ONS 2014: Trials and technology. The return of Drill Stem Testing

27th August 2014

Arild Fosså, Europe CIS DST Manager, Expro

In the last decade, the rise and cost savings of alternative data gathering methods for reserve estimation saw a potential overreliance on these techniques. Confronted with the limitations of this approach, there was a shift change in the industry seeing the return of traditional Drill Stem Testing with evolving technology.

During this period, whilst operators reassessed their data-gathering methods, DST activity started to pick up. This rise in activity was further assisted in Norway by petroleum authorities welcoming new operators combined with tax incentives for further exploration drilling. This brought in companies actively seeking changes in how data gathering from exploration wells was completed, and vastly increased the number of exploration wells1.

This activity opened a window for Expro in Norway, which took the opportunity to increase its offering in the DST tool market.

This coincided with a strategic shift within the company to become a complete E&A well test package provider, from perforations to the burner heads. Since 2010, Expro has invested significantly in expanding its DST and Tubing Conveyed Perforating (TCP) technology as part of the company’s core service offering, investing in R&D, procurement and support.

Expro’s DST tools are rated for sour service environments. This is a significant investment by the company involving employing more sophisticated materials, highlighting our safety-focused approach to doing business.

In Norway, Expro acquired DST facilities in 2011 and was operational in 2012. In the following years, we have gradually built a full DST presence in Norway, positioning us in-country as a leading well test provider of tailored services.

The company has revitalised its global DST business by introducing a new generation of systems engineered by Expro. This includes the EXAL toolstring delivering critical downhole data, EXACT™ Annulus-Operated Circulating and Test Valve, SF-TTV Self Fill Tubing Tester Valve, APEX Advanced Hydralised Tubing Retrevable Sealbore Packer System and BigCatPacker premium high-strength HP/HT retrievable packer.

It’s an exciting time to be in DST in the North Sea business - and further afield. Our constantly evolving technology will enable us to capture accurate data to meet clients’ well test objectives and plan the optimal exploitation of reservoirs now and in the future.