Surface read-out enables progress confirmation during GLV change-outs

A gas lift valve (GLV) in an oil producer needed change out and simulations showed that a Well Tractor was needed to reach target depth. The GLV was installed in a side-pocket mandrel, at 3,795.77 m MD RKB with a deviation of 76.9°. The well had been shut down for maintenance and when started back up the max gas lift was reduced from 7,500 to 2,000 m3/h. It appeared that the GLV was plugged and as there was a risk of slugging at low gas rates, the well was shut-in pending a solution. This complex intervention was further complicated by limited rig-up height on the platform.

A System Integration Test (SIT) was carried out prior to the operation to ensure compatibility between the Well Tractor®, Well Stroker® and the third party kickover tool (KOT), as this was the first run in a live well using this combination.

First a drift run confirmed that the toolstring would be able to reach target depth. When the GLV had successfully been pulled, the new GLV was then installed using the same toolstring with a running tool added. The surface read-out allowed the team to make direct real-time observations of the downhole parameters during the operation and provided confirmation that the GLV was set. Later the GLV was positively inflow tested by production.

The operator was especially pleased with the live data from the surface read-out and internally recommends using the Well Tractor® on all similar operations, independent of deviation, just to get indications of the pulling and setting sequences.

A month after the well was returned to production it produced 12,000 bpd, making it the third best producer in the field.