Both companies have been at the forefront of developing expandable technology since the mid-1990's and are now extending their relationship more particularly to include solid expandable technologies. The importance of solid expandable technologies is their potential to eliminate the telescopic effect of traditional well construction methods and allow wells to be completed as monobores (i.e., utilizing a single casing size from a level below the surface to the production zones). Weatherford and Shell will work together to accelerate the implementation of these technologies.
Expandable technologies refer to both slotted and solid expandables, related tools and accessories, and specialized expansion systems. All share the ability for expansion after downhole installation. The downhole expansion of tubular systems allows substantially higher hydrocarbon production rates from the reservoir and provides significant reductions in well drilling and construction costs by reducing the quantity of products and services required by traditional techniques. Expandables also provide new possibilities for previously unreachable or uneconomic deepwater reservoirs.
Weatherford pioneered the application of expandables for downhole sand control with its ESS(TM) System. These systems were brought into commercial use during 2000-2001. When expanded, the ESS allows greater borehole productivity and the ability to perform remediation work. To date, Weatherford has successfully installed numerous ESS Systems worldwide (excluding USA) totaling approximately 13 miles in length.
In addition to ESS, Weatherford has been developing a full line of Expandable Completion Accessories utilizing its own patented solid expandable technology. These include Solid Expandable Liner Hanger Systems currently under development for use as liner hangers with ESS, an expandable casing repair system and Expandable Drilling Liners that enable monobore well construction.
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