New software from Aberdeen-based Helix RDS promises ‘non-intrusive’ measurement of corrosion in mature wells. Previously, assessing downhole corrosion required caliper survey. Helix RDS now promises a ‘VirtualCaliper’ (VC) corrosion prediction service. An ‘empirical corrosion model’ is based on field-measured carbon steel tubular corrosion rates as observed by caliper and pigging surveys.
The model considers both laboratory test and field monitoring data along with corrosion predictions and other variables including water cut rate changes and well geometry. The outputs are wall thickness or corrosion rates versus depth and time. Corrosion rates can be predicted from anticipated well lifecycle conditions.
North Sea test
VC has performed well in blind trials, allowing prioritization of remedial work by early identification of at-risk wells. One North Sea operator used VC for due diligence and to optimize workovers. Another used the program to analyze a 6-year-old producing well to determine if the well would retain its integrity for its remaining life.
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