Since its initial discovery in 1975, Offshore Mexico has been the most important oil producing region in the country, with production peaking at 2.8 MBOPD in 2003. However, since 2004, production has been quickly dropping and showing signs of field maturity; current production rate is at 1.8 MBOPD. Coiled tubing (CT) intervention had been typically required to keep production rates steady or even achieve improvement. In 2003, the operator and CT service provider formed a joint venture to put efforts to enable innovative solutions for addressing the challenges of this region.

The document discusses the various industry drivers that necessitated service improvements and technology introductions for successful CT well intervention over the last ten years. This paper focuses on the following areas:

Drilling and workover environment:

  • Extension of CT interventions in low-pressures to high-pressure wells (self imposed maximum potential wellhead pressures above 3,500-psi)

  • Expansion of Offshore rigless interventions (from conventional operations on fixed platforms to boat-based operations)

  • Extension of CT interventions from fixed-deck to deepwater floater operations

CT Applications

  • Conformance applications for water shut-offs and subsequent new perforations

  • Logging interventions in long horizontal sections

  • Real time downhole measurements during well interventions with CT equipped with fiber optic telemetry systems replacing downhole memory gauges

CT Equipment Improvements

  • Surface equipment improvements from conventional CT equipment to "latest generation" automated CT unit with active process control and safety systems

In summary, this paper presents an overview of the past, a review of the present and discussion of the anticipated future of CT services in the Offshore Mexico region in the context of short, medium and long term technical challenges are presented in several case studies.

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