The oil and gas industry is constantly evolving to optimize production and improve safety. This means new technologies and equipment are rolled out regularly. For example, riserless light well intervention (RLWI) technology has improved the rate of oil and gas recovery by simplifying well intervention and maintenance. RLWI also confers safety benefits, as no hydrocarbons are transported to the surface, but are circulated back into the well.
When one LORD customer using an RLWI system needed to measure wellbore pressure, they sought a sensor that was outside the existing product suite. Traditional high pressure/high temperature (HP/HT) sensors have long probes. Our own dual output, subsea wellbore pressure and temperature sensors (Series PT36XX) have sensors located at the end of probes that typically measure between 3 inches and 24 inches. But our customer’s intervention stack, which operates using a lubricator system that enables wireline tool strings to be inserted into the wellbore, could not accommodate a traditional probe sensor.
Some RLWI installations go without sensors, or locate them in a suboptimal location, to circumvent this problem. Yet monitoring wellbore pressure is critical, since extreme pressures can cause equipment failure and create a safety hazard. Because pressure measurements don’t depend upon having sensors immediately adjacent to the production media, LORD engineers developed a flush wellbore sensor, where the probe is eliminated and sensors are integrated into the flange. Data from the pressure sensor is fed back to the customer’s subsea electronics module and relayed to the intervention vessel via an umbilical.
The flush wellbore sensor features no load bearings welds and a monolithic design that is compliant with the relevant API spec. Materials that are exposed to well fluids meet National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) requirements for sour gas environments.
By refashioning the probe-based sensors to be flush mounted, we were able to create an adaptable device the industry had not seen. Furthermore, we’ve identified additional opportunities beyond the initial use case for the flush wellbore sensor, including wellbore HPHTs compliant with API 17D and measurement of annulus wellhead pressure.
We believe in the power of collaboration. When customers are faced with changing needs, together we can find an innovative solution. The result is not only improved efficiency in the field, but a contribution to industry advancement overall.