Despite many successful applications of coiled tubing drilling (CTD) technology, CTD still faces challenges in the field. For CTD technology to be reliable and economical, the coiled tubing (CT) pipe must be properly managed so that its useful life can be maximized while string reliability is improved. Through several case studies, this paper provides best practices for the use of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technology to safeguard pipe integrity during CTD operations.

The CT defect detection method relies on a portable measurement technology for CT pipe. The technology is primarily based on magnetic flux leakage (MFL) measurements. The characterization procedure includes extracting defect signals from hundreds of field inspection jobs and building a comprehensive and high-fidelity defect library. The inspector is then able to identify the type of defect, to track its evolution from job to job, and to evaluate its impact on CT fatigue life. A variety of case studies demonstrate the applicability and benefit of being able to identify the defect type, to track its initiation and progression during field operations, and to quantitatively evaluate its impact on CT fatigue life. This type of engineered pipe management technology offers a new way to reduce costly pipe failures during CTD operations as well as to maximize CT useful life.

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