Electronically-Actuated Packer Provides New Level Of Wellbore Integrity

Baker Hughes has announced the commercial release of its Cytadel ZX electronically-actuated casing packer, a gas-tight packer with an electronic trigger mechanism, used to provide a new level of wellbore integrity and the reduce risk of sustained casing pressure- (SCP) related blowouts.

The Cytadel ZX packer forms a V0-rated secondary mechanical pressure barrier above the primary cement job. The barrier eliminates gas migration and protects against dangerous SCP, even when downhole conditions compromise the sealing integrity of the casing cement.

The Cytadel ZX packer is comprised of three fundamental components. The downhole packer is built on a solid-body mandrel, eliminating ports and O-rings and the potential for gas migration through the mandrel. The foundation of the Cytadel ZX packer is the industry-recognized zero-extrusion ZX seal element, which has proven reliable in 99.5 per cent of more than 40,000 applications. Finally, a unique modular electronic trigger mechanism, deployed and activated in one trip, eliminates the need for pressure or pipe manipulation to set the packer, improving rig site efficiency and reducing risk.

Designed for both onshore and offshore applications, the packer is run as part of a long-string completion and is positioned to isolate the casing-to-casing annulus. After the cementing operation, the packer is remotely actuated from the surface when a unique signal activates the onboard electronics module. Once set, the packer provides an ISO 14310 V0-rated annular seal, creating a permanent gas-tight barrier and eliminating the need for costly pressure bleed-off operations.

Baker Hughes recently deployed the Cytadel ZX packer to eliminate dangerous gas migration in offshore wells near Sakhalin Island, Russia. An operator was experiencing fluid loss on several wells during a completion operation, resulting in inconsistent cement jobs. SCP caused by gas migration is a serious safety and environmental hazard, and the operator understood that casing and cement alone would not prevent gas migration. Baker Hughes installed Cytadel ZX packers in two initial wells that exhibited the potential for channeling and cracking. Backside pressure tests on both wells confirmed that the packers established a gas-tight barrier. The wells have not recorded SCP since the installation.

Baker Hughes is a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. The company's 59,000-plus employees work in more than 80 countries helping customers find, evaluate, drill, produce, transport and process hydrocarbon resources.

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