EUCLID, Ohio—Terves Inc. is expanding its offerings with a new line of dissolving elastomers for completion tools in oil and gas applications.
ElementUM dissolvable elastomers are rated for up to 10,000 pounds per square inch and 90°C, and the newest addition to the line loses up to 80 percent of its weight as it dissolves, said Anupam Ghildyal, vice president of corporate development.
Terves manufactures dissolvable metal for tools used in gas well completion and production, which are important to get the horizontal fracturing process started, he said.
"But after their job is done, they're not required anymore and they have to be drilled out," Ghildyal said. "If you're using tools made out of dissolvable metal, they actually dissolve away so you do not have to drill them out again."
He added that using dissolvable tools saves the rental fees for drilling equipment, and time and effort in the drilling-out process, which can take two or three days.
"You are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars at each well using dissolvable metal," he said.
Those tools include rubber and elastomer components that do not dissolve. Terves received requests from customers for an elastomer that would dissolve along with the rest of the tools, Ghildyal said.
At the time, Terves wasn't interested in working with rubbers and elastomers, so it reached out to other companies that claimed to make dissolvable rubber products. After testing 10-15 products, none of the products actually dissolved, Ghildyal said.
The issue came down to the difference between disintegration and dissolution, he said. The goal of dissolution meant materials breaking down into fine particles, whereas disintegration meant the component or material lost its structure.