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After two years of perfecting its ControlFire® switch system, Hunting Titan offers a system for selectively perforating multiple intervals in a single trip.
With a goal of increasing the safety of perforating operations both on the surface and in the hole, Hunting Titan designed a system that requires error-free, two-way communications prior to sending any power to the gunstring.
“The operating companies emphasize safety during perforating operations. Anything that happens on the wellsite goes back to the operator,” Adam Dyess, technical sales engineer, Hunting Titan, told Hart Energy E&P Online.
“Every switch is activated through software commands before a detonator is electrically connected to the wireline.” Dyess stated, “This eliminates the main cause of surface accidents, which is power remaining on the wireline.”
The ControlFire® switch system also provides several operational benefits.
“The most impressive feature is that this system allows the user to check the gunstring for problems at anytime, even before it goes in the hole,” he emphasized.
Each switch has an identifiable position within the gunstring. The operator can fire any gun in the gunstring by first determining the switch position within the string and then commanding it to fire via software commands.
The identifiable-position feature also allows skipping over a misfired gun or plug gun and shooting the remaining string. The latest switch contains additional technology where the user doesn’t have to worry about any surface settings. Detonators are not enabled until downhole voltage is adequate to support all ControlFire switches in the string.
The system does not require a downhole master control sub or high-impedance casing collar locator. There is real-time, surface, shot verification with a voltage/current plot for every shot that goes off. The event log can be stored on a USB drive.
The software graphics also display an icon for each switch indicating its status. “Users prefer the ease of using the ControlFire system. They want the ability to check the gunstring on the surface or anywhere in the well,” he noted.
|Every switch is activated through software commands, and each has an identifiable position in the gunstring. (Illustration courtesy of Hunting Titan)|
The ControlFire system has four primary components: ControlFire software; perforating command and control panel (PCCP); ControlFire switch; and VeriFire.
The software is the user-friendly interface between the switches and the PCCP.
The PCCP connects the shooting power supply to the wireline, and provides communication and control to the downhole switches. The PCCP is available as a portable panel, rack mount panel or integrated into a shooting power supply as a combination rack mount panel.
The ControlFire switch is the expendable circuit board contained in each downhole gun/plug. Each switch can be verified, armed, fired or skipped upon command from surface. The circuits were designed to operate on negative only to avoid user positive/negative wiring mistakes that can lead to off-depth perforations.
The switch communication limits are -600 VDC maximum voltage and 100 mA maximum current.
The VeriFire® Switch Tester enables the surface testing of the entire gun string before attaching to the wireline, whether it is armed or unarmed. The VeriFire also aids in troubleshooting on the surface.
|The VeriFire Switch Tester allows surface testing of the entire gunstring. (Photo courtesy of Hunting Titan)|
“This takes you straight to the source of a problem. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to fix a problem if detected while on surface. That can save an operator eight to 10 hours when compared to a failure that goes undetected until TD is reached,” Dyess said.
The unique switch logic enables skip-over capabilities that can also provide valuable time savings in the case of a misfire. The system increases reliability and efficiency with the electronic switches rather than conventional mechanical components, he added.
The system is compliant with API RP-67 Guidelines.
To provide an affordable alternative to existing RF-Safe detonating systems, Hunting Titan combined its ControlFire technology with specified, resistorized detonators for a completely RF Safe ControlFire System, he said.
“There is a big push in the industry for RF-Safe systems because of the vast radio presence on horizontal and offshore well sites,” he explained. “The detonators of the RF-Safe ControlFire system are guarded from RF and also protected from direct voltage on the line to a degree that other RF safe devices cannot claim.”
Operators have to run RF safe devices in Canada and in most places in the North Sea.
The ControlFire switch technology was originally developed for perforating through a tractor. Hunting Titan saw the opportunity to offer wider applications.
“Hunting Titan bought the switch IP two years ago. Since the purchase, we’ve been advancing the technology and making it as user-friendly as we can,” he said. “We have all new patent applications.”
The company’s system is being sold to all oilfield service companies in the industry.
Other companies sell similar systems as part of an overall service package. However, the Hunting Titan equipment can be integrated into existing gun-carrier systems and is compatible with perforating gamma ray tools.
Contact the author, Scott Weeden, at firstname.lastname@example.org.