Many subsea completions employ a down hole isolation valve for temporarily closing off production while awaiting first oil or flow line connections. These valves are designed to be opened or closed through surface pressure pulses in the fluid column to activate stored nitrogen in the valve housing. When a valve fails to activate as expected, a reliable contingency plan must be ready or the financial consequences can be large.
With the use of electric wireline tractor technology, a contingency valve opening system allows malfunctioning isolation valves to be mechanically shifted with depth precision and controlled force. This method uses an electrically powered hydraulic stroking tool to shift the valve sleeve open or closed with a selected force of 10K – 30K lbs depending on the type of valve. The stroking tool is either tractor conveyed in high angles or run with only a shifting tool attached in low angles. A new intelligent key tool replaces the spring loaded shifter, to allow the system to be run “slick” and avoid hang ups on down hole profiles that can occur with the conventional spring loaded shifting tools.
An electric line deployed solution is faster to mobilize, more precise in locating shifting sleeves and less expensive than alternative solutions. A review of case histories will prove these points. Also, pre-job planning, integrated team involvement, SIT and operational recommendations will be discussed.