Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 9

6/6/2557 Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values - Oil & Gas Journal

http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/drilling---production/case-study-production-benefits-from-increasing.html 1/9
Login or Register using
SUBSCRIBE: MAGAZINE| NEWSLETTERS

UNCONVENTIONAL OIL & GAS MAGAZINE PAST ISSUES
06/03/2013
Hamed Mansoori
National Iranian Oil Co.
Shiraz, Iran
Feridun Esmaeilzadeh
Shiraz University
Shiraz, Iran
Dariush Mowla
Shiraz University
Shiraz, Iran
A. Hassan Mohammadi
South Zagros Oil & Gas Production Co.
Shiraz, Iran
A case study performed in a southern Iran oil field indicates that the C-value used in API RP 14E can be safely
increased, enabling increased production from fewer wells and decreasing drilling costs.
Erosion refers to material wear caused by a gas or liquid; it may also include abrasion from entrained particles.
Erosional causes are complex; slight changes in operational conditions, such as fluid velocity, affect erosion
behavior. Mechanisms that can cause erosion damage include particulate erosion, liquid droplet erosion, vapor
droplet erosion, erosion-corrosion, and cavitation.
Particulates (sand and proppant) underlie most erosion problems in hydrocarbon processing systems. However, all
mechanisms can be equally aggressive, depending on conditions. Directional flow changes or accelerated flow
velocity contribute to erosion of production components. The most vulnerable components include chokes, sudden
constrictions, partially closed valves (check valves and valves that are not full bore), standard radius elbows, weld
intrusion and pipe bore mismatches at flanges, long radius elbows and mitered elbows, blind tees, and straight
pipes.
1
To avoid or mitigate erosional damage, American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice (API RP) 14E
recommends limiting tubing and pipeline velocity. This standard uses Equation 1 (accompanying equations box) to
determine the threshold (erosional) velocity.
Looking for past issues? Click here.
More than 600 job openings are now online,
watch videos and learn more!

Click Here to Watch
Past Issues More Exploration and Development News Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values
Case study: Production benefits from
increasing C-values
CAREERS AT TOTAL
Home General Interest Exploration & Development Drilling & Production Refining & Processing Pipelines & Transportation OGJ Resources
6/6/2557 Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values - Oil & Gas Journal
http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/drilling---production/case-study-production-benefits-from-increasing.html 2/9
Although there is no information about why API RP 14E uses Equation 1, the erosional velocity may have been
derived from the constant pressure drop limitation that uses the Bernoulli relationship, erosion rate limits arising
from liquid impingement, or velocity limits to avoid removing corrosion inhibiting layers.
2
Regardless of the API RP 14E erosional equation basis, current industry experience indicates that for solids-free
fluids, values of C = 100 for continuous service and C = 125 for intermittent service are conservative. For solids-free
fluids in which corrosion is not anticipated or is controlled by inhibition or use of corrosion resistant alloys, values of
C = 150 to 200 may be used for continuous service. C values up to 250 have been successfully used for intermittent
service.
If solids production is anticipated, fluid velocities should be reduced. Different C-values can be used when specific
application studies show them to be appropriate.
3
Within the industry, the popularity of Equation 1 for primary design
and for oil and gas production systems operations arose from its simplicity. The wide use of the API RP 14E
erosional formula, however, does not negate its weaknesses.
Many reports of conservatism exist in API recommendations under pure fluid conditions because they may not be
conservative enough for systems with sand production. API RP 14E clearly states that different C-values may be
used where specific application studies have shown them to be appropriate; however, many workers attempt to
define C-factors for several different circumstances, including systems containing solids, different materials, or
Project Engineer - Senior Mechanical
Exterran Energy
Country: United States
Full Time Location: TX - Houston 77041 Ofc
Department: Engineering --> About Exterran About
Exterran: Exterran is a global leader in full-service
natural gas compression and a premier provider of
services and equipment for oil & gas production,
processing, treating, transportation and storage. E...
Senior Process Engineer - Houston, TX
Shell
Country: United States
Shell has been operating in the United States since
1912. We believe that our people are our greatest
asset and that is why we invest heavily in our
employees. Our industry-leading development
programme helps unlock your potential and will see
you work with an unrivalled pool of local and global
exp...
Field Service Technician-Intermediate
Exterran Energy
Country: United States
Full Time Location: CO- Nunn Department: Field
Technicians --> About Exterran About Exterran:
Exterran is a global leader in full-service natural gas
compression and a premier provider of services and
equipment for oil & gas production, processing,
treating, transportation and storage. Exterran ...
Analytical Chemist - Deer Park, TX
Shell
Country: United States
Shell has been operating in the United States since
1912. We believe that our people are our greatest
asset and that is why we invest heavily in our
employees. Our industry-leading development
programme helps unlock your potential and will see
you work with an unrivalled pool of local and global
exp...
Field Service Technician
Exterran Energy
Country: United States
Full Time Location: NM - Carlsbad Department:
Field Technicians --> About Exterran About
Exterran: Exterran is a global leader in full-service
natural gas compression and a premier provider of
services and equipment for oil & gas production,
processing, treating, transportation and storage.
Exte...
Solid Mechanics Engineer
Dresser-Rand
Country: United States
Engineering - Development Position Level Individual
Contributor More information about this job:
Position Overview/Summary: Dresser-Rand is
among the largest suppliers of rotating equipment
solutions to the worldwide gas, petrochemical, and
process industries....
Search More Job Listings >>
OTHER OIL & GAS INDUSTRY JOBS
6/6/2557 Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values - Oil & Gas Journal
http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/drilling---production/case-study-production-benefits-from-increasing.html 3/9
phases (i.e., liquid, gas, or multiphase).
4
The trial reported here focused on an onshore gas condensate field in southern Iran, the Parsian gas field (PGF),
which is a large sweet-gas condensate reservoir. Operator South Zagros Oil & Gas Production Co. exceeded API RP
14E recommendations to determine greater C-factor values for the erosion formula. Table 1 shows the gas
composition of PGF.
Because production potentials of four wells exceeded expectations, they were selected for velocity increases by
means of increasing their production. After 6 months of increased production, a combination of surface monitoring
tools and tube caliper surveys was used to examine tubing and wellhead components and analyze the higher
velocity effect on wall thickness.
The surface monitoring tools consisted of weight-loss coupons, electrical resistance (ER) probes, non-destructive
testing (NDT), visual inspections, and a test separator to monitor sand accumulation. A decision was made to
determine a greater but still safe C-factor for use in the API erosion formula for both future PGF wells and the field
development plan.
PGF production began about 8 years ago. Soon after start-up, the operator decided to investigate the possibility of
enhancing individual wells' production for two reasons. First, alloy steel used for well tubing and flow lines could
resist more aggressive erosion and corrosion conditions than were present in the field. Second, the production
potential of some wells was greater than was anticipated from their design.
Increased production of individual wells could enable the gas-condensate target volume to be met with fewer wells,
reducing the number required in future development plans and reducing drilling expenses. Although this was an
attractive possibility, other factors must be considered.
First, increased velocity could cause tubing failure and require well shutdowns if the tubing material cannot
withstand the shear stress resulting from the increased velocity. Because of the cost of replacing damaged tubing,
well production should increase incrementally with short inspection intervals and frequent wall thickness
monitoring. Erosion-corrosion damage in surface components is easier to recognize and resolve than in downhole
equipment; repair and replacement of surface facilities is less expensive than repairs to downhole equipment.
Second, increased production may alter the formation and increase sand production. Because sand can affect the
erosion rate, the possibility of sand production must be monitored during field trial. Although the core analysis
performed for the formation indicated that the wells selected for increased velocity would not produce sand, the trial
would place a test separator at the gas gathering manifold to monitor for sand production as a precaution. If wells
tend to produce sand, then the test separator is a good place to monitor for sand.
Selected wells' trial conditions
The PGF primary well completion design focused on reaching an average individual well production of 53 MMscfd.
This value corresponded to a flow velocity of 37 fps in 4.67-in. ID tubing. Most of the well completions used 5-in.
OD/4.67 ID, N-80 tubing inside and 6-in. wellhead flow lines. Table 2 compares actual velocity (v
a
) during the trial
and designed API erosion velocity (v
e
) used before the trial for the four selected wells. Production varied from 78 to
99 MMscfd; actual through-tubing velocity varied from 54.7 to 73.7 fps. Equation 2 shows the recalculation of the
actual C-factor (C
a
) in accordance with API RP 14E.
Furthermore, the v
e
value calculated with the API RP 14E formula was based on C = 100 for all wells. The initial PGF
well design was based on a value of C = 100 in API RP 14E to avoid or mitigate erosion in downhole tubing.
6/6/2557 Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values - Oil & Gas Journal
http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/drilling---production/case-study-production-benefits-from-increasing.html 4/9
Table 2 summarizes the mixture densities calculated for individual well conditions.
Downhole monitoring
Caliper surveys provide downhole corrosion-erosion information; the survey costs (including hourly rig rates and
well downtime), however, limit their use. The caliper device records internal dimensions of the tube along several
independent equally-spaced tracks to create a 3D profile of the line. The results identify circumferential erosion-
corrosion, trough or line corrosion, and isolated pitting and corrosion at the tubing connection.
5
Before the trial began, a caliper survey was performed on each of the four selected wells to scan the wall thickness
of the entire tubing column. After 6 months of increased production, tubing caliper surveys were performed on each
well to determine the tubing wall thickness loss.
The rate of material loss at the top of the tubing was greater than in the lower parts. This loss resulted from
increased velocity and the changing flow regime in upper portion of the tube. Caliper logs for each well include many
point measurements of tube thickness from top to bottom of the available depth.
Table 3 presents an average wall-loss rate for each interval, based on the thickness measurements before and
after the trial. Table 4 compares caliper results and the coupons and probes results.
A good correlation existed between the coupons, probes, and caliper survey results. The material loss recorded by
the caliper represents an average value over the entire length of a tube calculated for each well. Before the trial, the
wall loss rate of Well 1 was expected to exceed that of other wells because of its greater production. The caliper
survey and coupons and probes results confirmed this expectation. The caliper surveys showed no severe pitting
throughout the tubing column of the selected wells; with current conditions, tubing could last for 30 years of
production.
Surface monitoring
Surface monitoring processes used corrosion coupons, ER probes, NDT, visual inspection of surface components,
and a test separator. Sizes and configurations of corrosion coupons vary; the appropriate size and configuration
depends on holder type, line size, and entry orientation. The trial used disk-type weight-loss coupons of 32 mm
diameter 3.2 mm thick mounted flush inside the pipe wall.
6/6/2557 Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values - Oil & Gas Journal
http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/drilling---production/case-study-production-benefits-from-increasing.html 5/9
Weight-loss coupon and ER probe were installed after a swept bend (Fig. 1).
The ER probes, like the flush-mounted weight-loss coupons, were disk-type sensors that aimed to provide
continuous monitoring of the pipe service condition. The coupons and probes were installed after a swept bend
upstream of the wellhead choke. Fig. 1 shows the location of the installed coupon and probe at a wellhead. After 6
months of production, the weight-loss coupons were retrieved and the mass loss was measured. Fig. 2 illustrates a
typical weight-loss coupon after the laboratory cleaning process.
Weight-loss coupon shows damage after laboratory cleaning (Fig. 2).
For reliable results, ER probes' data were gathered at 2-month intervals without interrupting well performance.
Results from coupons and probes were compared with those from the tube caliper survey summarized in Table 4.
The caliper results showed less thickness loss than indicated by the coupon and probe data. There are two
reasons for this inconsistency.
1. The surface components include more liquid content than the well column; increased liquid content can increase
material loss from surface coupons and corrosion probes.
2. For reliable results, ER probes data were gathered at 2-month intervals without interrupting well performance.
In addition, the coupons and probes were located immediately after the swept bend of the christmas tree; the fluid
flow turbulence is greater in this section than in the straight well tubing. Turbulence increases erosion-corrosion
effects and material loss of the coupon and probes.
Study results indicate that tubing material loss for all wells was within an acceptable range; no unexpected
problems should arise from production rates up to 99 MMscfd, which correspond to a velocity of 74 fps.
During the trial, ultrasonic thickness probes were used as a NDT means of measuring wall thickness of critical
points of the surface components. This technique is limited in that it tests only a short pipe region. Critical points
around swept bends, joint flanges, up and downstream of chokes, and on straight pipes were selected and marked
for repeat measurements.
6/6/2557 Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values - Oil & Gas Journal
http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/drilling---production/case-study-production-benefits-from-increasing.html 6/9
After 3 months, ultrasonic probes results revealed thickness loss at swept bends of Well 1 and downstream of
some chokes. Severe erosion or erosion-corrosion was expected at these locations. The trial continued with special
attention to these locations.
After the trial, the wells were shut down for coupon retrieval, and wellhead components (including swept bends,
chokes, and spools) were disassembled for visual inspections. A visual inspection of locations at which ultrasonic
probes detected thickness loss revealed no problems except at the swept bend in the well with the highest velocity
and at the "X" choke in the well with the lowest gas rate.
6/6/2557 Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values - Oil & Gas Journal
http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/drilling---production/case-study-production-benefits-from-increasing.html 7/9
X-type choke valve shows damage to inside body and outlet (Fig. 3).
Although wells included in the trial used choke valves of either "X"or "Y" types, distinctive damage occurred only on
the X valves at the inlet and outlet face flanges and inside the choke body (Fig. 3). This type of damage had occurred
before the trial, but with much less intensity.
Tables 5 and 6 show that operational conditions, material compositions, and general specifications of the two
chokes are similar; the geometries of the choke outlets provide possible explanations for the damage differences
observed. The X choke features a cylindrical geometry, whereas the Y choke geometry is conical.
The conical geometry was thought to protect Y chokes from droplet erosion, erosion-corrosion, and possibly
cavitation in high-volume rates through the choke. Although studies of the X choke failure causes have not yet been
completed, X chokes are not considered suitable for high-off take gas condensate wells.
The swept bend of Well 1 showed major internal damage (Fig. 4).
The swept bend of Well 1 showed major damage. Figs. 4 and 5 illustrate a dismantled swept bend wellhead
component and the inside wall damage. Because Well 1 had the greatest production, the swept bend damage
could be attributable to intensive impingement of droplets on the internal pipe wall. The loss of thickness, however,
should not prevent increased production because it is located on surface and can be replaced if a failure occurs.
6/6/2557 Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values - Oil & Gas Journal
http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/drilling---production/case-study-production-benefits-from-increasing.html 8/9

Swept bend configuration causes change of fluid direction and leads to erosional damage (Fig. 5).
Frequent inspections of high production wells with NDT tools would provide a reasonable means of tracking this
damage. Internal coatings or the use of a high erosion-corrosion resistant alloy also address severe thickness loss
at swept bends. The wellhead equipment inspection revealed that general destruction issues for PGF include
erosion-corrosion of spools and straight pipes, droplet erosion on swept bends, and a possible combination of
erosion-corrosion, droplet erosion, and cavitation on fixed choke valves, particularly X-type choke valves.
A test separator at the gas gathering manifold monitored sand during the trial. Visual inspection during and after the
trial showed no sand or proppant accumulation in the separator vessel. From the core analyses performed during
reservoir integrity testing before the trial, this result was expected.
As shown in Table 4, increased production to 99 MMscfd does not reduce tubing wall thickness. Results from
surface component inspections revealed no unexpected damage to the equipment, except for the swept bend of
Well 1 and the fixed choke of Well 4.
The maximum and minimum calculated C-factors (ca) of 195 and 149 respectively were well above the assumed
value of C = 100 for all wells at their initial design. Although no unexpected erosion damage occurred at these rates,
the company elected to use a secure C-value that represents an average taken from all four wells (i.e., C = 170) as
the threshold tubing velocity for tubing during future field development.
The trial indicates that the X-type choker valve is not suitable for PGF high off-take gas condensate wells and that the
swept bend component is vulnerable to thickness loss during high gas production. It also confirms that no sand will
be produced at rates of up to 99 MMscfd. As expected, the general damage mechanism for this field is the erosion-
corrosion phenomenon.
References
1. Barton, N.A., "Erosion in Elbows in Hydrocarbon Production Systems: Review Document," HSE Health & Safety
Executive, HSE Books, 2003, www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr115.pdf.
2. Salama, M.M., and Venkatesh, E.S., "Evaluation of API RP14E Erosional Velocity Limitations for Offshore Gas
Wells," Offshore Technology Conference, May 2-5, 1983, Houston.
3. API Recommended Practice (RP14e), "Recommended Practice for Design and Installation of Offshore Production
Platform Piping Systems," 5th Edition, October 1991.
4. Sun, Y., Babian-Kibala, E., Hernandez, S., Martin, J.W., and Alvarez, J., "Design and Operations Guidelines to Avoid
Erosion Problems in Oil and Gas Production Systems One Operator's Approach," NACE CORROSION 2006, Mar.
12-16, 2006, San Diego.
5. Houghton, C.J., and Westermark, R.V., "North Sea Downhole Corrosion: Identifying the Problem; Implementing
the Solutions," Offshore Technology Conference, May 3-6, 1982, Houston.
The authors
Hamed Mansoori (hmansoori1361@gmail.com) has more than 9 years of experience with the
National Iranian Oil Co. as a process engineer. He holds a BSc in chemical engineering from IAU,
Iran, and a MSc in chemical process engineering from Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.
Feridun Esmaeilzadeh (esmaeil@shirazu.ac.ir) is associate professor at Shiraz
University, joining in 2002, and adjunct professor at the Sharif University of
6/6/2557 Case study: Production benefits from increasing C-values - Oil & Gas Journal
http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-6/drilling---production/case-study-production-benefits-from-increasing.html 9/9



CNOOC makes gas discovery in Qiongdongnan basin
03/19/2014 CNOOC Ltd. has made a natural gas discovery in the east Lingshui Sag of the deepwater area in the
South China Seas Qiongdongnan basin.
Petrobras confirms deepwater oil find with Pitu well
03/13/2014 Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has announced that its 1-BRSA-1205-RNS (1-RNS-158) wildcat
well has completed drilling.
Central Illinois shows Siluro-Devonian oil potential
03/03/2014 The Siluro-Devonian is one of the hottest oil and gas plays in the Illinois
basin.
Senators ask Kerry to study Keystone XL health impacts
03/03/2014 US Senate Energy and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and committee
member Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) jointly asked US Sec. of ...
Technology since 2001. He has more than 10 years of experience at the National
Iranian Oil Co. as an administrator of reservoir simulation, production
engineering, and petrophysics. Esmaeilzadeh holds a BS from Abadan Institute of
Technology, Abadan, Iran, MS from Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran, and PhD from
Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, all in chemical engineering. He is a
member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Iranian Association of
Chemical Engineering.
Dariush Mowla (dmowla@shirazu.ac.ir) is professor of chemical engineering and
head of the Environmental Research Center in Petroleum and Petrochemical
Industries at Shiraz University. Mowla holds a PhD from INP de Toulouse in
France and joined Shiraz University in 1992. He has published more than 90
papers in international journals and participated in more than 100 national and
international conferences.
A. Hassan Mohammadi (a.mohammadi@szogpc.com) is the operation manager of South Zagros
Oil & Gas Production Co. with 20 years of experience in the petroleum industry. He holds a BSc in
chemical engineering from Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran, and a MSc in chemical engineering from
Tehran University.
More Oil & Gas Journal Current Issue Articles
More Oil & Gas Journal Archives Issue Articles
Stay Connected
1455 West Loop South
Houston, Texas 77027
(713) 621-9720
Copyright 2013: PennWell Corporation
All Rights Reserved.
Home
General Interest
Exploration & Development
Drilling & Production
Processing
Transportation
Unconventional
Events
Market Connection
White Papers
Webcasts
RSS
PennEnergy Jobs
Equipment
Research
Magazine Subscription
Newsletter Subscription
Book Store
Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions
Contact Us
Advertise
Mobile
About Us
PennWell
View All Pennwell Websites
View All Pennwell Events
Site Map
Webmaster
RELATED ARTICLES

Centres d'intérêt liés