An Angolan operator needed to perform a coiled tubing (CT) acid micro-wash stimulation on a subsea sand screen completion in order to improve production. The CT simulation showed that the coil would not reach the objective, which was the bottom screen, even with friction reducers, without the assistance of additional forces. The operator chose to deploy a downhole tractor to provide a pulling force to achieve the desired depth. However, this horizontal well had debris which prevented reaching the objective and required changing strategies to accomplish the job.
A downhole tractor can be powered by pumping fluids down the coiled tubing, driving a turbine which powers the hydraulic systems in the tractor. The drive fluid will then pass through the tractor and out the bottom of the tool to provide the treatment. Surface testing is performed prior to the job to determine at which pumping rate the tractor will be engaged and disengaged. This testing is performed with and without treating nozzles to gauge tool performance and expected pumping rates for tractoring and treating.
In this Angolan operation two runs were required to reach the bottom screen due to debris fill in the completion preventing passage during the first run. On the second run the CT provider used a nozzle that could both clean the well and treat in the same run. This operation demonstrates the effectiveness of using CT tractors, which are under-utilized in the industry, to achieve extended reach beyond the normal CT range. It also demonstrates the quick mobilization and same day deployment, as well as problem solving that can occur when service companies (CT provider and tractor provider) work closely together.