Canadian Natural Resources Installs World Record ESS(R) Completion

Weatherford International's Completion & Production Systems division has completed the longest installation of 5 1/2-in. expandable sand screen (ESSĀ®) on CNR's Baobab Field, offshore Cote d'Ivoire, in West Africa. This is the final oil production well on the Baobab Field for CNR and the twelfth well to be completed on an all ESS sand control field development. Baobab is the first full stand-alone field development using ESS.

The successful installation and expansion of 4,274 ft of 5 1/2-in. ESS is nearly 500 ft longer than the previous record for a successful 5 1/2-in. ESS expansion. Beyond successfully expanding the screens, the Baobab installation was a textbook case of a single-trip installation with the successful closure and subsequent testing of the fluid loss valve while pulling out of hole. Increasing the challenge, this job was run in near horizontal reservoir section into which over 12,000 bbls of mud losses had been taken while drilling.

"Setting a world record is great, but completing the job efficiently with zero safety incidents or NPT is unprecedented," commented David Spooner, Africa Drilling & Completions Manager of CNR International. "The success of this project represents a new benchmark in ESS length and operating efficiency."

One more water injector well for Baobab is scheduled to finish by the end of March. This will complete the field development for Baobab, resulting in 10 producer wells and three water injector wells.

The Baobab field is located approximately 65 km southwest of Abidjan, and 12 km southwest of the existing Espoir field in Block CI-26. The field is located in water depths of 1,000 to 1,600m, approximately 9 km from the continental shelf. The seabed is continually sloping over the field and features a steep central canyon in which the exploration wells were located.

Weatherford's ESS systems have been changing the face of sand control for more than five years by improving well productivity and significantly reducing costs. Additionally, Weatherford has been accelerating the implementation of all expandable technologies, related tools and accessories since the mid- 1990s. This track record includes breaking a number of new expandable technology barriers and setting several industry records.

ESS systems are part of Weatherford's completion and production division, which offers products and services ranging from conventional completion tools to production optimization systems for optimal reservoir management and recovery. Weatherford recently has set other milestones in completion and production, including surpassing the more than 1 million mark for cumulative hours of optical sensing times and the installation of more than 100 optical pressure/temperature sensors. Additionally, Weatherford's production optimization systems currently are installed in more than 40,000 wells around the globe.

"Advances in completion and production technologies that came to market during the past five years are experiencing strong traction in client interest and application," said Lee Colley, President of Weatherford's Completion & Production Systems division. "Growth in the application of these advanced technologies will be driven by the economic benefit to the clients and improved operations risk management."