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Advanced Support for Well Optimization

On December 2, 2021, Vallourec and World Oil held a live webcast that showcased Vallourec’s expertise and advanced support for well optimization.

Jonathas Oliveira, Marketing and Development Coordinator, OCTG materials, and Khaled Hamdani, Marketing and Development Manager, Well Engineering, D&I, presented Vallourec’s tailored design solutions and proprietary methodologies. In this article, we review the key insights that came out of the webcast.

“Well design optimization is a multi-disciplinary process,” Khaled Hamdani explained. “And Vallourec can help clients design lighter and safer wells by selecting the most appropriate products.” Vallourec’s support supplements traditional oil country tubular goods (OCTG) services. It ranges from well design optimization to thermal analysis, and from simulations of torque, drag and casing wear to material recommendations for all corrosive environments.   

End-to-end design optimization

Solid well design support starts with the latest industry software. Utilizing cutting-edge digital programs, Vallourec verifies casing design by analyzing and evaluating casing and liners. “Using state-of-the-art technology, such as advanced simulations, our experts provide another perspective on the design of casing and liners. By analyzing load cases, safety factors and design scenarios they adapt our products to the client’s needs,” Khaled said. “Based on the specific performance of our products, we optimize the overall well design with the appropriate tools, and perform operational assistance for casing wear, torque and drag.” 

Vallourec’s comprehensive design and materials expertise enables them to personalize all connection recommendations, often through qualification testing to the latest standards and FEA modeling. The Group also performs connection validation, including fatigue analysis, even for very specific applications. 

Customized material choices

“Our clients often tell us that it’s not always easy for them to select the right products for their wells,” Jonathas Oliveira said. “We’ve got the comprehensive expertise in material selection, so we’re well equipped to adapt grade and material selection to meet their needs and optimize their well design.”
Vallourec can assess the corrosion mechanism in the surrounding environment and make optimal material recommendations by drawing on its extensive material database and knowledge gained from fit-for-purpose qualification testing. The Group can provide enhanced pipe analysis and NDE inspection, which undeniably adds value to projects and pushes pipe properties to the next level. Vallourec’s recommendations are underpinned by failure analysis, which enables clients to avoid dangerous pitfalls. 

Advanced support in action

The webcast went on to highlight client successes made possible by our advanced support: 

  • In one onshore application for a national oil company in Africa, Vallourec was asked to help reduce the costs of casing. Experts designed a solution that combined VM125CY and VM110HC with VAM® 21. This mix of materials enabled the company to increase mechanical performance while lightening the string and lowering costs. 

  • A national oil company in Southeast Asia building a deep-water exploration well asked Vallourec for help with production casing. Running dedicated mechanical and T&D simulations, Vallourec identified the connection that could best withstand the well’s critical conditions: the VAM® SLIJ-3. After dry simulations, Vallourec concluded that either semi-flush or flush connections were effective solutions.

  • Vallourec offered advanced analysis through its tried-and-tested methodology for well reassessment. This involves discussion around connections, advanced design support, performance verification and mitigations. Through casing wear simulations on the planned trajectory, Vallourec’s team pinpointed three areas of high casing wear and conducted extensive performance verification to ensure the VAM® SLIJ-II’s viability.

  • For a national oil company in Asia working in extreme sour fields, Vallourec performed fugacity calculations to determine the sour severity and identify the right connection grade for the job. To reproduce the conditions of the sour field, the team designed a new type of laboratory corrosion testing using real gas. VM110XS grade was qualified and supplied for this application.

  • Vallourec worked with a national oil company in the Middle East to help adapt tubing from onshore wells to an ultra-extreme sour field. Once again, a proprietary testing methodology was developed, using mixed gas that enabled Vallourec to simulate the real well environment. After analyzing test results, Vallourec proposed a solution that combined VM110XS and P110 to create a cost-effective and durable well.

  • When working on a mild sour gas field, TotalEnergies (called Total at the time) and Shell found that previously conducted laboratory tests were too conservative. The client turned to Vallourec to develop a new Thin Water Film test, a more realistic SSC method to more accurately simulate actual operational service conditions in the well’s top section.  

With each new project and new client, our experts develop their knowledge, enabling us to strengthen and enhance our advanced solutions.
Jonathas Oliveira
Marketing and Development Coordinator, OCTG materials

A holistic approach to well design

Well design optimization creates a complex challenge, and overcoming it requires the kind of all-encompassing expert approach that Vallourec has spent years developing, applying and perfecting. 

Through our advanced support, customers can not only optimize their oil wells, but also adapt them to newer applications. . “These would include carbon capture, usage and storage, which is gaining traction as the energy transition accelerates.
Khaled Hamdani
Marketing and Development Manager, Well Engineering, D&I