Traditionally, completion engineers have faced a dilemma when deciding whether to run a large bore, hydraulic set, permanent, or retrievable packer. Thanks to advances in cutting technology, this decision is no longer an either/or proposition. The innovative alternative is the removable packer.

This paper will address the development of a removable packer that combines the best features of both permanent and retrievable packers: large bore, high performance, simple design, and flexible retrieving options. The paper will trace the development of the technique from stack-up testing to the maiden run and retrieval of the first removable packer in the Milne Point field, Alaska. Through analysis of this case history, the paper will address challenges faced, problems solved and lessons learned that are now being applied to future enhancements of the removable packer technique.

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