Stuck tubing is new hurdle at GSPCآ’s fourth KG well

Vol 10, PW 2 (18 May 06) Exploration & Production

GSPCs run of problems continues at its fourth well at shallow water block KG-OSN-2001/3.

This time the problem is tubing that refuses to come out of the well. PETROWATCH learns GSPC had finished testing the third zone between 4800 metres and 5000 metres and wanted to pull out the tubing before setting a bridge plug at the perforated interval.

This 3.5-inch tubing lies telescoped in the 7-inch liner and is the channel through which the well would produce. The tubing was just not coming out, we are told.

It got stuck. Mud in the space between the 3.5-inch tubing and the 7-inch liner had solidified.

GSPC used high-weight mud because they are dealing with high pressure, high temperature conditions, we hear. But the mud solidified because the well was idle for too long.

When the well has been on too much idle time or the mud weight is very high the barytes settle down and solidify the whole mixture. In normal circumstances, the tubing does not get stuck like this but this is a high temperature, high pressure well.

When an incident of this sort happens, an attempt is usually made to release the tubing by rotating it clock-wise and pulling it up and down to loosen the mud. If this doesnt work, an extra pull is applied with greater force.

If this fails, reverse rotation is carried out. Only when all these fail would an operator resort to the ultimate step: a string shot operation.

Here, explosives are used to cut the tubing wherever it is free. On 17th May GSPC was set to cut the tubing.

After the tubing is cut, GSPC will do a fishing operation using a drill pipe. In the fishing operation, tools will be lowered into the well to try to hook the stuck tubing and pull it out.

If this is successful, the well will be cleaned through circulation and possibly re-entered later as a producer. If the fishing operation is unsuccessful, GSPC will have to abandon the third zone and move to the fourth zone.