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Well recovery often presents challenging problems. In the US, a well was capped at surface after bridging off downhole, but this left it unstable. Drill pipe was lost in the wellbore, and a bridge downhole provided an unreliable pressure seal. The well recovery operation' objective was to recover as much of the wellbore as possible. If the drill pipe could be pulled, casing could be run. Otherwise, the wellbore would have to be cleaned out to a depth below the intermediate casing.
The well recovery operations discussed in this article were a success. Workovers performed through the use of snubbing units and coiled tubing units recovered the majority of the wellbore, allowing the openhole section to be permanently abandoned. Recovering the wellbore to a depth below the intermediate casing shoe allowed the operator to sidetrack at that depth and re-drill to TD, at a reduced cost.
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