(2024012) Employing the LV-EMI™ Unit in the Greater Elk Hills Area


Larry Aldrich, CRC
LJ Guillotte, Enio Oliveros, and Anne Marie Weaver, LPS

The Greater Elk Hills Area boasts a substantial continuous rod population, introduced to the field due to loading requirements and casing restrictions. However, the existing continuous rod population is now comprised of older worn rod strings, with many of these strings exceeding ten years of service. These rod strings commonly require sections of rod replaced when they are pulled during service operations, highlighting the need for a precise and reliable inspection method.  

In the past, visual inspection was utilized to assess the condition of continuous rod strings, determining when worn or corroded sections required replacement. This method is often imprecise and dependent on the rig operator’s expertise. In California Resources case, they were often encountering repeat failures after pulling the rod string to get the well back online. One barrier to widespread continuous rod adoption has been the inability to clearly identify and replace sections of corroded or damaged rods. In the past, when continuous rod was pulled during service operations, visual inspections sometimes resulted in defective rods being rerun, subsequently causing premature and repeated rod failures.  
In 2020, electromagnetic inspection (EMI) technology for continuous rod was introduced to the industry with the Low Voltage Electromagnetic Inspection (LV-EMI™) unit. This unit allows for continuous inspection of the rod while it is being pulled out of the wellbore during service operations. By utilizing this unit, compromised continuous rod sections are accurately identified and replaced, minimizing failures, and optimizing wellbore performance.  Since initial deployment, several advancements have been made to the LV-EMI™ unit, further refining its capabilities, and expanding its potential applications.

California Resources took proactive steps by incorporating EMI scanning into workovers, employing specific criteria to guide their approach. The results of the approach they implemented, along with the lessons learned are presented in this paper. 

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Wed 2:00PM - 2:50PM, Room 106
Thu 9:00AM - 9:50AM, Room 106

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