"In deepwater areas, there are two main issues to consider in the process of storm abandonment - safety and cost, and cost is directly related to time," said Jerry Wauters, vice president within Halliburton's Production Optimization Division. "Increasing safety and creating time efficiencies are core to the design of the SSC III valve."
Securing the rig can involve having to undo days of work because the downhole string weight has to be reduced, which involves tripping drill pipe and wasting precious rig time.
In deepwater where rig spread rates can average more than $800,000 per day, the cost to secure a well when pulling the string can quickly reach nearly $1 million (USD). Additionally, the high level of activity driven by the rush to get personnel to safety can create hazards.
The SSC III valve allows operators to secure the string downhole with its million-pound hang-off capacity, thereby providing more efficient abandonment of the drilling rig. Also, because the string is left in place, minimal effort is required to get back on line after the storm passes. Operators are able to resume work more efficiently.
"The SSC III valve's million-pound hang-off capacity is unique to the industry," said David King, senior vice president, Halliburton's Production Optimization Division. "It is reliable and, because a pressure test can be conducted from the surface of up to 1,000 psi, well security is increased and casing damage is minimized."
Halliburton's subsurface control valves successfully controlled more than three-quarters of the wells being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico during the 2005 Katrina and Rita hurricanes.
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