UK’s first open-access downhole test facility launched

Louise Davis

An expert in fluid engineering, BHR Group, has launched a commercially available, open-access downhole test facility, based in Cranfield, UK. The onshore facility is the first of its kind in the UK, providing an easily accessible, secure, flexible, onshore environment that accurately reproduces downhole conditions. The facility can be utilised for a variety of applications across a number of different sectors, and can be booked over six months in advance.

With the growing need for deepwater exploration and production (E&P) and future plans for ultra-deep wells, the reliability of subsea and downhole equipment is of vital concern to the oil and gas sector. In hostile downhole environments, long service life is crucial for equipment that can be extremely costly to repair and maintain. Assuring reliability is crucial since intervention, where it’s possible for subsea equipment, frequently involves the mobilisation of specialised technologies and often has a significant impact on production.

To minimise the risk of a costly well shut-in, greater emphasis is being placed on the reliability of subsea systems, and realistic downhole testing of subsea components is a critical part of product development, testing and approval.

BHR’s new facility is fully fitted with CCTV that can be accessed via VPN, enabling round the clock monitoring. The facility’s instrumentation and the data generated can also be viewed over the VPN, allowing remote, real-time access to data. The downhole test facility is entirely customisable and able to be modified for specific technical requirements. Tests can be conducted to national, international or industry standards or to the client¹s own test specification.

Dr Carl Wordsworth, senior consultant at BHR Group, commented: “This facility is set to be a game-changer for many subsea equipment providers, whose customers are conducting deeper E&P than ever before, putting increasing pressure on the reliability of the products being used. The downhole test facility gives organisations independent data to prove their technologies and demonstrate the capability of their components and systems.”

The facility can be used by organisations for product development and qualification testing of downhole equipment such as: pumping equipment; jet pumps; separators; instrumentation; and drilling fluids.

With the capacity to achieve 40bar at the base of the well, BHR’s facility can simulate a 400m fluid depth with representative well conditions for development, performance and reliability testing of components and systems.

It is able to test with a variety of fluids in single or multiphase flow at elevated pressure and temperature for extended durations. The facility incorporates accurate, high-speed measurements of downhole pressure, temperature and flow, ensuring that product performance can be mapped under a range of conditions and providing a comprehensive equipment testing capability.

Recent Issues