In 2012, in its first field trial, an electric-line-conveyed mechanical cutting tool was used to cut completion tubing in a well off the east coast of Russia. This e-line cutting tool required no explosives, no chemicals, and no subsequent run to dress the top of the cut, as is typically the case with conventional pipe-cutting methods. With these characteristics, the operator did not have to address any of the operational and administrative concerns or costs associated with conventional explosive methods such as: extra procedures, time for safe handling, limited vessel traffic, added security, nor additional operational rig time to dress off the flaired cut end before removal.
On a previous workover, the operator had experienced problems pulling a packer, debris was suspected in the annulus resulting from an explosive cut then subsequent run to dress off the flaired end. Therefore, they were looking for a different method for tubing cutting operations, one with reduced risk, reduced debris, and fewer post-cutting tasks prior to removing the tubing and completion.
In the first trial, the tool was used to successfully cut 4-1/2-inch, 12.6-lb/ft tubing in a 57° deviated well, at a depth of more than 2,133.6 m. Total operating time was six hours and actual cutting time approximately 80 minutes. The e-line cutting tool cut the tubing cleanly without flairing or creating substantial debris, leaving a smooth, beveled interior which can be fished without dressing off the cut using a conventional overshot.