Analysis of the Storm Packer (SP) failure in Article 1 will be complicated. Some stakeholders will assume that the SP was defective, some will assume the drilling crew made mistakes, and others will assume that wellbore conditions predisposed the SP to fail. Any of these may explain the failure of the first SP, but only rigorous due diligence will uncover the root cause(s). What should be investigated, and what will be the roadmap for the analysis?
There is always urgency associated with finding the “smoking gun”, but speculation will not serve any of the stakeholders well. Because of this, it is important to first establish the scope for the failure analysis. To set the scope, begin by gathering opinions from SMEs on the priority areas for investigation. In general, a downhole tool failure can be explained by problems within any of the following areas:
- OEM’s recommendations?
- Application – wellbore parameters such as casing size and weight, service temperature, rig conditions, etc.
After the scope is set, finalize the analysis roadmap:
- All areas of investigation
- SMEs responsible for each area
- Approximate time for completion of the analysis
The SP analysis will be extensive because all five areas will require investigation. The SP’s manufacturing and maintenance history will require investigation. Since an SP is installed by a crew, process and human factors will need to be investigated. And even though the SP was selected using known wellbore parameters, the investigation will need to review the application and analyze any unanticipated changes in the wellbore environment.
TRUTH: A well-crafted scope provides the roadmap for a successful failure analysis.
This is the 2nd in a series of six articles on Failure Analysis for downhole tools.