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  • Writer's picture The Ace Team

Moving Ace completion products in the Americas


Ace reps at the recent OTC event in Houston

With the rapid development of offshore fields in Brazil and Guyana plus a resurgence of activity in Canada, we see increased demand for all Ace products, with the Ace Splice Carrier in particular proving to be a real winner for operators.


By Mike Moffitt, Vice President, Western Hemisphere


Fueled by new field developments in both Latin and North America, we see a marked increase in demand for Ace tools. The majority of this growth is in well completion, but well construction is also in high demand in these markets.


The most sought-after tool with operators is undoubtedly the Ace Splice Carrier (ASC). The ASC eliminates splice subs by providing a slip-on product.  The ASCs may be integrated into completion super-assemblies, placed below the tubing hanger, or kept on standby as a contingency splice for damaged control lines. 


The draw for operators is the flexibility of a slip-on product that delivers many advantages compared to traditional subs threaded into the completion string. Eliminating splice subs delivers many distinct advantages at a huge savings to our customers.  The on-pipe ASC reduces completion super-assembly lengths, introduces fewer connections, and eliminates complicated timing of the connections to place splicing locations on the same side of the completion.  Because ASCs slide over the tubing body, they remain out of the load path, so they do not require meeting strict burst, collapse, or tensile capacities.  They also require less material and machining, culminating in substantial hardware cost savings.


A more versatile, efficient, and cost-effective alternative to splice subs, the innovative design effectively protects bare control lines and accommodates any type of splice blocks, including hydraulic, fiber-optic and TEC splices.


A range of exciting markets

Brazil is currently one of the strongest regions in the world in deepwater drilling. Ace fulfilled its first ASC orders in early 2023, followed by several large deliveries throughout the year to service providers delivering to two National Operators here. Currently we see a steady stream of orders coming from Brazil, and we anticipate continued growth based on projections through the end of 2024. I would say that Brazil tops the list for one of the most exciting markets for us in the Americas due to the sheer amount of ongoing and upcoming activity.


Ace has been present in the US and Mexican Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad, Canada and Colombia for years, and our products are well known and tried and tested under conditions in these countries. A newcomer for Ace is Guyana, located in the northeast corner of South America. Here, production from the big offshore finds over the past decade recently came online. The Guyana fields are high potential for the operators, the nation, and its population. We see even further business opportunities in Guyana and its neighboring country Suriname that, combined with Brazil, are expected to be quite lucrative to Ace through our technology offering.

 

In Canada, after years of significantly reduced offshore drilling activity, we are now seeing movement in the Atlantic fields off the coast of Newfoundland. Ace made deliveries here prior to 2018, which now seems like a long time ago.  We are excited to see the renewed interest for our technology here and anticipate more deliveries here in the second half of the year and into 2025 as activity continues to grow.


Contemporary trends


The trend towards automation in the oil and gas industry remains strong.  At Ace we have several R&D partnerships to integrate our automated control line clamp installation system into existing tubular running service equipment.  The system includes the Ace Control Line Clamp (ACLC) and altogether improves safety for rig personnel by enabling semi-automated and eventually fully automated installation of control line clamps.  Control line clamp installation is one of the most repetitive and dangerous rig-floor activities in well completion. In a semi-automated phase, the ACLC increases safety by reducing the need for workers in the red zone by 50% and time spent in the red zone by 30%, with an increase in pipe running speed by roughly 50%. 


The increase in both safety and running speed is attributed to simplifying the activities performed by the personnel.  The integration of an installation tool with our partners’ existing tubular running equipment fully automates control line installation, delivering the safest and fastest solution compared to traditional systems that require manual installation of control line clamps.


Ace’s clamp design is a departure from traditional cross-coupling protectors that secure cables at the coupling.  The ACLC is based on the tried and tested Ace Ratchet Collar anchoring mechanism to deliver unrivaled holding force on the tubing. The Ace system introduces the control lines and retention lid to lock and hold the control lines against the tubing as it is being run. The system has already passed the most stringent operator qualifications required prior to introduction in the field.

 

We are nearing the end of the commercialization process for the ACLC, and are really excited about the possibilities in the American markets. Ace is armed to deliver more automation to the drill floor to benefit the entire energy sector through increased safety and efficiency.  

 

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