbore tubulars in delivering continued well integrity are diverse, critical, and congruent throughout the life of the well.

The roles of wellbore tubulars in delivering continued well integrity are diverse, critical, and congruent throughout the life of the well.

Well integrity has been defined by the NORSOK Standard document as the “application of technical, operational, and organizational solutions to reduce risk of uncontrolled release of formation fluids throughout the life cycle of a well.”

Wellbore tubulars are integral to providing these well-integrity barriers, whether they form the conduit for the primary barrier (the fluid column) within the well, such as the drillpipe, or comprise a well-barrier element such as casing or other tubulars associated with drilling, completion, production, intervention, or even abandonment.

During the well-construction phase, the primary well barrier is typically the fluid column and its tubular conduits. Secondary well-barrier elements can be the in-situ formation, casing cement, casing, wellhead, high-pressure riser, or drilling blowout preventer. Subsequently, as the well matures over the next 30 years or more, the elements within the wellbore-tubular realm vary, but each continues to play a significant role in maintaining well integrity. Therefore, with more-complex high-pressure/high-temperature wells being drilled, the industry is adopting a more “life of the well” engineered approach in the area of wellbore-tubular design.

The papers summarized within this section are focused on the various roles tubulars play during the life of the well, beginning with proactive application of innovative well monitoring during drilling operations to provide a dual role of the drillpipe by adding a layer of well-health surveillance during the drilling activities. The section’s focus continues with reviews of case histories outlining the application of drillpipe intervention systems successfully applied in the offshore west Africa arena and solutions to large-scale tubular failures within a mature field in Suriname’s Tambaredjo field.

The additional-reading titles selected further explore various applications and evaluation techniques with case-history references to assist in expanding the reader’s wellbore-tubular knowledge toolbox.

We all strive to deliver quality well construction, production, intervention, and abandonment to our industry. While evaluating papers for inclusion in these few short pages encapsulating the extensive base of information published that surrounds the application of wellbore tubulars, I was struck by the quality and diversity of information available. Therefore, the reader is encouraged to search further within the industry’s technical-paper and article archives to explore additional aspects of wellbore tubulars and the tools and techniques that are currently available and critique their applicability.

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE/IADC 163420 Drillstring-Mechanics Model for Surveillance, Root-Cause Analysis, and Mitigation of Torsional and Axial Vibrations by Deniz Ertas, ExxonMobil, et al.

SPE 171430 Preventing String-Integrity Failure in Production and Stimulation for High-Temperature Wells by Gama Hafizh Aditya, EMP Malacca Strait, et al.

SPE 170961 An Innovative and Systematic Approach to Delivering a Multitude of Next-Generation Tubular Connections Required for Extremely Complex Design Conditions by Nor Janiah Japar, Shell, et al.

Pat York, SPE, is global director with Well Engineering and Project Management for Weatherford. He has been in the oil and gas industry for 42 years. York has been involved in drilling-hazard management since 2005 and with solid-expandable technology since its initial global implementation in 1998. Since 2004, he has collaborated with clients on complex drilling and completion projects. Throughout his career, York has served in several management, business-development, and operational roles, as well as executive management in the solid-expandable and drilling-hazard-mitigation arenas. Before joining Weatherford, he was the vice president of commercialization for Enventure Global Technology. York has authored or coauthored more than 30 technical papers and articles and several chapters in industry technical books and textbooks. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering technology from Northwestern State University. York is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee.