ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company has awarded Weatherford International Ltd. a limited international license for the company’s Alternate Path® technology patent portfolio for gravel packing cased and openhole completion wells.
Alternate Path is a patented technology developed by ExxonMobil to improve the reliability of wells completed in sand-prone reservoirs. Alternate Path provides alternate flow paths called shunt tubes in the downhole tool used for packing gravel in the producing sections of a well. The shunt tubes enable the Alternate Path packing operation to continue when sand prematurely blocks the well annulus, which would stop a conventional packing operation. The shunt tubes divert the gravel slurry around sand blockages and through distributed portholes to fill voids in the annulus until a complete pack is in place.
“Alternate Path technology is one of several sand control completion technologies developed by ExxonMobil to increase reliability and production uptime and improve economics of high-cost production wells,” said Sara N. Ortwein, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company. “ExxonMobil is pleased to work with Weatherford to deploy this key technology in our operations.”
The Alternate Path license allows Weatherford to produce and deploy Alternate Path technology for ExxonMobil affiliates around the world and for ventures in which ExxonMobil participates.
“Alternate Path technology is a reliable technique to ensure a complete gravel pack is in place for sand control,” said Mark Hopmann, vice president, well completion technologies for Weatherford. “Alternate Path is field proven for long-interval and horizontal wells.”