Demand for subsea well intervention work has continued to be strong for the last 10 years. Even though subsea well interventions from an intervention vessel represent only a fraction of the total well workover activity in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), its operating environment poses challenges in meeting economic goals for the Operators. The Q4000, a purpose-built, multi-service dynamically positioned (DP) vessel, was first introduced in the GoM in April 2002 and has been extensively used to meet demand of subsea well intervention and abandonment. Coiled tubing (CT) intervention, along with Slickline and Electric Wireline, has been instrumental in supporting the Q4000 ability to maintain safe, reliable, and cost efficient subsea through tubing well interventions in such a demanding operating environment.
This paper will summarize the operational experience and will focus on the CT-specific best practices and lessons learned that have resulted from over than 10 years of continuous operations on the Q4000. The document will highlight critical stages in the learning curve, standardized procedures, synergies between the CT and the Q4000 crews, and their impact on safety, efficiency and cost reduction. The paper will also discuss the needs for further improvements that will be required to meet the new challenges that subsea well intervention will be facing in the future.