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Significant progress in controlling severe lost circulation with openhole expansion pipe plugging technology

The openhole expansion pipe plugging technology was developed effectively packing off complex formations and controlling severe lost circulation without changing the casing program.

Openhole expansion pipe plugging technology was developed based on upgrading key technologies for pipe materials, connection and expansion. The technology enabled the expansion cone expanding downhole after tripping-in with small diameter, and expansion thread with an expansion rate of over 20%.

In June 2016, China’s first pilot test for openhole plugging with expansion pipe was conducted in Well CH3725 in Xinjiang Oilfield. During the test, a mudstone section (285-398m) was effectively plugged with 127m expansion pipes of Φ203mm, WT 10mm. After expansion, the inner diameter was extended to 220mm, which ensured continuous drilling with an 8-1/2” bit. Industrial tests were then made at Well Puxi 001-X1 in Sichuan and Well Ha 31-H3 in Liaohe. Sections with severe lost circulation uncontrollable with conventional plugging techniques were successfully plugged. Wells were drilled to target zones without changing the casing program. The breakthrough in openhole expansion pipe plugging technology laid a foundation for equal-diameter drilling technology in the future.

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