“It worked out really well for us. I think it’s a great product that everybody should be using.” – Kuhnert
Low oil prices are forcing Permian Basin oil companies to cut costs wherever possible, including reducing work overs caused by tubing failures. Midland-based Crownquest Operating LLC says installing EndurAlloy™ in high wear spots in the tubing string has significantly increased well run-times.
Crownquest operates wells in the centre of the Permian Basin – Howard, Glasscock, Martin and Midland counties – that typically run around 11,000 feet, according to production manager Dave Kuhnert.
“It’s exponentially harder to pump at 11,000 feet than 10,000 feet and you’re bound to have more issues. ” said Kuhnert. “In those wells, you could run 10 joints of EndurAlloy™ and protect the area where you’re typically going to find the rod wear.”
Crownquest tried a variety of ceramic-lined and internally plastic coated tubing, but nothing comes close to equalling EndurAlloy™ for resisting rod wear.
“We tried the IPC and other coated tubing, that we haven’t had great success with it,” said Kuhnert. “They can help with longer run-lifes, but typically in the wells we’re pumping they tend to get bacteria behind some of those linings and that’ll kill you just as quickly as rod wear.”
Another disadvantage is that IPC and other coatings reduce the internal diameter of the tubing, which causes more rod wear and surface facility issues, says Kuhnert. EndurAlloy™ is production tubing that has undergone a thermo-chemical treatment that diffuses boron into the substrate, creating an extremely hard, wear-resistant internal surface.
“With EndurAlloy™ you have the full ID, which means less problems,” said Kuhnert.
Crownquest initially installed EndurAlloy in problem areas – typically a few joints above the pump or 10-plus joints around doglegs – but eventually installed the product in new wells as standard operating procedure.
The company expects to be rodding up some of its horizontal wells in the near future when the price of oil improves, and says EndurAlloy™ will be included in those tubing strings.
“As we look forward to taking some of our horizontals and rodding those up, you typically want to put some EndurAlloy™ in the bend there,” he said. “It’s great for deviated wells.”
What sold Crownquest on trying EndurAlloy™ was the experience other Permian Basin operators have had with the product, particularly the benefits enjoyed by Concho Resources, which is outlined in an SPE paper that Kuhnert and his colleagues saw presented at the Lubbock short courses.
“It worked out really well for us. I think it’s a great product that everybody should be using, especially if they have the deeper wells,” said Kuhnert.