Abstract

After an operator confirmed wellbore integrity failure in a well located on a small platform, a coiled tubing (CT) catenary intervention was urgently required. However, the production facilities of the platform were not authorized to operate, which represented an impediment to receive returns from the wellbore. This paper documents the analysis and implementation of nonconventional flowback methods and the actions taken to perform the intervention using a state-of-the-art fly-by-wire CT catenary package in a setup that had never used before in this field.

After a shut-in period, the subject well faced integrity issues that could end in an uncontrolled situation. To remediate this situation, milling and plug-setting runs were designed using a catenary system with a fly-by-wire CT unit set for first time completely on the vessel and leaving only the injector head on the platform. To address the flowback limitation, technical and economical assessments were performed on three options: using slope barges to receive fluids in storage tanks, setting conventional flowback equipment on board the catenary vessel, or using the gas injection pipeline available on the platform.

After analyzing each alternative, the options to use slope barges and flowback equipment on the vessel were discarded after confirming that they represented an additional risk and generated higher costs for their implementation. The use of the gas injection pipeline involved the modification of many resources on land and at the offshore facilities, and a detailed plan was needed to utilize the lines in a different way from their initial design. Additionally, weather conditions played a major role during the job execution. Consequently, a special focus was placed on elaborating contingency plans to address emergencies during the operation taking into account that the method implied handling hydrocarbons at surface under uncommon situations. The coordination and collaboration in the operation enabled the operator to achieve the expected results, recovering the wellbore integrity in a cost-effective way, while also eliminating the exposure of additional vessels or sophisticated equipment on location.

The paper presents the large amount of information that was amassed during the implementation of the solution, which could be used by other locations facing similar conditions where conventional production facilities cannot be used during well interventions. The document also includes contingency plans for every stage of the project, safety measurements, lessons learned, and details of the modifications done to the gas injection system and the CT equipment.

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