A new application of electric wireline tractors in combination with the well milling technology has been successfully proven in an offshore Equatorial Guinea well.

In July 2011 on a small, unmanned offshore platform in Equatorial Guinea, a downhole tractor and a milling tool were conveyed on electric line to remove an obstruction created by Lost in Hole (LIH) electric line cable and production logging tools (PLT).

By using customized core milling bits, 13 successful milling runs were made. During this unique operation, most of the milled wireline material was recovered, and the challenges of controlling torque and milling penetration were achieved. In between milling runs, slickline fishing attempts were made in order to recover the remaining LIH wireline. After the last milling run, a major breakthrough was made when the PLT string moved downhole to a position that uncovered the proposed new completion interval. Ultimately the well was perforated and returned to production at projected gas and condensate rates.

Milling of wireline and other well bore obstructions on electric line offers a cost efficient alternative technology to existing methods. Furthermore, it offers reduced Health, Environment and Safety (HES) risk benefits and logistical advantages.

This paper will describe the actual process from preparation to completion of this first-of-its-kind fishing operation.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.