Expro's CaTS Enjoys World's First Offshore Platform Retrofit Success

Leading international oilfield service company Expro has achieved another world first with the successful application of its Cableless Telemetry System (CaTS) in a challenging offshore platform well in the UK North Sea.

The award-winning CaTS technology was successfully applied in well W160 on the Mungo Platform (UKCS block 22/20). The well, operated by BP Exploration Ltd, had experienced problems with one of its cabled permanent gauge systems and the operator was interested in evaluating new technologies that could restore the flow of real-time reservoir pressure and temperature data without having to workover the well.

Prior attempts to retrofit CaTS in the offshore platform environment have proved challenging to the technology, thus promoting an extensive program of research and development activity, which has resulted in this latest breakthrough. Through the introduction of new signal processing hardware, it is now possible to relay the CaTS signal to the surface using the failed permanent gauge and cable as a signal path.

CaTS is a revolutionary development in the field of reservoir monitoring and control, allowing information to be transmitted in real time to and from downhole instruments without the use of wireline systems. Its two-way transmission capability enables the remote control of downhole instrumentation, opening the path to the radical redesign of downhole completions.

The CaTS system was retrofitted into the well on slickline in November as part of a routine well intervention campaign on the platform and is transmitting data from the reservoir to surface using Expro's market-leading wireless telemetry technology. The CaTS topside data receiver is interfaced to the platform SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system, thus enabling the bottom hole pressure and temperature data to be received in real time by the reservoir engineers onshore.

"We have believed in the viability of this novel technical solution to offshore retrofit for some time now," said wireless well solutions technology manager Steve Hudson. "We are very grateful to BP for their support in being the first company to evaluate this latest exciting application of our technology."