Numerical investigation of tubular expansion and swelling elastomers in oil wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Solid expandable tubular technology and swelling elastomer seals find extensive use in the repair of aging reservoirs. To improve productivity and cost-effectiveness, they have also become an integral part of new developments such as slim wells and completions with reduced or no cementing. This work reports the use of numerical simulation to investigate the joint use of expandable tubulars and swell packers in various petroleum drilling applications. Material properties of steel tubular and five different swelling elastomers are obtained through mechanical testing. Simulations are performed to study the sealing pressure at the elastomer-formation boundary. Different parameters are studied, such as elastomer material, expansion or compression ratio, seal length, seal thickness, tubular end condition, and formation type. Higher values of rubber elasticity, tubular expansion (expansion ratio), and elastomer compression result in higher seal contact pressure. Contact pressure is higher when the elastomer is pressing against wellbore formation as compared to steel outer casing (zero friction vs. friction), and when the formation is assumed to be rigid as compared to elastic or elastic-plastic. Results of this investigation can be used both for performance evaluation and design enhancement of coupled solid-expandable-tubular and swellable-packer applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-892
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Polymer Engineering
Volume41
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • elastomer material
  • finite element analysis
  • seal contact pressure
  • solid expandable tubular
  • swelling elastomer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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