Completion engineers: a sandscreen to fit your budget and needs

August 23, 2015

Building on the reputation of our industry-leading FloMax Ultra, our new FloMax Elite sandscreen offers a strong and cost-effective alternative to suit most of the world’s wells.

High deviation and horizontal wells can improve productivity, but they can also create greater challenges in effective sand control.

The lower flux rates in extended reach wells, and the high cost of gravel packing, mean operators are increasingly relying on standalone screens as a solution.

Screen choice depends on the characteristics of the application. Subsea deployment; exits through milled windows; long horizontal wells with swelling shales or unstable boreholes require a more robust and mechanically stronger solution.  Other wells with less challenges may not require such a level of mechanical performance yet still need a more sturdy solution with a superior sand control to the ‘standard’ screen options.

Responding to the need for an ultra rugged screen, suited to the rigours of operating in multi-lateral, subsea or long horizontal wells, Tendeka developed what is widely recognised as the most robust product on the market – the FloMax Ultra premium mesh sand screen.

This stand-alone screen features a multi-layer design for support, drainage, filtration, convergence and protection. Its high strength inner layer is based on an innovative spiral punch pattern with an opening from 400 micron upwards to axially align all punch patterns and minimise plugging.  The inner and outer jackets, made of 1.5mm thick stainless steel plate, are positioned in spirally opposite directions to give the screen additional strength while mechanical fusion of all layers through swaging avoids longitudinal welding. This process also gives the screen a further strength bonus through the layers being fixed together. Integral centralisers create a 5mm standoff to the base pipe to further maintain strength and protect the screen from damage and gauge distortion.

A coarse square mesh is used on each side of the control weave to ensure full flow convergence and drainage. The outer protection shroud is press-fit against the inner layers to provide complete entrapment, ensuring maximum protection against pressure reversals and mechanical loads. Testing has shown that this nearly doubles the tensile rating in comparison to loose fitting shrouds and provides a torque rating equivalent to unperforated pipe. Raised end adaptors provide further strength and damage resistance.

The FloMax Ultra is suited to the harshest offshore environments and can be safely handled in winter on submersible rigs using automated pipe handling systems, and deployed through milled window and into some of the world’s longest horizontal wells.

However, in up to 85 per cent of wells requiring sand control, the screens are not exposed to such high mechanical loads so Tendeka has created the FloMax Elite, a technologically updated screen that also meets the cost challenges faced by operators today.

The FloMax Elite replicates many of the characteristics of the original design to create a strong, yet cost effective sand screen that has the same sand control performance as the FloMax Ultra and still meets ISO qualification standards.

It uses the same five-layer process as the FloMax Ultra and maintains the solid inner and outer jackets but uses a lighter material construction.

As with the FloMax Ultra, the shrouds of the FloMax Elite are formed when the pre-perforated and punched stainless steel is shaped and welded in a unique spiral fashion. The inner and outer jackets are positioned in a spirally opposite orientation to give the screen significant added strength.

Construction using the swaging method mechanically fuses all the layers without welding, giving the FloMax Elite extra strength from the lateral support.

Retaining the same construction technique across both products has technical benefits and increases flexibility and consistency at the manufacturing facility. This ensures cost efficiencies are maximised and build quality is maintained.

Sand control will continue to be a challenge for operators, yet as big a challenge today is cost reduction, and innovation will play a key role in that respect. The evolution of Tendeka’s new FloMax Elite screen illustrates that innovation is not just about new technology but about finding ways to deliver the same performance with existing technology at a lower cost to operators.

Download our FloMax-Elite Sand Screen data sheet