The latest potentially “incredibly promising” oil innovation is the sliding sleeve, according to JP Morgan’s J. David Anderson.Anderson says the sliding sleeve isn’t a game-changer yet due to limited applications, but it is a technology that sets apart Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger, which are the only companies that posses it.
What is a sliding sleeve, you ask?
Traditional “plug and perf” systems consist of cementing a liner in a horizontal well, then repeating a process at each stage of setting a bridge plug, perforating, and then pumping frac fluid with proppant. Once all the stages are set, the bridge plugs are drilled out to induce production. Conversely, sliding sleeves are tools permanently placed in open holes that have mechanically actuated sleeves (pre-perforations) and utilise constant downhole pressure pumping to dramatically reduce completion times.
As for its pros and cons:
In the Bakken, sliding sleeves can reduce pressure pumping times by as much as 80%, reducing costs from $2.0-2.5mm per well down to $750k per well. Sliding sleeve detractors believe plug and perf is more flexible, can produce better well stimulation, allows for more frac points, and reduces the risk of mechanical failure from sliding sleeve systems. But as this technology matures, we expect these shortcomings to fade and increase market penetration.