Pipe recovery is extremely important in modern well intervention programs. Tubing can become stuck in a wellbore for a variety of reasons, requiring the operator to determine the location of the stuck point and to subsequently conduct a back-off or cutting operation. These operations allow removal of "free" sections of tubing, giving the operator greater access to remaining sections using more robust fishing equipment. Conventional cutting devices have safety, operational, and logistical drawbacks. Chemical cutters use harsh, corrosive chemicals that require trained / certified operators and special storage – handling procedures. Jet cutters use explosives to sever pipe, leaving a flared and sometimes difficult fishing profile. Explosives require licensed operators and storage facilities and can be difficult to transport globally.
A new development in pipe recovery methods is the motorized cutting tool (MCT). The MCT provides the industry with a reliable and safe alternative to explosive and chemical cutting devices. It is an efficient single run solution, whether requiring single or multiple cuts. The non-explosive and compact cutter addresses these challenges; providing a tool that improves performance and efficiency while eliminating safety concerns. Globally transported in a moment's notice, the surface monitoring capability provides the only system in the industry capable of verifying the cut during the operation. The unique design of the tool enables making cuts with the tubing in either tension or compression.
In this paper, the authors will review the basic design and construction of the MCT. They will go on to describe the various operations performed; ranging from single cuts to multiple cuts in one trip, various tubing sizes, tubing in compression or tension. Following this, they will go on to conclude how this system has demonstrated efficiency improvements while eliminating safety concerns compared to existing pipe recovery methods.