Open Hole Packer Technology
The development of expandable steel openhole packers has opened new horizons. The basic concept of attaching an expandable steel sheath to the outside of the casing by welding (cost-effective) or crimping (high anchoring and pressure ratings without impacting the base casing characteristics) opens up a wide range of products and applications, including:
- Improving primary cementing, a robust steel packer can be run in as part of the casing string and expanded into the wet cement to shut off gas migration, prevent crossflow, centralize the casing, and ensure an efficient cement job
- Zonal Isolation, between screens, slotted pipe, ICDs,… A steel packer will make an efficient annular seal in a short zone, avoiding the need for cement and allowing optimized production from selected zones
- Efficient stage cementing by providing a high-strength steel packer below a DV tool for correct cement placement
- Openhole Ball-drop multistage fracturing operations, offering annulus well barriers with high-pressure sealing properties
Open Hole Packers Activation procedure
Saltel open hole packers are slid onto the completion casing and sealed by welding or crimping. Hydraulic pressure is applied in the completion casing to expand the metallic sleeves through an inflation port up to the contact with the formation or casing it is set in. The stainless steel sleeves’ plastic deformation creates a solid and permanent annulus seal. Robust to run and set quickly, with a high-pressure life of well seal, this is the ideal solution for annular zonal isolation.
Saltel Packers’ reliable sealing
Saltel openhole Packers’ sealing is achieved with a thin layer of elastomer known as Hydrogenated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (HNBR). HNBR is a high-performance synthetic rubber that offers excellent mechanical properties, such as excellent heat and oil resistance, excellent abrasion and tear resistance, and excellent ozone and weather resistance. Dynamic seals can be mounted between steel rings to enhance the sealing capacity further and increase the temperature range of the packers. The end fittings of the packers help to protect the expandable sleeve while it is being run in the well. These end fittings are designed to ensure that the sleeve is not damaged during installation and operation. Additionally, the end fittings also provide a means of connecting the packers to other components in the well.