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Choosing the Proper Slickline Alloy

By January 6, 2020 No Comments

Slicklines come in a variety of lengths, diameters, and materials. Consideration of all three of these variables for your downhole application is paramount to the longevity of the line and the ability to perform in oil well environments. Length is related to the depth and distance of the well you’re working in. Diameter is a function of the strength you need at the depth and temperature you’ll be operating in. And the material you chose, more specifically the stainless steel alloy you request, has a lasting impact of the survivability of your slickline in the harsh conditions of the downhole

In selecting the proper alloy for your slickline, you are considering the environmental conditions of a well to reduce the amount of corrosion (pitting, rusting) that will occur. Why is this important? Because this corrosion will compromise the steel in the line and promote a premature failure. Without the proper alloy, you’re risking losing a tool in a well and spending precious time and money fishing for expensive tooling.

Many alloys exist that can provide protection from the corrosive downhole environment. Selecting the mix of performance properties you require depends on the specific characteristics of your well. Here are just a few of the variable you must consider when selecting the alloy you will need in your application:

Well Pressure: The pressure at the bottom of the well has an effect on the concentration of downhole chemicals, as well as affecting the operation temperature

Well Temperature: Related to the pressure, the temperature can increase the corrosiveness of chemicals found in your well and hasten many of the effects of corrosion, weakening your slickline and leading to failure

H2S: Hydrogen Sulfide is a gas often found in wells producing oil and natural gas. The higher concentration of this byproduct of organic decomposition will cause a “sour” environment and excessive corrosion on stainless steel lines. Understating the concentration of this chemical will allow you to choose an Alloy of stainless steel to prolong service of your slickline

Cl2: Chlorine is an oxidizing agent that will attack the surface of any stainless steel. As with Hydrogen Sulfide, an analysis of the Chlorine present in your well will allow for the selection of an alloy that is effective in limiting the potential for corrosion. Unchecked, chlorine will cause pitting and weaken your lines.

Other Factors: Additional items you need to factor into your decision include the concentration of acetate, HCO3 levels, gas to oil ratio, water to gas comparisons, and even the level of CO2. An analysis of these properties will provide a more precise target for performance.

While these considerations can make for a difficult task of specifying the exact alloy you need for your application, there are tools available to help with your calculations. Central Wire Industries is proud to offer a Wireline Well Service Material Guide to assist with the selection of the proper GD-SUPA Slickline for every well application. Available on our downhole products website, the online form will collect the information needed to help in the designation of the optimal alloy, taking the guesswork out of such an important decision.

Here’s how it works: once you visit the Material Guide Page and complete the required fields, the data is sent to our engineering team, along with your contact information. A recommendation is then calculated and a member of our commercial team contacts you with the alloy we suggest you use, along with pricing and delivery details. Because this is a web-based application, we can make a recommendation for your operation anywhere in the world! And with manufacturing locations in North America and Europe and representatives in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, we are Global Positioned to be there for you when you need us.

Take a moment to review the materials guide today. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

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