Caledyne's Metal-to-Metal Downhole Seal Secures European Patent

Following the launch of Caledyne's groundbreaking retrievable metal-to-metal (MTM) downhole seal system in 2007, the technology has now been granted a European patent.

Developed at the company’s base in Aberdeen, Scotland, the MTM downhole seal consists of flexible material contained inside a metal shell. The structure creates a complete metal barrier in the well, and when fully energised, protects it from the harshest downhole conditions. The system acts in a similar way to a standard rubber or elastomeric seal, while remaining resistant to high hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations.

Performance-rated to above 10,000psi at 300 degrees C, the MTM seal can be installed on permanent and retrievable packers, bridge plugs, hanger packers, sliding sleeves and subsea sealing applications such as plugs and flange seals. Certified to ISO14310, the international standard for downhole equipment in the oil and gas industry, it will potentially supersede all elastomeric packing element systems currently on the market as temperature limitations and chemical compatibility concerns are no longer an issue.

Since its launch the MTM seal has completed a number of installations in various sizes around the globe. Most recently it completed its first installation in Asia for Talisman on the Bunga Kekwa project in Malaysia in conjunction with Caledyne’s retrievable bridge plug. This allowed Talisman to carry out its upper completion repair and provided a high performance barrier to safely isolate the well. The effectiveness of the technology, along with its short lead-time for delivery, has led to the company ordering several additional units for similar applications.

David Martin, Technology director of Caledyne and one of the inventors of the MTM seal said, “We are delighted to have been awarded the European patent for the MTM seal. Environmental and financial pressures of using rubber seals have raised questions about the integrity and longevity of this system as mature or abandoned wells are susceptible to leaks and increases in pressure making a reliable downhole seal even more crucial.

“The MTM seal enables operators to confidently develop reservoirs that previously were impossible due to elastomeric limitations. It also provides a commercial benefit, as one seal is suitable for any downhole condition regardless of temperature, pressure, corrosive environment or chemicals injected, thus significantly reducing stock levels. It is a step-change technology.”