WaxRite Process

WaxRite™ describes a patented process that involves factory applied wax treatments to coat and seal sand control screens. The screen’s porous open flow area is filled and sealed during the application process, and a thin wax film is placed over the entire surface which serves to lubricate the joint, resulting in reduced torque and drag during deployment.

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The joint of screen is simultaneously rotated and advanced horizontally at a controlled rate through the waxing assembly engineered for that screen type. Fluid wax penetrates the screen openings and filtration media, and any excess wax is automatically wiped off, recovered, and recycled. The controlled solidification rate delivers an integral seal of the entire open flow area. Each process involves tightly controlled steps that ensure:

  • Consistent fluid wax properties and viscosity through each stage of the process
  • Optimum advance and rotation speed through the application assembly for effective wax injection
  • Ideal melt temperature conditions for reliable penetration of the open flow area
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The Challenge

Drilling longer laterals saves millions in reservoir development costs, and fewer wells are needed to access the reserves. This exploitation strategy, however, increases several risks and costs:

  • Getting stuck trying to land screens to target depth
  • Rotating or circulating conventional screens can damage the sand control mechanisms
  • In heavy oil wells, running screens into the aggressive drilling muds used to keep unconsolidated formations from collapsing can plug and contaminate the screen open flow areas
  • Running a circulation string to clear drilling fluid residues adds rig time and cost, and extra weight makes deployment harder
  • Not circulating can leave filter cake across the open-hole section and the toe area resulting in poor well performance
WaxRite Process
WaxRite Process

The Solution

The WaxRite process allows a sand control screen to behave similar to casing when it is being run in and landed in the pay zone. The specific benefits will depend on the inherent strength of each screen type under the tensile, torsional, and compressive load forces encountered during deployment.

Starting production causes the wax to melt or dissolve in production fluids. In low temperature conditions, solvents are used to facilitate removal of the wax thus opening the screen for production or injection.

Why is Retained Permeability Important in Sand Control?

WaxRite Process Applications

Waxing screens has opened a whole new range of opportunities for deploying sand control and downhole flow control in long horizontal wells that were never possible before.

  • With a circulating bullnose installed, circulate through the sealed screen to remove debris from the toe and along the lateral without adding a circulation string or risk of plugging filter media or slots
  • Remediation of wells with failed sand control systems
  • Open hole horizontal, deviated, and vertical wells in semi-consolidated or unconsolidated formations where aggressive drilling muds are required to prevent formation collapse
  • Injection wells where maximum open flow area and efficient sand control is required
  • SAGD and thermally stimulated wells

Benefits

With the WaxRite process, cleaning up residual drilling fluids and filter cake can be done while the drill rig is in place. In addition, reduced torque and drag is an important advantage for extended reach wells.

Cost Savings

  • Save rental and service costs on circulation string assembly
  • Avoid tank rental costs associated with well clean up using service rig and circulation string assemblies
  • Reduce make up time at surface
  • Reduce the number of cleaning trips needed
  • Minimize the need to condition drilling muds and the associated rig time
  • Ensure reliable installation to depth with reduced friction forces and better wash down capability
  • Totally recover drilling fluids from the liner and open hole

Improved Production and Extended Well Life

  • Efficient well bore and filter cake clean up from the toe
  • Minimum formation damage along the lateral
  • Faster well clean up delivers optimum and earlier well productivity

WaxRite Process Options Available

Absolute’s engineering team has been researching, field testing and refining wax application processes since 2011. Commercial production began in 2012. Today, these processes are tailored to suit full bore screens as well as screens structured with stand off from the base pipe. The specific type of screen and the sealant properties are customized to reservoir temperature and conditions.

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