The Oropendola Field is located in the Llanos Basin of Colombia and production from the wells is typically augmented by means of artificial lift methods, particularly the jet pump. During a recent routine wireline campaign to install a jet pump in a sliding sleeve, difficulty was experienced in releasing the assembly from the running tool and so it was extracted, but became lodged and eventually the running tool released leaving a fish in the hole. There followed several unsuccessful attempts to recover the fish but with each successive attempt the situation kept deteriorating and so fishing operations were suspended while the options were considered:

  • Continue with fishing operations to try to clean up the well.

  • Work the well over.

The latter option was considered financially unattractive so the former choice was made but the situation was so complex that it was decided to bring into the country a heavy duty Wireline fishing specialist to assist. His brief was to evaluate the well along with the client and the local wireline personnel, to put a plan in place for the recovery process to begin and to supervise operations to clean the well up. After a full review of the equipment available and the number and type of fish that needed to be recovered, an operational plan was compiled and operations begun using the on site wireline unit and ancillary equipment. Early problems with the relatively low strength of standard pulling tools lead to a further review of tooling and a set of heavy duty fishing tools being imported, upon receipt of which operations continued. After a total of 59 trips into the well, with no miss-runs and no failures, all of the fish were successfully recovered and a new jet pump assembly was run and landed successfully allowing the well to be brought back into production 26 days after arrival of the specialist on site.

In this paper the authors will review the operations that lead to the complex fishing problem, the tools imported and the reasons for them. They will go on to describe in detail the fishing operation which utilized equipment with lower than ideal load capabilities and the detailed evaluation process of each wireline tool string run which eventually lead to the well being cleaned up and its production capacity restored

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