The boom in horizontal drilling presents new problems that require innovative solutions. Typical drilling problems such as stuck drill pipe have only become more acute with the emergence of horizontal drilling. Formation instability, improper hole cleaning and break-out debris in the hole wedged beside the drill string can cause drill pipe to become stuck resulting in costly pipe recovery operations.

A new application of the electric wireline Well Tractor® has made possible the efficient recovery of MWD (Measurement While Drilling) tools and other stuck assemblies in horizontal and highly deviated wells.

This paper presents an alternative to conventional fishing methods by utilizing Well Tractor® Technology. In today's market, Operators face challenges in the conveyance of pipe recovery tools in the lateral section of a well if circulation is lost during the drilling process. This leaves the operator with few options, all of which are time consuming and expensive. In some cases, abandoning the hole and side tracking is required. In addition to drill pipe recovery services such as free point and back-off operations, MWD tools can be fished in highly deviated and horizontal wells, reducing overall operational and replacement costs of these exceptionally high priced MWD tools. With rising rig costs, it is crucial that fishing operations are conducted in the most efficient manner possible.

The Well Tractor® has fished MWD tools successfully at various well depths, inclinations, mud weights and different drilling assemblies. The Well Tractor® design is well suited for operation inside drill pipe and completion strings with varying Internal Diameter (ID) such as joint connections, or when going through cross-overs and landing nipples.

An overview of the Well Tractor® technology, used in these fishing operations, is presented. A summary of operational benefits related to this application is included along with case studies showing how the Well Tractor® technology has become a new solution for conveyance of fishing technology to retrieve MWD and other systems in deviated or horizontal pipe recovery operations.

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