Baker Hughes Shows Off New Deepwater Fracturing Service

Baker Hughes has introduced the ‘DEEPFRAC’ deepwater multistage fracturing service, which can reportedly save operators hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore developments through unprecedented efficiency gains across the completion phase.

According to the company, using ball-activated multiposition sleeves and patented Baker Hughes proppant flowback control technology, the service enables rapid stimulation of more than 20 stages for maximized reservoir contact.

Baker Hughes believes this translates into significantly greater reservoir contact, with an average OPEX savings of USD 30 to 40 million per well.

“Historically, operators who needed to stimulate their offshore wells were faced with complex completion operations that could take longer than a month and with costs approaching a hundred million dollars,” said Jim Sessions, vice president, Completions at Baker Hughes. “By adapting some of the technologies and techniques that delivered game-changing efficiencies in unconventional land to an offshore service, we’ve enabled a new level of deepwater completion design flexibility and streamlined operations—all without compromising our commitment to safety and compliance.”

How it Works

Baker Hughes said that the DEEPFRAC service eliminates casing and cementing operations and simplifies fluid logistics by using ball-activated, multiposition sleeves that can be installed in openhole wellbores containing drilling mud. The sleeve’s ball activation enables continuous pumping from the first stage to the last, cutting the lower completion phase from weeks to days.

The sleeves used in the DEEPFRAC service enable placement of 20+ tightly-spaced stages across the pay zone to ensure more uniform treatments and to maximize reservoir contact.

After stimulation operations are complete, Baker Hughes IN-Tallic disintegrating frac balls allow production to flow without intervention. Patented Baker Hughes BeadScreen proppant flowback control technology built directly into the DEEPFRAC sleeve’s production ports provides increased reliability over conventional sand screens through higher burst/collapse ratings and improved erosion/plugging resistance, helping to ensure long-term, sand-free production.

On a recent job, the DEEPFRAC service is said to have saved an estimated 25 days rig time and USD 40 million on a first-ever 15-stage deepwater completion in the Gulf of Mexico’s Lower Tertiary.

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