Coiled tubing

Coiled Tubing-2020

The papers summarized in this year’s feature demonstrate the application and versatility of coiled-tubing-based solutions to different phases of a well’s lifecycle, from exploration through production and, finally, to abandonment.


As I think about this year’s Coiled Tubing feature, we are all in the midst of the effects of COVID-19 social distancing, an oil-price crash, and high levels of oil in storage. What will the world—and the oil industry, in particular—look like in a couple of months? Certainly, cash flow is going to be king among the various financial metrics. What can deliver results quickly and at a comparatively lower cash requirement? In many ways, these factors have played into the coiled tubing segment’s growth over the past couple of decades (i.e., delivering value). Will tomorrow be the same as just a few short months ago? In one sense—market size—no, but in another sense—as a segment that has always sought out and applied innovative, cost-effective solutions—yes.

The papers summarized in this year’s feature demonstrate the application and versatility of coiled-tubing-based solutions to different phases of a well’s lifecycle, from exploration through production and, finally, to abandonment.

In an exploration well, using coiled tubing to perform a drillstem test (DST) and potentially stimulate a zone of interest has long been a desire because it is perceived to be a cost-effect method over more-traditional methods. Paper SPE 199853 details the development and initial use of such a system that includes surface real-time readout, always desirable in a DST.

Moving into the later days of a well’s production phase, artificial lift typically is used to overcome the limitations of falling bottomhole pressure. In paper IPTC 19930, a detailed overview of a coiled tubing gas-lift installation is given, together with some of the production analysis used to determine the installation’s configuration. This technique has been used for several years around the globe, and some useful insights are shared by the authors.

Finally, coming to the end of a well’s lifecycle, is well abandonment. This is always a cost-sensitive lifecycle phase, even before today’s paradigm. The final paper of this year’s selection demonstrates how a coiled-tubing-based approach enabled a cost-effective plug and abandonment to be achieved while still meeting local regulatory requirements.

Remember, you may need to distance physically but you can stay connected by making use of, and participating in, your Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Stay well, everyone.

SPE 199829 A Force To Be Reckoned With: The Effects of Extended-Reach Tools on Plug Mill-Out Operations by Jason M. Skufca, Nine Energy Service

IPTC 19737 Innovative Hydraulic Tractor Allows for Stimulation of Large-Diameter Openhole Multilateral Extended-Reach-Drilling Wells by M. Guiza, Saudi Aramco, et al.

SPE 199859 High-Strength Coiled Tubing—How Is Fatigue Life Affected by Slip Damage? by Scott Sherman, Nexus Energy Technologies, et al.

IPTC 20084 Novel Application of Magnetic-Flux-Leakage-Based Technology Validating Pipe Elongation in Coiled-Tubing Drilling Operation by Kevin Wiranata, Schlumberger, et al.

SPE 197177 Industry-First Hybrid Technology for Coiled-Tubing Services Combining Fiber-Optic and Electric Line, Enabling Downhole Power and Real-Time Communication for the Next-Generation Decision-Making Process With Wider Downhole Insight by Vanessa Vera, Halliburton, et al.

This Month's Technical Papers

Testing Tool Conveyed by Coiled Tubing Enables Multiple Tasks in One Run

Coiled Tubing Gas Lift Revives Dead Wells in South Pakistan

Coiled Tubing Sets Packers Precisely During Offshore Well Abandonment

Recommended Additional Reading

Alex Crabtree, SPE, is a principal engineer with Oceaneering International based in Houston. He has more than 37 years of experience in the upstream oil and gas industry. Crabtree holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering. He has worked in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, and South America, both onshore and offshore. Crabtree previously worked with an exploration and production operating company and within the oilfield-services-company sector, holding various engineering and management posts in research and development, field operations, downhole-tool design, and technology implementation. He has authored several SPE papers and is a past program-committee chairperson for various SPE conferences and SPE Applied Technology Workshops. Crabtree is the chairperson for the SPE Well Integrity Technical Section, was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2001–02, and is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee.