DEA-158 – Development of Self-Expanding Tubular Technology (CFEX©)

DEA Project Summary


“Development of Self-Expanding Tubular Technology (CFEX©)”

DEA Project Number: 158

Date Submitted:  October 7, 2004

Technical Area:  Exploration and Production

Sponsor:  Occidental Oil & Gas Company, Mr. Morris Keene, (713) 215-7118,

Title:  Development of Self-Expanding Tubular Technology (CFEX©)

Submitted By:  Confluent Filtration Systems, LLC, (281) 597-8784

Principal Investigator:  Jeff A. Spray,

Business Impact: CFEX© self-expanding technology represents an early-stage, novel approach to expandables. It is estimated both to provide solutions to numerous problems plaguing the current industry, and to present innovative, major-scale applications for casing, screens and other geologic tools. Published business cases and marketing claims for conventional deformed-tubular expandables, without drill-string compatibility, range from 3% – 50% value-addition or cost-reduction to drilling and completion operations for select types of wells. Actual market applications for plastic expandables satisfy small percentages of potential needs. Many conventional expansion processes also contain fundamental, physical limitations and some expandables applications actually present negative business value. CFEX© elastic-phase technology promises improved performance in terms of expansion reliability, higher pressure-ratings, substantially higher metallurgy and other parameters, in addition to its novel compatibility with drilling operations on real-time basis. Incorporation of a self-expanding assembly as part of the BHA provides the potential to actuate solutions to downhole problems more immediately and without the needs for cement, excess trips, rig-time or the many other conventional service and materials costs still required of plastic-expandable processes. CFEX© is further proposed as solutions to expanded-material shrinkage; overlaps downhole; and poor connection performance and reliability – all towards the development of monobore/mono-diameter feasibility. Any size tubular can be constructed, including microhole diameter applicability. The technology is also applicable to high-flow sandscreen devices incorporating drill-compatibility, higher metallurgy, and self-completing principles. The non-destructive nature of the new expansion processes makes it an excellent platform for the integration of IWT fibers and circuitry. The submitting company has manufacturing expertise which estimates the costs to produce the casing technology at approximately double that of conventional tubulars.

Technical Objectives: The proposed JIP is for the purposes of assisting acceleration  and leveraging (or ‘stair-casing’) estimated $1 – 2 million annual DOE R&D grants. As a part of ongoing technology developments, this research will result in proof, construction, testing and field demonstration of a disruptive-level technology; determine its economic and manufacturing models; and, will commence universal applications and market acceptance processes for expandables.

Methodology: Methods used to realize self-expansion concepts will occur as normal product development / technology development processes. These include specifications development; CAE design: coupon construction and testing; prototype construction and testing; and subsequent beta testing programs in the field.

Deliverables: Deliverables, as results of a continuous technology development program, will consist of reports and prototypes accompanying each product-development stage. A separate, extensive report detailing manufacturing processes and economics will also be delivered at appropriate stages.

Startup Date:  Immediate.

Duration:  Ongoing programs, Phase-1 is 12 – 24 months in duration.

Project Cost:  $1 million for Phase-1.

Cost Per Participant:  $200,000 / each.

Comments: The proposal is part of ongoing development efforts, however, at early-stages. The submitting company has established strategic relationships with all necessary development expertise, including prominent companies and individuals in the fields of: manufacturing, engineering, technology development processes, and physical testing. This proposal significantly reduces participant’ investment risk by sourcing and leveraging high-probability grant funds. IP rights and related possible development of this type technology is otherwise unavailable.