WFT's Petroline Unit Installs World's First Horizontal Expandable Sand Screen (ESS)

14 Dec 1999

Houston, December 14, 1999

- - Project expands innovative Petroline production enhancement technology to a new market segment - -

Weatherford International, Inc.¡¦s (NYSE: WFT) today announced that its Petroline completion unit has successfully installed and expanded more than 1,130 feet of a 4-inch Expandable Sand Screen (ESS„¥) for a major operator in Nigeria in the first ever horizontal application of this technology.

The ESS was expanded to fill a 7-inch horizontal well bore in a process that took less than 50 minutes. The initial flow rate from the horizontal well is expected to be approximately 7,500 bbl/day. ESS is a completely new concept in sand control technology, which is proving itself in a broad range of applications across the globe. In addition to offshore Nigeria, ESS systems have been successfully installed in Europe, Middle East and Latin America.

ESS provides both a production enhancing and cost-saving alternative to current sand control techniques, such as gravel pack completions and traditional sand screens. Expandable Sand Screens can significantly reduce production limiting skin effect in wells and even enhance the natural reservoir inflow capability to achieve optimal production rates. Also, it can be up to 60 percent less costly than a conventional gravel pack completion, due to lower equipment costs and eliminating the need to pump and install gravel downhole.

Other benefits of ESS include increased hole size efficiency, greater resistance to erosion and the ability to perform remedial work.

Expandable Sand Screens are part of Weatherford Completion Systems¡¦ expandable slotted tube (EST„¥) product line. EST is a casing with the unique feature of being expandable ¡V up to 200 % of its original diameter ¡V to fit almost any wellbore size, yet remain small enough to pass through restrictions. This proprietary Weatherford product line, which uses Shell¡¦s patented expandable pipe technologies, was launched in late 1998 by Petroline, an Aberdeen-based company Weatherford acquired in 1999. Shell originally developed the expandable tube technology and granted Petroline a license to develop products using their technology. Other EST products include expandable completion liners, expandable isolation sleeves and expandable alternative wellbore liners.

Houston-based Weatherford International, Inc. ( is one of the largest global providers of innovative mechanical solutions, technology and services for the drilling and production sectors of the oil and gas industry. Weatherford¡¦s Completion Systems division provides a comprehensive product line, including sand control, production packers, liner hangers, flow control, inflatable packers and intelligent monitoring and control systems.

Don Galletly (713) 693-4148
Christine McGee (713) 693-4362

Weatherford International, Inc.
515 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 600
Houston, Texas 77027