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July 2010

TOP-CO TECH NEWS


Top-Co as a manufacturer of primary cementing equipment relies on the contributions that state-of the art technology to mature and innovative testing practices provides. The role of comprehensive, disciplined, creative, and even passionate product testing in the pursuit of excellence of any manufacturing company will be explored at length in this issue of TopCos Tech News.

Volume 1, Issue 4

TOP-COS FLOW LOOP CAPABILITIES AND TESTING PROGRAM


In this article we will share some of the lessons learned by first describing the state-of the art facility, its benefits, some of the standard and more creative tests, and the way it has allowed Top-Co to close the cycle from identifying a product requirement to achieving complete customer satisfaction. Top-Cos new test facility went from a dream in 2006 to a plan in 2008 and commissioned in January 2009. The facility allows testing of all the products Top-Co manufactures, from centralizers to float equipment to concrete compression strength. One of the goals during the design of the facility was to be able to conduct all product tests in the same physical location. This objective was met through the design of the facilitys floor plan presented below: Testing in a clean, organized, and controlled environment. Ease of implementation of a 6S philosophy in the test facility. The facilitys flexibility and capabilities allow the execution of all areas of TopCos testing program:

R&D: new product development and existing product improvement. Quality control. Process verification. Failure analysis, or third party testing. In addition, the facility has proved instrumental in the following two areas:

Customer and personnel training. Technical customer support.

In the last 18 months almost every TopCo employee has visited the facility and witnessed or demonstrated how our products are tested. Additionally, we have been honoured to have a multitude of representatives from leading service and operating companies visit the facility. These activities have become invaluable in exchanging information with our customers, receiving feedback on current field issues and requirements that constitute one of the pillars of our new product development program. Comprehensive technical product information may be downloaded in viewable format from the Top-Co website: www.top-co.ca The advantages of this centralized concept are:

Facility
The integral portion of the facility is the flow loop, shown in the left area of the floor plan depicted on the left. The flow loop consists of a tank and pumps room and a test bench.

Systematic execution of a comprehensive test matrix. Development and maintenance of a central test results database. Standardization of test procedures.

TOP-CO TECH NEWS


TOP-COS FLOW LOOP CAPABILITIES AND TESTING
The picture below shows the flow loops tank and pumps. The tank with a storage capacity of 160 bbls contains two agitators that in conjunction with the tanks shape avoid sagging of the weighting material in the drilling mud.
Alfredo Sanchez Senior Petroleum Engineer

To catch the reader's attention, place an interesting sentence or quote from the story here.

I N S I D E

S T O R Y

H E A D L I N E

The picture below shows the flow loops test bench.


If the newsletter is distributed internally, you might comment upon new procedures or improvements to the business. Sales figures or earnings will show how your business is growing. employees or top customers or vendors.

This story can fit 100-150 words. The subject matter that appears in newsletters is virtually endless. You can include stories that focus on current technologies or innovations in your field.

Some newsletters include a column that is updated You may also want to note every issue, for instance, business or economic an advice column, a book trends, or make predicreview, a letter from the tions for your customers or president, or an editorial. clients. The facility allows You can also profile for newsimultaneous

testing of up to

four test specimens.


I N S I D E S T O R Y H E A D L I N E

Mud is pumped with a centrifugal pump capable of This story can fit 75-125 delivering up to 22 bpm at approximately up to 140 words. psi. Heat blankets in the pipes can be set to 600 F Selecting pictures or while circulating the mud to increase its temperature graphics is an important to the test requirements.

The flow rate is continuously measured by a flow meter that installed at the exit of the test bench (installed verappear to be out of article. Be sure to place tically on the right side of the test bench), and is concontext. the caption of the image trolled by varying the speednear of the centrifugal pump. the image.

Caption describing A second triplex positive displacement water pump picture or graphic. Think about your article capable of delivering up to 5 gpm at 5000 psi is also and ask yourself if installed. As shown in the following table, these the picturethe supports or enspecifications allows for testing beyond conditions hances the message described in API Recommended Practice 10F Recyoure trying to convey. ommended Practice for Performance Testing of CeAvoid selecting images menting Float Equipment.

part of adding content to your newsletter.

Microsoft Publisher includes thousands of speed clip The pumps motor is in turn controlled by a art images from which you variable frequency drive that reacts to the flow mecan choose and import ters measurement, adjusting the pump speed as reinto your newsletter. There quired to maintain the specified flow rate. This set-up are also several tools you allows for adraw stable constant flow rate to be maintained can use to shapes during testing. and symbols. Once you have chosen an image, place it close to the
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TOP-CO TECH NEWS


TOP-COS FLOW LOOP CAPABILITIES AND TESTING PROGRAM
The flow loop has three thermometers measuring mud temperature. One is installed in the tank and is used mainly during mud warm-up prior to starting a test. The other two are installed in the inlet and outlet of the test bench and allow for full compliance with test temperature requirements by API RP 10F, independently of heat loss due to a lower ambient temperature. This is of significant importance during tests conducted in the cold winter season.
Alfredo Sanchez Senior Petroleum Engineer

in the type of tests that may be conducted, in addition to the standard API tests. For example, testing the performance of a stage tool requires a fast acquisition rate as to not miss the actual opening or closing pressures. This is explained in more detail later in this document. All instruments in the facility are subject to a strict calibration schedule that is also part of the plants Quality Management System.

Accurate measurement of back flow volume

A key parameter in the testing of float equipment is what API calls volume required to achieve valve closure. The facility can accurately measure the volume by collecting any back flow in graduated buckets sitting on calibrated weight scales, as shown in the picture above. The weight measurement is used in combination with the latest rheological properties to calculate stated volume. The combination of the leak weight and visual observation allows the operator to identify even minimum amounts of back flow (dripping.) This is of most importance because in a real application there is a risk that a valve that is leaking a very small amount does not get detected immediately, but rather days or weeks later when the plug is found higher than expected. The flow loop is equipped with 22 pressure measurement locations connected to a data acquisition system capable of recording up to 100 readings per second. The benefit of this system is the great flexibility

The facilitys pumps and valves are actuated from the control software, allowing for complete test to be run entirely from the computer. To minimize the impact of the operator on the test results, a significant investment was done to build subroutines into the software that guide the operator through the test procedure. This improves the speed at which tests are conducted and increases the repeatability of their results. The facility also includes a high pressure, high temperature test chamber capable of operating above 400F and 10,000 psi. Additionally, simulating annular pressure is also possible.
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TOP-CO TECH NEWS


TOP-COS FLOW LOOP CAPABILITIES AND TESTING PROGRAM
Recently live web broadcasting capabilities were added, allowing for tests to be witnessed and discussed with Top-Cos customers. This manufacturer use interaction has played an important role in recent product developments. The webcams are also used for giving virtual tours of the facility to customers that are unable to visit the plant in Edmonton.
Alfredo Sanchez Senior Petroleum Engineer

ated. A strategy and system were designed and implemented to schedule, prepare, execute, and grade each test and provide feedback to engineering. A central test results database for all product types was built that allows for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The management system also includes preventive maintenance and inventory control.

Benefits
To catch the reader's attention, place an interesting sentence or quote from the story here.
I N S I D E S T O R Y H E A D L I N E

This story can fit 100-150 words. The subject matter that appears in newsletters is virtually endless. You can include stories that focus on current technologies or innovations in your field. You may also want to note business or economic trends, or make predictions for your customers or clients.

Perhaps the most important benefit obtained from the facility has been an improved understanding of product dynamics under miscellaneous operating condiemployees top customIf the newsletter is distribtions. For example, it has allowed usor to study the efers or vendors. uted internally, you might fect that plug bump speed has on the opening of our comment new procestage tool. upon It has been instrumental in increasing the dures or improvements to accuracy and performance consistency of this tool. It business. Sales will the also allow us tofigures study the effect that annular presor earnings will show how sure has on the tools performance.
your business is growing. Some newsletters include a column that is updated every issue, for instance, an advice column, a book review, a letter from the president, or an editorial. You can also profile new

Lastly, the facility includes lab instruments used to measure and control the rheological properties of the drilling fluid used. The main instruments used are:
I N S I D E S T O R Y

H E A D L I N E

This story can fit 75-125

that appear to be out of

article. Be sure to place

Standard field issue OFI Mud Balance. context. words. the caption of the image near the image. OFI 200 mesh Solids Screen with graduated Microsoft Publisher inSelecting pictures or flask. facility has also allowed for increased accuracy cludes thousands of clip graphics is an important The OFI Electronic Viscometer. repeatability of test images from which youresults. As mentioned, it has part of adding content to andart can choose import your newsletter. allowed us toand collect all test data into a central dataCaption describing into yourallows newsletter. Management base that for There quantitative and qualitative analypicture or graphic. System Think about your article are also several tools you sis. For example, we maintain an extensive testing and ask yourself if the can use to draw shapes image library that has proved fundamental in recent As it may be apparent from the description presentpicture supports or enand symbols. product developments. We have also obtained beneed above, management of the facility and more imhances the message fits Once in quality control. portantly, of the testing program isyoure essential to be you have chosen an trying to convey. image, place it close to the Avoid selecting images able to benefit from the large amount of data generPage 4

TOP-CO TECH NEWS


TOP-COS FLOW LOOP CAPABILITIES AND TESTING PROGRAM
Putting aside the initial capital investment in the facility, the current operating cost is relatively low allowing Top-Co to perform extensive testing of even minor design or manufacturing process changes.
Alfredo Sanchez Senior Petroleum Engineer

During the entire duration of the test, the facilities control and data acquisition system continuously measures and records relevant test parameters as illustrated in the following flow and back pressure graphs:
OW FL

API Tests
Another benefit the facility has provided is the capability of executing tests by the book exactly as described in the corresponding API or other test procedures. API RP10F describes three test categories consisting of a number (I, II, or III) and a letter (A, B, or C.) The number is an indication of the durability flow test. This test consists of flowing mud through the valve for two hours and then performing a back pressure test to confirm the valve closes and completely seals. This cycle or flow and back pressure application is repeated until the total test duration is completed, which can be up to a total of 24 hrs. The last part of the test calls for a final back pressure test conducted at high pressure and for 30 minutes. A summary of the durability test categories is shown in the picture below.
Durability Categories
OW FL
RE SU ES PR

OW FL

Flow Test

RE SU ES PR

NO

X
OW FL

OW FL

NO

X
O FL W

Category I II III

Duration 8 12 24

Max. Pressure 1500 3000 5000

Back Pressure Test

10 bbls/min for >3-1/2 6 bbls/min for smaller 110 F


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TOP-CO TECH NEWS


TOP-COS FLOW LOOP CAPABILITIES AND TESTING PROGRAM
Every two hours the rheological properties of the drilling mud are measured to confirm they are within API specifications: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Density: 12 12.5 lb/gal Plastic Viscosity: 10 50 cp Yield Point : 5 25 LB/100 sq ft 10-s gel Strength: > 4 lb/100 sq ft Sand Content: 2 4 percent by volume of 70/200 mesh sand
To catch the reader's attention, place an interesting sentence or quote from the story here.
I N S I D E S T O R Y H E A D L I N E

Alfredo Sanchez Senior Petroleum Engineer

As in the durability test, pressure and temperature is continuously measured and monitored during the entire duration of the test:

Properties at 120 Fahrenheit.

Upon completion of the durability This teststory as described can fit 100-150 above, the test piece is removed from words.the flow loop and inspected for signs of abnormal wear or perforThe subject matter that mance.

appears in newsletters is virtually endless. You can The second part of the test consists of a highthat presinclude stories focus sure, high temperature test in which the test piece on current technologies or is soaked at up to up to 400F forinnovations eight hours and in your field.

If the newsletter is distributed internally, you might comment upon new procedures or improvements to the business. Sales figures or earnings will show how your business is growing. Some newsletters include a column that is updated every issue, for instance, an advice column, a book review, a letter from the president, or an editorial. You can also profile new

employees or top customers or vendors.

then back pressure is applied in 500 psi increments may also want to note from zero up to 5,000 psi, holdingYou each one for 15 business or economic minutes and confirming the valve is not leaking. A trends, or make predicsummary of the durability test categories is shown tions for your customers or in the picture below. clients.
High Pressure / High Temperature Category I N S I D E S T O R Y
H E A D L I N E

Category A B

Temperature 200 F 300 F 400 F

X This story can fit 75-125 Max. words. Pressure Selecting pictures or 1500 psi graphics is an important part of adding content to your newsletter. 3000 psi
Think about your article 5000 psi and ask yourself if the

that appear to be out of context. Microsoft Publisher includes thousands of clip art images from which you can choose and import into your newsletter. There are also several tools you can use to draw shapes and symbols. Once you have chosen an image, place it close to the

article. Be sure to place the caption of the image near the image.

Caption describing picture or graphic.

picture supports or en8 hr soak time hances the message 500 psi X 15 min increments youre trying to convey. Avoid selecting images

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TOP-CO TECH NEWS


TOP-COS FLOW LOOP CAPABILITIES AND TESTING PROGRAM
Beyond API Tests
Furthermore, the flexibility built into the facility has allowed for testing beyond standard test procedures. For example, extensive testing was conducted to determine the effect of orientation and inclination on valve performance. In anticipation of the longer reach and deeper wells that the industry will pursue in the coming years, Top -Co has also initiated tests under more demanding conditions, such as higher flow rates and longer circulating times. This is most relevant in extended reach wells where fluid particle velocities required for appropriate hole cleaning may be as high as 3-5 times those of vertical wells and which will take longer to clean. For deeper wells, higher differential pressure capabilities may be expected and therefore testing above 5000 psi is also required. Top-Co is using this capability in testing to destruction and developing new high pressure products.
Alfredo Sanchez Senior Petroleum Engineer

Similarly, generating performance curves of pressure drop vs. flow rates has also become a common practice at Top-Co. This information is available to our customers and can be used for more accurate surge and swab calculations.
OW FL

O FL

Outside Tests
Top-Cos in house testing program is complemented with specific tests performed outside of our facility. Recently, drillout tests on three types of products were performed at a leading manufacturers facilities in the US. The information collected was used to confirm operating procedures as well as further product development. Additionally, field tests are commonly performed.

Top-Cos testing procedure for differential fill valves is another example of going beyond standard procedures. In addition to following the steps indicated in API RP 10F for differential fill equipment, the flow loops flexibility also allows for testing the differential action of this type of valves.
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TOP-CO TECH NEWS


TOP-COS FLOW LOOP CAPABILITIES AND TESTING PROGRAM
Customer Satisfaction
Perhaps the ultimate benefit this facility has provided is a more efficient path from identifying product requirements, to designing and testing them, to improving them, and finally achieving our customers satisfaction.
Customer Industry Requirements Satisfaction
After Sale Support Engineering Feedback Concept Engineering

Alfredo Sanchez Senior Petroleum Engineer

2.

Certification that the flow loop facility is capable of performing tests on float equipment according to API Recommended Practice 10F, Test Category IIIC.

Manufacturing

Costing Incident and Failure Analysis Quality Control Test and Validation

Lloyds Certification
Top-Cos Flow Loop attained two important certifications by Lloyds Register: 1. Certification of a successful test performed on the TopFlo Valve per API Recommended Practice 10F, Test Category IIIC.