Alan Reaper, BJ Services Company (UK) Ltd.
Cranage limitations in the North Sea have caused problems for coiled tubing operations for some time, particularly in the southern sector. This has been compounded by the increases in reel weights brought about by the trend towards larger tubing diameters, necessary to provide the desired pumprates and to cope with highly deviated wells. Until now, the options open were limited and all had practical and/or safety implications involving joining of tubing strings offshore by welding followed by radiography, or at least part of the operations being performed between the supply boat and platform. As a solution, in-line connectors for 1.5" and 1.75" OD Coiled Tubing (CT) have been developed which allows two ends of a previously split string to be joined on the platform by simply screwing the ends together before spooling on to a single reel. Once the connection has been made, the pressure and structural integrity of a single string is retained. The connectors are suitable for use in both conventional fluid or gas pumping operations and stiff wireline applications. The technology has now been proven offshore following extensive bench and full scale testing. This paper details the tools development plus the initial application in the North Sea.