Digital-Slickline Capability on Plug-and-Abandonment Conveyance Phases
- Chris Carpenter (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 109 - 111
- 2014. Offshore Technology Conference
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 168 since 2007
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This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper OTC 23916, "Impact of Digital-Slickline Capability on Slickline-Conveyance Phases of Plug-and-Abandonment Operations," by Stuart Murchie and Matthew Billingham, Schlumberger, and Douglas Guillot and Chuck Esponge, Production Wireline, prepared for the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 6-9 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2013 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
Slicklines often play a vital role in offshore plug-and-abandonment (P&A) operations, either in those phases of the operation that require slickline conveyance or because logistical, footprint, operational, economical, environmental, or regulatory parameters of a P&A necessitate full reliance on this small, light, cost-effective conveyance offering. P&A activities using digital slickline increase equipment, logistic, and marine-support efficiency.
Slickline-conveyance services have long been used in the exploration and production industry, with much of the slickline equipment, processes, and capabilities remaining relatively unchanged. Mechanical services have remained slickline’s mainstay. Evolutionary enhancements resulting from developments in metallurgical engineering are applied to the line itself and the mechanical tools deployed, along with improvements in pressure-control and winch technology used to deploy the tools and services safely in live wells. Oilfield application of battery-powered electronics in downhole tools began in the late 1970s, eventually including electronics-based devices such as gauges, firing heads, bottomhole-fluid samplers, and production-logging and caliper tools, as well as hydraulic tools. Slickline services were soon offered to both remedial services (pipe cutting, tubing punching, and perforating) and measurement services (production, pipe, and cement-bond-integrity logging). The demand for slickline services has remained steady over the years because of its many inherent advantages: minimal footprint; ease of logistics to, from, and on the wellsite; operational simplicity; and overall cost-effectiveness.
The demand for hydrocarbons and the resulting effect on oil prices led to active developments in the subsea and deepwater arenas in past years, resulting in an increased complexity of well placements and associated well completions. This has led subsequently to new and innovative well-intervention capabilities being devised (and the associated equipment being engineered, developed, and deployed) as the need for intervention in these well types has grown.
Cost management is also a key part of P&A operations, along with safe execution and quality outcomes. Enhancements to existing (and development of new) purpose-built vessels and equipment, coupled with an intervention workforce that is growing in relevant and multiskilled capabilities, are in high demand. Lightweight, low-footprint intervention systems can lower cost significantly if they can offer a broad range of services and can be deployed on lowercost vessels.
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