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Coiled Tubing Applications

Topics: Coiled tubing

In the two previous JPT coiled-tubing features, I commented on the remarkable growth the coiled-tubing industry has seen in North America, resulting largely from the shale revolution. This growth attracted numerous new players into the industry, in addition to the capacity additions made by the existing service providers. Regrettably, such unrestrained growth is rarely accompanied by a matching level of service quality. This concern about performance prompted the selection of the first paper in this feature. Although this is just one service provider’s history of stuck pipe, it likely mirrors the performance of the industry at large and serves as a reminder to all operators of the risks inherent in being too rigorous in adopting a cookie-cutter approach to certain coiled-tubing operations. The authors are to be commended for their frank reporting of the issues.

In fact, the gallop toward ever-larger coiled-tubing strings has not been mirrored by increasing the size of the reels on which they are spooled. The result is that, in addition to increasing the hoop stress resulting from ever-increasing injection pressures, coiled tubing is being subjected to levels of strain that have not been encountered previously. This places strenuous demands on the bias welds in the strings and requires more-rigorous attention to string-fatigue management. This continues to be a focus of the industry, as does the slightly greater susceptibility of bias welds to pitting corrosion from recirculated formation water of varying origins.

While I am still on the subject of large-diameter coiled tubing, the second paper focuses on another aspect of the industry and highlights the level of engineering detail required of many coiled-tubing activities and is especially typical of large multiwell offshore projects. It serves as an example of the level of planning and professionalism required for multidisciplinary operations but also reminds us that many superficially basic well-intervention operations are never as simple as they might appear.

Finally, I could not resist a paper of a more theoretical nature because it addresses an activity of increasing importance to the industry—namely, extended reach—which, in turn, is the primary driver behind the use of larger sizes of coiled tubing. We need technology and the science behind it if we are ever going to come close to approaching the lateral reach available to the drillers.

This Month's Technical Papers

Extending North Sea Asset Operating Life With Large-Diameter Velocity Strings

Stuck Coiled Tubing: Risks in a Complex Operating Environment

Low-Frequency Water Hammer for Extended-Reach Applications

Recommended Additional Reading

SPE 162797 New Coiled-Tubing-Deployed Multizone Stimulation Method Increases Reservoir Access by Tyson Dunlop, Halliburton, et al.

SPE 163910 Coiled-Tubing-Jet-Cutting Multiple-Stage Fracture Treating Improves Fracture-Treatment Techniques To Unlock Bypassed Reserves in Cotton Valley Sands, Dorcheat Macedonia Field, Magnolia, Arkansas by R.W. Pomrenke, Bonanza Creek Energy, et al.

SPE 163884 Development of a New Coiled-Tubing Life-Tracking Process by Kenneth R. Newman, KNewman Engineering

John Misselbrook, SPE, is senior advisor of global coiled tubing with Baker Hughes. Previously, he was with Nowsco Well Service Company, which merged with BJ Services in 1996. Misselbrook has worked in various operational, engineering, research, and management roles involving coiled tubing in the North Sea, Canada, Southeast Asia, and the United States. He was a member of the original team of engineers involved directly in the development of improved engineering techniques for underbalanced drilling in western Canada in 1991. Misselbrook subsequently became responsible for Nowsco’s initiative to develop underbalanced-drilling technology by use of coiled tubing. He holds several US patents and has authored several SPE papers on the use of coiled tubing. Misselbrook is a mechanical sciences graduate of Cambridge University. He served on the 2008 and 2009 SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing and Well Intervention Conference Committees and serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.

Coiled Tubing Applications

John Misselbrook, SPE, Senior Advisor, Baker Hughes

01 June 2013

Volume: 65 | Issue: 6

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