Completion fluids are expensive, high density, extremely clean fluids used to “complete” an oil or gas well.
In use, the fluid is placed in the well to facilitate final operations prior to initiation of production, such as setting screens production liners, packers, downhole valves or shooting perforations into the producing zone.
The need to effectively filter these expensive fluids is key in the oil and gas industry, particularly in offshore drilling where unusable fluids must be stored in holding tanks at a significant expense for the driller.
In the filtering process, it is important that as much debris as possible is captured because recycled completion fluids with high levels of debris eventually clog the routes by which the oil travels to the surface, shortening the lifespan of a well.
One company that is involved in the production of equipment for the recycling of such fluids is Houston, Texas-based Total Separation Solutions (TSS). It has recently specified DuPont’s Hybrid Membrane Technology (HMT) media for filters in its separation units.
Made by a proprietary new spinning process, DuPont HMT is a “membrane-like” sheet product composed of continuous sub-micron fibres with resultant sub-micron to low micron pores.
Introduced last year, the material provides an option for system developers who may have traditionally used microporous membranes or traditional nonwoven materials.
Kevin Smith, founder of TSS, is pleased with the results. ‘DuPont HMT nanofibre has two advantages over existing filtration media. First, its flow rate allows completion fluids to be pumped at a higher rate – and time is money on an offshore rig,’ he said.
‘Additionally, these fluids are often contaminated and you need 0.5 micron filtration to remove particles. Although there are other 0.5 micron media in the marketplace, what they provide in filtration, they sacrifice in flow rate. DuPont HMT has been shown to offer the best combination of the two.’