Hardide® tungsten carbide coating is being used in a new coated sand screen proven in independent testing by Chevron Corporation to achieve a 4x-6x increase in erosion performance and 10x reduction in corrosion rate as compared to conventional premium screens.
Chevron presented a paper detailing the testing, development and deployment of the new Hardide coated sand screen at the 2022 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Texas, USA, 3-5 October 2022.
Below is an abstract of the paper ‘Erosion Resistant Sand Screen: Development and Deployment’ Copyright 2022, Society of Petroleum Engineers DOI 10.2118/210128-MS. The full paper can be purchased for USD$28 from SPE’s OnePetro online library of technical literature for the oil and gas exploration and production industry.
ABSTRACT: EROSION RESISTANT SAND SCREEN: DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT
Sand screen erosion is a prevalent industry-wide problem costing billions of dollars in facilities maintenance, well interventions, side-tracks, and curtailed production. When sand screen fails there are two main financial impacts: curtailed production and side-track/recompletion costs. Statistical sand screen failure rates of high-rate producing wells with fines production indicate that 2.5 / 10 wells will experience screen failure over a 25-year life.
The primary mechanism for erosion is impact of erosive solids that pass through the screen and impinge on the screen’s filter media, gradually enlarging the aperture, thus allowing increasingly more sand production. To reduce the risk of screen erosion where the primary sand control method (i.e., proppant pack) is compromised, it is desirable to have a sand screen with increased erosion resistance to extend production life. Improved erosion resistance was achieved through fluid dynamic optimization of the screen design accompanied by a tungsten carbide coating.
Ten different coatings were erosion flow loop tested. The best performing coating was Hardide® tungsten carbide deposited by a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process that ensured uniform coating throughout the complex screen geometry.
The CVD coating was put through a rigorous test program that included erosion, delamination, coating integrity, heat treat, and bend/burst/collapse testing to ensure the coating would survive field operation.
The new CVD coated screen achieved a 4x-6x increase in erosion performance as compared to conventional premium screens. Other benefits included:
- Limiting erosion damage to subsea and topsides equipment such as piping, valves, and chokes
- Extreme acid resistance, which allows for more freedom in acid stimulation operations
- Greater than 10x reduction in corrosion rate which aids in preventing the additive corrosion/erosion mechanism during the life of the well
Thousands of feet of screen has been installed in Gulf of Mexico and international wells with plans for more in 2023.