Various types of coiled tubing (CT) units have been in operation throughout the petroleum industry for over 30 years. Despite the introduction of desirable improvements in the quality of materials and components, the principle layout and operation of a coiled tubing unit (CTU) package has not changed much over time.
The geography of Algeria presents a very challenging environment for any oilfield operations. For example, less than favorable conditions exist from the extreme heat, hazardous routes must be traveled during equipment transport, restrictions in personnel movement are brought about by concerns involving security and local operating practices limit most of the operations to daylight hours only. To overcome these problems a light, efficient and fit for purpose CTU is needed. The CTU would have to be operationally efficient thus reducing the number of personnel to run and support the unit operation. This alone would minimize any potential safety issues by reducing the exposure of personnel to heat stroke and/or the handling and stepping hazards associated with rig up activities.
Using modern technology and a fit for purpose design of CT surface equipment, great improve¬ments can be realized in safety, efficiency, reliability, and operating cost of CT operations. Since introduction to Algerian operations in 2002, a uniquely designed CTU has shown significant advantages over conventional unit designs. The equipment rig up process has been made safer and more efficient through improved design and the integration of various components. Process control of the whole well site operation allows the operator to focus on the down-hole treatment rather than surface logistics. A reduction in the number of trucks and personnel required to perform basic CT operations offers some significant efficiencies in operating costs.
This paper examines the facts and figures of this unique CTU in the Algerian area of operations including a comprehensive discussion of its features and why they have been beneficial in this challenging environment.