"Snubbing" and "Hydraulic Workover Unit (HWU)" are words not often heard in Shell operations, unless used for special projects. However, they do serve a good purpose when used correctly. In an environment where rigs are expensive and attract many "disturbances" by communities, they can be used as an effective alternative to well workovers.
The Hydraulic Workover Unit supplied by an indigenous contractor is in line with the drive to support local contractors in developing expertise in the areas of well completion, work over and abandonment. The current arrangement is for the indigenous contractors to work under the umbrella of a multinational company such that in time they can become autonomous.
These considerations were the main driving factors to initiate the "Otumara workover campaign", (to prepare wells for gas-lifting), with a HWU instead of a rig.
This has resulted in potential cost savings of about US6$ million, increased oil production potential by 30-40,000 bbl/day, increased indigenisation of the Nigerian Oil Service industry in Nigeria, and is a prime example of a paradigm shift on "how to do things differently".