Schlumberger announced at the Offshore Europe 2011 Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition the release of the FORTRESS isolation valve. The FORTRESS valve is designed to simplify the transition from upper completion to production without the need for intervention. “The FORTRESS isolation valve was designed based on field-proven experience and extensive testing related to debris accumulation,” said Mike Garding, president, Schlumberger Completions. “The new valve serves as a bidirectional barrier valve that exceeds ISO 28781 standards to the point of providing a bubble-tight barrier. This barrier enables increased safety, especially in applications such as deepwater where high differential pressure is required. The reduction or elimination of interventions translates to reduced costs and rig time saved while productivity is increased through the prevention of formation damage, and minimizing fluid loss.”
The FORTRESS valve is designed for deepwater and other harsh environments where debris accumulates and actuation requires more force. The FORTRESS ball does not have gaps or passageways that allow solids to accumulate in critical spaces, which would prevent the ball from rotating. Friction is reduced and the ball is allowed to open under higher differential pressures through the use of simplified cages, a simplified arm and wiper rings, which reduce the amount of solids that can enter the ball housing space. The valve effectively minimizes frictional effects and shifting force variability caused by debris. The valve also optimizes the actuation energy available, allowing the valve to be operated in wells with high differential pressures of up to 4,500 psi across the ball. A South American operator selected the FORTRESS isolation valve for use in a deepwater horizontal well. The valve was successfully installed at a water depth of 5,148ft in a deepwater horizontal openhole gravel pack completion. After 30 days of suspension time the valve was successfully remote-actuated from surface.