Aker BP has executed the first successful ‘Single-Trip Multi-Frac’ campaign on the Valhall field.
According to the company, this specific method of well stimulation has never been done offshore before.
The method significantly reduces the cost of the well because less time is needed for use of vessels and equipment, Aker BP explained.
“The traditional method takes two-three days to fracture a single zone of the reservoir. With ‘Single-Trip Multi-Frac’, we can now do two zones in a day. We also see a potential for doing this more efficiently,” said Stian Ø. Jørgensen, head of the the Well Intervention and Stimulation Alliance in Aker BP.
“The new method will make implementation of several projects possible,” said Tommy Sigmundstad, SVP Drilling and Well in Aker BP:
“It provides more flexibility; we spend less time per well, and it decreases the unit cost of the operations. In turn, this results in a reduced price for the stimulation and we can bring the well on stream earlier compared with the conventional stimulation method that has been used. Therefore, we see a substantial upside through use of this stimulation method.”
The actual stimulation takes place by creating fractures in the reservoir, by high pressure pumping in sand mixed with a fluid system into the reservoir. The process is called fracturing and contributes to improve flow. Several zones in the reservoir must be fractured, and with the normal method, the coiled tubing is pulled out completely for each zone.
“What’s new about ‘Single-Trip Multi-Frac’ is that several zones can be fractured with just one trip down into the well. This is done with the aid of a sleeve installed in the completion that can be opened and closed down in the well,” explained Jørgensen.
A total of four zones were stimulated using the new method during the ‘Single-Trip Multi-Frac’ campaign on the G10 well at the Valhall field centre. Three of the zones were stimulated on just one trip down in the well. The same method was also applied on the first well on Valhall Flank West.
Valhall has produced one billion barrels since the field opened in 1982. The ambition is to produce another billion barrels.
The ‘Single-Trip Multi-Frac’ method is well-known on land, including for production of shale oil in the US. Putting this method to use in new and more complex conditions 3 500 meters down in the well was no easy task. Aker BP and its partners NCS Multistage, Stimwell Services and Schlumberger have worked almost five years to solve the challenges.
“The biggest challenge has been that the coiled tubing has become stuck and we have not been able to break loose. We have worked quite a lot on understanding the ‘energy regime’ in the well. We have also optimized the tool at the end of the coiled tubing and worked intensively with the fluid system to reduce the risk of getting stuck,” Jørgensen said.
“It’s been a demanding process, and the way everyone involved has cooperated and worked actively towards a common goal has been crucial in succeeding in making this important technology available for Aker BP,” he added.
In November, Aker BP entered into an alliance for well intervention and stimulation with Stimwell Services and Schlumberger, two of the partners in the ‘Single-Trip Multi-Frac’ project.
“Even though we have started an alliance for well intervention, it’s important that we maintain solid contact with the rest of the market. There is a lot of new technology developed within well intervention and many niche products, so we rely on continued good dialogue with the supplier side. The cooperation with NCS Multistage alongside our alliance partners is a good example of this,” Jørgensen concluded.