Multi-stage ‘plug-and-perf’ operations in the Bakken formation are conventionally performed using pump down wireline operations. However, when a restricted casing ID, coupled with road restrictions, strict budget and time constraints, and a long horizontal section prevented the use of conventional methods, an operator in North Dakota turned to e-line, tractor-based conveyance to get this $9M asset on line.

The operator needed to plug and perforate 26 zones from max depth at 21,740 ft up to the upper perforations at 11,830 ft to get the well on line swiftly. However, a 3.5 in. patch at 11,689 ft–11,709 ft meant the ID of the 4 1/2 in., 11.6# casing string was restricted, and thus the 4 1/2 in. plug could not be pumped in safely. Pumping the plug could cause it to set prematurely or get pumped off causing an expensive fishing job. Rig workover was deemed too time consuming due to the number of runs necessary and as a 2 in. coiled tubing (CT) string would only be able to reach about 17,000 ft, this option would have left 10 zones unperforated. To further complicate matters, spring thaw road weight restrictions were in place and the project was already over budget and behind schedule.

By turning to e-line tractor conveyance the 26 runs to ‘plug-and-perf’ were completed in just 14 days with no lost time. In addition, the patch was successfully negotiated, the plug set properly and the entire section was perforated. The swift and nimble nature of the e-line technology made it easy to overcome the logistical challenges and helped the operator with their timing and budget issues.

This paper will show why using e-line tractor conveyance was the right solution for this intervention where 146,608 ft were tractored with no lost time.

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