Coiled tubing has been used as a well intervention tool since the early 1960's. Since its introduction, the diameter of coiled tubing available has steadily increased, driven by demands for higher flow rates as well as larger push and pull forces. However, bigger coiled tubing sizes require larger equipment and in many cases, the simple physical size of the equipment becomes unworkable, particularly for offshore applications.

Some of the most common reasons for not using coiled tubing are:-

  1. The platform and/or platform crane is not big enough for coil tubing size thought to be required.

  2. The available or manageable coiled tubing size cannot access the bottom of the well.

  3. Insufficient pull or push is available using the available or manageable coiled tubing size.

  4. The low fluid rates achievable through the available coiled tubing make the job time too great.

This paper addresses each of the above arguments put forward against the use of coiled tubing. The paper shows how advances in technology have, to a large extent, removed these perceived barriers, most notably for the most common coiled tubing activities, these being fill cleanouts, gas lifting and acidizing/stimulation. Several technologies have emerged recently that enable small, light coiled tubing units to be used where previously larger units were thought necessary.

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