A well intervention is a remedial operation performed on a producing well with the intention of restoring or increasing production.
One of the biggest challenges in well intervention is keeping costs down. Rigorous and extensive planning is used to identify the best potential solutions while mitigating known and unknown risks.
An ESP (electrical submersible pump) is an artificial lift method that consists of lowering a pump attached to the tubing string during well completion or workover. This can now be safely performed without a rig.
What Are the Most Commonly Used Well Intervention Methods?
Interventions fall into two general categories: light or heavy. During light interventions, tools or sensors are lowered into a live well while pressure is contained at the surface. In heavy interventions, a rig crew may stop production and kill the well before continuing with any intervention operation. The choice of techniques and equipment to perform an intervention may impact the economic success of a well and development.
- Light well interventions
These are typically performed using slickline, wireline or coiled tubing. These systems allow operators to minimize well and formation damage, in most cases associated with a reduced well downtime and reservoir damage. Some coiled tubing operations, in particular the ones performed in small platforms or well sites, may be defined as medium well interventions due to the need for more complex logistics.
- Heavy well interventions
Also referred to as workovers, these require a rig to remove the wellhead and other pressure barriers from the well to allow full access to the wellbore. Typically, heavy interventions are used to replace parts such as tubing strings and pumps that can’t be retrieved through light interventions.
What Are Rigless and Through-Tubing Operations?
Rigless well interventions are cost-effective operations conducted with equipment and facilities that precludes the requirement for a rig over the wellbore. Coiled tubing, slickline, electric line (e-line), braided line and snubbing activities are commonly conducted as rigless operations.
Through tubing is the most common well intervention operation in enhancing producing oil and gas wells. Through-tubing allows operators to conduct recompletion, stimulation or repair work inside a flowing oil or gas production well.
Rigless operations drastically reduce well downtime cost and time at a fraction of a conventional heavy well intervention. As rigless solutions evolve, costly conventional methods of operation are being phased out.
A New Approach for Deploying and Changing-Out ESPs
Wireline retrievable ESP (WRESP) is a step change in ESP deployment, the ESP is retrieved and reinstalled with a wireline method (as a rigless job) at any time of ESP life cycle and in a live well. This provides savings in intervention costs and increased well uptime while protecting the reservoir from well damage since this operation doesn’t require killing the well. This is an important contrast compared with operations in offshore oil and gas fields where operators need to hire rigs, with intervention costs exceeding several million dollars.
At AccessESP we partner with our customers to analyze and deploy innovative ESP technologies to increase your uptime and lower costs.
Contact us today to learn more how you can conduct a trouble-free well intervention with AccessESP technology.