As any industry expert and executive knows, every hour of operation is measured in the tens of thousands of dollars and just one major hardware failure can be disastrous. Pursuing cutting-edge engineering solutions can yield massive savings on operating costs, increase performance consistency and even improve overall safety onsite. For Drilling Innovative Solutions (DIS), innovation in safety float valves and related specialized drilling tools is our business. The three products featured below are all great examples of how innovative engineering can be a deal-maker in modern oil and gas operations.
The Gatekeeper Cement Retaining Collar (CRC) is a mechanical isolation device that is installed with the casing or liner string and is actuated by an inner string assembly. The CRC reliably isolates fluid and cement above and below the collar even in high-temperature, high-pressure environments. It also facilitates downhole pressure control that is suitable for both positive and negative testing at the termination of a cementing operation.
This technology was built to withstand extreme environments, but its design also prioritizes expedient installation and operation. Since it doesn’t require wiper or cleanout trips, operators can get the device into action faster than drillable packer or bridge plug cement retainers. This retaining collar can also be adjusted or modified to meet the needs of specific circumstances or environmental demands.
The CRC in Action
The Gatekeeper CRC was originally conceived to address the time-consuming installation of conventional mechanical isolation devices used in oil and gas operations. There were several significant challenges presented prior to its first practical application in the field, particularly due to the need for extensive shop testing to ensure consistency and reliability. All parties involved had to be convinced of the product’s viability and potential for significant time-savings before moving forward.
We are proud to say that our engineering team met all of these challenges with flying colors. The CRC’s design allowed for significant time savings by shortening or eliminating several key steps in the process. The operator was able to shorten the shoe track, as well as eliminate the drill out following cementing operation, round trip wiper/scraper runs, running of mechanical isolation device via wireline and round trip runs to displace wellbore fluids.
The innovative design of this device was estimated to reduce the process by over 100 hours overall, which translated into over $1 million in net cost savings for the client. This product was recently used in a Mississippi Canyon well and is performing as designed, saving the client time and money.
The Gatekeeper CRCPA
The Gatekeeper Cement Retaining Collar Plug Activated (CRCPA) utilizes many of the same design elements and offers similar benefits to the original Gatekeeper CRC. It is manufactured to API 11D1 standards and can be adapted to various equipment sizes and is suitable for most cementing operations.
This retaining collar is built according to customer specifications, which means there is plenty of flexibility in application with various casings and liner running tools. It can also be configured to respond to different levels of actuation pressure to give operators better control over response and closure. Materials used are suitable for high-temperature, high-pressure environments and the collar can be designed for sour gas conditions on request.
The CRCPA in Action
This collar device design was born from a need for a time-saving alternative to conventional cast iron bridge plugs that includes a built-in fail-safe in case problems arise that impede planned cementing procedures. A major operator in the Gulf of Mexico needed technology that leveraged the existing strengths of the Gatekeeper CRC while incorporating plug activation.
The Gatekeeper CRCPA proved itself as a powerful and cost-effective alternative to comparable drilling tools in its first live trial application. The operator saw roughly 50 hours of time savings, which was estimated to be over $1.5 million in net cost. The integrated fail-safe mechanism is now a standard feature following this success.
Our Sentinel Drilling Safety Float Valve is also a result of our innovative and client-centered engineering team. It’s no secret that conventional safety float valves have been lagging behind in terms of development, with little improvement in available products over the last few decades. Since there’s always room for improvement, we decided to take a few bold steps forward to advance our design to achieve greater quality and reliability. The resulting product is the Sentinel Drilling Safety Float Valve.
This product has become one of our flagship technologies thanks to its durability and multi-faceted design. It’s built for both normal and directional drilling operations with pressure tolerance up to 10,000 psi and temperature tolerance up to 450 degrees F. The valve’s design allows for full-opening for flow or access and instantaneous bottom hole pressure readings in neutral flow environments.
The Sentinel‘s sealing surface is protected from erosion by a flow tube that allows it to operate reliably for long periods of time. There are plenty of customization options available to clients to ensure compatibility for a wide range of applications. This includes availability in numerous connection sizes and internal diameters, as well as sour gas condition capabilities.
Take Innovation to a New Level with DIS
At Drilling Innovative Solutions, we always look for opportunities to take innovation as low as it can go. Our dedicated engineering team leverages a wealth of technical knowledge and hard-earned industry experience to deliver solutions that push drilling tool technology to new levels. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you harness powerful device designs to save time and money without compromising quality or safety.