Whether it’s for standard vertical wells or hydraulic fracturing completions, perforation guns and their accuracy can influence the overall performance of your operation. Once casings are in place and outer cement layers are ready, a perforation gun will penetrate the well’s sides. And this is what allows for hydrocarbon extraction.
Key Role in Energy Extraction
Different types of perforation guns provide different capabilities. In fact, these sophisticated pieces of equipment use explosive charges to punch through the casing before starting the production cycle of the newly completed well.
As these guns convey explosive charges down the well to different production intervals at separate depths, the perforating process requires additional safety considerations. The risk that the operation poses to both equipment and people means the entire process requires enhanced safety and control procedures during every step.
Both wireline and tubing conveyed perforating systems might require underbalanced conditions to prevent hydrostatic pressure before detonation. In these situations, fluid injection into the well reduces pressure spikes that could damage the integrity of the casing or gun. Therefore, adhering to API safety standards during operations is key to any successful operation.
Perforation Gun Technologies
The latest perforating technologies deliver better measurement instruments, create more accurate perforations, and greater traveling efficiency when moving to a different production interval. To ensure better results, packing seals hold the gun in place until the perforation can begin.
Current perforation gun technologies come with advanced measurement modules to ensure accurate depth and orientation before proceeding with a detonation.
Operators can reuse some guns after reloading them at the surface. For the best well completions, the integrity of the entire system and its connections should remain a priority prior to performing the perforating operation.
Perforating guns come in many different types including retrievable, non-retrievable, or semi-expendable models. Each model delivers different benefits and drawbacks, but the primary consideration should be to reduce the amount of debris left in the well after detonation.
There are also different conveyance systems, which include:
- Tubing Conveyed Systems
- Electric Line Systems
- Slick-line and Pump-down Systems
- Coiled Tubing Conveyed Systems
The choice of which conveyance system to use will depend on the length of the intervals, size, and weight of the gun, geometry, and inclines of the well, as well as pre-perforating considerations such as under balancing. Modern systems allow for parallel operations without the need to clear or suspend surface communications using advanced RF communication.
Standard Safety Considerations
Depending on the detonation and conveyance method used, different safety considerations exist for well completions using perforation gun systems. The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) provide recommended practices during the process.
When using electronically activated detonations, facility operators should observe additional safety precautions. These include shutting down communications, ensuring no electrostatic environmental conditions exist, as well as observe a safe clearance from any electric or radio facility. After detonation, all staff should consider all perforating guns as live for situations where a charge may have failed.
A single individual remains responsible for the entire operation, also ensuring the integrity of the entire system when running the gun up or down the well. Usually, the responsible person may only arm a perforation gun after running it 200 feet down the well. To prevent uncontrolled detonations from occurring, you need to electrically ground the derrick, wellhead, and logging unit before starting the operation.
Thread Integrity and Protection
At all times during handling and storage, the thread integrity of the perforating gun’s casing is important. Any thread failures can create orientation and alignment issues within the operation, leading to reduced well efficiency. As every production interval requires the highest accuracy, a compromised connection can cause reductions in yield and overall production efficiency.
Additionally, for hollow carrier guns, it’s imperative to prevent exposure of the charges to the well pressure and wellbore fluid. Similarly, for integrated systems that generate underbalanced conditions in the well, any seal failure will deliver incorrect measurements and influence the performance of the operation.
Protecting the integrity of the connected sections and threads will improve the overall accuracy and final efficiency of the well. For reusable systems, it’s doubly important to ensure the thread integrity, as these guns usually require a sizable financial investment.
MSI’s Thread Protection Technologies for Perforation Gun Systems
No matter how well you planned the completion process, if a section or a component fails during the operation it will compromise the overall productivity of the extraction process. When it comes to your oil and gas production assets, MSI Pipe Protection Technologies provides the highest quality thread protectors. As an API standard leader, we design each thread protector with quality, durability, and safety in mind. This same level of care extends to our manufacturing and inspection processes, ensuring your protectors will help you deliver.
MSI uses the latest manufacturing techniques to produce thread protectors for standard API and premium connections. This also includes customized designs. Using HDPE and the highest quality resins, our protectors prevent mechanical damage and improve impact resistance. Even more, they reduce corrosion of the threaded connections.
Our manufacturing process complies with all associated ISO standards, and we maintain ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications. With a 136,000 square-foot facility, we can deliver the highest quality protection products at any requested volume. We’ve been the industry leaders in designing and manufacturing innovative solutions for all types of OCTG for over 40 years. And we will continue helping our customers deliver their oil and gas assets.
To find out more about our perforation gun protection solutions, call us toll-free at 1-877-276-9208 or contact us online.