Churchill Drilling Tools announces successful deployment of its MX™ SMART DART™ technology for down-hole pressure testing
Churchill Drilling Tools, the Aberdeen-based producer of patented down-hole tools, has announced the successful deployment of its Mechanical Extrusion (MX™) and SMART DART™ systems in drill-string pressure testing.
Churchill has developed a unique solution to improve the cycling and control of a wide range of down-hole devices in varying applications. The MX™ system allows the use of rigid SMART DARTS™ for multi-cycle control and exploits their robustness and resilience to High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) environments to deliver greater speed, reliability and performance than with conventional ball activation.
The company’s PTS MX™ system uses SMART DARTS™ to perform pressure testing with increased performance and flexibility.
The system provides a simple yet accurate way to test a drill string up to a specific pre-set pressure with the capability to regain circulation between each test. This allows users to perform multiple tests at various pressures in a single run. The PTS MX™ can be run in any length of pipe, at any angle or temperature and with any type of circulation fluid.
The subs have fully tapered internals, provide unrestricted circulation and have a full thru-bore prior to the first cycle. The SMART DART™ is dropped and pumped into place with the load transmitted through pins in the dart into the PTS MX™ sub; the pins determine the shear out pressure. Pressure can be held at the required test level for as long as necessary, and when testing is complete a small increase in pressure is used to the shear out the dart into the catcher below. The unique benefits of the system are that multiple test cycles can be performed; full circulation is regained between each test, and that the shear out point can be accurately modified by altering the dart’s pins before it is dropped.
The system was first successfully deployed in Norway by a major pipe manufacturer in 2011 with shearing accuracy results of 99.6%. As a result of this success, a full program of further drill string development applications has been scheduled using the system. The system is also being used in the UKCS for leak detection in operational drill-strings, in pre-emptive integrity tests prior to ultra-critical high-pressure phases.
Churchill Drilling Tools’ director Mike Churchill said: “With the strong performance record of the MX™ darts in bypass applications and the simplicity of adapting them to others, we were confident we could provide a reliable solution for our customers very quickly. With no pre configuration required, the PTS MX™ has shown itself to be an unobtrusive, accurate and flexible testing system that can be deployed quickly and easily, and it is a further illustration of the power and capability of MX™ darts to control down-hole operations precisely.
“Operators have welcomed this performance and have asked us to extend the availability of dart activation to other down-hole mechanisms. One of the objectives we are working hard at is to make this technology more widely available to the industry in other types of tool.”