Walter Phillips, Wansco
Brandon Bridgman, Signal Hill Petroleum
Deviated wellbores, whether intentional or unintentionally drilled, are becoming ever more common. Rod-on-tubing friction occurs as a result of these wellbore deviations. This friction has a detrimental effect on the longevity of the equipment through accelerated mechanical wear. Downhole friction can also obscure analysis and optimization as the friction distorts the calculated downhole conditions. The only methodology currently available to account for this wellbore friction is through by way of a wellbore deviation survey. Deviation surveys have varying degrees of resolution, from coarse 100+ foot surveys during drilling, to high resolution gyro surveys which can resolve one foot or better along the wellbore length. Geometry derived from the deviation survey is then used to infer points of contact along the sucker rods, and in conjunction with the wave equation methodology, tensile and side loads are determined. These are idealized calculated values because the geometry is indirectly measured, and contact points are not exactly known or understood. The work presented here attempts to directly measure friction along the wellbore. Two fundamentally similar approaches are discussed. The first utilizes an instrumented rod-hook to measure load and position during a workover. Wave equation methods are then applied for each ?stroke? of the rods by the workover rig while pulling rods out of the hole to determine dynamics along the remaining section of rods in the wellbore. A friction map can then be computed over the entire length of the wellbore as rod sections are installed or removed. A second approach utilizes a downhole tool that is run on the sandline or wireline. A section of weight-bars of a desired length below (and possibly above) the tool provides an opportunity for friction to act during the trip out of the hole through the wellbore. Correlating loads measured by the tool with position along the wellbore, and eliminating dynamic forces due to acceleration, provides a directly measured friction map of the wellbore at or near the points of friction. Both approaches require little additional interaction from surface personnel as the work necessary to gather the data is already performed. All that is needed is to capture and process the data from those existing operations.