An upgrade to the DeepWorks software platform used for subsea engineering simulation and visualization enables users to model friction acting on dynamic bodies, such as cables and ROVs, as they make contact with one another or with the seabed. The simulator’s ability to calculate frictional forces to model the hydrodynamic and physics-based properties of real objects can provide an improved understanding of how they behave in an underwater work environment.

According to DeepWorks simulator provider Fugro General Robotics Ltd. (GRL), the level of frictional resistance can vary based on the amount of contact, limning a more accurate simulation of the motion and fixed position of the equipment as it makes contact with the seabed.

The Fugro GRL subsea simulator can be used in ROV pilot training to better understand the demands on thrusters in moving the ROV from a fixed position on the seafloor to a standoff position around the cables or structures during construction support and offshore installation inspections, the company said.

WITSML service places real-time measurements in geologic context

The WellLink 3D Visualization service creates real-time imagery using wellbore-related data to enhance well planning and optimization, directional drilling, and reservoir navigation.

According to Baker Hughes, this offering allows well data to be viewed within its geologic context, enabling operators to make real-time corrections of well trajectory and drilling parameters while optimizing wellbore placement and maximizing reservoir contact.

Leveraging the WITSML standard, the 3-D decision-support solution integrates earth models, well trajectory, logs, and reservoir models that can be viewed in a collaborative environment. WellLink also minimizes risk through better understanding of the formation and its relationship with the wellbore as well as the available space between offset well paths and the planned or actual well path for optimal anti-collision planning, the company said.

Mudlogging tool classifies cuttings with enhanced efficiency

FEI Co.’s Natural Resources Business Unit has designed a wellsite analysis system that enables quick separation and classification of rock cutting lithologies with greater accuracy, analytical sensitivity, and textural resolution than existing manual methods, the company said.

A rugged and portable tool, the QEMSCAN WellSite system analyzes cutting properties such as clay type, matrix density, and grain size on a lithology basis to improve understanding of rock properties when combined with LWD and wire-line log data. QEMSCAN technology is a fast solution for supplying wellsite data more efficiently for critical decision-making in remote locations, the company said.

New dive intervention craft buoy subsea support services

Two purpose-built dive intervention craft (ICs) are now available from RBG (acquired by Stork Technical Serv- ices in May 2011) as a flexible alternative to dive support vessels for specialist marine and subsea maintenance services, including subsea intervention, air and nitrox diving, survey, and light ROV work.

Able to operate 362 km (approximately 225 miles) offshore, the ICs are equipped with a stand-alone water diving solution that can be used to 50 m (164 ft) water depth, a diver recovery system, and a software-based dive management system designed to provide a safe operating environment for divers and crew. The craft can be launched by a davit system from the RBG chartered Olympic Triton vessel to allow for continuous onsite diving, which can provide significant efficiency and logistical benefits, the company said.

At press time, the ICs were scheduled to be deployed for a number of integrated subsea inspection repair and maintenance activities inland and offshore. and

Accurate pressure sensors lead to greater downhole control

Two new models in the Honeywell Wing Union sensor portfolio offer more advanced and rugged features to help maximize drilling productivity and reduce operational downtime.

According to Honeywell, the Model 425 sensor aids in downhole monitoring with higher accuracy to detect pressure spikes more precisely. The Model 427 sensor’s wider aperture design, with its rounded edges, allows a seamless flow of more viscous media through the critical sensing area to reduce clogging and buildup while providing consistent and accurate pressure measurement. Both sensors are built on the Honeywell Wing Union one-piece all-welded design, which features Inconel X-750 wetted parts to withstand abrasive and corrosive material and include a quick-release breakaway handle for ease of use and protection during field installation. The technology also features a one-year calibration cycle compared to the industry standard six-month calibration cycle.

Glass microspheres improve cementing reliability

The recently introduced 3M Glass Bubbles G65 offering optimizes petroleum engineering performance in low-density cementing operations and provides increased reliability in demanding oil and gas applications.

Engineered hollow glass microspheres are a lightweight alternative to cenospheres, the company said, with the product’s consistency helping to reduce cementing risks associated with the previous technology. The glass bubbles have a high strength-to-density ratio and are designed with a high compressive strength for processing survival.

Pre-production will continue through 1H 2012. The solution will become widely available by summer 2012.

Sand and solids separator mitigates wellbore damage

Spirit Global Energy Solutions has patented a downhole two-stage sand and solids separator for use in oil and gas wells. The production solution mitigates inefficiencies and damage caused to downhole pumps, such as excessive wear and stuck plungers, that can result from abrasive solids entering the production stream during fracturing operations.

The Spirit Sand and Solids Separator can be run individually or in conjunction with the Spirit Gas Separator, which also is designed to separate solids or gas downhole, allowing only clean production fluid to enter the pump chamber for lifting, the company said.

According to Spirit, the new technology can effectively reduce the frequency of pulling a downhole pump for repair or replacement because of corrosion damage by as much as 30%. The separator is manufactured for use in harsh environments.