Churchill Celebrates Innovative Valve

By MarEx 2014-03-14 09:30:00

 Churchill Drilling Tools, the performance leader in mechanical drilling valves, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its DAV MX™ dart activated circulating sub with plans to broaden its range of applications and its global deployment in 2014.

The DAV MX™ and its Smart Dart™ activation technology have been deployed with class-leading reliability across a range of drilling environments including deepwater, high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) and high-angle extended reach drilling (ERD). The Mechanical Extrusion (MX™) system is significantly more reliable, faster and more cost effective than polymer extrusion, the process used for traditional ball-activated systems. 

The system, which has now chalked up more than 400 runs, has already established a strong reputation for reliability and performance in the exploration drilling arena over the years, but Churchill is seeing an increase in demand for the DAV MX™ from the development drilling and the plug and abandonment sectors.

Four main features have delivered these value benefits:

•    Valve simplicity is made possible by enclosing all the “smart” parts inside the activating darts. The DAV MX™ contains simple tried and tested spring and sealing geometry, coupled with premium grade materials honed over more than 15 years’ of drilling applications. With large concentric through-bores and low-profile seating the design provides the best way to ensure downhole dormancy and capability for weeks at a time.

•    On activation, the Smart Dart™ “Nose Lock” feature enables multi-phase applications to be performed more quickly, taking the operator directly between optimum settings for each phase, without intermediate setting sequences. “Nose Lock” also increases stability in each phase, widening the operator’s allowable circulating envelope and raising reliability.

•    As well as eliminating unnecessary setting sequences, operators have been cutting their cycling times by using the extra speed of the “MX™ mechanism”, reducing activation time from hours to minutes. This has been most useful in high angle and horizontal applications where the ability of the “MX™ mechanism” to handle high landing speeds and deliver a visible, positive opening stroke has de-risked a process that was previously avoided.

•    Operators are using the unique “latch and seal” feature to spot fluids more precisely. Guaranteed sealing which resists u-tubing even at high-angles prevents fluids from contaminating the BHA. The system is the only one in class that can ensure string, annulus, and BHA fluids are completely separated.

While consolidating the position of the DAV MX™ in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East, increased demand from elsewhere in the world means that Churchill anticipates wider global use of the system in the year ahead.

Churchill Drilling Tools’ director Mike Churchill said: “The development of more sophisticated valves is rightly regarded with scepticism in the industry. Whilst bypass control is invaluable, high levels of complexity in downhole tools flashes clear warning signs to operators who want to deliver their wells on budget. In their first five years Smart Darts™ have proven that advances in performance and reliability are both possible. New clients are often surprised at the system’s ability to deliver exactly what is says on the carton, with little user intervention.”

“The DAV MX™ is an ideal exploration tool as it covers multiple contingencies, and its performance and reliability are taking us into new markets, both in terms of geographies and applications, where such qualities are crucial.

“We have asked many questions of the DAV MX™ over the years, and each time it has responded positively. We haven’t yet reached anywhere near the limits of its capabilities and it will continue to help operators achieve performance improvements and cost reductions in a widening range of applications.” 

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.