E-line Milling of Stubborn Frac Sleeve Avoids Rig Work Over

Responsiveness and ingenuity were key elements when Welltec was asked to assist with removing a protective frac sleeve which had been stuck in a subsurface safety valve for 22 years.

Attempts made with conventional methods including slick line, coiled tubing and even pulling 110k lbs with a rig were all unsuccessful. Nevertheless, the well was kept on production until a tubing leak was detected below the sleeve and the well labeled as inoperable until the sleeve could be removed and the tubing patched.

Because of the depth control required for the re-entry, coiled tubing was ruled out. The operator’s options were reduced to either a work-over rig to remove and replace the entire string or an innovative, last attempt to remove the sleeve on e-line. Welltec’s e-line milling technology was preferred by the client as a cost-efficient alternative to the costly rig work over.

Welltec worked closely with the client to find the best possible solution. The answer was a 3.9” (98 mm) MMC core drill bit with a centralizer fitted on the Well Miller. At the well site, the sleeve was tagged at 2,081 ft (634 m) and after four and a half hours, the sleeve was milled out. Shortly after, it was pushed to the bottom of the well and retrieved with slickline.

Welltec’s e-line solution resulted in significant (~ 96%) cost savings including about six days of time savings compared to a rig work over. The client consistently considers Welltec’s solutions when planning their interventions and once again, they have reaped the rewards.

Click here to read more about this unique milling operation or contact Jeremy Albright, Account Manager Alaska at: JAlbright@welltec.com