Pumping sand through coiled tubing (CT) with real-time capabilities is not a common practice because of potential risks associated with cable integrity. A successful sand plug settling procedure supported by a real-time fiber-optic integrated system under critical well conditions was of high importance during a recompletion intervention, allowing optimization of time and costs.
Multiple methods are used to isolate a well during recompletion activities; nevertheless, a cost-effective method to divert involves setting sand plugs with CT and a real-time fiber-optic integrated system, which is essential to achieving precise settlement of the sand, not just for depth but also for volume of sand pumped. Without this complete system, the operator would need to make extra runs for correlations with electric line (e-line) or CT units, which increases both cost and operational time.
A real-time fiber-optic integrated system allows adjustment to the sand plug stages in real time to help ensure top of sand (TS) necessary to isolate the producer formation and keep out the wireline entry guide without additional runs and increased costs.
A casing collar locator (CCL) tool permitted the correlation depth to be measured in each tag, ensuring knowledge of where the sand was placed and helping prevent incorrect depths resulting from uncontrollable factors, such as elongation.
More than 6,500 lbm of sand was pumped through CT using a real-time fiber-optic integrated system without losing communication with the downhole tools and without affecting cable integrity, which could lead to bird nesting the cable because of high friction and excessive slack inside the pipe.
This real-time fiber-optic integrated system begins a new generation of sand plug operations by helping prevent additional runs or having other units correlate, particularly if a recompletion activity is programmed and space accommodation is a challenge because of the workover unit.