Scale buildup due to water production can choke oil production and require repetitive scale treatments across entire fields. In subsea wells, the common solution employs a deepwater rig to conduct either workover operations or large-volume scale inhibitor squeezes. Less frequently, coiled tubing (CT) is used from a moonpool vessel. However, current oil prices required a custom solution for subsea well treatments that was more cost effective than either a rig or a moonpool vessel.
Similar previous operations successfully used 1 ¾-in. and 2-in. (44.4 mm. and 50 mm.) CT at the same time from a moonpool vessel. A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the open water connected the CT to the subsea safety module (SSM) through a dynamic conduit and connected the SSM to the wellhead. An engineered solution to change to 2 7/8-in. CT and use high-rate stimulation pumps was planned to deliver subsea treatments at up to 15 bbl/min. The equipment layout was designed for a multipurpose supply vessel with chemical storage tanks; to increase the available selection of vessels, the CT was designed to run overboard rather than through a moonpool.
This project was initiated after accelerated scale buildup occurred because of a pressure decrease close to the bubble point, which happened when the drawdown was increased for aggressive production targets. To effectively inhibit scale in this environment, treatments required thousands of barrels of inhibitor. For wells with more-severe scale conditions, acid treatments were planned. These treatments were delivered with one complete CT package, stimulation pumping fleet, and subsea equipment, which were all installed on the spare deck space of the available vessel.
A custom overboard CT deployment tower was designed. The new tower improved the dynamic bend stiffener (DBS) placement, which allowed the clump weights to be deployed with the bottomhole assembly (BHA) and simplified the rig-up. The chosen vessel worked well for the operation; however, the equipment layout and the local weather conditions combined with the response amplitude operator (RAO) of the vessel shortened the projected fatigue life of the CT.
CT integrity monitoring with magnetic flux leakage (MFL) measurement was introduced here, and the vessel’s motion reference unit (MRU) provided an input to a fatigue calculator, based on the global riser analysis (GRA). The measurements and the analysis were utilized successfully to prevent CT pipe failures in the open water and deliver the required well treatments. To allow further improvements in deepwater operations, the new engineering work-flow was carefully documented.