This case study examines the techniques required to recover a coiled-tubing (CT) fish from a live condensate well (using CT) without actually killing the well.

These procedures were recently implemented offshore Vietnam, where an extremely fluid-sensitive formation prevented killing the well because the formation would not likely have recovered. Using the techniques described in this paper, a 1.50-in. (38.1-mm) CT fish 9,177 ft (2797 m) long was successfully recovered from a well while keeping the well on production throughout the operation. This was achieved using temperature-setting gel as an isolation barrier against wellbore pressure in the fish, which saved the customer the approximately USD 20 million in costs associated with the alternative solution of drilling a new well.

This paper outlines the equipment required and factors to consider while designing the job, as well as describing the surface handling procedures once the fish is brought to surface. Particular problems with operating in a live condensate well are also highlighted. Finally, safety methods will be discussed throughout the paper to maintain a dual barrier against wellbore pressure during all phases of the job, including the use of gel as an isolation barrier.

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