SPE/ICoTA ’19: Industry showcases digitization and enhanced interpretation models

Photo: NOV.

THE WOODLANDS -- On the opening day of the joint SPE/ICoTA Well Intervention Conference and Exhibition, operators and service providers discussed innovations, new solutions, and case histories in four technical sessions at the meeting held in The Woodlands, Texas. The presentations emphasized the importance of structuring well interventions to maintain assets and optimize their performance to return maximum value. A large portion of the program was focused on increasing operational efficiencies, delivering more cost-effective solutions, and reducing NPT.

Industry executives and field support personnel provided details about the latest best practices to improve intervention value. Topics included well intervention technology, applications, challenges and solutions, as well as industry performance improvements and innovations including:

  • Benefits of increased data collection and enhanced interpretation models
  • Latest development of products and services that will deliver safe and successful intervention operations
  • Case histories, actual well issues, and unique solutions to Improving operational efficiency
  • Latest developments in pipe recovery, extreme reach concentric coiled cleanout.

The first day’s technical sessions were split into four separate categories:

Intervention solutions related to a broad range of related challenges showcasing the innovative and creative way that our industry strives to unravel ever more complex issues.  

Data-enhanced interventions and diagnostics discussed historical and new methods of gathering subsurface and surface equipment data to improve interventions in each stage of a job, from candidate selection through operational implementation and post-job analysis. The session examined the benefits of increased data collection and enhanced interpretation models, to deliver better intervention outcomes and reduce operational risk.

Coiled tubing and pipe development to increase reliability, and deliver successful interventions, is required to ensure that well completions and reservoirs are properly maintained throughout production. The objective is enhanced by the development of materials that provide effective and efficient operations in a wide range of hostile environments.

Developments in equipment, tools and fluids are required to address changing markets and meet increasingly demanding industry requirements for well interventions. Authors discussed how refining fluid regimes has been helpful to remediate formation damage. Presenters also outlined the role of analysis in improving interventions in both real-time analysis to support coiled tubing fishing, and theoretical analysis to improve injector head design for minimizing surface damage to coiled tubing.


National Oilwell Varco is moving digital transformation further upstream with its GoConnect systems for intervention and stimulation equipment. The Asset Insight service uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide data-driven insights into the condition, health and performance of equipment and operations, enabling engineers to reduce downtime-related costs and improve the operational efficiency of completion services.The company’s Asset Link service delivers real-time process and machine data to stakeholders, to monitor equipment health and to make field job design changes on the fly. (Video Below)

Schlumberger introduced its TuffTRAC iX extreme-performance wireline tractor during a presentation on the show floor. The tool provides bi-directional tractoring for slimhole, sour, high-temperature, high-debris, or high-shock (perforating) operations. According to the company, “the new extreme-performance wireline tractor delivers payloads farther and faster downhole—and then reliably returns to surface. By combining a diameter of only 2 1/8 in. with bi-directionality, independent drive control, and active traction control, this high-speed, high-force tractor sets the pace for wireline conveyance.” The tool’s main benefit is efficiency gains from high-speed maneuverable and bi-directional control. The new wireline tractor has been successfully run in the U.S., the Middle East and Russia with notable reductions in NPT.

Varel Oil & Gas Drill Bits has launched a hybrid roller cone design with tungsten carbide inserts and steel tooth cutting structures for drilling frac plugs and other plugs typically used in horizontal drilling. The bits are designed specifically to drill non-homogeneous downhole components, including bridge and frac plugs, but also can efficiently drill cast iron or ceramic slips. The bits are available in sizes from 3 5/8-in. to 5-in. 


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