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A knowledgeable speaker quoted some unnamed study that purported new technology took 26 years after commercial introduction to get into widespread oilfield use. That has certainly not been the case with expandable technology. As the pages in this year's and last year's World Oil reports show, there are now dozens of new uses in drilling and completion, and hundreds of jobs completed. But of all the applications to date, none are as far-reaching and game-changing as the monodiameter well. A review of the benefits, the progress achieved and problems to be overcome follows.
Most often, the key driver for change is cost. Monodiameter wells are no different in that respect, but the magnitude of the savings could be dramatic. They also extend to environmental benefits as well. Of course, savings center on the direct reduction in diameter, since every inch of wellbore larger than what is needed at the producing zone to accommodate production is wasted (see Fig. 8 pg. 61). This has been the driver behind Reduced Casing Clearance Programs (RCCP) and slimhole completions.
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