Abstract

Wells in the Permian Basin continue to increase in technical complexity and lateral length, testing the limits of traditional completion practices in unconventional wells. Coiled tubing has been the standard method for drilling out frac plugs in the basin but has mechanical limitations in extended-reach and high-pressure laterals. Due to the increasing well complexity operators have begun using high technology hydraulic completion units (HCU), also known as a snubbing unit, to drill out frac plugs in certain Permian Basin wells. By using the HCU in wells with longer laterals, higher pressures, and downhole uncertainty/complexity some of the additional risk can be mitigated. The HCU system can provide a reliable and cost-effective means to cleanout laterals in the Permian Basin while reducing mechanical risk. The purpose of this paper is to present case histories that illustrate the positive impact of the HCU on field operations. This paper will also detail the evolution of the HCU over time to its current state of the art stand-alone rigless system.

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