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ABERDEENDRILLINGSCHOOLS
& Well Control Training Centre
WELL INTERVENTION
PRESSURE CONTROL
Written and Published by Aberdeen Drilling Schools Ltd.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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© ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2001
FOREWORD
Well pressure control is the most critical consideration in the planning and performing any
well servicing operation.
The awareness of well pressure control in the prevention of injury to personnel, harm to the
environment and potential loss of facilities, must be fully appreciated by planning engineers
and well site personnel. This appreciation must include a sound knowledge of legislative
requirements, completion equipment, pressure control equipment and operating practices
and procedures.
‘Well Intervention’ and ‘Workover’ are commonly used terms to describe servicing operations
on oil and gas wells and which have, in the past, had many different interpretations. However,
in general, ‘Workover’ describes well service operations on dead wells in which the formation
pressure is controlled with hydrostatic pressure. Workover operations are carried out by a
drilling rig, workover rig or Hydraulic Workover Unit (HWO) where the Xmas tree is removed
from the wellhead and replaced by blow out preventor (BOP) equipment. ‘Well Intervention’
is a term used to describe ‘through-tree’ live well operations during which the well pressure
is contained with pressure control equipment. Well Interventions are generally conducted by
wireline, coiled tubing or snubbing methods. Snubbing operations are now usually conducted
with HWO units.
This ADS course is designed to train personnel in Well Intervention Pressure Control.
Well pressure control equipment used by wireline, coiled tubing and snubbing units is so
termed as it must control well pressure during live well intervention operations. It significantly
differs from BOP systems used on dead well workovers. As most well servicing is now carried
out by these live well intervention methods, it is essential that these are fully addressed during
this course. The term Well Control specifically applicable to drilling or dead well workover
operations are not addressed in this manual. However, it is necessary to review Production
Well Kill Techniques and have a thorough understanding of Pressure Basics to minimise risks
involved when placing fluids in the well, whether it is to provide a barrier or when performing
a well intervention activity.
To have an understanding of well operations conducted by live well intervention methods
and the associated pressure control equipment, it is first necessary to have, or obtain, a basic
knowledge of completion designs, completion equipment, practices, well service methods
and their applications. An overview of these activities is given in the manual with a multitude
of exercises the student can work through to review their knowledge.
Training in well intervention well pressure control is an essential part in ensuring the
competence of personnel involved in the planning and carrying out of live well servicing
operations. The Aberdeen Drilling Schools Ltd. WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE
CONTROL TRAINING COURSE and course materials intend to provide this essential
knowledge in order to help delegates to obtain an IWCF (International Well Control Forum)
certificate in Well Intervention Pressure Control.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
© ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2001
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The overall aim of the course is to provide a delegate with the theoretical skills essential in
applying well pressure control during well intervention and servicing operations with the
objective of improving the individuals knowledge and level of competence.
AIMS
The individual aims are to:
• Provide an appreciation of completion types, equipment, equipment functions and practices
as recognised by the industry.
• Establish an increased awareness of well intervention/ servicing well control equipment,
methods and practices.
• Furnish a student with a knowledge of legislative guidelines and standards.
• Provide an awareness of how to discern well pressure control problems and apply solutions.
OBJECTIVES
The individual objectives are to assist the delegate to:
• Improve his/ her competence in well intervention pressure control.
• Obtain IWCF certification.
• Identify well pressure control problems from available well data i.e. pressure, volume and
flow characteristic.
• Identify solutions to various well pressure control problems.
• Understand legislative guidelines and standards.
• Determine if pressure control equipment is fit for purpose.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 1
1. OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 CLASSIFICATION OF COMPLETIONS
1.3 COMPLETION EQUIPMENT

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 2
2. WELL CONTROL METHODS
2.1 GENERAL
2.2 BARRIER THEORY
2.3 WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
3. REASONS FOR WELL INTERVENTION
3.1 GENERAL
3.2 TUBING BLOCKING
3.3 CONTROL OF EXCESSIVE WATER OR GAS
PRODUCTION
3.4 MECHANICAL FAILURE
3.5 STIMULATION OF LOW PRODUCTIVITY WELLS
3.6 PARTIALLY DEPLETED RESERVOIRS
3.7 SAND CONTROL
SECTION 3

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 4
4. WELL INTERVENTION SERVICES
4.1 GENERAL
4.2 SNUBBING / HYDRAULIC WORKOVER UNITS (HWO)
4.3 COILED TUBING UNITS

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 5
5. PREVENTION OF FORMATION DAMAGE
5.1 FORMATION DAMAGE
5.2 DAMAGE PREVENTION

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 6
6. PRESSURE BASICS
6.1 FUNDAMENTALS OF FLUIDS AND PRESSURE
6.2 FORMATION PRESSURE
6.3 FORMATION FRACTURE PRESSURE
6.4 FORMATION INTEGRITY TESTS
6.5 MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE ANNULUS SURFACE
PRESSURE - MAASP
6.6 CIRCULATING PRESSURE LOSSES

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 7
7. PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
7.1 WELL PREPARTATION

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 8
8. WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8.1 GENERAL
8.2 SNUBBING OPERATIONS
8.3 WIRELINE OPERATIONS
8.4 COILED TUBING OPERATIONS
8.5 SUBSEA WELL INTERVENTIONS

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 1
1. OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 CLASSIFICATION OF COMPLETIONS
1.3 COMPLETION EQUIPMENT
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1-1 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
1. OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1.1 INTRODUCTION
In combination with the disciplines of geology, geophysics, and geochemistry, the usual
purpose of drilling a well is to establish the subsurface location of hydrocarbon reservoirs. The
term ‘completion’ is derived from the operation to complete a well for production after it has
been successfully drilled. Dependent upon the reason for a well to be drilled (i.e. wild cat
exploration, appraisal or production) and the results of logging and/ or well test results, the
well will then be:
i. Plugged and abandoned (as it has no further use i.e. a duster).
ii Suspended as a future or possible production well.
iii. Completed as a production well.
In the early days, if the well was to be ‘completed’ (as in iii) above, the hardware installed, i.e.
packer, tubing, Xmas tree and other accessories, was termed the ‘completion’. The purpose of
completing a well is to produce hydrocarbons to surface production facilities. Commercial
reasons demand that this is achieved in an efficient, cost effective and safe manner throughout
the producing life of the well.
Completing a well consists of a series of operations that are necessary to enable a well to
produce (and to sustain the production of) hydrocarbons following the installation and
cementing of the casing. Well completion operations include:
• Perforating.
• Sand control.
• Production packer installation.
• Tubing (completion) string / tubing hanger installation.
• Downhole safety valve installation.
• Xmas tree installation.
• Bringing the well onto production.
Well servicing methods must be considered as a fundamental element in the planning and
completion design process. For example, early measurement of formation parameters (porosity,
permeability) may indicate the need to stimulate (fracturing, acidising) a well to enhance the
production rate. An appropriate completion design must cater for these and any future possible
well servicing operations, both planned and unplanned. Similarly, subsea completions will
necessitate operations such as flowline and surface safety valve installations. It should be
emphasised here that such completion operations are not independent and the engineer needs
to understand the basics in every area to be most effective in producing a completion design
to cater for all contingencies.
An engineer, when considering completion options, should adopt a realistic approach to the
overall project economics i.e. the cost of the equipment, service life, type of servicing and
respective rig time etc. In general, the ideal completion is the lowest cost completion which
will meet the demands placed on it during its producing life.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1-2 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
In reality, many unforeseen problems can arise due to the initial available data being deficient
and it is commonly seen that subsequent completion designs on a field are developed as the
data base increases.
1.2 CLASSIFICATION OF COMPLETIONS
Even though different types of wells present distinct design and installation problems for the
engineer, most completion types are simply variations on a few basic designs, therefore the
equipment installed is generally similar. Completions may be classified with respect to the
following.
Reservoir/ Wellbore Interface
In the absence of formation damage, this determines the rate at which well fluid is transferred
from the formation to the wellbore.
The types of completion involved here are:
• Open hole completions.
• Uncemented liner completions.
• Perforated liner completions.
• Perforated casing.
Mode of Production
This relates to the way well fluid is transferred from the wellbore at the formation depth to
the surface, i.e.:
• Flowing.
• Artificial lift.
Number of Zones Completed
This effectively governs the volume of hydrocarbons recoverable from a single bore hole:
• Single.
• Multiple.
Figure 1.1 indicates the types of completions and various methods used to produce well fluid
to surface.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1-3 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Figure 1.1- Classification of Completions for Vertical or Deviated Wells
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Interval segregation
Concentric String
Multiple Strings
Twin String, Dual Completion
Single String, Dual Completion
Interval Co-Mingling
Standard
Electric Submersible Pump
Plunger Lift
Gas Lift
Hydraulic Pump
Rod
High Rate Liner
HighPressure
Temporary, simple, low cost
Tubingless
Internal Gravel Pack
Standard
External Gravel Pack
Pre Packed Screen
Wire Wrapped Screen
Slotted Pipe
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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1-4 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
1.2.1 Classification by Reservoir/ Wellbore Interface
Open Hole Completions
In this type of completion the casing is set in place and cemented above the productive
formation(s). Further drilling extends the wellbore into the reservoir(s) and the extended
hole is not cased; See Figure 1.2.
This completion method is used where it is desirable to expose all zones to the wellbore.
Producing formations must be of firm rock which will remain in place during production.
Open hole completions are also referred to as ‘barefoot’ completions.
Advantages of Open Hole Completions are:
• The entire pay zone is open to the wellbore.
• Perforating cost is eliminated.
• Log interpretation is not critical since the entire interval is open to flow.
• Maximum wellbore diameter is opposite the pay zone(s), hence gives reduced drawdown.
• The well can easily be deepened.
• Is easily converted to liner or perforated casing completion.
• Minimal formation damage is caused by cement.
Figure 1.2 - Open Hole Completion Schematic
Formation
Formation
Cement
Cement
Production Casing
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1-5 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Disadvantages of Open Hole Completions are:
• The formation may be damaged during the drilling process.
• Excessive gas or water production is difficult to control because the entire interval is open
to flow.
• The casing may need to be set before the pay zone(s) are drilled and logged.
• Separate zones within the completion cannot be selectively fractured or acidised.
• Requires frequent clean out if producing formations are not consolidated.
• May be difficult to kill if installed in a horizontal well for well servicing or workover or
abandoned purposes.
Limitation of Open Hole Completions are:
• Unsuitable to produce pay zones with incompatible fluid properties and pressures.
• Mainly limited to Limestone formations.
Uncemented Liner Completions
In some formations hydrocarbons exist in regions where the rock particles are not bonded
together and sand will move towards the wellbore as well fluids are produced, this formation
is usually referred to as being ‘Unconsolidated’. The use of uncemented liners (slotted or
screened) act as a strainer stopping the flow of sand. Liners are hung off from the foot of the
production casing and usually sealed off within it to direct any well flow through the liner
bore.
Various examples of uncemented liner operations implementing sand control are as follows:
Advantages of Uncemented Liner Completions are:
• Entire pay zone open to the wellbore.
• No perforating cost.
• Log interpretation is not critical.
• Adaptable to special sand control methods.
• No clean out problems.
• Wire wrapped screens can be placed later.
Disadvantages of Uncemented Liner Completions are:
• The formation may be damaged during the drilling process.
• Excessive water or gas is difficult to control.
• Casing is set before pay zones are drilled and logged.
• Selective stimulation is not possible.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1-6 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Various examples of uncemented liner operations implementing sand control are as follows:
a) Slotted Liner
Slot widths depend on the size of the sand grains in the formation and are typically 0.01 ins.
- 0.04 ins. (0.254 - 1.016 mm) wide; See Figure 1.3a
b) Wire Wrapped Screens
Liner is drilled with 3/ 8 ins - 1/ 2 ins. (9.53 - 12.7 mm) holes along its length and then lightly
wrapped with a special V-shaped wire; See Figure 1.3b
Uncemented liner completions are not used very often since:
• Sand movement into the wellbore causes permeability (flow rate) impairment.
• Screen erosion can occur at high production rates.
These problems may be overcome by filling the annulus between the open hole and screen
with graded coarse sand, i.e. gravel packing, which acts to support the open hole section as
well as prevent formation sand movement.
c) External Gravel Pack
The open hole is enlarged to about twice its diameter and a liner is run. Correctly sized gravel
is placed between the outside of the screen and the formation by using special gravel pack
running equipment; See Figure 1.3c
d) Pre-packed Screen
A Pre-packed screen is constructed of an outer and inner wrapped screens with resin coated
gravel placed between the screens. This gives a performance better than a wire wrapped
screen but less that an open gravel pack.
These are used when there may be difficulty in installing a gravel pack.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1-7 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Figure 1.3 - Uncemented Liner Completion Schematics
Unconsolidated Sand Formation Unconsolidated Sand Formation
Slotted Liner
Graded Gravel
a) Slotted Pipe
c) External Gravel Pack b) Wire Wrapped Screen
Liner Hanger
Slotted Liner
Cement
Production Casing
Slotted Liner
Resin Coated
Gravel
d) Pre-packed Screen

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1-8 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Perforated Cemented Liner Completions
In perforated cemented liner completions, the casing is set above the producing zone(s) and
the pay section(s) drilled. Liner casing is then cemented in place which is subsequently punctured
(perforated) by bullet-shaped explosive charges.
These perforations are designed to penetrate any impaired regions around the original wellbore
to provide an unobstructed channel to the undamaged formation. By using various depth
measuring devices (i.e. casing collar locator, CCL) various sections of pay zone can be perforated
accurately (excluding unproductive regions), avoiding the production of undesirable fluids
(gas or water), or production from unconsolidated sections that might produce sand.
The various methods of completing a well using perforated cemented liner operations are:
• Single, See Figure 1.4, or multiple pay zones.
• Single or multiple pay sections.
Figure 1.4- Perforated Cemented Liner Schematic
Liner
Cement
Production Casing
Cement
Liner Hanger
Formation
Formation
Perforations
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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OVERVIEW OF COMPLETIONS
1-9 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Perforated Cemented Casing Completions
In a perforated cemented casing completion, sometimes referred to as the ‘set through’
completion, the hole is drilled through the formation(s) of interest and production casing is
run and cemented across the section. Again, this requires that perforations be made through
the casing and cement to reach the zone(s) of interest and allow well fluids to flow into the
wellbore.
Methods of completing a well in perforated cemented casing completions are:
a) Standard Perforated Cemented Casing
See Figure 1.5a for a multiple pay zone completion.
b) Internal Gravel Packs
This is where the production casing is cemented. Perforation of the producing interval(s) is
then performed and the perforations cleaned out. A screen is run and gravel is pumped into
the casing/ screen annulus and the perforation tunnels; See Figure 1.5b.
NOTE: Cased and perforated completions arethemost common types of
completions performed today sincethey offer selectivepay zone(or pay
section) perforating and enableselectivestimulation.
Advantages of Perforated Casing or Liner Completions are:
• Is safer during well completion operations.
• Effect of formation damage is minimal.
• Excessive water or gas production may be controlled or eliminated.
• The zones can be selectively stimulated.
• The liner impedes sand influx.
• The well can be easily deepened.
• Is easier to plan for completing.
Disadvantages of Perforated Casing or Liner Completions are:
• The wellbore diameter through the pay zone(s) is restricted.
• Log interpretation is critical.
• Liner cementation is more difficult to obtain than casing cementation.
• Perforating, cementing and rig time incurs additional costs.

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Figure 1.5- Perforated Cemented Casing Schematics
1.2.2 Classification-by Mode Of Production
When the hydrocarbon reservoir can sustain flow due to its natural pressure, flow may be up
the production casing string, up the tubing string, or both.
Tubingless Completions
Casing flow completions are a particularly low-cost method in marginal flow conditions such
as low rate gas wells; See Figure 1.6a.
NOTE: Casing flow completions arenot normally used by most operators, primarily
becausetheproduction casing is exposed to well pressureand/ or corrosivefluids.
Tubingless completions arepotentially hazardous especially in offshore
installations. As thereis an increased risk of collision damageoffshoreand
thereis no facility to install downholesafety valves. Theuseof casing flow
production methods arediscouraged both offshoreand onshore.
Cement
Production Casing
Formation
Formation
Formation
Formation
Perforations
a) Standard b) Internal Gravel Pack
Formation
Liner Hanger
Screened Liner
Graded Gravel
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Tubing Flow Completions
Tubing flow completions utilise the tubing to convey well fluids to surface. Flow rate potential
is much lower in tubing flow than in unrestricted casing flow completions. As well as for
production, the tubing string can be utilised as a kill string or for the injection of chemicals.
Tubing strings may also accommodate gas lift valves which essentially ‘gas assist’ well liquids to
surface; these valves would be installed if formation pressure diminished considerably and
natural drive ceased.
By far the most common methods of completing a well is to use a single tubing string/ packer
system where the packer is installed in the production casing to offer casing protection, sub-
surface well control, and an anchor for the tubing. Examples of such completions methods
are:
• Simple low cost (temporary); See Figure 1.6b
• High pressure; See Figure 1.6c.
Other equipment commonly installed in the tubing string to facilitate a safer production
system may be:
• Wireline Nipples - Permits The Installation Of Flow Controls Or Plugs.
• Tubing Retrievable - For Emergency Well Shut-In.
Safety Valve
• Safety Valve Landing - Permits The Installation Of A Surface Controlled Sub-Surface
Nipple Safety Valve (SCSSV) For Emergency Shut-In.
• Flow couplings - Absorbs Erosion Caused By Turbulence And Abrasion.
• Circulating Device - Fitted Above The Packer For Circulating Purposes
• Tubing Seal Device - To Allow Tubing Movement.
A polished bore receptacle (PBR) in a liner hanger is often used in place of a packer, e.g. in a
high rate liner or monobore completion; See Figure 1.6d.
Refer to Section 1.3 for completion equipment.

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High Rate Liner or Monobore
These are utilised in deep wells where tubing/ casing clearances are small and for high
productivity wells where the use of a packer would restrict the flow of well fluids; See Figure
1.6d.
In general, tubing and packer installations depend on the completion requirements and
economic considerations. The completion engineer should consider the following factors for
tubing/ packer type completion installations:
• Simplification of the completion for future well servicing operations (i.e. wireline, coiled
tubing, snubbing etc.).
• Optimum tubing size for maximum long term flow rate.
• Future artificial lift needs.
• Bottom hole pressure and temperature gauge survey hang off system.
• Seal movement device to accommodate tubing elongation or contraction.
• Availability of downhole circulating device.
• Requirements for downhole corrosion inhibitor injection.
• Requirements for downhole hydrate inhibitors.
• Tubing-conveyed perforating (TCP) guns and/ or through tubing guns for underbalanced
perforating.
• Fluids to be used i.e. drilling muds, completion fluid, wellbore fluid.
• Well killing.
The monobore completion was developed primarily for the North Sea area by operators to
reduce the high cost of well servicing operations. The monobore, termed from the production
liner and tubing having the same or similar size bores, allows much improved servicing capability
by the use of ‘through tubing’ tools and services to conduct many operations which had
previously required the tubing to be pulled from the well.
A liner packer and PBR is used in place of the conventional type packer to maintain the
fullest bore size. Some versions are ‘full bore’ completions to retain maximum bore size which
are serviced with retrievable through tubing bridge plugs or nippleless wireline locks (such as
the Halliburton Monolock system) that can be set in the tubing or liner bore.
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Figure 1.6 - Flowing Wells (Single String) Schematics
a) Tubingless
b) Temporary Tubing
c) High Pressure d) High Rate Liner
Formation
Small Diameter Casing
or Large Diameter Tubing
Cement
Perforations
Production Tubing
Production Casing
Gas Lift Valve
Cement
Retrievable Packer
No Go Wireline
Seating Nipple
Chemical
Injection Valve
Permanent Packer
Millout Extension
Perforated Joint
Sliding Sleeve
No Go Nipple
Large Diameter
Polished
Bore
Receptacle
Liner
Liner Hanger
Tubing
Sliding Sleeve
Cement

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Artificial Lift
When a reservoir’s natural pressure is insufficient to deliver liquids to surface production
facilities, artificial lift methods are necessary to enhance recovery. Various artificial lift
completions methods, See Figure 1.7, and their key completion considerations are:
a) Rod Pump Lift
These pumps consist of a cylinder and piston with an intake and discharge valve. Vertical
reciprocation of the rod will displace well fluid into the tubing; See Figure 1.7a. These are
utilised in low to moderate wells which deliver less than 2,000 BPD (318 m
3
/ day).
Key considerations are:
• The annulus is open.
• A tubing anchor may be required.
• The pump diameter must be adequate.
• The rods must be properly sized.
b) Hydraulic Pump Lift
Hydraulic pump lift is utilised in crooked holes, for heavy oils and variable production conditions
that cause problems for conventional rod pumping. Three types of hydraulic pump exist to
lift liquid:
Piston Consists of a set of coupled pistons, one driven by a power fluid and the
other pumping the well fluid; systems exist for production up the annulus,
See Figure 1.7b, or up the tubing.
Jet Converts power fluid to a high velocity jet which pulls the well fluid up
into the flow stream.
Turbine Power fluid rotates a shaft on which a centrifugal or axial pump is mounted;
See Figure 1.7c.
Key considerations are:
• The number of flow conduits (production and power).
• Pressure losses in the power and return lines.
• Whether produced liquid can return up the casing.
• Lubricator access to pump-in jet or piston units.
• The large casing size required for turbine units.
• The power fluid/ oil separation facilities required.
• The higher initial costs.
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c) Plunger Lift
The plunger lift system, See Figure 1.7d, is a low rate lift system in which annulus gas energy
is used to drive a plunger carrying a small slug of liquid up the tubing when the well is
opened at surface. Subsequent closing of the well allows the plunger to fall back to bottom.
Plunger lift is useful for de-watering low rate gas wells.
Key considerations are:
• The tubing must be drifted prior to installation.
• The annulus is open to store lift gas.
• A nipple/ collar stop must be installed to support a catcher and shock absorber.
d) Electric Submersible Pump (ESP)
An ESP is used for moving large liquid volumes of low gas/ liquid ratio from reservoirs with
temperatures below 250˚F, e.g. water supply wells, high water cut producers and high
deliverability undersaturated oil wells; See Figure 1.7e.
Key considerations are:
• The annulus is open to atmosphere for gas venting (but not offshore).
• A special wellhead is required for cable sealing.
• Some cable protection is needed.
• Motor cooling must be adequate.
• The tubing size must be adequate to handle large volumes with minimum back pressure
on the pump.

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Figure 1.7 - Pump and Plunger Artificial Lift Methods
Rod
Plunger
Tubing Anchor / Packer
Travelling Valve
Standing Valve
Fluid Level
Tubing
Pump
Housing
Pump Seat
Nipple
Standing
Valve
Turbine
Pump
Packer
Liquid Load
Standing Valve
Bumper Spring
Tubing Stop
Electric
Cable
Pump
Intake
Protector
Motor
a) Rod Pump b) Piston Pump
c) Turbine d) Plunger Lift e) Electric Submersible Pump
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e) Gas Lift
Gas lift supplements the flow process by the addition of compressed gas which lightens the
liquid head, reduces the liquid viscosity, reduces friction and supplies potential energy in the
form of gas expansion; See Figure 1.8.
Continuous gas lift is used to lift liquid from reservoirs that have a high productivity index
(PI) and a high bottom hole pressure BHP. Intermittent lift is used in reservoirs that exhibit
low PI/ low BHP, low PI/ high BHP, or high PI/ low BHP.
Liquid production can range from 300 - 4,000 bbls/ day (48 - 636 m
3
/ day) through normal
size tubing strings. Casing flow can lift up to 25,000 bbls/ day (3,975 m
3
/ day).
Key considerations are:
• Tubing size.
• The need for a packer.
• Setting depths for gas-lift valves.
Figure 1.8 - Gas Lift
b) Piston Pump
Gas In
Gas Lift
Valves
Packer

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1.2.3 Classification-by Number of Zones Completed
Single Zone Completions
Flowing wells that are equipped with a single tubing string are usually completed with a
packer. Single zone completions include the downhole co-mingling of production from
several intervals within a pay zone. Examples of single zone completions are shown in Figure
1.9, i.e.:
a) Standard
See Figure 1.9a.
b) Interval Co-mingling
See Figure 1.9b.
At the design stage, the following options should be considered and possibly built into the
completion:
• The optimum tubing size for maximum long term flow rate.
• Future artificial lift needs.
• Future well servicing operations.
Figure 1.9 - Single Zone Completion Schematics
a) Standard b) Interval Co-mingling
Tubing
Packer
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Multiple Zone Completions
When a well encounters multiple pay zones a decision must be made either to:
• Produce the zones individually, one after the other, through a single tubing string and the
annulus.
• Complete the well with multiple tubing strings and produce several zones simultaneously.
• Co-mingle several zones in a single completion.
• Produce only one zone from that well and drill additional wells to produce from the other
pay zones.
Examples of multiple zone completions are shown in Figure 1.10.
a) Single String Dual Completion
This is the most basic dual completion where production of the lower zone is up the tubing
and production of the upper zone is up the casing/ tubing annulus; See Figure 1.10a.
b) Twin String Dual Completion
Separate flow from each zone is maintained by the use of two tubing strings and two packers;
See Figure 1.10b.
NOTE: With theinstallation of gas lift valves in thetwo tubing strings,
artificial lift can beinitiated at a later date.
c) Multiple String Completions
Separate flow from each zone can be maintained by the use of three tubing strings and three
packers; See Figure 1.10c.
Such completions provide a method of individual zone production and can improve some
field economics. However, in general, such completions are difficult to install and are usually
too restrictive in regard to total well production, due to the small tubing sizes, to be economically
attractive in most cases. Furthermore, the difficulty of carrying out future remedial well
operations of such wells prevent their widespread use.

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d) Concentric String Completions
Concentric strings require less clearance and can often achieve a higher overall flow capability;
See Figure 1.10d
.
The advantages of Multiple Zone Completions:
• Some individual zone production.
• Reduced well cost.
Disadvantages of Multiple Zone Completions are:
• Production casing is exposed to well pressure and corrosive fluids.
• Tubing can be stuck in place due to solids settling from the upper zone.
• The lower zone must be killed or plugged off before servicing can be done on the upper
zone.
• The lower zone must be plugged off to measure any flowing bottomhole temperature
associated with the upper zone.
NOTE: Multi-zonecompletions not only providetheseparation of various
zones but also theseparation of individual pay sections within a
thick pay zone.
e) Annulus Configurations
It is normal practice to identify an annulus configuration by an alphabetic progression from
internal to external casing strings. The ‘A’ annulus is defined as the annulus within the
production/ liner casing.
An active annulus refers to any annulus being used for circulation purposes. An inactive
annulus refers a non-circulatable annulus e.g. any annulus formed between two strings of
cemented casings.
In the case of a well having an extra annulus between the production casing and the tubing,
this annulus is identified separately e.g. a well on artificial lift using hydraulic pumping will
have a ‘drive’ annulus.
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Figure 1.10 - Multiple Zone Completion Schematics
a) Single String Dual
c) Multiple String d) Concentric String
b) Twin String Dual
Packer
Dual
Packer
Triple Packer
Blast Joint
Single
Packers
Concentric
Tubing
Strings

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1.2.4 Horizontal Completions
In a vertical wellbore, the state of technology is such that it can be successfully cased, cemented,
completed, producing zone or zones perforated and cleaned up, produced and, if the level of
production is not economical, various means of stimulation (hydraulic fracturing, acidisation)
used on the formation to increase productivity. By contrast, the drilling of horizontal wells
and their subsequent study has indicated substantial increases in production rates as compared
to unfractured vertical wells. As a result, there is now great incentive to investigate the technology
required to drill, complete, test, stimulate and properly produce horizontal wells which, due
to increased production, can lead to significant improvements in field economics.
From the drilling point of view, horizontal wells are classified as having ultra-short, short,
medium or long turning radii into a horizontal plane. The geometrical characteristics of such
horizontal wells are given in Table 1.1.
NOTE: ‘Multi-zonal’ wells areprimecandidates for horizontal completions
as areformations that havenaturally fractured networks from which
largeproduction increases can beexpected; SeeFigure1.11.
Figure 1.12 shows some of the methods used to complete horizontal wells. A classification of
completions for horizontal wells is shown in Figure 1.13.
Table 1.1 - Geometrical Characteristics of Horizontal Well Completions
Type
Ultrashort
(drainhole)
Short
Medium
Long
Drilling Method
Waterjet
Whipstock. Curved drilling entry
guide flexible drilling collars
Downhole mud motor.
Flexibleheavy weight drill pipe
Conventional drilling tools
Turning Radius
(Build-Up Radius)
1 - 2 f
(-)
20 - 40 ft
(-)
300 - 500 ft.
(19 - 11 deg./100 ft.)
600 - 2,000 ft
(10 - 3 deg./100 ft.)
Horizontal Length
100 - 200 ft.
200 - 700 ft.
700 - 2,000 ft.
> 2,000 ft.
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Wellbore
Oil Accumulations
Figure 1.11 - Naturally Fractured Formations
Open Hole
This is the most economical type of completion where removal of mud and debris from the
horizontal section is the primary stimulation performed. If additional stimulation is required,
tubing or coiled tubing can be run to TD, stimulation fluid spotted into the horizontal
section and then pumped into the formation; See Figure 1.12a.
Slotted Liner
This type of completion is used in the possible event of hole collapse. It is used in reservoirs
that will flow naturally and where no stimulation treatments are necessary; See Figure 1.12b.
External Casing Packers
These are used for control of a single interval in the whole horizontal section of a reservoir
that has different zones producing hydrocarbons. They also control water production from
selective zones. External casing packers and closeable ported subs are useful in controlling
unwanted production from formations along the horizontal section; See Figure 1.12c.
Packers of this type are commonly used to separate productive zones, either with or without
cement. Similarly, because of the difficulty in cementing horizontal liners, many horizontal
production strings are run without cementing.
For uncemented liner completions, the application of rotation can be utilised to deflate the
packer for retrieval.

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Fracture Stimulation
In this type of completion production casing or liner is cemented into the horizontal section.
After perforating, controlled stimulation treatments (matrix and fracture) can be performed
efficiently; See Figure 1.12d.
In a horizontal hole, the completion problems are more complex than in vertical wells. For
example, any debris in the horizontal well bore will remain in situ and create an obstacle for
moving tools or instruments. Similarly, gravity will have a profound effect on various tools in
the horizontal section of the wellbore and effective centralisation and friction reduction is
necessary by using roller stem.
Completion equipment currently available is capable of working satisfactorily in a horizontal
well with little or no modification. The main area requiring development is in coiled tubing
conveyed tools (equivalent to wireline tools). Some advance has been made with the
development of sliding sleeves, mounted in the horizontal section of wells, which can be
opened and closed using a coiled tubing conveyed shifting tool. Similarly, coiled tubing
manipulation tools exist for packer setting in horizontal sections.
a) Open Hole b) Slotted Liner
c) Uncemented Liner d) Cement Liner
Figure 1.12 - Some Methods of Completing Horizontal Wells
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Figure 1.13 - Classification of Completions for Horizontal Wells
l - long
m - medium
s - short
Interface Between
Wellbore and Reservoir
Horizontal
Wells
Vertical / Deviated
Wells
(l,m,s) (l,m) (l)
Open
Hole
Uncemented
Liner
External
Casing
Plaster
Cemented
Casing or
Liner
Slotted
(l,m,s)
Pre-packed
(l,m)
Gravel
Packed
(l,m)
See Figure 1.1

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1.2.5 Subsea Completions
Offshore fields are increasingly being developed with subsea wells. In the early
days subsea wells were extensively used as satellite wells only, usually located a
distance away from the main production platform outside the normal reach
limitations for deviated wells. Today entire fields can be produced through subsea
wells to floating production systems or to nearby platforms on other fields. Subsea
well top hole locations are generally clustered together (sometimes in a subsea
manifold) to share production and control line facilities although single satellites
are still occasionally used.
Developing an offshore field with subsea wells is a very economic method but has
a drawback from the completions point of view in that vertical access
requirements for well servicing intervention will inevitably be high with the need to
use a MODU (Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit) or other type of well servicing vessel.
Some wells have been clustered under the floating production facilities to allow
vertical re-entry from the vessel, thereby reducing servicing costs. Nowadays, the
availability of long-service life tubing retrievable sub-surface safety valves (TRSVs)
with all metal-to-metal technology minimise the need for mechanical servicing.
'Through flowline' (TFL) servicing (see Figures 1.14 &1.15) also reduces servicing
costs and is especially useful on highly deviated wells. However, no matter the
attractiveness of utilising TFL systems in completion design the operational
complexity, rate restriction and cost, should not be underestimated and through
experience most users of TFL have now abandoned it's use due to its associated
problems.
In a completed subsea well, high pressure losses can occur in the flowlines
connected to surface production facilities and it is common to minimise this by
incorporating gas lift valves or hydraulic pumping equipment in the completion.
Subsea flowlines are also subject to substantial cooling which may result in poor
oil flow properties and the requirement to install methanol injection systems in
subsea components to minimise the risk of hydrate formation .
Figure 1.16 shows a typical subsea wellhead arrangement.
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1-27 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Fig. 1.14 - Dual String, Driver-Assist Flowlines, TFL, Satellite Tree

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Fig. 1.15 - TFL Pumpdown Components
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Fig. 1.16 Typical Subsea Wellhead System
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
-2
-4
-6
1. 2. 3.
I.L.M.
-1
0 Meter Datum
1
2
3
4
0 Feet Datum
Top Of Wellhead
128.4"
(3.3m)
Scrap view of corrosion
cap running tool / corrosion
cap stinger interface.
(Scale 1:2)
Alternative Arrangement Running Corrosion
Cap On Drill Pipe
128.4"
(3.3m)
114.3"
(2.9m)
Corrosion Cap
Running Tool
P.No. 541081-A
Injection Tree Assy
P.No. 541010-A
Permanent Guide Base
P.No. 540869

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1-30 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
1.2.6 Subsea Well Interventions
Subsea wells can be serviced by means of subsea workover systems. There are two
systems in current use, one for conventional subsea trees (Figure 1.17) and the
other for the newer generation of spool trees (horizontal tree, Figure 1.18). Each of
these is described below :
Conve nt i onal Subs e a We l l Int e rve nt i ons
Conventional subsea well interventions are conducted through a subsea workover
riser systems which are deployed from floating vessels or from jack-up rigs in
shallower waters. Riser systems are attached to the top of subsea Xmas trees and,
after completing the appropriate test procedures, allow live well servicing by
wireline or coiled tubing methods.
Pressure control is provided at surface by a Xmas tree fitted with a lift frame
which accommodates the pressure control equipment installed on the top of the
tree. Other than this, pressure control is exactly the same as that described in the
previous sections except that vessel movement gives additional rigging up and
operational problems. However, the workover riser system must also have subsea
pressure control capabilities in the event of a emergency disconnection or a riser
failure. Subsea pressure control is provided by a subsea lower riser assembly
(LRA) and an emergency disconnect package (EDP) which can safely close in the
well and disconnect the riser, with or without wireline or coiled tubing through the
subsea tree, in the event of an emergency.
These systems maintain the well in a safe condition until the problems arisen are
overcome and the riser can be re-attached. Operations can then be recommenced
and fishing operations initiated, if required.
A typical subsea workover riser system is shown in Figure 1.19.
Spool Subs e a Tre e Int e rve nt i ons
Due to the capital costs of conventional workover riser systems, and the
incompatibility between the various manufacturer's designs, this drove the
industry to develop the spool tree and associated intervention systems utilising
standard drilling rig subsea BOP riser systems.
The subsea BOPs were utilised for connection to the tree and to provide pressure
control in conjunction with a subsea test tree which latches onto the spool tree
tubing hanger. Pressure is contained within the subsea tree and it's riser to the
surface which is terminated with a surface test tree in the conventional well test
fashion. The BOP rams are closed on the subsea test tree slick joint to provide a
barrier to any well pressure below the BOPs. In the event of an emergency, the
subsea tree can be closed, the subsea riser disconnected before the BOP shear/
blind rams are closed above the tree valve section and the drilling riser
disconnected.
The main problem thrown up by this method of well intervention was the lack of
bore size in standard subsea test tree riser systems initially available which has
driven the design of systems with bores sizes now up to 7 inches in diameter.
Subsea test tree systems must have a cutting capability to sever any wireline or
coiled tubing run through the BOPs.
See Figure 1.20 for typical spool tree workover system.
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1-31 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Fig. 1.17 - Classic Conventional Tree Configuration
High Pressure Cap
Annulus Swab Valve
Annulus Wing Valve
Annulus Master Valve
Wire Line Plug Profiles
Production Swab Valve
Crossover Valve
Production Wing Valve
Production Upper Master Valve
Production Lower Master Valve

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1-32 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Fig. 1.18 - Typical Horizontal tree Configuration
WIRELINE PLUGS
PRODUCTION MASTER
VALVE
PRODUCTION
ISOLATION VALVE
ANNULUS MASTER VALVE
ANNULUS ISOLATION
VALVE
CROSSOVER
VALVE
WORKOVER
VALVE
INTERNAL ISOLATION CAP
DEBRIS CAP
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Fig. 1.19 - Typical Subsea Workover Riser System

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Figure 1.20 - Typical Subsea Spool Tree Workover System
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1-35 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
1.3 COMPLETION EQUIPMENT
In general, a well completion should provide a production conduit which:
• Maximises the safe recovery of hydrocarbons from a gas or oil well throughout its
producing life.
• Gives an effective means of pressurising selected zones in water injection wells.
Downhole accessories used should be designed to provide the safe installation and retrieval of
the completion, and flexibility for sub-surface maintenance of the well using wireline, coiled
tubing or other methods.
Even though different types of wells present distinct design and installation problems for
engineers, most completions are just variations on a few basic designs types and, therefore, the
equipment used is fairly standard. An overview of the equipment commonly used in single
and dual string completions is given in the following sections.
The detailed operation of some the items such as sliding side doors (SSDs), side pocket
mandrels (SPMs) and packers will not be covered in this manual. However, the relative location
of these tools in a completion and their functions in intervention work or workovers will be
addressed.
Figure 1.21 shows a schematic drawing illustrating the location of equipment in a typical oil
well completion. Each common item in the completion string is described in the following
sections.

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1-36 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Figure 1.21 - Typical Oilwell Completion
SCSSV Control Line
Production Casing
Tubing Hanger
Tubing
Flow Coupling
SCSSV Landing Nipple
Flow Coupling
Side Pocket Mandrel (SPM)
SPM
SPM
SPM
SPM
Flow Coupling
Sliding Side Door (SSD)
Flow Coupling
Landing Nipple
Pup Joint
Packer
Cross-Over
Landing Nipple
Perforated Joint
Landing Nipple
Pup Joint
Wireline Re-Entry Guide
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1-37 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
1.3.1 Wireline Re-entry Guide
A wireline entry guide is used for the safe re-entry of wireline tools from the casing or liner
back into the tubing string. It attaches to the end of the production string or packer tailpipe
assembly and has a chamfered lead in with a full inside diameter.
Wireline re-entry guides are generally available in two forms:
Bell Guide
This guide has a 45 degree lead in taper to allow re-entry into the tubing of wireline tools.
This type of guide, See Figure 1.22a, is used in completions where the end of the tubing does
not need to pass through any casing obstacles such as liner laps.
Mule-Shoe Re-entry Guide
This type of guide is essentially the same as the Bell Guide but incorporates a large 45 degree
angle cut on one side of the guide; See Figure 1.22b. Should the guide hang up on any casing
item such as a liner lip while being run, rotation of the tubing will cause the 45 degree
shoulder to slide past the liner lip and enter the liner.
Figure 1.22 - Wireline Re-entry Guide
45 Taper
45 Chamfer
a) Bell Guide b) Mule Shoe Guide

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1-38 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
1.3.2 Tubing Protection Joint
This is a normally a single joint of tubing installed for the particular purpose of providing
protection for wireline installed bottomhole pressure and temperature gauges from buffeting
in the flow stream. This protection joint is installed directly below the gauge hanger landing
nipple in the tailpipe below the packer and must be long enough to accommodate the longest
BHP toolstring which may be run.
1.3.3 Wireline Landing Nipples
Landing nipples, See Figure 1.23, are short profiled tubulars installed in strategic positions in
the tubing string into which various wireline retrievable flow controls can be set and locked.
These can seal within the nipple bore, if required dependent upon the tools function. The
most common tools run are plugs, chokes, and pressure and temperature gauges. The main
features of a landing nipple are:
• Locking groove or profile.
• Polished seal bore.
• No-Go shoulder (only on non-selective nipples).
Landing nipples are supplied in ranges to suit most tubing sizes and weights with API or
premium connections and are available in two basic types:
• No-Go or Non-Selective.
• Selective.
No-Go or Non-Selective
The non-selective nipple receives a locking device which uses a No-Go principle for the
purposes of location. This requires that the OD of the locking device is slightly larger than the
No-Go diameter of the nipple. The No-Go diameter is usually a small shoulder located below
the packing bore (bottom No-Go) but in some designs, the top of the packing bore itself is
used as the No-Go. Only one No-Go landing nipple of a particular size should be used in a
completion string. In most completions other than monobores, it is common practice to use
a bottom No-Go nipple as the last nipple in the packer tailpipe to prevent dropped tools
falling into the sump.
As the No-Go provides a positive location, they are widely used in high angle wells where
wireline tool manipulation is difficult and weight indicator sensitivity reduced.
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Selective
In the selective system, the locking devices are designed with the same key profile as the
nipples and the means of nipple selection is determined by operation of the running tool and
the setting procedure. The selective design is full bore and allows the installation of several
nipples of the same size.
Uses of landing nipples:
• Well plugging from above, below or from both directions.
• Pressure testing the tubing, leak finding.
• Safety valves, chokes and other flow control devices.
• Installation of bottomhole pressure and temperature gauges.
Figure 1.23- Halliburton Wireline Landing Nipples
Orientation
Groove
Orientation
Groove
Key Profile
Key Profile
Seal
Bore
Seal Bore
Trash Groove
No-Go Shoulder
'X' Selective Landing
Nipple
'XN' No Go Landing
Nipple

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1.3.4 Perforated Joints
In wells where flowing velocities are high, a restriction in the tubing, such as a gauge hanger,
can cause false pressure and temperature readings. Also, vibrations in the tool can cause extensive
damage to delicate instruments. To provide an alternative flow path, a perforated joint is
installed above the gauge hanger nipple which allows unrestricted flow around the gauge
toolstring eliminating these hazards. The perforated joint is normally a full tubing joint which
is drilled with sufficient holes to provide a flow area greater than that in the tubing above.
1.3.5 Blast Joints
Blast joints are installed opposite perforations (non gravel packed) where external cutting or
abrasive action occurs caused by produced well fluids or sand. They are heavy-walled tubulars
available usually in 10, 15, and 20 ft. lengths
.
They should be long enough to extend at least 4 ft. on either side of a perforated interval.
1.3.6 Packers
A packer is a device used to provide a seal between the tubing and the casing. With a suitable
completion string, this seal allows the flow of reservoir fluids from the producing formation
to be contained within the tubing up to the surface. This protects the casing from being
exposed to well pressure and to corrosion from well or injection fluids.
A packer is tubular in construction and consists basically of:
• Case hardened slips to bite into the casing wall and hold the packer in position against
pressure and tubing forces.
• Packing elements which seal against the casing.
Figure 1.24 gives examples of typical packer installations and Figure 1.19 shows common
types of packer.
In general, packers are classified in three groups:
• Retrievable.
• Permanent.
• Permanent/ Retrievable.
Packers may be further classified according to the number of bores required for production
i.e.
Single One concentric bore through the packer for use with a single tubing string.
Dual Two parallel bores through the packer for use with two tubing strings.
Triple Three parallel bores through the packer for use with three tubing strings.
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A typical packer description, therefore, might be: 9
5
/
8
ins. Dual 3
1
/
2
ins. x 3
1
/
2
ins. Hydraulic-
set Retrievable Packer.
Retrievable Packers
These are generally run into the wellbore on the production tubing string. As the name
implies, retrievable packers can be recovered from the well after setting by pulling it with the
tubing.
Permanent Packers
These are installed in the wellbore usually independent of the production tubing string. A
permanent packer may be considered as an integral part of the casing. Permanent packers can
only be removed from the well by milling operations.
Permanent/ Retrievable Packers
As their name may suggest, these packers have the same characteristics as permanent packers
but can be released and recovered from the well without milling. They will generally have a
smaller bore than a permanent packer to accommodate the addition of some type of releasing
mechanism.
Packers, both retrievable and permanent versions, are installed in the production
casing by one of the following methods:
Mechanically ; Run on a workstring, is set by manipulation of the tubing i.e. by applying
compression or tension in combination with rotation depending on the particular setting
mechanism of the packer.
NOTE: Packers having rotation set/ releasemechanisms should not beused in
highly deviated wells sincetheapplication of tubing torquemay not be
transferred downhole.
Hydraulically ; Can be run on a workstring or on the tubing string. When the desired
setting depth is reached the tubing is plugged below the packer with a check valve, standing
valve or a wireline plug and hydraulic pressure applied to the tubing to set the packer. Generally,
a predetermined upward pull on the tubing string will release the seal unit from the packer
with a Hydraulic Permanent packer system.
On Electric Wireline ; This is generally restricted to permanent packers. The packer is
attached to a wireline setting adapter, connected to a setting gun on the end of the wireline
and run in the wellbore. On reaching the desired depth an electrical signal transmitted to the
gun activates an explosive charge and, through a hydraulic chamber, provides the mechanical
forces to set the packer.

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Figure 1.24 - Examples Of Packer Installations
Single Zone Completion
Single String Multi Zone Completion
Casing
Annulus
Production Tubing
Packer
Zone 1
Zone 2
Zone 3
Packer 1
Packer 2
Packer 3
Dual Packer
Short Tubing String
Production Casing
Long Tubing String
Upper Formation
Single Packer
Lower Formation
Dual Completion
Producing Formation
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Figure 1.25 - Examples Of Common Types of Packers
a) 'RDH' Dual Bore
Retrievable Packer
b) 'RH' Single Bore
Retrievable Packer
c) Permanent Packer

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1.3.7 Permanent Packer Accessories
An important aspect in a completion with a permanent packer is the tubing/ packer seal. As
the packer in effect becomes part of the casing after it is set, the tubing must connect to the
packer in a fashion so that it can be released. This connection whether it be a straight stab in,
latched or otherwise, must have a seal to isolate the annulus from well fluids and pressures.
This seal usually consists of a number of seal elements to cater for some wear and tear. These
seal elements are classified into two groups; premium and non-premium. The premium group
are those used in severe or sour well conditions i.e. H
2
S, CO
2
etc. and are normally ‘V’ type
packing stacks containing various packing materials resistant to the particular environment.
The non-premium seals are for sweet service and can be either ‘V’ type packing stacks or
moulded rubber elements.
Locator Tubing Seal Assemblies
Locator tubing seal assemblies, See Figure 1.26a and Figure 1.26b, are fitted with a series of
external seals providing an effective seal between the tubing and packer bore. They also have
a No-Go type locator for position determination within the packer. Locator seal assemblies
are normally space out so that they can accommodate both upward and downward tubing
movement induced by changes in temperature and pressure.
Seal Bore Extensions
A seal bore extension is used to provide additional sealing bore length when a longer seal
assembly is run to accommodate greater tubing movement. The seal bore extension is run
below the packer and has the same ID as the packer.
Anchor Tubing Seal Assemblies
Anchor tubing seal assemblies, See Figure 1.26c and Figure 1.26d, are used where it is necessary
to anchor the tubing to a permanent packer while retaining the option to unlatch when
required. Anchor latches are normally used where well conditions require the tubing to be
landed in tension or where insufficient weight is available to prevent seal movement.
Polished Bore Receptacles (PBRs)
A PBR is simply a seal receptacle attached to the top of a permanent packer or liner hanger
packer in which the seal assembly lands instead of the packer bore. As the PBR bore can be
made larger than the packer, this provides a larger flow area through the seal assembly. See
Figure 1.23
Tubing Seal Receptacles
A TSR is an inverted version of a PBR where by a polished OD male member is attached to
the top of the packer and the female (or overshot) is attached tubing. The seals are contained
in the female member so that they are recovered when pulling the tubing. See Figure 1.24
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Figure 1.26 - Permanent Packer Seal Accessories
"G" Locator Seal
Sub
"E" Spacer Seal
Sub
No-Go
Shoulder
"E" Spacer Seal
Sub
a) Locator Tubing Seal
Assembly
b) Seal Extension
c) “K-22” Anchor Seal
Nipple
d) “EBH-22” Anchor
Seal Assembly
"E" Anchor Seal
Sub
"E" Spacer Seal
Sub
Anchor Latch
Anchor Latch

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Figure 1.27 - Polished Bore Receptacle
Connection
Shear Ring
(Closed Position)
Debris Barrier Unit
Debris Barrier Unit
Connection
Debris Barrier Unit
Debris Barrier Unit
Seal Units
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Figure 1.28 - Tubing Seal Receptacle

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1.3.8 Sliding Side Doors (SSDs)
Sliding Side Doors (SSDs) or Sliding Sleeves are installed in the tubing during well completion
to provide a means of communication between the tubing and the annulus when opened; See
Figure 1.29.
SSDs are used to:
• Bring a well into production after drilling or workover by circulating the completion
fluid out of the tubing and replacing it with a lighter underbalanced fluid.
• Kill a well prior to pulling the tubing in a workover operation.
• Provide selective zone production in a multiple zone well completion.
SSDs are available in versions which open by shifting an inner sleeve either upwards or
downwards. A number of SSDs can be installed in a completion string and selectively opened
or closed by the use of the appropriate wireline shifting tool.
CAUTION: Tubing and annulus pressures must beequalised beforean SSD sleeve
is opened to prevent wirelinetools being blown up or down thetubing.
A common fault of sliding sleeves is that the seal failure usually leads to a workover although
a pack-off can be installed as a temporary solution.
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Figure 1.29 - Sliding Side Door (SSD)
Female Adapter
Packing
O-Ring
Female Adapter
Split Ring
O-Ring
Female Adapter
5
1
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Top Sub
Closing Sleeve
Nipple
O-Ring
Female Adapter
O-Ring
Packing
O-Ring
Bottom Sub

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1-50 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
1.3.9 Flow Couplings
Flow couplings, which are heavy-walled tubulars, are installed above and below any completion
component which may cause flow turbulence such as wireline nipples, SSDs, SCSSV landing
nipples etc., to cater for internal erosion. Although the same amount of erosion is experienced,
the added thickness of the flow coupling provides enough material to prevent weakening
over the projected life of the well. In lower velocity wells, such as low GOR oil wells, a flow
coupling may only be needed to be placed above restrictions.
1.3.10 Side Pocket Mandrels
Side Pocket Mandrels (SPMs) were originally designed for gas lift completions to provide a
means of injecting gas from the casing-tubing annulus to the tubing via a gas lift valve. However
in recent times, they have also been commonly used in place of an SSD as a circulating device
because seal failure can be rectified by pulling the dummy gas lift valve (or kill valve) with
wireline and replacing the seals. SPMs are installed in the completion string to act as receptacles
for the following range of devices:
• Gas lift valves
• Dummy valves
• Chemical injection valves
• Circulation valves
• Differential dump kill valves
• Equalising valves.
It is essential to understand the operation of the device installed in an SPM before conducting
any well intervention as it may affect well control. See Figure 1.24 for a typical SPM and
Figure 1.31 for types of valves.
Gas Lift Valves
There are many different designs for gas lift valves for various applications. They range from
being simple orifice valves to pressure operated bellows type valves. However, they all contain
check valves to prevent tubing to annulus flow. These check valves may leak after a period of
use and they should never be relied on as barriers in a well control situation. These should be
replaced with dummy valves and the tubing pressure tested to confirm integrity.
Dummy Valves
These are tubing/ annulus isolation valves. They are installed in place of the valves in order
that the completion tubing string can be pressure tested from both sides during installation or
when well service operations are required.
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Chemical Injection Valves
The injection valve is designed to control the flow of chemicals injected into the production
fluid at the depth of the valve. A spring provides the force necessary to maintain the valve in
the fail-safe closed position. Reverse flow check valves, which prevent backflow and circulation
from the tubing to the casing, are included as an integral part of the valve assembly.
Injection chemicals enter the valve from the annulus in an open injection system. (This
requires the annulus to be full of the desired chemical. An alternative method is to run an
injection line from surface to the SPM.) When the hydraulic pressure of the injected chemicals
overcomes the pre-set tension in the valve spring plus the pressure in the tubing, the valve
opens. Chemicals then flow through the crossover seat in the valve and into the tubing.
Circulating Valves
These are recommended to be installed in the SPM whenever any circulating is to carried
out. The circulating valve is designed to enable circulation of fluid through the SPM without
damaging the pocket. The valve allows fluid to be dispersed from both ends allowing circulation
of fluid at a minimal pressure drop. Some valves permit circulation from the casing into the
tubing only and others to circulate fluid from the tubing into the casing only.
If a circulating valve is not used and the pocket is flow cut a workover would be necessary to
replace the SPM.
Differential Dump Kill Valves
Differential dump/ kill valves are designed to provide a means of communication between the
casing annulus and the tubing when an appropriate differential pressure occurs. Below a pre-
set differential pressure, the valve acts as a dummy valve since it uses a moveable piston to
block off the circulating ports in the valve and the side pocket mandrel.
The differential pressure necessary to open the valve will depend on the type and number of
shear screws installed. The valve will only open when the casing annulus pressure is increased
by the differential (of the shear screw rating) above the tubing pressure. An increase in tubing
pressure above the casing annulus pressure will not open the valve. After opening, the piston is
locked in the up position and fluids can flow freely in either direction. The hydrostatic pressure
from the column of annulus fluid will kill the well and remedial operations can be planned.
Equalising Valves
The equalisation valve is designed to equalise pressure between tubing and casing and/ or to
circulate fluid before pulling the valve from the SPM.
The valve has two sets of packing which straddle and pack off the casing ports in the SPM.
The tubing and annulus are isolated from each other until the equalising device is operated by
a pulling tool. Pressures equalise through a port before the valve and latch are retrieved.

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Figure 1.30- Side Pocket Mandrel (SPM)
Orienting Sleeve
Tool Discriminator
Latch Lug
Upper Packing Bore
Pocket
Lower Packing Bore
Section A - A
"KBUG"
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Figure 1.31 - Types of SPM Valves
Running Neck
Pulling Neck
Tangential Shear Pin
Spring
Latch Ring
['RKP' Latch]
Packing Stack
Shear Screw
Communication
Port
Piston
Packing Stack
Reverse
Flow Check
Packing Stack
Communication
Port
Reverse
Flow Check
Packing Stack
Reverse
Flow Check
Packing Stack
Communication
Port
Spring
Packing Stack
[’LK - 3’] [’RG - 2’]
[’DCR-1’]

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1.3.11 Travel Joints
A travel joint is used to compensate for tubing movement due to temperature and/ or pressure
changes during treating or production. It is normally used with a seal assembly anchored to a
permanent packer. Figure 1.32 shows a Travel Joint commonly used on the short string in
dual string completions.
NOTE: Alternativenames for travel joints areTelescoping or Expansion joints.
Polished Bore Receptacles (PBRs) and Extra Long Tubing Seal Receptacles (ELTSRs) are
other devices commonly installed above a permanent packer to compensate for tubing
movement; Refer to Section 1.3.7.
Figure 1.32 - Travel J oint
Packing
Inner Sleeve
Outer Sleeve
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1.3.12 Sub-Surface Safety Valves
The modern sub-surface safety valve has been developed from the earliest versions produced
in the 1930’s. The initial demand was for a downhole valve that would permit flow during
normal conditions, but would isolate formation pressure from the wellhead to prevent damage
or destruction. This valve would be installed downhole in the production string.
The valve that was developed was a Sub-Surface Controlled Safety Valve (SSCSV) and was a
poppet type valve with a mushroom shaped valve/ seat system. Compared with today’s valves,
this simple poppet type valve had several disadvantages; restricted flow area, tortuous flow
paths, low differential pressure rating and calibration difficulties. Despite these limitations the
valve operated successfully and other versions were developed with less tortuous flow paths
such as the ball and flapper valve.
From this beginning, the Surface Controlled Sub-Surface Safety Valve (SCSSV) was developed
in the late 1950’s. This moved the point of control from downhole to surface; See Figure 1.33.
This design provided large flow areas, remote control of opening and closing, and responsiveness
to a wide variety of abnormal surface conditions (fire, line rupture, etc.). Initial demand for
this valve was slow due to it’s higher cost and the problems associated in successfully installing
the hydraulic control line, hence it’s usage was low until the late 1960’s.
The SCSSV is controlled by hydraulic pressure supplied from a surface control system which
is ideally suited to manual or automatic operation, the latter of which pioneered the sophisticated
emergency shut-down systems required today. The versatility of the valve allows it to be used
in specialised applications as well as in conventional systems.
SCSSVs are available in two variants - Tubing Retrievable Safety Valves (TRSV) and Wireline
Retrievable Safety Valves (WRSV). SCSSVs are available with ball or flapper type closure
mechanisms.

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Figure 1.33 - Example of Downhole Safety Valve
Flapper
Seat
Nipple Adapter
Stainless Steel Set Screws
Top Sub
Jam Nut
O-Ring
Lock Open Ring
Stainless Steel Set Screws
O-Ring
Brass Shear Screws
T-Seals
Housing
Locking Mandrel
Piston
O-Ring
T-Seal
Stainless Steel Set Screws
Stainless Steel Set Screws
Stainless Steel Set Screws
Intermediate Sub
O-Ring
Piston Coupling
C-Ring
Flow Tube
Power Spring
Housing
Spring Stop
O-Ring
O-Ring
Stainless Steel Set Screw
Flapper Base
Resilient Seal
Flapper Pin
Torsion Spring
Flapper
Flapper Housing
O-Ring
Stainless Steel Set Screw
Bottom Sub
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Sub-Surface Safety Valve Applications
Fail-safe Sub-Surface Safety Valves, whether directly or remotely controlled, are installed to
protect personnel, property and the environment in the event of an uncontrolled well flow
(or blow-out) caused by collision, equipment failure, human error, fire, leakage or sabotage.
Whether safety valves are required in a particular operating area, depends on the location of
the wells and in some cases on company operating policy and/ or government legislation.
In general, each application must be considered separately due to varied well conditions,
locations, regulations, depth requirements etc.
Table 1.2 shows the various applications of WRSVs and TRSVs.
Table 1.2 - Sub-Surface Safety Valve Applications
WRSV Applications
General application: where intervention by
wireline is available
High pressure gas wells
Extreme hostile environments where well
fluids or temperature tend to shorten the life
of component materials
High velocity wells with abrasive
production
TRSV Applications
General application: where larger flow area is
desired for the tubing size
High volume oil and gas wells
Subsea completions
Multiple zone completions where several flow
control devices are set beneath the TRSV
Greater depth setting capabilities

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Sub-Surface Controlled Sub-Surface Safety Valves
These valves are installed in regular wireline type nipples on a lock mandrel.
a) Pressure-Differential Safety Valves
This type of direct-controlled safety valve is a ‘normally open’ valve that utilises a pressure-
differential to provide the method of valve closure. Normally a spring holds a valve off-seat
until the well flow reaches a pre-determined rate.
This rate can be related to the pressure differential generated across an orifice or flow bean.
When this differential is reached or exceeded, a piston moves upwards against a pre-set spring
force closing the valve. Valves of this type are termed ‘storm chokes’.
There are two closing mechanisms available with these valves, i.e.:
• Ball-type closure.
• Flapper-type closure.
The valve is held open by a spring force which may be increased by adding spacers or changing
the spring. The relationship between flow rate and differential may be adjusted by changing
the bean size. The valve when closed will remain in the this position until pressure is applied
at surface to equalise across it when the spring will return to the open position
.
NOTE: This typeof valveshould never beattempted to bepulled unless it has been
equalised and is open.
These valves are rarely in use today but a derivative, the Injection Valve, which is normally
closed is widely used in injection wells. This injection valve opens when fluid or gas is injected
and travels to the fully open position when the predetermined minimum injection rate is
reached; See Sub Section c) Injection Valve.
b) Ambient Type Safety Valves
This type of direct-controlled safety valve is a fail safe closed valve which is pre-charged with
a calibrated dome (chamber) pressure prior to running. Ambient controlled valves will open
when the well pressure reaches the set point of the dome calibration. The valve will close
when the flowing pressure of the well, at the point of installation, drops below the pre-
determined dome pressure. Ambient type safety valves are also generally referred to as a ‘storm
chokes’.
This type of valve is usually a ball valve and is not limited by a flow bean which gives it a large
internal diameter and, hence, a large flow area making it suitable for high volume installations
possibly producing abrasive fluids.
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Ambient type safety valves are run with an equalising assembly to allow equalisation across
the valve should it close, and a lock mandrel to locate and lock the valve in the landing nipple.
NOTE: Both pressuredifferential and ambient controlled sub-surfacesafety valves
closeon pre-determined conditions. They do not offer control until these
conditions exist. Also valvesettings may changeif flow beans becomecut.
Surfacecontrolled safety valves should beconsidered in such cases.
c) Injection Valve
Injection valves are normally closed valves installed in injection wells. They act like check
valves allowing the passage of the injected fluid or gas but close when injection is ceased.
The closure mechanism is either a ball or flapper type which opens when the differential
pressure from the injected medium equalises that below the valve. As the injection rate is
increased to the precalculated rate, the differential acts on a choke bean and overcomes a
spring to move the mechanism to the fully open mode. If the injection rate is insufficient or
fluctuating, the mechanism will be damaged and possibly flow cut
.
The flapper-type valve is the most popular as its operation is less complicated and is also less
prone to damage if the injection rate is not high enough.
d) Bottom Hole Regulators
Bottom hole regulators are essentially throttling valves installed downhole to enhance the
overall safety in wells where high surface pressures or hydrate formation present problems.
Bottomhole regulators are designed to reduce surface flowline pressures to safe, workable
levels and to keep surface controls from freezing.
In gas wells, the pressure drop across a regulator will occur downhole where the gas and
surrounding well temperature is higher than at surface. The higher gas temperature and
surrounding well temperature tend to prevent hydrate formation when a pressure drop occurs
across the regulator. The cooler gas immediately above the regulator will usually increase due
to the downhole ambient temperature.
In oil wells, the installation of a bottomhole regulator is used to facilitate the liberation of gas
from solution downhole and consequently lighten the oil columns to increase flow velocity
.
The regulator has a stem and seat which are held closed by a spring and at a pre-set differential
pressure the valve opens.
If high reductions in pressure are necessary, more than one regulator can be installed, providing
stepped reductions reducing the risk of hydrate formation and flow cutting.

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NOTE: An equalising sub should beinstalled between thelock mandrel and the
regulator to facilitatetheequalisation of pressure.
Surface Controlled Sub-Surface Safety Valves
The SCSSV is a downhole safety device that can shut in a well in an emergency or provide a
barrier between the reservoir and the surface. As the name suggests, the valve can be controlled
from the surface by hydraulic pressure transmitted from a control panel through stainless steel
tubing to the safety valve; See Figure 1.34
The remote operation of this type of valve from the surface can also be integrated with pilots,
emergency shut down (ESD) systems, and surface safety control manifolds. This flexibility of
the surface controlled safety valve design is its greatest advantage
.
In the simplest system an SCSSV is held open by hydraulic pressure supplied by a manifold at
the surface, the pressure being maintained by hydraulic pumps controlled by a pressure pilot
installed at some strategic point at the wellhead. Damage to the wellhead or flowlines causes
a pressure monitor pilot to exhaust pneumatic pressure from a low pressure line which in turn
causes a relay to block control pressure to a 3-way hydraulic controller resulting in hydraulic
pressure loss in the SCSSV control line. When this pressure is lost, the safety valve automatically
closes, shutting off all flow from the tubing.
There are two main categories of SCSSVs:
• Wireline Retrievable SCSSV.
• Tubing Retrievable SCSSV.
SCSSVs utilise the ball or flapper type closure mechanisms.
Both categories are supplied with or without internal equalising features. This allows the
pressure to equalise across the valve so as it can be re-opened. Valves without this feature need
to be equalised by pressure applied at surface. The former is more prone to failure due to
having more operating parts whereas for the latter equalisation pressure is often difficult to
provide and possibly time consuming.
a) Wireline Retrievable SCSSV
Wireline retrievable sub-surface safety valves are located and locked, using standard wireline
methods, in a dedicated safety valve landing nipple (SVLN). The SVLN is connected to a
hydraulic control line pressure source at the surface normally by a
1
/
4
ins. OD stainless steel
tubing.
When the safety valve is set in the nipple, the packing section seals against the bore of the
nipple below the port. The packing section of the lock mandrel forms a seal above the port in
the nipple. Control pressure, introduced through the control line, enters the valve through the
port in the housing and allows pressure to be applied to open the valve. Figure 1.34 shows a
typical surface-controlled, wireline retrievable safety valve.
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Figure 1.34 - Typical Wireline Retrievable SCSSV (WRSV) and Installation
Top Sub for Installation of Lock mandrel
c/w Upper Packing Set
Valve Assembly
Hydraulic Port
Piston
Packing Sack
Spring
Secondary Valve Seat
Equalisation Port
Primary Valve Seat
with
Ball
Ball
Ball Seat
Secondary
Valve Seat
Power Spring
Piston
Packing Stack
Safety Valve
Landing Nipple
Packing Stack
Lock Mandrel
Hydraulic Control
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Because a wireline retrievable SCSSV seats in a landing nipple installed in the production
string, it offers a much smaller bore than a tubing retrievable SCSSV for the same size of
tubing. Frequently, WRSVs have to be pulled prior to wireline operations being carried out.
Compared to a tubing retrievable SCSSV, the wireline retrievable SCSSV is easy to replace in
the case of failure. Most failures can be prevented by introducing a planned maintenance
schedule in which valves are regularly pulled and serviced. However, during wireline entry
operations there is also a safety risk and care must be maintained at all times.
The components required for the installation of a wireline retrievable SCSSV are:
• Hydraulic control line.
• Control Line Protectors.
• Hydraulic control manifold.
• Wireline retrievable safety valve.
• Safety valve landing nipple.
• Locking Mandrel.
• Wireline installation and retrieval tools for the locking mandrel.
b) Tubing Retrievable SCSSV
Tubing retrievable safety valves operate by the same principle as wireline SCSSVs except all
the components are incorporated in one assembly which is installed in the completion string;
See Figure 1.35. Some models have rod pistons instead of the more normal concentric piston
designs.
Should the tubing retrievable valve need to be locked out, a wireline retrievable can be
installed and operated, although with a reduced internal bore.
The components required are:
• Hydraulic control line.
• Control line protectors.
• Hydraulic Control Manifold.
• Tubing retrievable safety valve.
and additionally for insert capability:
• Wireline safety valve.
• Locking mandrel.
• Wireline installation and retrieval tools for the locking mandrel.
• Lock-out tool for the tubing retrievable valve.
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Figure 1.35 - Typical Tubing Retrievable SCSSV (TRSV)
Tubing Connection
Hydraulic Port
Hydraulic Line
Metal Seat
(Upper Static Seal)
Rod Piston
(Upper Assembly)
Rod Piston
(Lower Assembly)
Opposing Metal Cups
(Dynamic Seals)
Power Spring
Metal Seal
(Lower Static Seal)
Flow Tube
Flapper Spring
Flapper
Spring Loaded Debris Barrier
Upper Piston
Assembly
Hydraulic Port
Lower Piston
Assembly
Flow Tube
b) Open Position
Hydraulic Port
Upper Piston Assembly
Lower Piston Assembly
Flow Tube
Power Spring
c) Closed Position
a) TRDP-5 TRSV

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Safety Valve Leak Testing
A test performed on Sub-Surface Safety Valves immediately after installation, and on a regular
schedule, is the leak test. A typical leak test entails the production, kill and swab valves are
closed on the Xmas tree and control line pressure bled off to close the valve. Tubing pressure
is bled off slowly above the valve to zero for a tubing retrievable valve and in 100 psi. (6.9 bar)
stages for a wireline retrievable valve.
The system is closed in again and tubing pressure monitored. If there is a rapid build up, a
major leak is indicated or improper functioning of the valve; in this case the valve should be
cycled and the test repeated. After a specified shut-in period the tubing head pressure should
be below a maximum allowable pressure as specified by the operator’s leak off criteria although
there is an API standard.
NOTE: It is extremely important that pressuredata is fully and accurately recorded.
After initial installation, leak tests should be carried out periodically; this accomplishes three
functions:
1. To test the integrity of the seal in the safety valve.
2. To test that the lock mandrel in a wireline retrievable valve is still properly locked.
3. To cycle the valve to prevent ‘freezing’ in wells where they have been sitting in either fully
open or fully closed position for extended periods of time.
NOTE: All theabovetests should beconducted on all Sub-SurfaceSafety Valves by
authorised personnel.
a) API Leakage Limit in Gas Wells
For gas wells, leakage rates can be compiled from a surface pressure build-up from the formula
(low pressure application)
4(!p)V
Q = –––––
!t
where:
Q Is the leakage rate (in standard cubic ft/ hr.)
!t Is the build-up time in minutes to reach a stabilised pressure
V Is the volume of the tubing string above the SSSV (ft3)
!p Is the change in pressure (psi.)
If the leakage rate is in excess of 900 SCft./ hr. (25.5 m
3
/ hr.), the SCSSV should be cycled
opened and re-tested. If the leakage rate is greater than API or Group specifications, which
ever is the most stringent, then corrective action must be taken.
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b) API Leakage limit - Oil Wells
For oil wells, the pressure depends on the static fluid level and the amount of gas in the oil. If
the liquid level is below the SCSSV, the formula for gas wells can be used. If the liquid level is
above the SCSSV then the leakage rates are determined from the build-up of surface pressure
which is converted to a liquid volume.
If the leakage rate is in excess of 6.3 gal/ hr (0.4 m
3
/ min) then the SCSSV should be cycled
and re-tested. If the leakage rate is still in excess of 6.3 gal/ hr (0.4 m
3
/ min) then corrective
action should be taken.
1.3.13 Annulus Safety Valves
The sub-surface safety valves discussed so far, i.e. tubing retrievable and wireline retrievable,
only provide tubing flow control. In these systems, no annular flow control exists.
Annulus safety valve systems are usually associated with completions where artificial lift or
secondary recovery methods are employed e.g. gas venting in electric submersible pump
(ESP), hydraulic pump, and gas lift installations. There application is to remove the potential
hazard of a large gas escape in the event there is an incident where the tubing hanger seal is
breached.
There are a number of designs of such systems on the market and the variety of mode of
operation is too wide to be covered in this document, however the basic concepts are the
same. With any annulus system, there must be a sealing device between the tubing and the
casing through which the flow of gas can be closed off. This is generally a packer but may also
be a casing polished bore nipple in some designs into which a packing mandrel will seal. In
the sealing device there is a valve mechanism operated by hydraulic pressure similarly to an
SCSSV. The valve mechanism opens the communication path from the annulus below to the
annulus above the valve and is fail safe closed.
The closure mechanism may be a sliding sleeve, poppet or flapper device. Figure 1.30 shows
a typical annulus safety valve.

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1-66 © ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2002
Figure 1.36 - Typical Annulus Type Safety Valve System
Hydraulic Connection
Annulus Port
Valve
Power Spring
Spacer
Tubing Hanger
Production Casing
Baker Multi-Purpose
Expansion Joint
Tubing
TRSV Hydraulic
Control Line
Flow Coupling
Tubing Retrievable
SCSSV
Flow Coupling
Baker "AVLDEM"
Annulus Safety Valve
Baker "FLX-2" Pack-Off
Tubing Anchor
c/w Concentric
Tubing Anchor
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1.3.14 Surface Control Manifolds
Surface control manifolds are designed to provide and control the hydraulic pressure required
to hold an SCSSV open. The manifold has one or more air powered hydraulic pumps to
maintain the hydraulic operating pressure for the safety valve.
The hydraulic pressure is through a 3-way control valve which is controlled by remote pressure
pilots and fire sensors. Pilot, sensor or manual activation removes the hydraulic pressure, closing
the safety valve.
NOTE: Activation can occur from theoperation of remote-control pressuresensing
pilots, fusibleplugs, plastic line, sand probes, level controllers or emergency
shut down (ESD) systems.
Surface control manifolds are generally supplied as complete systems containing a reservoir,
pressure control regulators, relief valves, gauges, and a pump with manual override.
Manifolds, in combination with the various pilot monitors, have many different applications,
e.g. controlling multiple wells using individual control, multiple wells using individual pressures
and any combination of these.
Other additional features have been incorporated into surface control manifolds when the
system is integrated with other pressure operated devices. A control panel, designed to supply
hydraulic pressure to a surface safety valve (SSV) and hydraulic pressure to an SCSSV, contains
a circuit logic for proper sequential opening and closing of the safety valves, i.e.
• Sequential closing:
- SSV first
- SCSSV second.
• Sequential re-opening:
- SCSSV first
- SSV second.
Sequential logic is incorporated to increase the service life of hydraulic master valves and
SCSSVs to prevent SCSSVs becoming flow cut by high velocity wells.
Improvements have also been made in the monitoring systems, e.g.
• Sand erosion probes installed on a flowline to monitor sand flow production.
• Quick exhaust valves which allow rapid exhausting of control line pressure to speed up
valve closures.

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1.3.15 Control Lines
The conduit which supplies the hydraulic fluid to the SCSSV is the control line. The control
line is normally a
1
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4
ins. OD tubing attached to the sub-surface valve (TRSV) or nipple
(WRSV) with a compression fitting, and run up the outside of the tubing to the tubing
hanger. The method of termination at the hanger is dependent on the type wellhead and
hanger system being deployed.
Some control lines on land wells are simply fed out through a packing element in a port
(often a tie-down bolt hole) which is tightened to seal around the tubing. Other systems have
drilled ports in the hanger, into which the control line is fitted again with a compression
fitting, and the spool sealed off from the annulus and the Xmas tree bore by concentric weight
set or pressure energised seals.
Subsea wellheads have different methods of termination so the tree can be installed subsea
without diver assistance.
The control line material is selected to meet the environment into which it is to be installed
and be compatible with both the safety valve and the hanger materials from the point of
corrosion due to being of dissimilar materials. Their is a large choice of control lines materials
from 316 ss for sweet service to Inconel and Elgiloy alloys for more demanding service. They
are also supplied in hard durable plastic coatings for added protection from corrosion and
against crushing damage during installation which at one time was one of the major problems
during completing. Two lines can be encased for dual control line safety valves.
Control lines are held flat to the tubing by control line protectors usually placed across a
coupling or connection and sometimes also in the middle of a joint. The protector has a slot
into which the control line plastic outer coating fits. Simple banding can be used but it is not
strong and is easily ripped off. Protectors are now metal clamp types as earlier rubber versions
were easier detached and caused major problems while retrieving the completion string.
1.3.16 Tubing
The purpose of using tubing in a well is to convey the product from the producing zone to
the surface, or in some cases to convey fluids from the surface to the producing zone. It should
continue to do this effectively, safely and economically for the life of the well, so care must be
taken in its selection, protection and installation.
Tubulars up to and including 4
1
/
2
ins. are classified as tubing, over 4
1
/
2
ins. is casing. In large
capacity wells, casing size tubulars may be run as the production conduit.
Tubing selection is governed by several factors. Anticipated well peak production rate, depth
of well, casing sizes, well product, use of wireline tools and equipment, pressures, temperatures,
and tubing/ annulus differential pressures are among those which must be considered.
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To meet various completion designs, there is a wide range of tubing sizes, wall thickness
(weights) and materials to provide resistance to tubing forces and differing well environments.
The best tubing selection is the cheapest tubing which will meet the external, internal and
longitudinal forces it will be subjected to, and resist all corrosive fluids in the well product.
This is not practical in every instance and often compromises have to be made.
For ease of identification, tubing is colour coded to API specification. Some specialist suppliers
steels are not covered by the code and provide their own codes. Refer to codes to ensure the
tubing is according to requirements.
1.3.17 Tubing Hangers
a) Bowl Type Tubing Head/ Mandrel Type Tubing Hanger
A Tubing Head/ Tubing Hanger combination unit is attached to the uppermost casing head
on the wellhead. The main functions of this unit are to:
• suspend the tubing
• seal the annular space between the tubing and the casing
• lock the tubing hanger in place
• provide a base for the wellhead top assembly (Xmas Tree)
• provide access to the annular space (‘A’ annulus).
Suspension of the tubing is accomplished usually by threads, slips or any other suitable device
i.e.. rams.
The tubing head consists of a spool piece type housing where the internal profile of the top
section is a straight or tapered cylindrical receptacle (bowl) into which the tubing hanger is
landed, suspending the tubing and sealing off the volume between the tubing and the casing.
A tapered type tubing hanger system is shown in Figure 1.37
The important features of tubing hangers are:
Top and Bottom The size and pressure ratings of these connections (usually flanged)
Connections must be compatible with the size and pressure rating of the joining
connections.
Upper Bowl Provides the seal area for various tubing hangers and a load shoulder
to support the production tubing.
Lower Bowl This is provided to house some type of isolation seal.

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Set Screws Set screws or hold-down screws are found in most tubing heads and
have two important functions.
• retain the tubing hanger and prevent any upward tubing movement
due to pressure surges.
• activate (energise) the body seals on the tubing hanger.
Outlets These provide access to the annulus (e.g.. for pressure monitoring or
gas lift) during production.
Test Port Permits the pressure testing of the hanger seal assembly, lockdown
screw packing connection between flanges, and the secondary
(isolation) seal.
Landing Threads These are the uppermost threads on the hanger and they must support
the entire weight of the tubing string.
Bottom Threads These must support the entire weight of the tubing string and seal
the producing zone from the annulus.
Sealing Area These provide compression type sealing between the outside diameter
of the hanger body and the inside diameter of the hanger bowl. Sealing
is accomplished by energising elastomer seals or metal-to-metal seals
by the action of tubing weight on various load bearing surfaces.
Tubing hangers are sized according to the upper bowl of the tubing head and the tubing size
the hanger will be supporting. Thus, a 7" x 2
7
/
8
" tubing hanger means a 2
7
/
8
" production
string suspended from a tubing head 7
1
/
16
" top bowl.
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Figure 1.37- Cameron ‘F’ Tubing Head and Hangers

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b) Ram Type Tubing Head
Ram Type Tubing Heads find their application in completions where manipulation of the
tubing is necessary to locate and latch into a packer and to maintain tension in the tubing
when landed.
Figure 1. 38 shows a ram type tubing head which comprises a housing with two side outlets
in which are located retractable rams. These rams, when closed, support the hanger nipple
which is screwed on to the top of the tubing string. The seal between the annulus and the
tubing is provided by a seal assembly which is located around the hanger nipple above the
rams.
With the ram type tubing hanger installed on the wellhead and the packer set, production
tubing is run and spaced out so that the final position of the hanger nipple is that distance
below the tubing head corresponding to the amount of stretch required to give the appropriate
tension. The tubing is latched into the packer and tension applied to the tubing so that the
hanger nipple is just above its final hang off position. The rams are closed, the tubing weight
is set on the rams and the handling string removed. The seal assembly is then installed, bolted
down, and the seal system energised by the injection of plastic packing. Finally, the BOPs are
removed and the Xmas Tree installed.
NOTE: Likemandrel typehangers, landing nipplehangers areprovided with a top
thread for thelanding joint, an internal left hand thread or wirelineprofile
for theinstallation of a back pressurevalve, and can besupplied with extended
necks to facilitatesecondary sealing. Also, ram typetubing heads areavailable
with control lineoutlets to allow an SCSSV to beincorporated in thetubing
string.
The disadvantages of ram type tubing hangers are:
• After long service periods, it may be difficult to re-open the rams
• The tubing pick-up weight must be overcome prior to opening the rams otherwise the
rams will be difficult to open
• They are bulky, heavy and expensive.
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Figure 1.38 - Cameron Single Ram Tubing Head (‘SRT’)
HANGER NIPPLE
HANGER SEALS
RETRACTABLE RAM

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c) Multiple Tubing Heads/ Hangers
The purpose of a multiple completion is to produce reservoirs simultaneously without any
pressure or reservoir fluid combining during the transfer of fluid from the production zones
to the production facilities.
For multiple string completions two or three segments, one for each production string, are
used to form a hanger assembly which, when installed in the appropriate tubing head, resembles
a mandrel type tubing hanger. Figure 1.39 shows a tubing head/ hanger arrangement for use
in a dual completion. An important characteristic of this tubing head is the support wedges
(or in other heads support pins) used to guide and align the two segmented hangers in their
proper positions in the upper bowl. The segmented hangers are locked in place with the tie-
down screws. A disadvantage of this type of hanger is that seals are often damaged while
installing the second segment.
NOTE: Segmented hangers areavailableto accommodatea back pressurevalve
and arealso manufactured with control lineoutlets to allow an SCSSV to
beinstalled in theproduction tubing.
Figure 1.39- Multiple Tubing Heads/ Hangers
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1.3.18 Wellheads
At the drilling stage, casing is run and cemented in a well to line the well to protect against
collapse of the borehole, to prevent unwanted leakage into or from rock formations and to
provide a concentric bore for future operations. Various strings of casing are run, i.e. conductor,
surface string (which provides a base for the wellhead) followed by one or more intermediate
strings depending on the target depth and expected conditions in the well. At the completion
stage, production tubing is run to act as a flowline between the formation and surface. Unlike
casing, production tubing is not cemented in the hole so the entire tubing weight must be
supported by a suspension system suitably installed in a tubing head. The tubing head is
positioned on top of the uppermost casing head of a well and is used to suspend the production
tubing and to produce an effective seal between tubing and casing.
Tubing heads are composed of a body, a hanger-sealing device (tubing hanger), and a mechanism
which retains the hanger.
The wellhead equipment installed on top of the tubing head serves to control and direct the
flow of well fluids from the production tubing string. Such surface equipment may range
from a simple flow cross with stuffing box to an elaborate Xmas tree. Choice of surface tree
depends on well fluid production method (natural flow or artificial) and the wellhead pressure
encountered. In general, most surface trees are comprised of at least one master valve, at least
two wing or flow valves (one of which may be hydraulically operated), and one swab valve
utilised in wireline operations; See Figure 1.40.
Wellhead equipment (spools, valves, chokes) is either screwed, flanged or a combination of
both. Wellheads with screwed connections are used for pressures not exceeding 1,000 psi. (69
bar); those with screwed valves and chokes not exceeding 5,000 psi. (345 bar). However, most
operators specify, even for low pressure wellheads, flanged connections since they are less
susceptible to leakage, easier to orientate and, especially in the larger sizes, easier to manipulate.
With regard to subsea wellheads, there is no API standard and manufacturers all have their
own specific designs which includes some means of orientation in order to align the subsea
tree inlets and outlets to the flowlines or indeed in a subsea manifolding system.

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Figure 1.40 - Typical Surface Xmas Tree
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Xmas Trees
An Xmas Tree is an assembly of valves and fittings used to control the flow of tubing fluids at
surface and to provide access to the production tubing and on some subsea completions to
the annulus string. In general, an Xmas Tree is essentially a manifold of valves which is installed
as a unit on top of a tubing head or subsea wellhead.
Similarly to the tubing hanger the range of trees available is wide and are not all addressed in
this manual. However the valving of surface Xmas trees is similar throughout and typically
contains the following valves and tree cap:
Lower Master Gate Valve (LMG)
The Lower Master Valve is utilised on all Xmas trees to shut in a well. This valve is usually
operated manually. As its name implies, the master is the most important valve on the Xmas
tree. When closed, this valve should keep the well pressure under full control and therefore
should be in optimum condition - it should never be used as a working valve.
In moderate to high pressure wells, Xmas trees are often furnished with a valve actuator
system for automatic or remote controlled operation (i.e. surface safety valve system). This is
often a regulatory requirement in sour gas or high pressure wells.
Upper Master Gate Valve (UMG)
The Upper Master Valve is used on moderate to high pressure wells as a emergency shut-in
system where the valve should be capable of cutting at least 7
2
/
3
ins. braided wireline. This
valve can be actuated pneumatically or hydraulically. The UMG valve is a surface safety valve
and is normally connected to an emergency shut-down (ESD) system.
Flow Wing Valve (FWV)
The Flow Wing Valve permits the passage of well fluids to the choke valve. This valve can be
operated manually or automatically (pneumatic or hydraulic) depending on whether a surface
safety system is to be included in the production wing design.
Choke Valve
The Choke Valve is used to restrict, control or regulate the flow of hydrocarbons to the
production facilities. This valve is operated manually or automatically and may be of the fixed
(positive) or adjustable type. It is the only valve on the Xmas tree that is used to control flow.
NOTE: All other valves used on Xmas trees areinvariably of thegatevalvetype
providing full boreaccess to thewell, that is, such valves must beoperated to
thefully open or closed position.

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Kill Wing Valve
The Kill Wing Valve permits entry of kill fluid into the completion string and also for pressure
equalisation across tree valves e.g. during wireline operations or prior to the removal/ opening
of a sub-surface safety valve. This valve is usually manually operated.
Swab Valve
The Swab Valve permits vertical entry into the well for wireline (e.g. running BHP/ BHT
gauges, tubing conditioning) or for well interventions such as coiled tubing operations and
logging. This valve is operated manually.
Xmas Tree Cap
The Xmas Tree Cap provides the appropriate connection for well control equipment when
conducting well interventions and is installed directly above the swab valve.
The Xmas Tree cap normally includes a quick union type connection and should be strong
enough to support the well control equipment. The bore of the cap flange should be compatible
with the tree and permit the running of service tools.
Sometimes the Cap is removed and replaced by tertiary well control equipment.

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SECTION 2
2. WELL CONTROL METHODS
2.1 GENERAL
2.2 BARRIER THEORY
2.3 WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
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2-1
© ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2001
2. WELL CONTROL METHODS
2.1 GENERAL
This section illustrates the various well control methods and practices employed on all the
various well intervention servicing methods and includes a section to explain barrier theory.
The most significance between the various types of well service methods is whether they are
live well or dead well interventions as this impacts specifically on the equipment and methods
of well control employed. Dead well interventions, in terms of the IWCF, are classified as
workovers and well control methods for these are covered in the IWCF drilling test. The
methods are addressed in this course are those used specifically in live well interventions.
There is a distinct difference between the terminology used between well control used in rig
workover operations and that in live well interventions. Workover well control uses a
combination of barriers and procedures in a systematic method to contain pressure downhole
whereas live well interventions use a system of barriers to contain pressure at surface. Barrier
theory and these systems are described in the following sections.

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2.2 BARRIER THEORY
Definition: A Barrier is any device, fluid or substance that prevents the flow of well bore
fluids.
There are two types of barriers:
• Mechanical.
• Hydrostatic.
A rule common to well intervention activities worldwide regarding pressure control is that a
minimum of two independent and tested barriers shall be available at all times. In any
circumstance where either of the barriers has failed, or there are indications that it is likely to
fail, immediate action must be taken to re-instate or supplement that barrier and returning
the well to double barrier protection again.
The ‘primary barrier’ is the term used to described the first line system of pressure containment
and ‘secondary barrier’ the next line of defence. Nowadays, it is common, especially of high
pressure wells, to install a third line of defence or a ‘tertiary’ barrier.
The particular status of the well will have different barriers in place for given operations and
well circumstances. For instance, the completion provides barriers in the form of individual
Xmas tree valves and a sub-surface safety valve, however, when running coiled tubing, these
cannot be closed and therefore are not available barriers until the BHA is above them.
The function of well control in well interventions, is the arrangement of the barriers into
groups and their systematic operation to provide competent well control. As stated earlier,
these are conveniently arranged into three main categories of pressure control, namely:
• Primary.
• Secondary.
• Tertiary.
Each of these consist of at least one, or a combination of mechanical barriers described below.
NOTE: Thesecategories may not betheterms used in someareas of theworld,
especially wherethecommon languageis not English.
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2.2.1 Mechanical Barriers
Mechanical barriers can be either closed barrier systems such as a wireline lubricator system
complete with a stuffing box, i.e. the complete surface pressure envelope or closeable barrier
systems which are held open to allow well entry but available and ready to be closed at any
time on demand. Various types of closed and closeable barriers are listed below.
Types of closed barriers typically are:
• Wireline stuffing box (or grease control head)/ lubricator/ riser pressure envelopes.
• Coiled Tubing stripper/ riser pressure envelops.
• Snubbing strippers (or annular preventers)/ riser pressure envelopes.
• Coiled tubing check valves.
• Snubbing work string check valves.(Back pressure valves)
Types of closeable barriers are:
• BOP rams.
• Xmas tree valves.
• Subsurface safety valves. *
• Shear/ seal valves/ BOPs.
• Annular preventers.
Additional barriers can be installed downhole, either as a back up to a failed primary or
secondary barrier or to allow removal of the Xmas tree for repair or for installation of workover
BOPs. These barriers may be:
• Wireline plugs.
• Bridge plugs.
• Cement plugs.
• Ice plugs.
• Overbalance hydrostatic fluid.
* Sub-surface safety valves are acceptable as barriers during normal operations if they are
tested in accordance with the test criteria given below, however, to be used for well
plugging, i.e. for Xmas tree removal before a rig operation, it must be leaktight.

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Common Barrier Definitions
Some other commonly used barrier definitions are given below:
Leaktight No observable flow or pressure change.
Failsafe A device which returns to the closed position on loss of the control function.
Fail to Test Failure of a barrier to meet test criteria.
Fail to Close Inability of a device to move to the closed position.
Positive Plug Holds pressure from above and below.
Barrier Integrity
Mechanical barriers must be tested, preferably from the direction of anticipated flow. Tests on
closed type barriers should be leaktight. The leakage rate on closeable barriers such as Xmas
tree valves etc. should be the API leakage criteria: 400 cc/ min or 900 scf/ hr with the exception
of sub-surface safety valves used in well plugging (refer to note above in list of closeable
barriers). Each operator should develop procedures for testing of Xmas tree and sub-surface
safety valves to meet this criteria. This is problematic in subsea completions where there are
long undulating production flowlines and riser systems which makes it difficult to calculate
leakage rates for various well GORs and downstream volumes; however to help, formulae are
provided in API 14A.
2.2.2 Hydrostatic Barriers
Hydrostatic barriers are provided by liquids. A liquid is only a barrier when the hydrostatic
head of pressure is greater than the formation pore pressure at the top of the producing
interval and when the fluid level and condition (i.e. weight) can be monitored. The specific
gravity of the fluid to be used as a barrier may be difficult to predict without good formation
pressure data. The hydrostatic overbalance provided should be circa 200 psi. but may be adjusted
to counter for high losses in wells which cannot support this differential, especially troublesome
when using solids free brines.
A fluid can only be confirmed as a barrier after diligent monitoring of the well over a specified
period of time, to ensure that any thermal expansion contraction effects have ceased.
Typical fluid barriers are:
• Drilling muds.
• Completion brines.
• Seawater.
• Fresh water.
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2.2.3 Primary Pressure Control
Primary pressure control is the system which provides the first line of defence from an
uncontrolled well flow. In each of the well servicing intervention methods it is provided by
different mechanical systems. On a wireline rig up it is simply the stuffing box and lubricator
envelop, however on a C/ T or snubbing rig up, it consists of the riser pressure envelop and
internal workstring check valves.
2.2.4 Secondary Pressure Control
Secondary pressure control is the system which provides the second line of defence in the
event that primary well control cannot be properly maintained. This is generally provided by
the BOP system .
If pumping facilities are available, although undesirable, a hydostatic fluid barrier can be placed
in the wellbore as a secondary barrier when either the primary or original secondary barrier
has failed and there is no tertiary barrier.
2.2.5 Tertiary Pressure Control
Tertiary pressure control is not always available but may be an additional third and final line of
defence in the event that secondary well control cannot be properly maintained. This is usually
a shear seal valve or BOP system. This may be an integral part of the Xmas tree (e.g. a wireline
or coiled tubing cutting actuator), or installed directly on top of the tree immediately before
operations commence.

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2.3 WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
The method of pressure control on live wells with wireline, coiled tubing or snubbing services
methods, is provided by primary, secondary and occasionally tertiary barrier systems as outlined
above. In live well interventions, it is not generally necessary to provide kill facilities unless
there is higher risk due extreme high pressure or the presence of high concentrations of H2S.
In many applications, pumping services may be on hand for other operations such as well
clean-outs and stimulations and may double as a kill facility provided there is a suitable supply
of kill fluid and a handling system.
2.3.1 Wireline
Slickline
Wireline relies entirely on the lubricator system to provide primary pressure control. Secondary
pressure control is provided by the wireline BOPs and tertiary well control may be available
in the form of another wireline cutting valve, either contained in the Xmas tree or as a shear/
seal valve or BOP installed on top of the Xmas tree.
The various pressure control barrier systems are:
Primary
• Stuffing box and lubricator system.
• Check valve if the wireline breaks and is ejected from the lubricator.
• Xmas tree valves when installing into,or removing tools from, the lubricator
Secondary
• Wireline BOP rams/ valve which can close and seal around the wire.
• Xmas tree upper master, if the wire is broken and ejected.
• SCSSV, if wire is above it.
The BOP rams can be used for stripping wire out of a well but only when absolutely necessary.
Stripping through the BOPs is only carried out to find the free end of the wire for wireline
recovery.
Tertiary
• Wireline cutting valve/ BOP.
• Xmas tree valve, if absolutely necessary.
In the event of primary and secondary failure with no tertiary barriers available, a Xmas tree
valve can be used to sever the wire, as they can easily cut wireline although the valve seat may
be damaged. The valve used should be the upper master for two reasons:
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• If the lower master is used and damaged, it requires the well to be plugged before repair.
• If the swab is used and damaged the well cannot be used for production as there is no
longer double barrier protection from the production fluid.
Braided Line
The system for braided line is very similar to slickline. Pressure control is provided by:
Primary
• Grease seal and lubricator system.
• Check valve if the wire breaks and is ejected from the lubricator.
• Xmas tree valves when installing into,or removing tools from, the riser.
Secondary
Two wireline BOP rams (in conjunction with a grease pump) which can close and seal
around the wire.
• Xmas tree upper master, if the wire is broken and ejected.
• SCSSV, if wire is above it.
Tertiary
• Wireline cutting valve.
• Shear/ seal valve or BOP installed directly onto the top of the Xmas tree.
In general, tertiary barriers are rarely used unless a heavy duty wireline operation is being
carried out.

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2.3.2 Coiled Tubing
Coiled tubing well control equipment is similar to wireline but also includes internal workstring
barrier systems.
External pressurecontrol is provided by:
Primary
• Stripper.
• Xmas tree valves when installing into,or removing tools from, the riser.
Secondary
• BOPs .
• SCSSV, if the tubing is not straddling it.
Tertiary
• Shear/ seal BOP mounted directly on top of the Xmas tree.
Internal pressurecontrol is provided by:
Primary
• Two check valves in the BHA.
Secondary
• BOPs .
Tertiary
• Shear/ seal BOP mounted directly on top of the Xmas tree.
In the North Sea Region, it has almost become obligatory to use shear/ seal BOPs due to a
number of instances where the up-to-then commonly used primary and secondary barrier
systems failed to deal with some well control occurrences.
NOTE: Somewell interventions areconducted without BHA check valves as it is
necessary to reversecirculate. In thesecases theprimary insidewell control is
theBOP shear rams and a shear/ seal BOP becomes thesecondary.
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2.3.3 Snubbing
There are two types of snubbing BOP set-ups, one for running upset pipe and one for non-
upset or tapered upset tubing connections (i.e. not square shouldered); Pressure control is
provided by:
External pressurecontrol is provided by:
Primary
• Stripper BOPs, stripper rubber or annular preventer.
Secondary
• Two safety (pipe) BOP rams.
• SCSSV, if pipe is above it.
Tertiary
• BOP shear and blind rams or a shear/ seal valve or BOP mounted directly on top of the
Xmas tree.
Internal pressurecontrol is provided by:
Primary
• Two check valves in the BHA.
Secondary
• Wireline plug installed by wireline in the BHA or an additional third check valve.
Tertiary
• A shear/ seal valve or BOP mounted directly on top of the Xmas tree.
• Kill pump facility to install a barite or cement plug.

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3. REASONS FOR WELL INTERVENTION
3.1 GENERAL
3.2 TUBING BLOCKING
3.3 CONTROL OF EXCESSIVE WATER OR GAS
PRODUCTION
3.4 MECHANICAL FAILURE
3.5 STIMULATION OF LOW PRODUCTIVITY WELLS
3.6 PARTIALLY DEPLETED RESERVOIRS
3.7 SAND CONTROL
SECTION 3
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3. REASONS FOR WELL INTERVENTIONS
3.1 GENERAL
Many servicing operations can be conducted by rig workovers, however live well intervention
is preferred as killing a well risks fluid invasion of the formation thereby causing potential
formation damage.
The primary objective of well intervention operations is the management of wells to provide
optimum well production. This is achieved by conducting live well remedial operations,
obtaining downhole reservoir data or preparation of the well for a dead well workover (if a
problem cannot be solved by live well servicing). Occasionally, gathering of downhole reservoir
data is a secondary objective only opportunistically taken when a an intervention is planned
for other reasons. This data are usually to provide well information on lateral and vertical
movement, current location of oil, water and gas and identifying the producing the zones.
There are many reasons for remedial live well intervention well operations, most notably to:
• Remove obstructions to flow such as tubing blockage with sand, wax or asphalt.
• Eliminate excessive water or gas production.
• Repair mechanical failure.
• Improve production through well stimulation, re-completions or multiple completions
on low productivity wells.
• Enhance production by conducting well stimulation such as hydraulic fractures on high
productivity wells.
• Increase production by bringing other additional potentially productive zones on stream.
• Maintain control of oil, water and gas in various zones or layers in stratified reservoirs.
• Side-tracking passed severely damaged formations.
• Increase production by drilling laterals.
Before a well is entered, a complete analysis must be made of the current well status, the
reasons for work carefully established, the associated risks identified and appropriate
contingencies measures planned in the event of operational failure.
All oil and gas wells will encounter some impairment to production during it’s producing life
and well service operations will need to be planned to rectify or improve the conditions
within the well. Therefore, common servicing operations such as cleaning out fill, re-
perforating, chemical treating, acidising, fracturing or a combination of these techniques are
routinely carried out to enhance production.
A description of these main well problems are discussed in the following sections.

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3.2 TUBING BLOCKAGE
Tubing blockage is generally caused by sand, wax and asphalt production or scale build up. It
can usually be remedied with a well clean out operation. Some of these can be prevented, or
at least alleviated, by treating the formation with regular chemical inhibition treatments,
pumped into the formation from surface.
With regard to injection wells severe formation scaling can occur if injection water is not
treated so that it is compatible with the formation fluids.
Tubing blockage is one of the most commonly experienced production problems and which
is remedied by clean out operations conducted normally by snubbing or coiled tubing (C/ T)
intervention although dead well workover may also be considered. The use of snubbing or C/
T is more desirable as they can be carried out without killing the well. C/ T is preferred as it
is relatively low cost, is easily organised and very effective when used in conjunction with
modern jetting or clean-out tools (especially with the larger C/ T sizes which allow higher
pump rates). In most circumstances, flowing the well helps with the efficiency of the clean
out.
Wax build-up can be removed by an operation termed ‘Hot Oiling’. This is a simple treatment
consisting of pumping heated oil from surface at a temperature sufficiently high enough to
melt the wax. This can also be done by circulation of the hot oil through C/ T which is
preferred as it prevents any fluids being pumped to the formation. Asphalt can also be removed
similarly by pumping solvents rather than hot oil.
Some well clean outs may be accomplished with wireline methods using tools such as gauge
cutters which can remove wax from tubing walls and bailing to remove sand or other blockages,
provided the amount to be removed is relatively small. It is often easier to use wireline, even
if it may be less efficient, as many platforms are already equipped with permanent wireline
units or they can be easily mobilised. C/ T takes longer to rig up and deploy which are
considerations which need to be taken into account during the evaluation process. However
in general, most operations can more efficiently be accomplished using C/ T and it is sometimes
the only option if the well is high angle or horizontal. The general limit for wireline operations
is circa 70˚ from vertical but this may vary according to well build up angles and the types of
tools to be run.
Snubbing with a Hydraulic Workover unit (HWO) may also be considered but it is generally
not utilised as it is slow and costly in comparison with C/ T. However, in some circumstances,
e.g. where there is not enough space for a C/ T injector or the reel due to their size, Hydraulic
Workover may be the only alternative.
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3.3 CONTROL OF EXCESSIVE WATER OR GAS PRODUCTION
As an oil zone is depleted, the gas/ oil or water/ oil interfaces will move vertically in the
formation. This may result in increasing undesired water or gas production.
Excessive gas production leads to a premature decrease in reservoir pressure, hence reducing
the energy available to move the oil into the well bore and ultimately reduces the quantity of
gas necessary to lift the oil to surface.
When excessive water is produced, it leads to reduced oil production due to; the increased
hydrostatic head in the tubing acting against the formation pressure, increased risk of corrosion
and production problems handling and disposing of the water. It may also cause sand production
which can lead to erosion of completion and production equipment.
These problems can be controlled by the appropriate well intervention measures, as described
below.
3.3.1 Control Of Water Production
There are different reasons for water problems. Firstly, fingering of water in stratified or
layered reservoirs where the water production is essentially from one zone. Secondly, advancing
water level due to oil depletion. Thirdly; water coning in reservoirs where there is appreciable
vertical permeability; See Figure 3.1, Figure 3.2 and Figure 3.3. Once a rock becomes more
saturated with water, the relatively permeability to water increases in regard to that of the
other fluids. This leads to a self aggravating cycle of increasing water flow and increasing
relative permeability to water.
Prior to running or planning operations for water control, production logs must be run
which will identify the zones from which water is being produced. Once identified, this can
usually be controlled by a number of differing methods depending upon the specific well
design and well conditions:
• Sand placement in the sump.
• Setting a through tubing bridge plug.
• Cement squeezing.
• Chemical treatment to produce a gel block.
Sand placement in the sump may solve the problem in circumstances where there is a sufficient
height of sand as the vertical permeability of a column of sand is high and blocks water flow.
Cement squeezes have probably been the commonest means of plugging off water producing
zones in the past utilising workover methods requiring killing of the well, pulling the
completion, cementing and re-completing.

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High production liner or monobore type completions have been specifically designed for
through tubing operations enabling water control by simply installing a through tubing bridge
plug by wireline or C/ T after which cement can be squeezed, if necessary.
Cement squeezing by C/ T below regular packer style completions using modern through
tubing tooling, is now also common practice.
Water blocking by creating a gel in the formation is a much more recent development. This
entails pumping chemicals to the formation which react after a pre-determined period of
time to form a gel. The viscosity of the gel is so high that it will not flow through the
formation pores, blocking the flow of water trapped behind the gel. This method is usually
expensive due to high chemical costs.
Plugging back of water producing zones may on occasions require the well to be re-completed
if the packer has to be moved or if shallower zones need to be perforated and brought on
stream.
Figure 3.1 - Water Fingering Due to Heterogeneities
Well Bore
Low Permeability
High Permeability
Intermediate Permeability
Low Permeability
Water
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Figure 3.2 - Advancing Oil/ Water Contact
Figure 3.3 - Water Production by Coning
Initial Conditions
Higher Oil/Water Contact
Later In Production
Water Cut Becomes
Severe
Producing Oil/Water
Contact Resulting
From Coning
Oil
Water
Original
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3.3.2 Control Of Gas Production
The most common reason for excessive gas production is the growth of the gas cap as oil is
produced; See Figure 3.4. A gas/ oil contact will gradually move downwards causing an increase
in the production of gas.
The common method of remedying excessive gas coning is to squeeze the gas producing
zone and deepen the well by re-perforating (converse to water coning). An alternative, is to
conduct a workover where the well is plugged back and side-tracked with the new hole
drilled horizontally through the lower part of the reservoir avoiding the gas cap.
In a layered reservoir, gas producing zones can also usually be effectively squeezed off with
cement. Again, most cement squeezes can be accomplished with C/ T methods using through-
tubing tools.
Figure 3.4 - Increasing Gas Cap During Oil Production
Gas Cap Is Growing
High GOR Is Produced
Initial Conditions
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3.4 MECHANICAL FAILURE
Well service operations to repair mechanical completion failures are still relatively common
in old wells, however in new wells less servicing is required due to the increasing reliability of
modern completion equipment.
In the past, one of the most common reasons for working over a well was to replace downhole
safety valves which had failed. For this reason, engineers were inclined to install wireline
retrievable valves as they could easily be replaced using live well interventions by wireline
methods, hence avoiding the need to pull tubing. Nowadays, this is no longer the case as the
reliability of tubing retrievable valves has increased substantially where it is now the most
commonly used valve.
Probably the most common reason for remedial mechanical operations today is tubing failure
due to erosion or corrosion.
Some completion failures can be repaired by wireline or C/ T methods but, in some
circumstances, a full workover programme to pull the tubing is necessary. Typical failures are:
• Downhole safety valve mechanical failure or leak.
• Downhole safety valve leak.
• Casing, packer or tubing leak.
• Casing collapse.
• Tubing collapse.
• Cement failure.
• Gas lift failure or inefficiency.
• ESP or hydraulic pump failure.
• Recover fish unable to be recovered by other methods.
A full workover programme usually entails the placement of an overbalance kill fluid against
the formation unless it can be isolated using a plug, e.g. a W/ L plug in a permanent packer
tailpipe or setting of a through tubing plug in the casing above the producing zone(s).

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3.5 STIMULATION OF LOW PRODUCTIVITY WELLS
There are many reasons why a well may have low productivity, for instance:
• Formation damage.
• Low permeability.
• Pressure depletion.
• Liquid hold up in a gas well.
• Gas slip in an oil well.
• Excessive water or gas production; Refer to Section 3.3.
• Sand or other fill or debris; Refer to Section 3.2.
• Mechanical failure; Refer to Section 3.4.
• Artificial lift failure.
You will note that some of the above have already been addressed in previous sections. With
regard to the others in the list, there may be a number of possible solutions for each problem.
For instance:
• Reservoir problems such as formation damage and low permeability can sometimes be
improved by stimulation operations such as acidisation or hydraulic fracturing.
• In oil or gas wells where there is liquid hold up or gas slip, this is often countered by
installing smaller diameter tubing strings. These may be reeled tubing strings installed inside
the original completion by large size C/ T units. This tubing reaches down into the sump and
provides a smaller flow area to improve liquid lift. These reeled strings are normally 2
3
/
8
ins.,
2
7
/
8
ins. or 3
1
/
2
ins. OD and are run and hung off on a wireline lock or similar device.
• The tubing is snubbed into the well by normal C/ T methods from large reels. When the
correct length of tubing is in the well and has been attached to the lock mandrel, it is run to
setting depth and set on regular size C/ T.
• The main disadvantage with this solution is the high weight of such large reels which is
often above the lifting capacity of some offshore installations. Smaller, more manageable, reel
sizes entails more undesirable offshore connections to make up the full length of tubing
required. These problems, however, are outweighed when set against the costs of a full
programme to re-complete.
• An artificial lift system is usually required in any low permeability well to give adequate
production rates. A work programme to re-complete this type of well is required once the
well flow has reached the minimum economic acceptable natural flow. If the well has already
been on gas lift and it is no longer efficient, then the design should be reviewed to optimise
the existing gas lift mandrel spacing against re-completing with the optimum mandrel depths.
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3.6 PARTIALLY DEPLETED RESERVOIRS
Similar to low permeability wells, in a depleted oil reservoir, an effective artificial lift system
can be installed to increase production. If a well was originally planned and designed for gas
lift and completed with gas lift mandrels in the string then the gas lift valves are simply
installed by wireline intervention. However, if a re-completion is needed, a full dead well
workover would necessary. In high angle wells, gas lift valves can be installed with coiled
tubing methods.
Improved recovery by reservoir pressure maintenance is usually the best long term approach
to increased production rates.
3.7 SAND CONTROL
There are normally two solutions to control unconsolidated sand and these are; to gravel pack
or; install a pre-packed screen although resins are occasionally used; See Section 1.2.1 d). The
drawback of having to implement such sand control measures is that they reduce productivity
typically by 10% to 15%.
The installation of a gravel pack entails a full workover and re-completion although new
snubbing methods with HWO unit have now been developed.
For a successful gravel pack it is important to ensure that clean fluids (containing little or no
dispersal solids) are used on initial completion or when the gravel pack is installed. A second
requirement is that the gravel is correctly sized in relationship to the formation sand to
prevent further ingress or alternatively cause a blind off. It also is desirable, if completing in a
sand zone that is known to be unconsolidated, that the gravel pack is installed immediately. As
it is more difficult to install at a later stage.
If an open hole (external) gravel pack is required the hole will need to be enlarged to about
twice its size by under-reaming first before the liner/ screen is run. Properly sized gravel is
placed outside the screen by reverse circulation techniques. External gravel packs are utilised
when high production rates are required. Internal gravel packs are the norm but do carry a
penalty in reducing production rates.
The use of pre-packed screens has risen in recent years as they can often be installed in an
existing completed well avoiding re-completion, however they are more prone to blinding
off as they do not provide the same effectiveness as a regular gravel pack in controlling the
production of fines.

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SECTION 4
4. WELL INTERVENTION SERVICES
4.1 GENERAL
4.2 SNUBBING / HYDRAULIC WORKOVER UNITS (HWO)
4.3 COILED TUBING UNITS
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4. WELL INTERVENTION SERVICES
4.1 GENERAL
Well interventions in the context of IWCF are servicing operations conducted through the
Xmas tree (through-tree) on live wells. These are carried out by the following methods:
• Wireline (both electric line and slickline).
• Coiled tubing.
• Snubbing.
Well service operations or workovers on dead wells where the Xmas tree is replaced by well
control equipment, are carried out by:
• Drilling rigs.
• Workover rigs.
• Hydraulic workover units.
During workovers, it is probable that well interventions with wireline and/ or coiled tubing
are required as part of the work programme to prepare the well for tree removal or establish
production post workover.
Many offshore installations have drilling rigs onboard used for the drilling phase of a
development. These units are often retained to conduct well servicing operations on fields
which frequently have wells requiring servicing although it is becoming more common for
the drilling units to be demobilised and dead well servicing to be accomplished by a Hydraulic
Workover Unit. Where a drilling rig is available for well servicing, it is obviously more economic
for it to be used than mobilising an HWO unit.
On installations which have not retained the drilling rig, or on small platforms (drilling
performed with a jack-up rig), the HWO unit is commonly used. This is due to their easy
deployment and their small footprint.
On subsea wells, normally the only means of conducting a well intervention is to use a semi-
submersible vessel (drilling unit, DSV or specialised well servicing unit) from which a workover
riser can be deployed. However, if the work programme can be conducted solely with wireline,
this can be successfully carried out by subsea wireline systems deployed from well servicing
vessels (for example the Stenna Seawell). These vessels also have the capability to carry out
subsea tree change outs once appropriate barriers have been installed by wireline.
Well control equipment used on well interventions in live wells is specific to the particular
service being used for the intervention, albeit BOPs and strippers all operate under the same
principles. The main differences in the systems usually lie in the design of BOP ram elements,
strippers or stuffing boxes, grease heads used in wireline braided line operations and the
configuration of these above the Xmas tree.

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BOPs are usually compact for manipulation into position above the Xmas tree or onto a riser
often used in platforms arrangements. They are fitted with flexible hoses to enable ease of
installation and to reach between the BOP hydraulic control system and the BOPs when in
situation. The connections on the BOP must be compatible with the riser/ tree connection
and lubricator or be supplied with appropriate crossovers.
Well intervention pressure control procedures are addressed in Section 7.
4.2 SNUBBING/ HYDRAULIC WORKOVER UNITS (HWO)
The Snubbing/ HWO Unit is a well service unit utilised for both snubbing and dead well
servicing. Snubbing is the process of ‘tripping pipe in a well which has a surface pressure great
enough to eject the pipe if no restraining force is applied’; this is termed the ‘pipe light’ mode.
Stripping is the term for moving pipe through a rubber element to contain pressure whether
it is in the snubbing mode or ‘pipe heavy’ mode (where the pipe is too heavy to be ejected).
In practice, however, snubbing has come to mean all of the operations conducted in a live
well.
The HWO unit is also used in place of a conventional drilling or workover rig on dead well
servicing as it is easily mobilised, has a small footprint and is cost effective in comparison to
mobilising a workover rig. They are also very useful when working in confined spaces and
with small diameter (skinny) pipe where a drilling rig’s instrumentation is generally not sensitive
enough.
An HWO unit would only be used before C/ T on a snubbing job where:
• There is insufficient space above the wellhead or deck space.
• When rotational torque required on the pipe is greater than that available from downhole
motors.
• Where pressures exceed the rating of C/ T pipe i.e. circa 5,000 psi.
The first snubbing units were mechanical units using mechanical advantage in order to force
the pipe in the hole against well pressure. In the development of the hydraulic type unit, the
power to raise and lower the tubing was provided by a set of hydraulic rams through a set of
bi-direction travelling slips or snubbers. The main elements of an HWO unit, See Figure 4.1,
are as follows:
• Hydraulic jack assembly.
• Guide tube.
• Splined tube (only on Halliburton/ Otis units).
• Travelling slips.
• Stationery slips.
• Access window.
• Rotary swivel.
• Hanger Flange
• Power tongs.
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• Work basket.
• Control panel.
• Hydraulic power pack.
• Hose package.
• BOP system.
• Strippers.
• Circulating system.
HWO units are supplied in a range of lifting capacities (lbs. in thousands), 60K, 90K, 120K,
200K, 250K, 400K and 600K. Snubbing capacity is half of this rating.
When used instead of a conventional drilling or workover rig, the well would be killed and
plugged, the Xmas tree removed and BOPs installed on the casing head. It can also be used for
re-completing wells as it has the capability to run and pull completion strings by running the
downhole safety valve control line through the access window.
Hydraulic Jack Assembly
As described earlier, the jack assembly consists of one or more hydraulic cylinders that travel
in a vertical direction to move pipe in or out of the hole. For higher snubbing or lifting power,
more cylinders are added into the system which reduces running speed unless larger capacity
pumps are used. The operator controls the hydraulic power to the jack as the weight of pipe
changes or as the weight of pipe overcomes well pressure and changes from snubbing to
lifting and visa versa.
Guide Tube
This is simply a tube which prevents the bucking of the pipe under snubbing forces. It should
be sized to be just larger than the particular tubing to be run or pulled to constrain lateral
movement. It travels up and down with the hydraulic jack.
Splined Tube
Some units have a splined tube which passes rotational torque force generated by the rotary
table through to the bottom plate and hence to the wellhead. If a splined tube is not used, the
forces are transmitted through the hydraulic cylinders possibly reducing the operating life.
Travelling Slips
The travelling slips, or snubbers, are attached to the upper end of the jack and grip the pipe to
push it into or pull it from the hole. There are two sets, one for snubbing and one for lifting.
As a pipe is snubbed into the hole, it comes to a balance point which changes from pushing to
holding back weight, the point the lifting slips take over.

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Stationary Slips
The stationary slips hold the pipe while the travelling slips are released for the next stroke.
Like the travelling slips, there are two sets, one for hold upward force and one for holding
downward weight. In high well pressures, the second set can be used as back-up to the primary
slips. These would be changed at or around the balance point.
Access Window
The access window (work window) is installed at the base of the jack between the stationary
slips and the stripper and is the access for stripper rubber change out or for installing tools in
the string. It must also help guide the pipe like the guide tube.
Power Swivel
The power swivel (or Rotary Head) is used for rotating the pipe for drilling or milling
operations. It, like the other systems, are hydraulically powered and controlled from the control
pane.
Hanger Flange
A hanger flange (also known as a tubing hanger assembly) is a pressure containing component
sometimes used in the blowout preventer stack to hold pipe and toolstring in both the 'light'
and 'heavy' directions. It is usually incorporated near the top of the BOP stack between the
stripper bowl and the upper stripping ram or annular BOP. It is commonly used when
changing the stripper rubber element or adding a tool joint which might be damaged if run
through the slips. The hanger flange is also a useful aid in fishing operations with its ability to
hold varying diameter toolstrings such as wireline tools. Vertical tooth type dogs can be used
in the hanger flange to prevent pipe or tool rotation.
Power Tongs
Power tongs are used to make up and break out the pipe connections. They are located in the
workbasket and controlled hydraulically from the control panel.
Work Basket
The workbasket is the work platform of a HWO unit and is located at the top of the hydraulic
jack and on which the operator and assistant perform the manual functions including the
picking up, laying down, stabbing, making up or breaking out of the pipe joints.
Control Panel
The control panel is mounted in the work basket and is usually in two sections, one for the
operator’s use and one for his assistant. From here, all of the unit functions are controlled,
generally shared between them with the exception of the BOP shear rams which are normally
operated from the deck.
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Tool Box
Spares
Fluid Storage
And
Processing
Mud Pump
Ground Based BOP
Control Units
Fuel
Power Unit
Stripper Bowl
Fill Line Drain Line
Equalise
Line
Bleed
Line
Choke
Line
Upper Kill
Line
Choke
System
Hoses
Tool House
Work
Basket
Gin
Pole
Stationary
Slips
Work
Window
Hanger Flange
Figure 4.1 - Typical Snubbing/ HWO Unit

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Power Pack
The power pack and it’s accessories consist of a diesel engine and hydraulic pumps. The
output from the pumps is regulated to the various pressure ratings of the hydraulic functions.
It displays the various function pressure on gauges.
Hose Package
The hose package transports the hydraulic fluid to and from the various functions, some of
which are high up on the unit and are therefore of considerable length. Some of the hoses can
experience very high pressures and must be thoroughly tested before use.
BOP System
The BOP configuration is dependent upon whether the HWO unit is being used as a rig on
a well which has been killed, or in the snubbing mode rigged up above the Xmas tree. If on
the former, the BOP configuration will be like that in a drilling situation and may be covered
by the operator’s well control policies and procedures. If on a snubbing job, the configuration
is quite different being rigged up above the Xmas tree. Refer to Section 7 for all well control
equipment and procedures.
Strippers
The strippers control well pressure when snubbing or any time surface well pressure is
encountered. There is a variety of stripper rubber materials for different pressure regimes and
well fluids. These will vary in well life according to their resistance to the well fluids, gas or
erosion due to roughness of the wall of the pipe being run, or pulled.
Circulating System
Pumps, chiksans, Kelly hose and a circulating swivel are the main components of the circulating
system. The pumps are generally high pressure in order to cope with the maximum anticipated
circulating and surface pressure.
If nitrogen is to be used, the hose and chiksans should be suitably rated for such service.
A safety valve or Kelly cock must always be installed between the Kelly and the swivel
to allow safe changing of the hose or swivel, if necessary.
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4.2.1 Wireline Unit
Wireline is the oldest and most common type of well servicing method. It is extremely
efficient, economic and relatively easy to rig up and deploy.
Electric line services provide essential information about the reservoir and the completion
and performs many services, typically:
Logging - depth determination, cement bonding, sonic, nuclear, temperature, pressure, spinner,
caliper, density, dipmeter, profile and so on.
• Calipering.
• Downhole sampling.
• Perforating.
• Setting bridge plugs, packers and cement retainers.
• etc.
This is achieved by communicating with the tools through the conductor cable.
Mechanical wireline also known as slickline (as the line has a smooth OD), is used to conduct
mainly mechanical operations such as:
• Installing flow controls.
• Installing gas lift valves.
• Depth finding.
• Plugging.
• Bailing.
• Paraffin cutting.
• Tubing gauging.
• Setting bridge plugs.
• Fault finding.
• Fishing.
• Logging - through-tubing BHP gauges or the latest electronic solid state logging tools
such as spinners, CCLs, etc.
The slickline unit can also be rigged up with braided line for heavy duty wireline operations
such as running heavy, large tools or performing heavier duty fishing operations.
A more recent development in wireline services is the Heavy Duty Wireline Unit used mainly
for fishing jobs where regular fishing methods have failed. These units, in conjunction with
heavy duty tooling, are so powerful they can destroy normal wireline tools and devices, if
desired.
Although wireline conducts most tasks required for well servicing, it is obviously limited in its
abilities. It also has a role in dead well servicing as it is normally required for plugging the well
to make it safe prior to Xmas tree removal and BOP installation. It is also used to conduct

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remedial operations such as setting bridge plugs, re-perforating etc. It’s greatest limitation, due
to using gravity as it’s motive force, is in working in high angle or horizontal wells with
inclination angles higher than 70˚.
4.2.2 Wireline Units
As pointed out earlier, there are two types of wireline unit - the electric line or logging unit
and the mechanical or slickline unit. Both types of unit are constructed similarly in that they
have:
• Power pack.
• Operator’s/ engineer’s cabin.
• Winch, including a wireline drum or reel.
• Spooling or measuring head.
• Weight indicator and pulleys.
Wireline units must be self contained and able to be mounted on a truck (or trailer) or
portable to enable trucking and/ or shipping to the well site. A typical wireline unit is shown
in Figure 4.2.
Power Pack
The power pack is normally a diesel driven hydraulic unit and provides hydraulic power
through supply and return hoses to the winch. Power packs are normally fireproofed and
certified for division 1, zone 2 hazardous areas.
Operator’s/ Engineer’s Cabin
The cabin is an integral part of the winch unit situated directly behind the drum for direct
observation and monitoring of the wireline spooling. It contains the winch and possibly the
power pack operating controls. In an electric line unit, it also contains all of the electronic
instrumentation, computing and log printing equipment. Electric line units have fine smooth
controls for accurate logging operations whereas the slickline unit has a wide range of speeds
for both fine and very fast operation when jarring.
Winch
The winch consists of the wireline reel driven by a hydraulic motor controlled from the
console in the cabin all of which is mounted in the unit frame. Hydraulic power is supplied
from the power pack.
The reel controls have a forward and reverse directional valve, a number of gear ratios to cover
a wide range of speeds and a hydraulic bypass valve for fine control within each gear range.
The reel is driven by chain drive from the gearbox and has a brake band. If there is two reels
on the winch, slickline and braided, there is an additional manual operated clutch system for
reel selection.
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Spooling Head
The spooling or measuring head controls the winding of the wire off and onto the reel and
also measures the length of wire spooled off the drum. The depth measurement is given on a
odometer via a cable drive and a precisely machined measuring wheel (one for each size
wire). The wire is held against the measuring wheel by pressure wheels to eliminate slippage.
Electric line units usually have electronic type depth measurement devices.
Weight Indicator and Hay Pulley
The weight indicator can be mounted on the hay pulley or be an integral part of the spooling
head.
If mounted at the hay pulley, the weight sensor is a load cell placed between the hay pulley
and the tie down chain. The cell is connected to the indicator situated in the unit with a long
hydraulic hose. The system is graduated for the wire to pass around the hay pulley at an
included angle of 90˚ If this angle is not maintained, there will be an error in the readings.
Correction tables are available which correct for varying angles.
Modern units usually have more sophisticated type weight indicators, some hydraulic and
others electronic. These units must be regularly serviced and checked for accuracy as this is
fundamental to wireline service especially using relatively low strength wire.
The hay pulley is the device used to turn the wire from the horizontal plane to the vertical up
to the lubricator stuffing box sheave. As well as turning the wire it also moves the forces
generated on the wire into the same axis as the lubricator reducing any possible bending
moments. It has been known for a hay pulley failure due to severance of the tie down chain,
causing the lubricator to break off the well.

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Figure 4.2 - Typical Wireline Rig Up
4.2.3 Types of Wirelines
Electric line
Cable used on electric line units can be either monoconductor, coaxial or multiconductor
braided line and supplied for various service conditions. Each particular type has a range of
sizes and specific uses according to the required service or tool being run. Careful handling of
electric line is essential, especially with the smaller sizes and when rigging up, to prevent line
damage and penetration of the core insulation leading to subsequent loss of signal.
Slickline
Slickline is a high strength monofilament steel line and is available in common sizes of 0.082
ins., 0.092 ins., 0.108 ins. and 0.125 ins. These are also supplied for various services conditions.
Being slick the OD of the wire is easy to seal around using a simple packing device called a
stuffing box where as the cable requires a grease seal arrangement.
Braided Line
Braided wireline used for heavier duty wireline operations is supplied in
3
/
16
ins. and
7
/
32
ins.
sizes.
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4.2.4 Wireline Lubricators and Accessories
The wireline lubricator when assembled acts like pressure vessel on top of the Xmas tree into
which the wireline tools are ‘lubricated’. It consists of:
• Wellhead adapter.
• Wireline BOPs or wireline valve.
• Lower lubricator section(s).
• Upper lubricator section(s).
• Stuffing box or grease head.
• Line wiper.
It is extremely important that a wireline lubricator pressure rating meets the maximum
anticipated surface well pressure. Lubricators must be designed, not only to withstand the
stress caused by internal pressure but also from stresses caused by jar action or high pulling
forces.
To install the tools, the lubricator must first be isolated from well pressure at the Xmas tree,
usually the swab valve, and all pressure bled off through the bleed-off valve. The lubricator is
then broken out at the connection immediately above the BOPs and the tools, after attaching
to the toolstring, are pulled up into the lubricator bore and the lubricator re-installed. The
lubricator should then be pressure tested before opening the tree and running in the hole.
Wellhead Adapter
This is basically a crossover to mate the BOP to the tree cap and is usually a quick type
connection named a ‘quick union’. In some cases the adapter may be from a quick union to
a tree flange.
Wireline BOPs
Wireline BOPs (sometimes referred to as wireline valve) are installed immediately above the
wellhead adapter or on top of a wellhead riser. In some situations for ease of operation and
safety, a BOP may be placed both above the tree and on top of a riser.
On slickline operations in low pressure wells, a single BOP is installed dressed with slickline
rams to close and seal around the wire. On high pressure wells a dual BOP is used, the lower
rams dressed for slickline and the uppers with blind. The injection point is used to pump
grease if there is leakage past the rams.
When running cable, a dual BOP is used with both rams dressed for the particular cable size
and a grease injection point also available between the rams.
In a situation where slickline and braided line are both being used, a triple BOP would be
installed with the lower and middle rams dressed for the braided line and the upper for
slickline.
On electric line jobs, triple BOPs are used, the upper rams being blind.

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Lower Lubricator Sections
These are sections of thick wall tube usually between 8 to 10 ft. long with quick union
connections at each end and made up in a total length to accommodate the longest tool to be
run. They are installed immediately above the BOPs and usually have the same bore size as the
Xmas tree. The section above the BOPs must have two bleed-off valves (contingency for one
being plugged by debris or hydrates).
Riser sections, used in offshore platforms to reach from the wellhead deck to another working
deck, are similar to lubricator sections except they are generally much longer in length and
may be installed between the wellhead adapter and the BOPs. They may also be of even
thicker section to support the increased weight being carried.
Upper Lubricator Sections
These accommodate the toolstring which has a smaller OD than the toolstrings which are
normally 1 ins., 11/ 2 ins. and 2 ins., although larger sizes are available for heavy duty work.
The section connecting to the lower lubricator will have a connection to mate with that of
the lower lubricator sections (or visa versa).
Stuffing Box or Grease Head
The stuffing box or grease head terminates the top of the lubricator.
The stuffing box contains packing which is squeezed to seal around the line. The packing is
squeezed by an adjustable packing nut which is hand adjusted although most stuffing boxes
are now being supplied by remote hydraulic actuated packing nuts so that they can be adjusted
from the deck eliminating the need for personnel to be lifted up to the top of the lubricator
and, hence, is safer. The stuffing box also incorporates a sheave which turns the wire through
180˚, from the outside of the lubricator into the bore.
The grease head is used on braided line, electric line or plain cable. It seals around cable by
grease being pumped, at higher pressure than that inside the lubricator, into the small annulus
space between a set of flow tubes and the cable filling the cable interstices. The grease, being
at higher pressure, tends to flow downwards into the lubricator and also upwards out of the
tubes.
The upward flow is forced out through a return line for disposal by activating a cable pack off
above the tubes. Downward flow is only constrained by the differential pressure applied between
the grease and the lubricator pressure. Adjustments must be made to maintain the optimum
conditions between grease lost to the hole, amount of gas entrained in the grease returns and
differential pressure.
Line Wiper
This is a tool which attaches to the hay pulley when the wire is being pulled to remove all
contaminants from the wire before it is spooled.
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4.3 COILED TUBING UNITS
Well servicing using coiled tubing (C/ T) has grown significantly with the development of
tooling and tubing technology. In recent years the size of tubing available has increased from
the original 1 ins. through 1
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ins. and now 2 ins. Even larger sizes are now
being used as siphon strings etc. but these are not yet generally used as workstrings. Along
with this increase in size of tubing has come material improvements to give higher performance.
C/ T units have largely replaced snubbing units for operations on completed wells and their
versatility, due to new tooling developed, has extended their range of capabilities in recent
years. The range of services now provided includes:
• Drilling and milling using hydraulic motors.
• Casing cutting.
• Circulating.
• Tubing clean outs (sand or fill).
• Cementing.
• Through-tubing operations.
• Tubing descaling.
• Running, setting, pulling wireline pressure operated type tools.
• Fishing wireline tools.
• Logging (stiff wireline).
• Nitrogen lifting.
• Selective zonal acidising.
• Perforating.
Much of the recent increase in capability is due to the increased performance of downhole
motors which provided the ability to rotate enabling drilling and milling operations etc.
The limitation of C/ T is usually the pressure rating of circa 5,000 psi. and the depth to which
it can be run, constrained by it’s relative low strength. It is also limited in it’s service life due to
the bending cycles over the reel, and to a lesser extent the goose neck, in conjunction with
the service conditions it encounters.
These bending cycles force the tubing to exceed it’s elastic limit inducing fatigue, and, therefore,
reducing the working life before failure. Tubing under pressure while passing over the reel and
goose neck, dramatically decreases this cycle time to failure. Most C/ T service companies
have developed computer programmes, using logging databases, to determine the time to
failure for each tubing size and type of material to which a factor of safety is applied. This is an
inexact science but, due to the safety factor, there is actually very few recorded well site
incidents due precisely to tubing failure. More than likely, service life is much shorter than
actual life.

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All C/ T units, See Figure 4.3, are constructed similarly and consist of:
• Operator’s control cabin.
• Tubing reel.
• Power pack.
• Goose neck.
• Injector head.
• Stripper.
• BOP system.
Operators Control Cabin
The cabin houses all of the controls for the reel and the injector head, and also all electronic
logging systems and instrumentation. The controls operate the hydraulic valves and pressure
supplied from the power pack. It is placed directly behind the reel to provide the operator
with a full view of all activities especially the spooling of the tubing off and on the reel.
Tubing Reel
The reel stores the tubing which is coiled around the core of the reel. Ideally the core should
be as large a diameter as possible to prevent severe bending of the tubing but must be of a
manageable size for transporting to and from well sites. The radius of the core of the reel is
sharper than that of the goose neck e.g. 24 ins. (4 ft. dia.) versus 72 ins. for 1
1
/
4
ins. tubing,
hence most tubing fatigue is caused at the reel.
The reel is driven by chain from a hydraulic motor controlled from the control cabin. The
tubing is pulled off the reel up over the gooseneck by the injector. The reel holds constant
back tension to prevent the spool unravelling and to keep the tubing steady.
4.3.1 Power pack
The power pack is the provider of all hydraulic power. It consists of a skid mounted diesel
engine and hydraulic pumps and supplies regulated pressure for all the systems in the reel,
injector head, BOPs and the control cabin.
Goose Neck
The gooseneck is simply a guide which accepts the tubing coming from the reel and leads it
into the injector chains in the vertical plane. The goose neck guides the pipe using sets of
rollers in a frame spaced on the recommended radius for the tubing being run i.e. 72 ins. with
1
1
/
4
ins. tubing etc.
Injector
The injector is the motive device which imparts upward or downward movement to the
tubing and is mounted above the BOPs on the wellhead. It must be supported as the connection
to the BOPs is not designed to absorb the weight and lateral forces caused by the tension in
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© ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2001
Figure 4.3 - Typical Coiled Tubing Unit

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© ABERDEEN DRILLING SCHOOLS 2001
the tubing from the reel. This support can be a crane for land wells (providing the lifting gear
and pad eyes are rated for the weight of equipment and forces encountered) or to a mast or
derrick offshore. Free standing frames with hydraulic jacking legs are also available where no
other means of rigging up is available.
Movement is imparted to the tubing by sets of travelling chains equipped with gripper blocks
which are hydraulically driven. The gripper blocks grip by friction which is adjustable through
a hydraulic piston applying pressure across the chains. This pressure must be sufficiently high
enough to grip the tubing eliminating slippage but not excessively high enough to crimp the
tubing.
Stripper
The stripper is situated below the injector head in the injector head frame. It is designed to be
as close as possible to the gripper chains to prevent buckling due to snubbing forces. The
stripper is hydraulically controlled to press the rubber element against the tubing to create a
seal.
The stripper rubber is exposed to wear from the roughness of the pipe OD and will need to
be changed from time to time which can be done on the wellhead by closing the BOPs and
removing well pressure.
BOP System
The BOPs are very similar in function to wireline BOPs and are mounted above a wellhead
adapter. They usually have four sets of rams dressed as follows, top to bottom:
• Blind.
• Shear.
• Slip.
• Pipe.
The shear rams usually have the ability to cut stiff wireline i.e. C/ T with electric line cable
inside it, used on C/ T logging operations.
In some areas of the world, an additional Shear/ Seal valve is installed between the BOPs and
the wellhead adapter as a tertiary barrier. The shear seal valve has the ability to cut the tubing
and effect a seal. It is generally tied into a higher volume hydraulic pressure supply than
available from the C/ T unit such as a rig Koomey or independent system etc.
4.3.2 Tubing
There are a number of coiled tubing manufacturers but they are mainly US or Japanese
companies. Some of the US companies use Japanese supplied steel for tubing manufacture.
The normal method of tubing manufacture is to produce rolled plate steel which is cut into
long flat strips. Each strip is then progressively folded round with rollers and formed into a
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long spiral. When it is completely formed into a round tube, the edges, now abutting, are
welded. These individual lengths are then welded together to produce the length required to
be contained on a shipping reel. Continuously milled tubing has now been introduced but is
much more costly.
The common steel used is an American alloy grade A606 type 4 modified, suitably quenched
and tempered, which provides the best economic combination of ductility and strength to
combat the cyclic bending stresses. By specially selecting billets from the furnace to meet
particularly tight tolerances of chemistry, higher grades can be produced such as QT-800.
More exotic pipe materials are also being manufactured but have corresponding cost penalties.
4.3.3 C/ T Unit Accessories
In conjunction with the C/ T unit, many of the services require additional auxiliary equipment
such as pumping or nitrogen services. These may require cryogenic converter pumps, tankage,
hoppers, filtration units and interconnecting piping. These are connected up to the tubing
reel inlet swivel which allows the reel to rotate while still pumping.
Any hazardous materials must be handled appropriately by ensuring that they are located in a
safe area and all necessary safety handling precautions taken. For instance when using nitrogen,
the deck below the equipment should be covered with wood and trays to contain and protect
the deck from damage due to spillage, and water available to wash down the deck if nitrogen
does breach the barriers.
C/ T Tooling
Tooling can be categorised into standard toolstrings and specialist tools. These toolstrings
contain the standard tools used in all applications to which the specialist tools are attached.
The complete assembly is referred to as the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA).
A typical toolstring contains:
• Tubing connector.
• Dual flapper valves.
• Emergency release sub.
Optional standard tooling:
• Circulating subs.
• Swivels.
• Bull noses.
Specialist tooling:
• Downhole motors.
• Jetting nozzles.
• Wireline type hydraulic operated tools.

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• Through tubing packers.
• Bridge plugs.
• Perforating guns.
• Logging tools.
• etc.
The dual flapper valves are an integral element in well control as they contain well pressure
from the inside of the tubing. The dual flappers give double isolation and meets most legislative
requirements. Therefore, when the BOP tubing rams are closed well pressure is contained to
both below the rams and from the tubing, hence the well is safe for corrective actions. A split
in the tubing below the BOPs circumvents the dual flappers seals and, in this situation, the
shear rams would be closed to contain well pressure.

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SECTION 5
5. PREVENTION OF FORMATION DAMAGE
5.1 FORMATION DAMAGE
5.2 DAMAGE PREVENTION
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5-1 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
5. PREVENTION OF FORMATION DAMAGE
Damage to the formation can be caused by many mechanisms. Although some of these may
be due to well conditions, the majority are through contamination of the formation by foreign
substances not only during the drilling, completing and producing phases but also during the
servicing of a well. These damage mechanisms are described in Section 5.1 below.
To prevent damage which reduces the productivity of a well, it is essential to be able to
prevent or reduce formation damage by preferably isolating the formation from the
contaminants or, if not possible, reducing the amount of contaminants in the fluids or conducting
remedial stimulation operations. These are discussed in Section 5.2.
5.1 FORMATION DAMAGE
The types of damage which can occur during the different phases of a well’s life are described
in the following section. See Figure 5.1 for the effects of skin damage to the well pressure
profile.
Figure 5.1 - Formation Damage Pressure Drop

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5-2 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
5.1.1 Drilling/ Casing
Drilling fluids usually contain chemicals and/ or solids as bridging agents to control the loss of
drilling fluids. Fluid losses can lead to well control problems and are also expensive to replenish
especially when using the more exotic mud systems such as Pseudo or Oil based muds etc.
Drilling fluids cause the following types of damage:
• Solids plugging of pores, vugs or fractures both natural or induced.
• Clay swelling reducing permeability.
• Filtrate penetration detrimentally changing the relative permeability to producing fluids.
Similar damage can be caused during the casing cementing process for the production casing
by cement pre-flushes and cement slurries.
Non-damaging drilling fluids are often used to penetrate the producing formations when the
wells are to be completed with open hole, barefoot or gravel pack type completions. In the
main, however, damage done during the drilling is not a serious problem in most wells as they
are usually to be perforated. The perforating depths, under normal circumstances, exceed the
depth of any damage areas. They also generally have a total flow area greater than the tubing
area, hence there is little impediment to achieving maximum production rates. Perforating is
usually carried out in a clear non-damaging fluid such as brine or fresh water so that minimal
post perforating damage is caused.
When damage exceeds the perforating depth or occurs in an open hole type completion, this
may be reduced by acidising or fracturing.
5.1.2 Completing
The damage caused during the completing phase, compared to drilling, is generally minimal
if good completion designs and practices are employed. Most damage caused would be through
contamination by fluids or pills used containing loss control materials (LCM) and other foreign
bodies.
Possible damage may be:
• Plugging of pores, vugs and fractures by LCM.
• Clay swelling due to incompatible well fluids.
• Deposition of mill scale, rust or thread dope.
• Perforating tunnels plugged by perforating debris from the shaped charges.
• Perforating tunnel compaction or crushing caused during the perforating process.
• Cleaning up at too high a rate causing movement of formation fines to plug pores.
With current technology it is easy to complete wells and displace to clean filtered brines or
fresh water before perforating, thereby reducing the risks of any damage occurring. Also, most
perforating is done with an underbalance pressure in the tubing which reduces the amount of
invasion. This underbalance is created by displacing the tubing (fully or partially) to a lighter
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gravity fluid such as diesel, base oil or fresh water. If a fluid cannot provide sufficient underbalance
or if a very high underbalance is demanded, nitrogen can be used although is much more
costly.
All completion and service equipment, especially the tubing should be
thoroughly cleaned before being installed and thread dope used sparingly.
If the well is to have an open hole type completion, then the well fluids programme should be
designed to prevent formation damage. However, in practice this is difficult and most engineers
acknowledge damage will be caused to some extent. In the situation where LCMs need to be
used to support the workover fluid, the engineer must select a material which can be easily
removed afterwards. Sized salt or calcium carbonate are examples where the former is cleared
by flushing with water and the later with an acid wash.
5.1.3 Producing
Although it maybe of some surprise, damage can occur during the producing phase of a well.
This is normally due to the production of asphalt, wax or scales but can also be due to other
chemicals contacting the formation.
Common types of damage:
• Reduced permeability if formation is in contact with corrosion, scale or paraffin
inhibitors.
• Formation or perforation blocking with precipitated scale.
• Asphalt deposition around the wellbore can cause plugging and oil wetting which in
turn can cause emulsion blocking.
• Permeability reduction due to movement of fines through the reservoir.
• Altering relative permeability detrimental to production due to increasing water
production.
• Clay swelling due to contamination with incompatible brines or water.
• Plugging due to contamination with fill, silt or crud.
Many of these can be remedied or reduced by clean-out or stimulation operations.

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5.1.4 Well Intervention
Damage will be caused by some well interventions and most notably when fluids are placed
against the formation.
Typical damage is:
• Pore, vug or fracture plugging by solids in circulating or well kill fluids.
• Permeability reduction through filtrate invasion by circulating or kill fluids.
• Sand face/ cement breakdown due to effects during acid stimulation.
• Permeability reduction due to insoluble precipitates formed during acid stimulation
with hydrofluoric acid.
• Formation blocking with long string molecules in high viscous fluids or diverting agents.
• Clay swelling from incompatible brine or water contamination.
• Pore plugging due to using non-damaging fluids.
• Pore or perforation plugging due to bullheading with scale or debris in the tubing and
casing.
To prevent the risk of any of these occurring, it is obviously that well interventions require
thorough planning to minimise formation damage.
5.2 DAMAGE PREVENTION
It should be an aim in any programme to prevent any damaging fluid from contacting the
formation, if possible. If this cannot be achieved, then the use of clear non-damaging filtered
brines should be adopted. In some cases where it is necessary to use LCM or similar materials
then a post servicing stimulation should be considered to reduce the damage.
5.2.1 Well Plugging
The best means of preventing formation damage is to isolate the fluids entirely from the
formation by installing a barrier in the form of a mechanical plug but this is only possible if
the well programme does not require work below the lowest plugging point. The most common
method of installing a barrier is by setting a plug in a packer tailpipe nipple on wireline
leaving well fluid or gas across the formation. The plug can then be inflow tested to confirm
there is no leak. If the tubing is to be removed from the well, wireline plugs can only be
installed in completions with permanent or permanent retrievable style packers. An alternative
when working on monobore type completions, is to install a retrievable through-tubing
bridge plug close to the top of the formation. This has an advantage in that the packer or liner
hanger packer above can be removed without disturbance of the barrier.
Whatever type of device is used for plugging, it must be designed so that it can be recovered
from the well after the work is completed. The plug will likely be covered by some scale, rust
and other debris and although most of it can be removed by washing or bailing, some will
remain. Most devices used generally have a long mandrel with a fishneck which stands above
the plug enabling washing and latching with a pulling tool. Other devices such as pump-
through plugs, allow the plug to be opened by application of tubing pressure above it where
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after the well can be opened up to clean out the fill first before recovering the plug.
Once the tubing is successfully plugged and plug tested, the well can be circulated to the
workover fluid, i.e. brine, etc.
5.2.2 Workover Fluids
Fluids used in completing or servicing operations have many applications. They are employed
in perforating, cementing, fracturing, acidising, well killing, re-completing, milling, drilling,
cleaning out and preventing fluid losses. They may also have an important long term function
as an annulus packer or completion fluid.
To provide the properties required for each of the above, many types of fluids are utilised, e.g.
drilling muds, milling fluids, brines (including seawater), salt saturated brines, diesel and dead
oil. Some like the drilling or milling fluids, must have cuttings carrying capability, cool the bit
or mill and reduce friction to deliver hydraulic energy downhole. Others used, say for circulating
purposes or to provide an overbalance only, may be clear brines or seawater etc. Completion
or packer fluids are usually solids free to prevent drop out and sticking but are also dosed with
biocide, corrosion and/ or scale inhibitors for long term protection of the formation and
tubulars exposed to the fluid. However, one important function of them all, whether used as
a completion fluid or in a re-completion, is that they must provide an overbalance at the
packer depth in case of a leak to control well pressure.
Generally, the most economic fluid which meets all of the criteria is used and, if possible, it
should be solids free and non-damaging. This criteria would tend to result in clear brines
being used as they are cheap, readily obtainable, easily transportable and easily filtered in
normal weight ranges. However the points which makes them desirable are also their worst
features in that they have no bridging capability and are easily lost into the formation (unless
the well is plugged). In this case, an LCM pill is usually placed against the formation to
prevent or reduce the losses.
The solids in the LCM pill are often designed to be removed by post re-completion flushing
or acidising. The use of a high viscous pill as an LCM is not recommended as the long chain
molecules which plugs the pores cannot be removed by these methods.
5.2.3 Clear Fluids
At one time it was felt that poor well performance was due to other reasons other than by
damage from drilling muds and other fluids. When it was recognised that some formations
were sensitive to invasion by foreign fluids and particles that operators began to look closely
at this subject, observing that fresh water was the biggest culprit. After this revelation, the use
of low water loss muds, cements and non-aqueous fluids became the norm.
Clear brines have become the commonest workover fluids as they not only meet most of the
criteria but are also a good medium in which to run and install tools and equipment. They are
weighted by salts to achieve the desired densities.
Brines are available in weights ranges from 8.3 to 21.0 lbs./ gal. The heavier brines can be very
corrosive to metals and hazardous to personnel, hence require special handling. Personnel

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must use appropriate safety workwear and be aware of the hazards.
They are also more difficult to prepare to prevent crystallisation or freezing.
Composition of Brines
The following list shows the various types of brines, composition and weight ranges:
Potassium Chloride KCl 8.3 - 9.7 lbs./ gal.
Sodium Chloride NaCl 8.3 - 10.0 lbs./ gal.
Calcium Chloride CaCl
2
8.3 - 11.8 lbs./ gal.
Calcium Chloride CaCl
2
/ CaBr
2
11.8 - 15.2 lbs./ gal.
/ Calcium Bromide
Calcium Chloride CaCl
2
/ CaBr
2
/ ZnBr
2
14.5 - 19.2 lbs./ gal.
/ Calcium Bromide
/ Zinc Bromide
Calcium Bromide CaBr
2
/ ZnBr
2
14.5 - 19.2 lbs./ gal.
/ Zinc Bromide
Zinc Bromide ZnBr
2
13.5 - 21.0 lbs./ gal.
Brine Selection
Selection of the brine is not simply by picking the brine best fitting the particular weight
range required or by cost. For instance, the weight range of sodium chloride may provide the
hydrostatic pressure required in a well (say 9 ppg) but it causes shales and clays to swell
reducing permeability. Therefore if clays were present, as observed from cores etc., the brine
selected should be potassium or calcium chloride. Potassium chloride is corrosive and an
inhibitor should be added to maintain a pH of 7 to 10.
Fluid compatibility is essential in the fluids design.
Preparation of Brines
Brines are normally supplied in stored liquid form at the higher end of the weight range
available and is transported in bulk to the well site. The density is normally adjusted by adding
water. In some rare circumstances where a higher weight was desired or if the liquid had been
accidentally contaminated with water, salt supplied in sacks would be added to build to the
correct weight.
Field mixing is not recommended as the handling systems usually are not able to meet the
high standard of cleanliness required to prevent contamination of the brine from incompatible
liquids or solids.
When brine densities reach saturation point, the salt will either crystallise or settle out and
pose a real hazard to operations. Temperature changes in the well can also cause crystallisation
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PREVENTION OF FORMATION DAMAGE

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or solids fall out. Crystallisation is sometimes called freezing as it appears to form like ice.
Filtration and Cleanliness
Brines are usually filtered to a predetermined level of cleanliness, selected to meet the demands,
by a filtration unit or a centrifuge. There are two main types of filtration units used are a DE
Filtration Unit and a Cartridge Unit.
The former uses Diatomaceous Earth formed as a cake on the faces of plates pressed together
through which the fluid is pumped.
Health and Safety
The health of personnel and protection of the environment is paramount. The lower density
brines such as sodium chloride are not harmful but the higher density brines are exceedingly
toxic. These should be handled carefully and all personnel involved in mixing, storage and
handling should wear protective clothing and goggles. An emergency dousing shower should
also be easily accessible close to the workplace.
Some brines are also very corrosive to workwear such as leather boots and all precautions
should be taken to avoid contact or to ensure they are thoroughly washed after contact.
Pollution Control
In most countries, there is legislation regarding the use of hazardous materials, therefore,
disposal should be in accordance to the local laws and the well site appropriately constructed
to capture and retain leakage or spillage. All movement or spillage of these materials should be
recorded and the appropriate authorities notified.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 6
6. PRESSURE BASICS
6.1 FUNDAMENTALS OF FLUIDS AND PRESSURE
6.2 FORMATION PRESSURE
6.3 FORMATION FRACTURE PRESSURE
6.4 FORMATION INTEGRITY TESTS
6.5 MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE ANNULUS SURFACE
PRESSURE - MAASP
6.6 CIRCULATING PRESSURE LOSSES
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6. PRESSURE BASICS
6.1 FUNDAMENTALS OF FLUIDS AND PRESSURE
Understanding pressures and pressure relationships is important in understanding well control.
Pressure is defined as the force per unit area exerted by a fluid i.e.:
Force
Pressure = ––––
Area
Therefore, the formula can be changed to calculate the force from a given pressure and a unit
area:
Force = Pressure x Area
In the oilfield, pressure is usually expressed as the pounds of force that is applied against a one
square inch area, i.e. pounds per square inch (psi.). Therefore, when a gas is placed in a pressure
tight container, it exerts a pressure on all sides of the container. If the gas pressure is 100 psi.,
it exerts a force of 100 pounds (lbs.) on each square inch of the container area. Similarly, if a
liquid is placed in a can, it exerts a pressure on the sides and bottom of the container due to
the weight of the liquid which is also expressed as psi. In well control, both of these effects are
of the utmost importance.
Pressure can be expressed as absolute or as gauge pressure. Absolute pressure includes atmospheric
pressure which is also applied due to the weight of the atmosphere and is 14.7 psi. Some
gauges, especially BHP gauges, are calibrated in absolute terms, but regular gauges showing
psig. indicate they have been calibrated at atmospheric pressure and the 14.7 psi. is excluded.
Although this is a relatively small amount and can be ignored in most instances, it is important
when gathering data for reservoir analysis.
6.1.1 Fluid Pressure
A fluid is any substance that is not solid and can flow. Liquids, like water and oil are fluids. Gas
is also a fluid. Under certain conditions, salt, steel and rock can become fluid and in fact almost
any solid can become fluid under extreme pressure and temperature. In well control, fluids
such as gas, oil, water and completion fluids, brines and mud are encountered.
Fluids exert pressure which is caused by the density, or weight of the fluid. This is normally
expressed in pounds per gallon (ppg) or pounds per cubic foot ( lbs./ ft.
3
). Other abbreviations
for these are lbs/ gal and ppf
3
.
As the pressure developed by a fluid is relative to the true vertical depth, it is often expressed
as psi. per foot (psi./ ft.). This is termed the fluid’s pressure gradient. The pressure gradient for
a fluid is relative to the fluid’s weight or density. The higher the density, the higher the pressure
gradient. To understand this relationship, it is helpful to visualise a cubic foot of fluid; See
Figure 6.1.

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Figure 6.1 - Fluid Pressure Diagram
A cubic foot contains 7.48 US gallons.
Therefore, a fluid weighing 1 ppg would weigh 7.48 lbs.
The pressure exerted on the base (area) is:
7.48 lbs.
––––––– = 7.48 lbs./ ft.
2
1 ft.
2
1 ft.
2
= 12 ins. x 12 ins. area = 144 ins.
2
, therefore the pressure per ins.
2
is
7.48 lbs.
––––––– = 0.052 psi.
144 ins.
2
This relationship between a fluid weight in ppg and gradient pressure in psi./ ft. is always the
same, therefore 0.052 is a constant.
Example:
The pressure gradient of a 10 ppg fluid = 10 ppg x 0.052 = 0.52 psi./ ft.
Example:
The weight of a fluid (fresh water) which has a gradient of 0.433 psi./ ft.
0.433 psi./ ft
–––––––––– = 8.33 ppg.
0.052
This constant is probably the most useful constant used in calculations.
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6.1.2 Specific Gravity
Many fluids in the oilfield are also expressed in specific gravity (SG) as well as weight in ppg.
It is also necessary to be able to convert SG to pressure gradient in order to calculate hydrostatic
pressures.
SG is the ratio of the weight of a fluid (liquid) to the weight of fresh water. Fresh water weighs
8.33 ppg and salt water is nominally valued at 10 ppg. Therefore, the SG of salt water is:
10ppg
SG of Salt Water = ––––– = 1.2
8.3ppg
The SG of fresh water is 1.0. As the gradient of fresh water is known to be 0.433 psi./ ft., to
obtain the gradient of a fluid, it is simply necessary to multiply its SG by 0.433 psi./ ft.
Example:
What is the hydrostatic pressure (HP) exerted by a true vertical 5,000 ft. column of brine with
an SG of 1.17?
HP of brine = 1.17 x 0.433 psi./ ft. x 5,000 ft.
= 2,533 psi.
6.1.3 API Gravity
API gravity is another value used to express relative weight of fluids and was introduced by
the American Petroleum Institute to standardise the weight of oilfield fluids at a base temperature
of 60˚ F. Water in this case was also used as the standard and assigned the value of 10 API
gravity.
To convert from specific gravity to API gravity, the following formula is used.
141.5
SG = ––––––––––
131.5 + API
Example:
What is the SG of 30˚ API oil?
141.5
SG = ––––––––– = 0.876
131.5 + 30˚

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6.1.4 Hydrostatic Pressure
Hydrostatic pressure (HP) is the pressure developed by a fluid at a given true vertical depth in
a well. ‘Hydro’ means water, or fluids which exert pressure like water and ‘static’ means motionless.
So hydrostatic pressure is the pressure created by a stationary column of fluid. The hydrostatic
pressure of any fluid can be calculated at any true vertical depth (TVD) provided the pressure
gradient of the fluid is known.
The previous calculations have dealt with fluid pressure with a gradient of one foot depth but
it is now simple to determine the pressure exerted by a fluid at any true vertical depth by
multiplying that pressure gradient by the true vertical height of the column in feet. The true
vertical height of the column is the important factor in the equation, as it’s volume or shape
is irrelevant.
The equation is: HP = PG x TVD
where:
HP = Hydrostatic pressure, psi.
PG = Pressure gradient, psi./ ft.
TVD = True Vertical Depth, ft.
Figure 6.2 - Measured Depth verses True Vertical Depth
Example:
A 500 ft. TVD column of fresh water, what is the hydrostatic pressure ?
HP = 0.433 psi./ ft. x 500 ft.
= 216.5 psi.
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Example:
What is the hydrostatic pressure of a 6,750 ft. well, filled with a 0.478 psi./ ft. pressure gradient
fluid which has a TVD of 6,130 ft. ?
HP = 0.478 psi./ ft. x 6,130 ft.
= 2,930 psi.
Example:
A 12,764 ft. TVD well is filled with a 15 ppg fluid, what is the BHP?
HP = 15 ppg x 0.052 x 12,764 ft.
= 9,956 psi.
Equipped with this knowledge, it is now easy to calculate the hydrostatic pressure with two of
more fluids in a well provided the depths (TVD) of the fluid interfaces are known. Using the
same formula, the HP for each fluid section is calculated in the same way and the sum of the
individual calculations gives the HP at the bottom hole or well.
Example:
A 10,500 ft. TVD well has two fluids in the well, a 15 ppg fluid from TD to 7,125 ft. and 8.33
ppg fluid to surface, what is the HP at the bottom of the well ?
HP of 15 ppg fluid = 15 ppg x 0.052 x (10,500 - 7,125) ft.
= 15 ppg x 0.052 x 3,375 ft.
= 2,633 psi.
HP of 8.33 ppg fluid = 8.33 ppg x 0.052 x 7,125 ft.
= 3,086 psi.
Total HP = 2,613 psi. + 3,086 psi.
= 5,719 psi.

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6.1.5 Gas Correction Factors
Most well servicing operations entails working with live wells whether using a through-
tubing method or rig intervention. Even with a rig operation, the well must be prepared by
being killed prior to the intervention. This involves dealing with gas in the well.
Production wells with gas in the fluids will exert a static surface pressure equal to the formation
pressure less the hydrostatic pressure in the production bore. The gas entrained in the productions
fluids will segregate from the liquids as shown in Figure 6.3. In a static situation, the closed in
tubing head pressure (CITHP) and hydrostatic pressure will balance the formation pressure.
As discussed earlier, gas is also a fluid and exerts a hydrostatic pressure. Being compressible
pressure affects the density of the gas. A set of correction factors are used which are used to
calculate hydrostatic pressures at varying TVDs with a range of gas gravities, refer to Table 6.1.
The correction factor, according to the TVD of the gas column and the gas gravity, is multiplied
by the CITHP:
HP =(Correction factor-1) x CITHP or
Total Gas Pressure = Correction Factor x CITHP i.e. surface pressure + gas hydrostatic
Example:
What is the HP of a 5,000 ft. TVD column of 0.7 SG gas with a closed in tubing head pressure
of 1,650 psi?
HP of gas = (1.129-1) x 1,650 psi.
= 212.85psi.
Using the calculations already given in earlier sections and the gas correction factors, hydrostatic
pressures in relatively complicated systems can now be determined.
Example:
What is the differential pressure between the annulus and tubing at a circulation device installed
at a depth of 8,200 ft. TVD in the tubing string ?
• The following are the well conditions:
• The tubing/ casing annulus is filled with a 10.29 ppg brine.
• The well is shut in at surface with a CITHP of 600 psi.
• There is a gas cap of 0.6 SG gas from 4,000 ft.
• There is 32 API oil from 4,000 ft. to 12,000 ft.
To help in the calculation, it is sometimes better to make a sketch; See Figure 6.3.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
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Figure 6.3 - Example of Production Well
600
Packer
Circulating Point @ 8,200 ft
32 API Oil
Gas/Oil Interface @ 4000 ft
Annulus Fluid 77 lbs/cu ft
0.6 SG Gas
CITHP

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Table 6.1 - Gas Correction Factors
Well Depth Correction Factors
0.6 Gravity 0.7 Gravity 0.8 Gravity 0.9 Gravity
3,000 1.064 1.075 1.087 1.098
3,500 1.075 1.089 1.102 1.115
4,000 1.087 1.102 1.117 1.133
4,500 1.098 1.115 1.133 1.151
5,000 1.110 1.129 1.149 1.169
5,500 1.121 1.143 1.165 1.187
6,000 1.133 1.157 1.181 1.206
6,500 1.145 1.171 1.197 1.224
7,000 1.157 1.185 1.214 1.244
7,500 1.169 1.204 1.232 1.264
8,000 1.181 1.214 1.248 1.282
8,500 1.193 1.239 1.266 1.304
9,000 1.206 1.244 1.282 1.324
9,500 1.218 1.259 1.302 1.345
10,000 1.232 1.275 1.320 1.366
10,500 1.244 1.289 1.338 1.388
11,000 1.257 1.306 1.357 1.410
11,500 1.270 1.322 1.376 1.433
12,000 1.282 1.338 1.395 1.455
12,500 1.297 1.354 1.415 1.477
13,000 1.311 1.371 1.434 1.500
13,500 1.324 1.388 1.455 1.523
14,000 1.338 1.405 1.475 1.548
14,500 1.352 1.422 1.495 1.573
15,000 1.366 1.438 1.515 1.596
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HP of brine in annulus at circulation device:
= 10.29 ppg x 0.052 x 8,200 ft.
= 4,387 psi.
HP of gas cap: = (1.087 (from table)-1) x 600 psi.
= 52 psi.
HP of oil column
141.5
Oil SG = ––––––––
131.5 + 32
= 0.865
HP of oil column = 0.865 SG x 0.433 psi./ ft. x (8,200 - 4,000) ft.
= 1,575 psi.
Total HP in tubing = HP of gas + HP of oil
= 52 psi. + 1,575 psi.
= 1,627 psi.
BHP in tubing = surface + HP of gas + HP of oil
= 600 + 1,627
= 2227 psi
Differential pressure across circulation device
= HP of annulus - HP of tubing
= 4,387 psi. - 2,227 psi.
= 2,160 psi.
If the circulation device were to be opened, then the opening toolstring would be exposed to
2,160 psi. differential pressure. If using wireline, this pressure differential would need to be
equalised before opening the device.

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6.2 FORMATION PRESSURE
Some rocks contain fluids like water, oil and gas which are contained in tiny openings or
pores. In a rock with pores, the measurement of the ratio of the pore volume to volume of the
rock material is termed ‘porosity’. The linkage between pores is the flowpath for any fluids
and is extremely important, e.g. a rock with many large pores which are not interconnected
will not have any flow potential to the hole drilled into the formation, i.e. the fluids would be
locked in place. The interconnection of pores make the rock permeable and the measurement
of this factor is termed ‘permeability’.
Formation pressure is the pressure of the fluids contained in the pores of a formation rock and
are classified into three categories:
• Normal
• Subnormal
• Abnormal.
Formation pressure or pore pressure is said to be normal when it is caused solely by the
hydrostatic head of the sub-surface water contained in the formations and there is pore to
pore pressure communication with the atmosphere.
Dividing this pressure by the true vertical depth gives an average pressure gradient of the
formation fluid, normally between 0.433 psi./ ft. and 0.465 psi./ ft. The North Sea area pore
pressure averages 0.452 psi./ ft. In the absence of accurate data, 0.465 psi./ ft., which is the
average pore pressure gradient in the Gulf of Mexico, is often taken to be the ‘normal’ pressure
gradient.
NOTE: Thepoint at which atmospheric contact is established may not necessarily
beat sea-level or rig sitelevel.
Prior to a well intervention, all the well’s parameters are generally well known and the risk of
encountering unexpected formation pressures is small. If there is any doubt over formation
pressure, a BHP survey should be conducted as the first operation in the programme.
6.2.1 Sub-normal Formation Pressure
Subnormal pressures occur in formations where the pressure gradient is less than ‘normal’.
These are found mainly in mountainous areas or in producing formations where fluids have
been extracted reducing the formation pressure.
6.2.2 Normal Formation Pressure
Normal Formation Pressure is equal to the hydrostatic pressure of water extending from the
surface to the subsurface formation. Thus, the normal formation pressure gradient in any area
will be equal to the hydrostatic pressure gradient of the water occupying the pore spaces of
the subspace formations in that area.
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The magnitude of the hydrostatic pressure gradient is affected by the concentration of dissolved
solids (salts) and gases in the formation water. Increasing the dissolved solids (higher salt
concentration) increases the formation pressure gradient whilst an increase in the level of
gases in solution will decrease the pressure gradient.
For example, formation water with a salinity of 80,000 ppm sodium chloride (common salt)
at a temperature of 25˚C has a pressure gradient of 0.465 psi./ ft. Fresh water (zero salinity) has
a pressure gradient of 0.433 psi./ ft.
Temperature also has an effect as hydrostatic pressure gradients will decrease at higher
temperatures due to fluid expansion.
In formations deposited in an offshore environment, formation water density may vary from
slightly saline (0.44 psi./ ft.) to saturated saline (0.515 psi./ ft.). Salinity varies with depth and
formation type. Therefore, the average value of normal formation pressure gradient may not
be valid for all depths. For instance, it is possible that local normal pressure gradients as high as
0.515 psi./ ft. may exist in formations adjacent to salt formations where the formation water is
completely salt-saturated.
6.2.3. Abnormal pressure
A pressure which is higher than the definition given for normal pressure is abnormal. The
principal causes of abnormal pressures are:
Under-compaction in shales
When first deposited, shale has a high porosity. More than 50% of the total volume of un-
compacted clay-mud may consist of water in which it is laid. During normal compaction, a
gradual reduction in porosity accompanied by a loss of formation water occur as the thickness
and weight of the overlaying sediments increase. Compaction reduces the pore space in shale,
as compaction continues water is squeezed out. As a result, water must be removed from the
shale before further compaction can occur.
Not all of the expelled liquid is water, hydrocarbons may also be flushed from the shale.
If the balance between the rate of compaction and fluid expulsion is disrupted such that fluid
removal is impeded then fluid pressures within the shale will increase. The inability of shale to
expel water at a sufficient rate results in a much higher porosity than expected for the depth
of shale burial in that area.
Salt Beds
Continuous salt depositions over large areas can cause abnormal pressures. Salt is totally
impermeable to fluids and behave plastically. It deforms and flows by recrystallisation. Its
properties of pressure transmission are more like fluids than solids, thereby exerting pressures
equal to the overburden load in all directions. The fluids in the underlying formations cannot
escape as there is no communication to the surface and thus the formations become over
pressured.

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Mineralisation
The alteration of sediments and their constituent minerals can result in variations of the total
volume of the minerals present. An increase in the volume of these solids will result in an
increased fluid pressure. An example of this occurs when anhydrite is laid down. If it later
takes on water crystallisation, its structure changes to become gypsum, with a volume increase
of around 35%.
Tectonic Causes
This is a compacting force that is applied horizontally in sub-surface formations. In normal
pressure environments water is expelled from clays as they are being compacted with increasing
overburden pressures. If however an additional horizontal compacting force squeezes the clays
laterally and if fluids are not able to escape at a rate equal to the reduction in pore volume the
result, will be an increase in pore pressure; See Figure 6.4.
Faulting
Faults may cause abnormally high pressures. Formation slippage may bring a permeable
formation laterally against an impermeable formation preventing the flow of fluids. Non-
sealing faults may allow fluids to move from a deeper permeable formation to a shallower
formation. If the shallower formation is sealed then it will be pressurised from the deeper
zone.
Diapirism
A salt diapirism is an upward intrusion of salt to form a salt dome. This upthrust disturbs the
normal layering of sediments and over pressures can occur due to the folding and faulting of
the intruded formations.
Figure 6.4 - Abnormal Formation Pressure Caused by Tectonic Compressional Folding
Amount of
Shortening
Extension
Extension
Compression Compression
Compression
Compression
Possible Overpressured Zones
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Reservoir Structure
Abnormally high pressures can develop in normally compacted rocks. In a reservoir in which
a high relief structure contains oil or gas, an abnormally high pressure gradient as measured
relative to surface will exist as shown in the following Figure 6.5.
Figure 6.5 - Reservoir Structure
Figure 6.5aShows how the anticline differs from a dome in that it’s shape is long and narrow.
Figure 6.5bShows a simple structural trap.
Figure 6.5cShows stratigraphic trap. The size of the stratigraphical trap on the left is limited
only by it’s hydrocarbon content while the one on the right is self limiting.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRESSURE BASICS
6-14
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
6.3 FORMATION FRACTURE PRESSURE
The amount of pressure a formation can withstand before it splits is termed the fracture
pressure. The pressure of fluid in a well must exceed formation pressure before the fluid can
enter a formation and cause a fracture. Fracture pressure is expressed in psi., as a gradient in
psi./ ft., or as a fluid weight equivalent in ppg.
In order to plan a conventional rig well intervention, it is necessary to have some knowledge
of the fracture pressures of the formation to be encountered. If wellbore pressures were to
equal or exceed this fracture pressure, the formation would break down as the fracture was
initiated, followed by loss of workover fluid, loss of hydrostatic pressure, loss of primary well
control and irreparable damage to the formation. Most operating companies have strict policies
and procedures to ensure the fracture pressure is never exceeded (unless the formation was to
be deliberately fractured for reservoir productivity improvement through sand fracing operations,
etc.). Unless the service is to conduct remedial operations on or in the casing across the
formation, it is preferred to isolate the formation from the kill fluid by installing a barrier or
plug.
Fracture pressures are related to the weight of the formation matrix (rock) and the fluids
(water/ oil) occupying the pore space within the matrix, above the zone of interest. These two
factors combine to produce what is known as the overburden pressure. Assuming the average
density of a thick sedimentary sequence to be the equivalent of 19.2 ppg then the overburden
gradient is given by:
0.052 x 19.2 = 1.0 psi./ ft.
Since the degree of compaction of sediments is known to vary with depth, the gradient is not
constant.
Onshore, since the sediments tend to be more compacted, the overburden gradient can be
taken as being close to 1.0 psi./ ft. Offshore, however the overburden gradients at shallow
depths will be much less than 1.0 psi./ ft. due to the effect of the depth of seawater and large
thickness of unconsolidated sediment.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRESSURE BASICS

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6-15
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
6.4 FORMATION INTEGRITY TESTS
To determine the fracture pressure of a formation, a leak-off test (LOT) or a formation
integrity test (FIT) may be performed with a solids carrying fluid or mud. Where solids free
workover fluids are used, a formation integrity test cannot be conducted and in these cases
the formation is protected solely by a MAASP which is set at a safe percentage of the original
casing pressure rating; Refer to Section 6.5.
LOTs and FITs determine if the cement seal between the casing and the formation is adequate
and the maximum pressure or fluid weight that the formation(s) can withstand without
fracturing. As the leak-off test actually causes a fracture to determine the fracture gradient, it
is rarely used in well servicing operations and the FIT is adopted.
Whichever is to be performed, it must be ensured that the well is fully circulated to the
correct weight workover fluid and the pump deliverability is sufficient.
Leak-Off Test
The test is performed by applying an incremental pressure from the surface to the closed
wellbore/ casing system until it can be seen that fluid is being injected into the formation.
Leak-off tests should normally be taken to this leak-off pressure unless it exceeds the pressure
to which the casing was tested.
A typical procedure is as follows:
• Before starting, gauges should be checked for accuracy. The upper pressure limit should
be determined.
• The casing should be pressure tested before well operations commence.
• Circulate and condition the mud, check mud density in and out.
• Close BOPs.
• With the well closed in, the pump is used to pump a small volume at a time into the
well typically a 1/ 4 or 1/ 2 bbl per min. Monitor the pressure build up and accurately
record the volume of mud pumped. Plot pressure versus volume of mud pumped.
• Stop the pump when any deviation from linearity is noticed between pump pressure
and volume pumped.
• Bleed off the pressure and establish the amounts of mud, if any, lost to the formation.
Examples of leak-off test plot interpretation:
In non-consolidated or highly permeable formations fluid can be lost at very low pressures. In
this case the pressure will fall once the pump has been stopped and a plot such as that shown
in Figure 6.6a will be obtained. Figure 6.6b and Figure 6.6c show typical plots for consolidated
permeable and consolidated impermeable formations respectively.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRESSURE BASICS
6-16
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 6.6 - Idealised Leak-Off Test Curves
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
Cumulative Volume
a) Unconsolidated Formations
P
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Cumulative Volume
b) Consolidated Permeable Formations
P
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s
u
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Cumulative Volume
c) Consolidated Impermeable Formations
Final Pumping Pressure
After Volume Increment
Final Static PressureAfter
Each Volume Increment
Leak-Off Point
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRESSURE BASICS

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6-17
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Formation Integrity Test
An FIT can be performed when it is not acceptable to fracture a formation. In a FIT, fluid is
pumped into the shut in well until a predetermined pressure is reached that is determined to
be below the pressure to break down the formation. This value used is usually obtained by
assessing information from well’s completion report and nearby well data.
The procedure is:
1. Before starting, gauges should be checked for accuracy.
2. The casing should be pressure tested before well operations commence.
3. Circulate and condition the mud, check mud density in and out.
4. Close BOPs.
5. With the well closed in, the pump is used to incrementally raise the pressure in the well
to the test pressure and monitor the pressure to ensure that there is no leak off.
6.5 MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE ANNULUS SURFACE PRESSURE - MAASP
With data from the formation integrity test, the maximum pressure which can be applied
without fracturing the formation and the maximum fluid weight can be determined.
The formation breakdown pressure
= Applied surface pressure + hydrostatic pressure of fluid in the casing
The applied surface pressure at which leak-off occurred or at FIT pressure, is the maximum
allowable annulus surface pressure with the fluid weight in use at that time. MAASP is the
maximum surface pressure that can be tolerated before reaching the formation fractures.
MAASP = Formation breakdown pressure - HP of fluid in use at the formation
or re-written as:
MAASP = (Fracture gradient - Fluid gradient) x TVD of formation
or as:
MAASP = (Max. equivalent fluid weight - Fluid weight in well) x
(0.052 x TVD of formation).
MAASP is only valid if the well is full of the original fluid during the LOT or FIT; if the fluid
weight in the well is changed, MAASP must be recalculated.
The calculated MAASP is no longer valid if influx fluids enter into the well.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRESSURE BASICS
6-18
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
However, in practise MAASP is calculated as a percentage of the original casing burst pressure
rating. This percentage is derived from experience and the age of the well casings, i.e. if the
well is old and it is suspected there is casing corrosion or wear, the percentage will be lower
than that of a more recently developed well. In general, the pressure rating is 80% of original
burst. This pressure is used in the equation in place of the formation breakdown pressure.
6.6 CIRCULATING PRESSURE LOSSES
Friction is resistance to movement. A force is required to overcome friction of a body or
substance from a position of rest to movement. The amount of friction to overcome this
resistance is dependent upon a number of factors:
• Density of the body or substance.
• Type of substance.
• Roughness of the surfaces making contact.
• Surface area in contact.
• Thermal and electrical properties.
• Direction of movement.
• Velocity.
• The force required to overcome friction is termed frictional loss.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 7
7. PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
7.1 WELL PREPARTATION
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES

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7-1 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
7. PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
The most likely involvement of the use of well kill procedures during a live well intervention
is to prepare it for a dead well workover. This entails killing the well by displacement of the
well fluids from the completion tubing and sump to workover fluid. There are a number of
kill procedures that are available depending on the circumstances that prevail such as tubing
and casing integrity, ability to circulate the fluid in the annulus, formation pressure and
characteristics of the completion methods and formation parameters that may control techniques
such as reverse pumping into the formation. Individual wells must be evaluated to determine
the most effective procedure.
The most common well control methods are:
• Reverse circulation
• Bullheading
• Lubricate and bleed.
• Deploying Coiled Tubing and displacing tubing.
As the completion tubing is normally full of well fluids and the tubing/ casing annulus full of
completion or packer fluid, then it is easier to conduct a reverse circulation kill as the gravities
of the fluids will tend to keep them segregated as they are pumped up the tubing. The preferred
method is to install a wireline set plug as low as possible in the well below the packer (e.g.
packer tailpipe), if possible, to isolate the formation from the kill fluid, and then reverse circulate
to kill the well.
Bullheading is only recommended where it causes no damage to the formation and some
operators have strict policies stating if, and under what conditions, this method may be used.
Lubricate and bleed is the least preferred and is only used when there is some obstacle to
conducting the other methods. For instance, it may be a combination of an obstruction in the
tubing which prevents the running of wireline to open a circulating path (e.g. a partially
closed valve) and a blockage or tight formation preventing bullheading.
7.1 WELL PREPARATION
Prior to initiating well killing operations, several safety precautions must be exercised. The
well must be shut-in in advance of operations to stabilise bottomhole pressure and allow time
to inspect and service the Xmas tree. The tree valves and sub-surface safety valves should be
tested to ensure they comply with API criteria. Where practicable, each annulus should be
checked for H
2
S and any found dealt with.
The well shall then be isolated from all external control systems, the lines isolated by double
barrier isolation and depressurised. The only exception is during kill operations when
hydrocarbons are being flowed to the production system.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
7-2 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
7.2 REVERSE CIRCULATION
This kill method is the safest, and probably the simplest, as it uses the natural U-tubing effect,
of the different gravities of fluids in the annulus and tubing, to flow the well fluids out
through the Xmas tree choke and existing flowlines to the production facilities. The only
pump pressure required is to equalise across the circulation device before opening and, when
the kill fluid is near in balance tubing-to-tubing/ casing annulus and circulating friction losses
need to be overcome.
This method requires a circulation path between the tubing and tubing/ casing annulus to be
opened by operating a circulation device in the completion string or punching a hole with
wireline. The procedure is even more effective if a plug can be installed to isolate the completion/
packer and kill fluid from the formation, but this is dependent upon the whether or not
operations are to be carried out below this point. If there is no plug, the old dirty completion/
packer fluid may contaminate the formation if losses occur before the clean kill fluid gets
around into the tubing.
The well is circulated with a back pressure maintained on the tubing so that a constant
bottomhole pressure can be maintained so as to eliminate any further flow of reservoir fluids
into the well. In other words, maintaining a hydrostatic head on a formation that is greater
than the actual formation pressure, but obviously one that is not too much greater, otherwise
there will be excessive fluid loss, or even fracturing of the formation. To prevent any further
inflow of formation fluids it is common practice to maintain a tubing pressure that is some
200 psi. higher than the shut-in pressure. This will ensure that when pumping is started, the
kill fluid pressure on the formation will be higher than the formation pressure. As the kill fluid
is pumped to the tubing the surface pressure can be slowly reduced in proportion to the
amount of fluid rise in the tubing.
One of the main reasons for using the reverse circulation method is that it is easier to pump
maintaining oil and/ or gas on top of the kill fluid than it is to force the oil and gas down
below the kill fluid. There is as a result far less contamination of the kill fluid with well fluids,
and there is less of a problem in establishing a clean kill fluid for circulation.
The slightly higher hydrostatic head on a formation is maintained during the kill operation
reducing the chance of influx of the formation fluids. As the kill fluid moves up the tubing,
the back pressure held on the tubing head is reduced. This can be shown in the form of a
graph with tubing head pressure against time (assuming a constant pumping rate) or tubing
head pressure against quantity pumped; See Figure 7.1.
The operator on the choke will reduce pressure in accordance with the graph which is based
on tubing capacity and the pumping rate. If there is a fluctuating pump rate then there will
have to be communication between the pump operator and the operator on the tubing head
so that the pressure is reduced at the correct rate.
The reverse circulation method can be used for all types of wells except possibly those with
very high production rate and very low reservoir pressure. In this case it is not possible to have
a kill fluid of sufficiently low hydrostatic head to kill the well without heavy losses or where
it is not possible to fill the tubing without exceeding the reservoir pressure.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES

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7-3 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
An alternative method of using a circulation kill method is to use coiled tubing which can be
run into the well under pressure. The well can then be killed by pumping mud down the small
bore coiled tubing and back up the tubing/ coiled tubing annulus. The procedure is the same
as for the reverse circulation kill though, of course, this is actually a forward circulation procedure.
The back pressure is held as before on the tubing to control the bottomhole pressure. This
method would be used where it was not possible to establish communication around the
tubing shoe or through a sliding sleeve, and where it is not desirable to bullhead.
Figure 7.1 - Typical Reverse Circulation / Tubing Pressure Chart
Tubing Volume
BARRELS PUMPED
T
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(
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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
7-4 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
7.2.1 Example Of A Reverse Circulation (No Tubing Plug Installed)
Consider the following scenario:
• Vertical land well completed 7 years previous.
• Closed in tubing head pressure 1,725 psi.
• Closed in annulus head pressure 1,725 psi.
• Inhibited water in annulus of gradient 0.435 psi./ ft.
• Production casing 7 ins, 38 lbs./ ft. C75
• HC-Packer at 8,000 ft.
• Production tubing 3
1
/
2
ins. 12.6 lbs./ ft. C75 VAM.
• Gas lift mandrel installed at 5,600 ft. for gas lift assist.
• Perforations at 8,250 ft. just below packer.
The annulus gas lift pressure was bled off to zero in preparation for the annulus to be filled
with water. However, the annulus pressure increased again to its initial value in 18 hours
indicating a leak in the tubing. Wireline services retrieved the sub-surface safety valve (SCSSV)
and run a gauge ring to the landing nipple below the production packer.
A dummy safety valve was set in the SCSSV landing nipple and no increase in annulus
pressure was observed when the annulus pressure was bled down indicating the leak was at
the SCSSV.
Attempts to set a plug below the packer failed possibly due to corroded tubing.
Wireline identify the location of tubing fluids as follows:
• Gas (0.1 psi./ ft.) - 5,250 ft. to surface.
• Oil (0.4 psi./ ft.) - 8,250 to 5,250 ft.
Generate an appropriate procedure to kill the above well ensuring that the BHP does not
exceed the reservoir pressure by 150 psi. and construct a kill graph.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES

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7-5 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Step 1: Calculate The Annulus and Tubing Capacities
Using tables:
a) Capacity of 7 ins. casing (38 lbs./ ft.)
= 0.034 bbls./ ft.
b) Closed end displacement of 3
1
/
2
ins. tubing
= 0.0119 bbls./ ft.
c) Capacity of 7 ins. x 3
1
/
2
ins. annulus
= 0.0340 – 0.0119 = 0.0221 bbls./ ft.
d) Capacity of 3
1
/
2
ins. tubing (12.7 lbs./ ft.)
= 0.0073 bbls./ ft.
Step 2: Calculate The Well Volumes
a) Tubing volume above packer
= 8,000 x 0.0073 = 58.4 bbls.
b) Annulus volume above packer
= 8,000 x 0.0221 = 176.8 bbls.
c) Total well volume above packer
= 58.4 + 176.8 = 235.2 bbls.
d) Volume of oil in tubing above packer
(8,000 – 5,250) x 0.0073 = 20.07 bbls.
e) Volume of oil in tubing to perfs.
(8,250 – 5,250) x 0.0073 = 21.90 bbls.
NOTE: It is expected that most of thetubing oil below thepacker will bedisplaced
by annulus fluid (0.435 psi./ ft.) filtering through to theperforations.

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PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
7-6 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 7.2 - Initial Well Status
1725
psi
1725
psi
0.1 Gas 0.433 Brine 0.435 Brine 0.4 Oil
8000 ft
5600 ft
5250 ft
gas lift
valve in
SPM
(Gradients in psi / ft)
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES

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7-7 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Step 3: Calculate The Required Kill Fluid Weight To Balance Reservoir Pressure
a) P
res
= 1,725 + 5,250 x 0.1 +3,000 x 0.4 = 3,450 psi. at perforation.
3,450
b) Kill fluid gradient = ––––– = 0.418 psi./ ft.
8,250
and hence fresh water (gradient 0.433 psi./ ft.) can be used to kill the well as it provides a
hydrostatic pressure of 3,572psi
Step 4: Determine The Kill Plan
Since it takes 18 hours for pressure equalisation between the tubing and annulus, the tubing
leak must be small. Since a gas lift mandrel was set at 5,600 ft. it seems likely that the fluid level
in the annulus is at this depth.
The preferred method to kill the well is a reverse kill method. Therefore holes must be
punched in the tubing as close as possible to the packer; this can be performed using wireline
techniques using explosive tubing perforators.
Tentative well kill plan:
1. Connect one side outlet of the tubing head spool (THS) to a pump with a pressure
rating of at least 5,000 psi.; this can be a cement pump.
2. Connect the other side outlet of the THS to a choke manifold.
3. Install a wireline lubricator on to the Xmas tree.
4. Pressure test all surface equipment as per company policy.
5. Connect the suction line of the pump to the kill fluid tank of sufficient capacity; in this
case a minimum of 300 bbls. will be required.
6. Connect the outlet of the choke manifold to a separator and the outlet of this separator
to the kill fluid tank.
7. Calibrate the brine tank and install a level indicator.
8. Start the pump and open the choke. Manipulate the choke in such a way that the
annulus pressure remains initially at 1,725 psi.
Every barrel of kill fluid pumped into the annulus represents an equivalent height of:
1
–––––– = 45.2 ft.
0.0221
which provides a hydrostatic head of 45.2 x 0.433 = 20 psi.
The increase in hydrostatic pressure in the annulus will be 20 – 45.2 x 0.1 = 15 psi.
The volume of kill fluid to fill the annulus (assumed initial level of 5,600 ft.) will be
5,600 x 0.0221 =124 bbls.

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PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
7-8 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
This implies that the annulus pressure will need to be reduced by 15 psi. for every barrel of kill
fluid that fills the annulus.
9. Monitor the volume of kill fluid in the tank continuously. The choke must be
manipulated such that the annulus pressure (pump pressure) will drop by
the calculated amount (15 psi.) for every barrel lost to the annulus.
10. Keep circulating and manipulating the choke until the entire annulus is
filled with kill fluid.
11. Connect the choke manifold to the production side outlet of the Xmas tree.
12. Pressure test all connections as per company policy.
13. Connect the outlet of the separator to an empty tank of sufficient capacity.
In this case a minimum of 100 bbls. will be sufficient.
14. Perforate the tubing just above the packer.
Hydrostatic pressure in annulus at tubing holes:
5,600 x 0.433 + (8,000 – 5,600) x 0.435 = 3,469 psi.
Hydrostatic head in tubing at holes:
1,725 + 5,250 x 0.1 + (8,000 – 5,250) x 0.4 = 3,350 psi.
Differential pressure will be 3,469 – 3,350 = 119 psi. which could cause problems during
wireline operations.
15. Start pumping kill fluid into the annulus such that the THP follows the calculated kill
graph which ensures that the bottomhole pressure will be equal to or slightly above the
reservoir pressure.
16. Continue circulating until the well is filled with kill fluid.
17. Check for fluid losses. If severe losses are observed then consideration should be given
to acid degradable LCM materials as a kill fluid additive or a cement plug installed.
18. Check that the well does not flow.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES

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7-9 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 7.3 - Circulating Start Point
1725
psi
0
psi
0.1 Gas 0.433 Brine 0.435 Brine 0.4 Oil
8000 ft
5600 ft
5250 ft
(Gradients in psi / ft)

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
7-10 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Step 5: Constructing The Kill Graph
The THP at the start of the kill operation will be 1,725 psi. and this pressure should drop off
fairly rapidly as water (0.435 psi./ ft.) enters the tubing and gas leaves the tubing at surface.
Calculate the pressure when oil reaches the surface.
a) Height of oil in tubing = 3,000 ft o
b) Height of water (0.435 psi./ ft.) in tubing above packer = 5,000 ft.
c) Volume of water (0.435 psi./ ft.) in the tubing above packer
= 5,000 x 0.0073 = 36.50 bbls.
d) Hydrostatic pressure of tubing contents at perforations
= 5,250 x 0.435 + 3,000 x 0.4
= 3,484 psi.
which is higher than the reservoir pressure (but not higher than 150 psi.) indicating that the
well should be dead before the oil reaches the surface.
e) Height of water in the tubing above perforations = 8,250 – 3,000 – H
tgas
= 5,250 – H
tgas.
Total hydrostatic head in the tubing
= 0.1 x H
tgas
+ 3,000 x 0.4 (5,250 – H
tgas
) x 0.435
which should equal the reservoir pressure.
0.1 x H
tgas
+ 3,000 x 0.4 + (5,250 – H
tgas
) x 0.0345 = 3,450 psi.
Solving for H
tgas
yields H
tgas
= 64 ft.
The height of the water in the tubing will be 5,250 – 64 = 5,186 ft.
The volume of water in the tubing will be 5,186 x 0.0073 = 37.86 bbls.
Thus the well will be dead after pumping 37.86 bbls. of kill fluid into the annulus and the
choke at the tubing outlet can be fully opened and circulation of the entire well performed
with fresh water of volume 242.5 bbls.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES

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7-11 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 7.4- Oil at Surface
0
psi
0
psi
0.1 Gas 0.433 Brine 0.435 Brine 0.4 Oil
8000 ft
2750 ft
(Gradients in psi / ft)

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PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
7-12 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
The graph for the annulus reduction in pressure and the kill graph for the tubing pressure are
shown in Figure 7.4.
Figure 7.5 - Annular Pressure Reduction and Tubing Pressure Kill Graphs
7.2.2 Bullheading or Squeeze Kill
This method consists of pumping kill fluid to the well and forcing the well fluids back into
the formation without pumping at a rate which will fracture the formation, the latter being
somewhat difficult when trying to kill a well with fracture production. This method is the
only method possible when a well has been completed without tubing. It can also be used
when the tubing has been landed in a packer and the circulation devices, such as a sliding
sleeve, has jammed. This would mean that it is not possible to establish circulation around the
tubing shoe or near the tubing shoe (other than by perforating the tubing).
In this method the pump rate has to be high enough to ensure that the rate the kill fluid is
moving down the tubing is faster than it will free fall. This will prevent the contamination of
the kill fluid by oil in an oil well, and gas cutting in a gas well. In effect, a piston effect is
required so that the kill fluid is going down the tubing as a piston sweeping all the well fluids
before it: An example of a bullhead/ squeeze kill is shown in Figure 7.5.
500
1000
1500
1725
2000
1
0
2
0
3
0
4
0
5
0
6
0
7
0
8
0
9
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
1
2
0
1
3
0
1
2
4
bbls
psi
Annulus
3
7
.
8
6
500
1000
1500
1725
2000
psi
Tubing
bbls
1
0
2
0
3
0
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES

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7-13 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Normally this method only finds use in wells with small tubings and with high permeabilities
allowing adequate pumping rates. In larger tubings (3
1
/
2
"+) and in low permeability wells,
this method is time consuming and difficult, resulting in gas cutting of the kill fluid especially
in gas wells and wells with high gas/ oil ratios. This method also has the potential draw back in
that some of the kill fluid is inevitably pumped away to the formation.
Figure 7.6 - Typical Bullheading Pressure Chart
Maximum Allowable
Static Tubing Pressure
for Formation Fracture
bbls
1
0
2
0
3
0
4
0
5
0
6
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
Tubing Burst Limit
Displaced Tubing
10570
psi
7013
3457
Static Tubing
Displacement
Pressure

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
PRODUCTION WELL KILL PROCEDURES
7-14 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
7.2.3 Lubricate and Bleed
For a gas well, or gas filled tubing, an alternative method is to use the lubrication kill. In this
method varying amounts of mud are lubricated into the well, and the well pressure is bled off
after each batch of mud has been lubricated into the well.
The method consists of the following steps:
Calculate the capacity of the tubing and pump half this volume of kill fluid to the well.
Observe the well (
1
/
2
to 1 hour), the tubing head pressure will drop due to the hydrostatic
head of the initial kill mud pumped. When the tubing head pressure is constant, the next step
is taken.
Pump kill fluid for about 3 - 5 minutes, and not more than about 10 barrels, and making sure
that the tubing head pressure does not go more than 200 psi. above the observed static pressure
taken in step 2.
Bleed off gas from the tubing at a high rate immediately after pumping the batch of kill fluid.
The amount of drop in tubing head pressure could be equal to the amount of hydrostatic
head of the mud pumped. If the bleeding off is not carried out quickly, the additional pressure
due to the extra hydrostatic head will cause mud losses and the sooner the tubing head is
reduced, the smaller the loss will be.
Repeat the pump and bleed and observe the tubing head pressure after each step. If necessary,
reduce the quantity of kill fluid if the amount of gas being bled off is excessive. After repeated
pumping of batches of mud and the well is deemed dead, observe the well for a considerable
period before starting and further work.
If the fluid level is too low, then the kill fluid has been too heavy and additional lighter fluid
should be added until the well is full of fluid.
Alternatively, if the well will not die, it could be that too much gas was bled off or some of the
kill fluid was blown out of the well during the bleed off cycle, resulting in gas flowing into the
well bore. Wait for the well to settle and after re-appraising the situation, carry on with the
batch and bleed procedure until the well is completely dead.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
SECTION 8
8. WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8.1 GENERAL
8.2 SNUBBING OPERATIONS
8.3 WIRELINE OPERATIONS
8.4 COILED TUBING OPERATIONS
8.5 SUBSEA WELL INTERVENTIONS
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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8-1
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8. WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8.1 GENERAL
This section illustrates the various well control systems and equipment used with the various
well intervention methods described in Section 3 and well control methods in Section 6.
8.2 SNUBBING OPERATIONS
An HWO unit is utilised on both live well interventions and dead well workovers. When
utilised on workovers, the well control is similar to a rig operation, requiring the well to be
killed and plugged and the Xmas tree replaced by a BOP stack on the casing head. The only
difference in well control equipment may be in the workstrings used where check valves may
be installed to the BHA as additional primary well control.
In place of the rig circulation system, pumps, tankage, mixing hoppers and hard piping would
have to be provided unless the operation was rig assisted.
However, when used in snubbing operations, the pressure control systems are significantly
different. The equipment used for snubbing operations is described in the sub-section below.
8.2.1 Snubbing Operations
Snubbing operations with an HWO unit entails installation of the well control equipment
onto the top of the Xmas tree for ‘through-tubing’ work. BOP configurations for snubbing
operations are shown in Section 7.2.2 below. The arrangements shown illustrate stripping
pipe rams for running collared pipe but an annular preventer can be used when running non-
upset or tapered connections such as Hydril PH6, etc.
Workstring BHAs also contain barrier systems for primary and secondary pressure control.
NOTE: Thesnubbing configurations shown aregeneric and may not conform to
individual servicecompanies’ policy and procedures. Thereis no API
standard for snubbing well control equipment and development of the
method has been driven by theusers. Theconfigurations listed meet the
absoluteminimum and it would becommon practicefor additional safety
to beadded.
An equalising loop must be used when stripper rams are being used but is not necessary when
using annular preventers on non-upset pipe or pipe with tapered upset connections. Equalising
loops should be constructed with flanged connections.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8-2
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8.2.2 Snubbing BOP Arrangements - 0 - 5,000 psi. WP
Operating features:
1. This is the very minimum arrangement for 0 - 5,000 psi. WP and one size of pipe only.
2. If a leak occurs to either of the strippers, both pipe rams would be closed to allow repair
and re-instatement of the strippers. Two pipe rams provide block and bleed.
3. Two tree valves must be available to be closed when stripping in the BHA, therefore
spacing out to have enough distance to accommodate the BHA is crucial.
4. The pipe rams should not be used for stripping unless in an emergency situation.
5. When the upper pipe rams are closed, the flow line and chokes can be used.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.1 - Example Snubbing BOP RAM Configuration
Minimum 4
1
/
6
” 10M BOP
Snubbing Stack
For 0 -5000 psi
One Pipe Size Only
The Wellhead must have a
minimum of two functional
blind BOP’s, gate valves or a
combination of both
Threaded pipe loops
Acceptable
Bleed Off
Strippers
To Pump Line
Safety
Choke

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8-4
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8.2.3 Snubbing BOP Stack Arrangements - 5,000 - 10,000 psi. WP
Operating features:
1. This is the very minimum arrangement for 5,000 - 10,000 psi. WP and one size of pipe
only.
2. If a leak occurs to either of the strippers, both the pipe rams would be closed to allow
repair and re-instatement of the strippers.
3. Two tree valves or a combination of both tree valves and blind rams must be available to
be closed when stripping in the BHA, therefore spacing out to have enough distance to
accommodate the BHA is crucial.
4. When the upper-pipe or blind rams are closed, the flow line and chokes can be used.
5. The pipe rams should never be used for stripping unless in an emergency situation.
6. With drill pipe in the hole, the blind rams can be changed to pipe rams and the drill
pipe can be reciprocated through the upper rams while retaining the two bottom rams
in reserve.
7. The combination of shear and blind rams provide ultimate safety, if secondary well
control fails.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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8-5
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.2 - Example Snubbing BOP RAM Configuration
Minimum BOP stack for
5000 - 10,000 psi
One pipe size use
All flanged valves and loop
The Wellhead must have a
minimum of two functional
blind BOP’s, gate valves or a
combination of both
Bleed Off
Strippers
To Pump Line
Safety
Choke
Safety
Shear
Safety
Sensor
To Kill Line
Hydraulic
Controlled

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8-6
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8.2.4 Snubbing BOP Stack Arrangements - Over 10,000 psi. WP
Operating features:
1. This is the very minimum arrangement for over 10,000 psi. WP and one size of pipe
only.
2. If a leak occurs to either of the strippers, both the pipe rams would be closed to allow
repair and re-instatement of the strippers.
3. Two tree valves or a combination of both valves and blind rams must be available to be
closed when stripping in the BHA, therefore spacing out to have enough distance to
accommodate the BHA is crucial.
4. When the upper pipe or blind rams are closed, the flow line and chokes can be used.
5. The upper pipe rams can be used for stripping in an emergency situation.
6. The combination of shear and blind rams provide ultimate safety, if secondary well
control fails.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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8-7
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.3 - Example Snubbing BOP RAM Configuration
Safety
Shear
Safety
Minimum BOP stack for
pressure over 10,000 psi
One pipe size use
All valves and loop are flanged
The Wellhead must have a
minimum of two functional
blind BOP’s, gate valves or a
combination of both
Choke
Sensor
Bleed Off
Strippers
To Pump Line
Safety
To Kill Line
Hydraulic
Controlled
Blind

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8-8
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8.2.5 Snubbing BHA Arrangements
The BHA shown is typical and must be accompanied by having a safety valve on hand in the
work basket.
Operating features:
1. There should be a minimum of two check valves.
2. At least one wireline nipple must be installed for secondary well control. If a leak
occurs to either of the check valves, a wireline run check valve can be installed in this
nipple.
3. Enough distance must be provided, especially in sandy conditions so the both check
valves can be plugged.
4. Spacing out of the check valves must be such that they can be snubbed into the well
above two closed barriers.
5. A tubing leak above the check valves, secondary control is provided by stabbing on the
safety valve in the work basket.
Various configurations may be used for differing applications providing they meet with the
minimum requirements outlined above.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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8-9
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.4 - Example Snubbing BOP RAM Configuration
Minimum BOP stack for
pressure over 10,000 psi
One pipe size use
(With Restrictor spool for 1”)
All valves are flanged
The Wellhead must have a
minimum of two functional
blind BOP’s, gate valves or a
combination of both
Choke
Sensor
To Kill Line
Hydraulic
Controlled
Bleed Off
Strippers
To Pump Line
Safety
Safety
Shear
Safety
Blind

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8-10
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.5 - BHA Configurations
W
O
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K
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B
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6

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B
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A
B C D
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STANDARD BPV
CONFIGURATIONS
NON-STANDARD BPV
CONFIGURATION
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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8-11
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8.3 WIRELINE OPERATIONS
Most well servicing is accomplished using wireline methods which are relatively simple to rig
up and conduct operations, compared to other methods. The development of wireline pressure
control systems have made this service one of the safest in the industry.
Braided line (i.e. electric line and swab line) and slickline pressure control equipment is similar
in design and operation but do have some differences which are outlined below.
8.3.1 Slickline Lubricator/ Single BOP Stack Arrangement
Operating features:
1. The stuffing box is adjustable (manually, or more commonly hydraulically) to cater for
packing wear.
2. The lubricator is an intrinsic part of the primary well control system along with the
stuffing box.
3. If the stuffing box leaks, the wireline BOP wire/ blind rams can be closed on the wire
to repair the packing.
4. If the rams leak, the wire can be cut with a wire cutting actuator or the upper master
valve, although this may lead to valve damage.
8.3.2 Slickline Lubricator/ Dual BOP Stack Arrangement
Operating features:
1. The stuffing box is adjustable (manually, or more commonly hydraulically) to cater for
packing wear.
2. The lubricator is an intrinsic part of the primary well control system along with the
stuffing box.
3. If the stuffing box leaks, the upper wireline BOP wire/ blind rams can be closed on the
wire to repair the packing.
4. If the upper rams leak, the lower rams can be used.
5. If the wire is broken and expelled from the lubricator, both rams can be closed to
provide double isolation.
6. If the rams leak, the wire can be cut with a wire cutting actuator or the upper master
valve, although this may lead to valve damage.

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WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8-12
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.6 - Slickline Lubricator and BOP
SHEAVE
STUFFING BOX
LUBRICATOR SECTIONS
LUBRICATOR SECTIONS
SLICKLINE LUBRICATOR AND BOP
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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8-13
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.7 - Slickline Lubricator and Dual BOP
SHEAVE
STUFFING BOX
LUBRICATOR SECTIONS
LUBRICATOR SECTIONS
BLIND RAMS
WIRELINE RAMS

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WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8-14
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8.3.3 Braided Line Lubricator/ Dual BOP Stack Arrangement
Operating features:
1. The grease seal pressure is adjustable for varying well pressures.
2. The lubricator is an intrinsic part of the primary well control system along with the
grease seal.
3. If the grease seal fails, both the wireline BOP wire rams can be closed on the wire. The
lower ram is inverted so that grease can be injected to create a seal.
4. If the wire is broken and expelled from the lubricator, two Xmas tree valves must be
closed to provide double isolation.
5. If the rams leak, the wire can only be cut with a wire cutting actuator.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.8 - Braided line Lubricator and Dual BOPs
LUBRICATOR SECTIONS
LUBRICATOR SECTIONS
BLIND RAMS
INVERTED WIRELINE RAMS
GREASE CONNECTION
FLOW TUBE
FLOW TUBE
STUFFING BOX
HYDRAULIC PACKING NUT

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WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8-16
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8.3.4 Electric Line Lubricator/ Triple BOP Stack Arrangement
Operating features:
1. The grease seal pressure is adjustable for varying well pressures.
2. The lubricator is an intrinsic part of the primary well control system along with the
grease seal.
3. If the grease seal fails, both the wireline BOP wire rams can be closed on the wire. The
lower ram is inverted so that grease can be injected to create a seal.
4. If the wire is broken and expelled from the lubricator, the blind ram plus a Xmas tree
valves must be closed to provide double isolation (or two tree valves).
5. If the rams leak, the wire can only be cut with a wire cutting actuator.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.9 - Electric Line Lubricator and Triple BOP
GREASE CONNECTION
(GREASE OUT)
LINE WIPER
PACK OFF
HYDRAULIC CONNECTION
GREASE CONNECTION (GREASE IN)
FLOW TUBE
TOOL CATCHER
LUBRICATOR SECTION
HYDRAULIC TOOL TRAP
QUICK UNION
TRIPLE
BOP
WELLHEAD ADAPTER

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WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT
8-18
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8.4 COILED TUBING OPERATIONS
Coiled tubing operations are very similar in method to snubbing operations, except that the
C/ T unit uses an injector head with travelling chains instead of a hydraulic jacking unit. The
BOP stack, however is simplified due to the coiled tubing being of smaller diameter and non-
upset allowing a stripper to be used. Specialised BOPs have also been developed with gripper
rams to cater for easier pipe retrieval if ever the pipe is sheared.
C/ T operations are generally limited to a maximum of 5,000 psi., although this may be
increased in future through new tubing technology.
Most C/ T operations now use quad BOPs.
All C/ T BHAs include double check valves for inside primary pressure control except in very
special circumstances.
8.4.1 C/ T Standard BOP Configuration
Operating features:
1. The stripper is adjustable for well pressure up to 5,000 psi.
2. If the stripper fails, the pipe rams can be closed to allow repair.
3. If the tubing is broken and falls downhole, the blind ram are closed with an Xmas valve
provided the tubing is clear of the tree.
4. If the rams leak, the tubing can be cut with the shear rams and the blind rams closed.
The tubing is held in place with the slip rams to aid in recovery, hence the tree valves
cannot be used.
8.4.2 C/ T BOP Configuration with Shear/ Seal BOP
Operating features:
1. The stripper is adjustable for well pressure up to 5,000 psi.
2. If the stripper fails, the pipe rams can be closed to allow repair.
3. If the tubing is broken and falls downhole, the blind rams are closed with an Xmas valve
providing the tubing is clear of the tree.
4. If the rams leak, the tubing can be cut with the shear rams and the blind rams closed.
The tubing is held in place with the slip rams to aid in recovery, hence the tree valves
cannot be used.
5. Tertiary well control is provided by the shear/ seal BOP and is the final and last resort in
the event of secondary well control failure.
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WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.10 - Standard C/ T BOP Configuration

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8-20
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.11 - C/ T BOP Configuration with Shear Seal BOP
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
8.5 SUBSEA WELL INTERVENTIONS
Subsea wells can be serviced by means of subsea workover systems. There are two systems in
current use, one for conventional susbsea trees and the other for the newer generation of
spool trees. The former is described in Section 8.5.1 below and the latter in 8.5.2.
8.5.1 Conventional Subsea Well Interventions
Conventional subsea well interventions are conducted through a subsea workover riser systems
which are deployed from floating vessels or from jack-up rigs in shallower waters. Riser
systems are attached to the top of subsea Xmas trees and, after completing the appropriate test
procedures, allow live well servicing by wireline or coiled tubing methods.
Pressure control is provided at surface by a Xmas tree fitted with a lift frame which
accommodates the pressure control equipment installed on the top of the tree. Other than
this, pressure control is exactly the same as that described in the previous sections except that
vessel movement gives additional rigging up and operational problems. However, the workover
riser system must also have subsea pressure control capabilities in the event of a emergency
disconnection or a riser failure. Subsea pressure control is provided by a subsea lower riser
assembly (LRA) and an emergency disconnect package (EDP) which can safely close in the
well and disconnect the riser, with or without wireline or coiled tubing through the subsea
tree, in the event of an emergency.
These systems maintain the well in a safe condition until the problems arisen are overcome
and the riser can be re-attached. Operations can then be recommenced and fishing operations
initiated, if required.
A typical subsea workover riser system is shown in Figure 8.12
8.5.2 Spool Subsea Tree Interventions
Due to the capital costs of conventional workover riser systems, and the incompatability
between the various manufacturer’s designs, this drove the industry to develop the spool tree
and associated intervention systems utilising standard drilling rig subsea BOP riser systems.
The subsea BOPs were utilised for connection to the tree and to provide pressure control in
conjunction with a subsea test tree which latches onto the spool tree tubing hanger. Pressure
is contained within the subsea tree and it’s riser to the surface which is terminated with a
surface test tree in the conventional well test fashion. The BOP rams are closed on the subsea
test tree slick joint to provide a barrier to any well pressure below the BOPs. In the event of
an emergency, the subsea tree can be closed, the subsea riser disconnected before the BOP
shear/ blind rams are closed above the tree valve section and the drilling riser disconnected.
The main problem thrown up by this method of well intervention was the lack of bore size in
standard subsea test tree riser systems initially available which has driven the design of systems
with bores sizes now up to 7 inches in diameter.

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8-22
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Subsea test tree systems must have a cutting capability to sever any wireline or coiled tubing
run through the BOPs.
See Figure 8.13 for typical spool tree workover system.
Figure 8.12 - Typical Subsea Workover Riser System
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
WELL CONTROL EQUIPMENT

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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure 8.13 - Typical Subsea Spool Tree Workover System

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APPENDIX A
A. FORMULAE AND CONVERSION FACTORS COMMONLY
USED IN WELL CONTROL
A.1 CONVERSION FACTORS
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
A. APPENDIX - FORMULAE AND CONVERSION FACTORS
COMMONLY USED IN WELL CONTROL
Pressure Gradient psi/ ft.
Mud/ Brine Weight ppg x 0.052
Mud/ Brine Weight ppg
Pressure Gradient psi/ ft ÷ 0.052
Hydrostatic Pressure psi
Mud/ Brine Weight ppg x 0.052 x True Vertical Depth ft
Formation Pressure psi
Hydrostatic Pressure (in string & sump) psi + Shut In Tubing Head Pressure psi
Equivalent Mud Weight ppg
Pressure psi ÷ True vertical Depth ft ÷ 0.052
Pump Output bbls/ min
Pump Output bbls/ stk x Pump Speed spm
Annulus Velocity ft/ min
Pump Output bbls/ min ÷ Annulus Volume bbls/ ft
Boyle’s Law
P
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V
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= P
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V
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Conversion of pipe diameter to bbls/ ft
A.1 CONVERSION FACTORS
Acre = 43,560 square feet
= 4,047 square metres
Atmosphere = 33.94 feet of water
= 29.92 inches of mercury
= 760 millimetres of mercury
= 14.70 pounds per square inch
Bar = 14.504 pounds per square inch
= 100 Kilo Pascal’s
Barrel = 5.6146 cubic feet
= 42 gallons (US)
= 35 gallons (Imperial)

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A-2
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Barrel of water @ 60˚F = 0.1588 metric ton
Barrel (36˚ API) = 0.1342 metric ton
Barrel per hour = 0.0936 cubic feet per minute
= 0.700 gallon per minute
= 2.695 cubic inches per second
Barrel per day (bopd) = 0.2917 gallon per minute
British Thermal Unit = 0.2520 kilogram calorie
= 0.2928 watt hour
BTU per minute = 0.02356 horse power
Centimetre = 0.3937 inch
Centimetre of mercury = 0.1934 pound per square inch
Cubic centimetre = 0.06102 cubic inch
Cubic foot = 0.1781 barrel
= 7.4805 gallons (US)
= 0.02832 cubic metre
= 0.9091 sacks cement (set)
Cubic foot per minute = 10.686 barrels per hour
= 28.800 cubic inches per second
= 7.481 gallons per minute
Cubic inch = 16.387 cubic centimetres
Cubic metre = 6.2897 barrels (US)
= 35.314 cubic feet
= 264.20 gallon (US)
Cubic yard = 4.8089 barrels
= 46,656 cubic inches
= 0.7646 cubic metre
Feet = 30.48 centimetres
= 0.3048 meters
Feet of water @ 60˚F = 0.4331 pound per square inch
Feet per second = 0.68182 mile per hour
Foot pound = 0.001286 British Thermal Unit
Foot pound per second = 0.001818 horse power
Gallon (US) = 0.2318 barrel
= 0.1337 cubic feet
= 231.00 cubic inches
= 3.785 litres
= 0.003785 cubic metres
Gallon (Imperial) = 1.2009 gallons (US)
= 277.274 cubic inches
Gallon per minute = 1.429 barrels per hour
= 34.286 barrels per day
Gram = 0.03527 ounce
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Horsepower = 42.44 BTUs per minute
= 33,000 feet/ pounds per minute
= 550 feet/ pounds per second
= 1.014 horsepower (metric)
= 0.7457 kilowatt
Horsepower hour = 2,547 British Thermal Units
Inch = 2.540 centimetres
Inch of mercury = 1.134 feet of water
= 0.4912 pound per square inch
Inch of water @ 60˚F = 0.0361 pound per square inch
Kilogram = 2.2046 pounds
Kilogram calorie = 3.968 British Thermal Units
Kilogram per square centimetre = 14.223 pounds per square inch
= Kg/ cm
2
x 98.1 gives Pascals (KPa)
Kilometre = 3,281 feet
= 0.6214 mile
Kilo Pascal = 0.145 pounds per square inch
Kilowatt = 1.341 horse power
Litre = 0.2462 gallon
= 1.0567 quarts
Mega Pascal = 145.03 pound per square inch
Metre = 3.281 feet
= 39.37 inches
Mile = 5,280 feet
= 1.609 kilometres
Miles per hour = 1.4667 feet per second
Ounce (Avoirdupois) = 28.3495 grams
Part per million = 0.05835 grain per gallon
= 8.345 pounds per million gallons
Pascal = 0.000145 pound per square inch
Pound = 7,000 grains
= 0.4536 kilogram
Pound per square inch = 2.309 feet of water @ 60˚F
= 2.0353 inches of mercury
= 51.697 millimetres of mercury
= 0.703 kilograms per square centimetre
= 0.0689 bar
= 0.006895 mega Pascal (MPa)
= 6.895 kilo Pascal (KPa)
= 6895 Pascal (Pa)
Pressure = psi x 6.895 gives Kilo Pascals (KPa)
Quart (Liquid) = 0.946 litre
Sack cement (Set) = 1.1 cubic feet
Square centimetre = 0.1550 square inch
Square foot = 0.929 square metre
Square inch = 6.452 square centimetres

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A-4
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Square kilometre = 0.3861 square mile
Square metre = 10.76 square feet
Square mile = 2.590 square kilometres
Temp Centigrade = 5/ 9 (Temp ˚F - 32)
Temp Fahrenheit = 9/ 5 (Temp ˚C) + 32
Temp Absolute (Kelvin) = Temp ˚C + 273
Temp Absolute (Rankine) = Temp ˚F + 460
Ton (long) = 2,240 pounds
Ton (metric) = 2,205 pounds
Ton (short or net) = 2,000 pounds
Ton (metric) = 1.102 tons (short or net)
Ton (metric) = 1,000 kilograms
= 6.297 barrels of water @ 60˚F
= 7.454 barrels (36˚ API)
Ton (short or net) = 0.907 ton (metric)
Watt per hour = 3.415 BTUs
Yard = 0.9144 metre

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APPENDIX B
B. GLOSSARY FOR WELL CONTROL OPERATIONS
B.1 COMMONLY USED WELL CONTROL TERMS
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
B. APPENDIX - GLOSSARY FOR WELL CONTROL OPERATIONS
B.1 COMMONLY USED WELL CONTROL TERMS
Abnormal Pressure Pore pressure in excess of that pressure resulting
from the hydrostatic pressure exerted by a vertical
column of water salinity normal for the geographic
area.
Accumulator A vessel containing both hydraulic fluid and gas
stored under pressure as a source of fluid power to
operate opening and closing of blowout preventer
rams and annular preventer elements. Accumulators
supply energy for connectors and valves remotely
controlled.
Accumulator Bank Isolator Valve The opening and closing device located upstream
of the accumulators in the accumulator piping
which stops flow of fluids and pressure in the piping.
Accumulator Relief Valve The automatic device located in the accumulator
piping that opens when the pre-set pressure limit
has been reached so as to release the excess pressure
and protect the accumulators.
Air Regulator The adjusting device to vary the amount of air
pressure entering as to the amount to be discharged
down the piping lines.
Ambient Temperature The temperature of all the encompassing
atmosphere within a given area.
Ampere The unit used for measuring the quantity of an
electric current flow. One ampere represents a flow
of one coulomb per second.
Annular Preventer A device which can seal around any object in the
wellbore or upon itself. Compression of a reinforced
elastomer packing element by hydraulic pressure
effects the seal.
Annular Regulator The device located in the annular manifold header
to enable adjustment of pressure levels which will
flow past to control the amount of closure of the
annular preventer.

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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Annulus The annular space between two tubulars (i.e. tubing
or drill string and the production casing).
Annulus Friction Pressure Circulating pressure loss inherent in annulus
between the drill string and casing or open hole.
Back Pressure (Casing, Choke Pressure) The pressure existing at the surface on the casing
side of the drill pipe/ annulus flow system.
Bleeding Controlled release of fluids from a closed and
pressurised system in order to reduce the pressure.
Blind Rams (Blank, Master) Rams whose ends are not intended to seal against
any drill pipe, tubing or casing. They seal against
each other to effectively close the hole.
Blind/ Shear Rams Blind rams with a built-in cutting edge that will
shear tubulars that may be in the hole, thus allowing
the blind rams to seal the hole. Used primarily in
subsea systems.
Blowout An uncontrolled flow of gas, oil, or other well fluids
into the atmosphere. A blowout, or gusher, occurs
when formation pressure exceeds the pressure
applied to it by the column of drilling fluid.
Blowout Preventer The equipment installed at the wellhead to prevent
damage at the surface while restoring primary well
control. The BOP allows the well to be sealed to
confine the well fluids and prevent the escape of
pressure.
Blowout Preventer Drill A training procedure to determine that rig crews
are completely familiar with correct operating
practices to be followed in the use of blowout
prevention equipment. A dry run of blowout
preventive action.
Blowout Preventer Operating
Control System The assembly of pumps, valves, lines, accumulators
and other items necessary to open and close the
blowout preventer equipment.
Blowout Preventer Stack The assembly of well control equipment including
preventers, spools, valves and nipples connected to
the top of the wellhead or Xmas tree.
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Blowout Preventer Test Tool A tool to allow pressure testing of drilling or
workover blowout preventer stacks and accessory
equipment by sealing the wellbore immediately
below the stack.
Bleed Off Valve An opening and closing device for removal of
pressurised fluid.
Bottomhole Pressure Depending upon context, either a pressure
exerted by a column of fluid contained in the
wellbore or the formation pressure at the depth
of interest.
Bullheading A term to denote pumping well fluids back into
a formation in a well kill operation.
Casing Head/ Spool The part of the wellhead to which drilling or
workover blowout preventer stack is connected.
Casing Pressure See Back Pressure.
Casing Seat Test A procedure whereby the formation
immediately below the casing shoe is subjected
to a pressure equal to the pressure expected to
be exerted later by a higher drilling fluid density
or by the sum of a higher drilling fluid density
and back pressure created by a kick.
Check Valve A valve that permits flow in only one direction.
Choke A diameter orifice (fixed or variable) installed
in a line through which high pressure well fluids
can be restricted or released at a controlled rate.
Circuit Breaker An electrical switching device able to carry an
electrical current and automatically break the
current to interrupt the electrical circuit if
adverse conditions such as shorts or overloads
occur.
Circulating Head A device attached to the top of drill pipe or
tubing to allow pumping into the well without
use of the Kelly.
Clamp Connection A pressure sealing device used to join two items
without using conventional bolted flange joints.
The two items to be sealed are prepared with
clamp hubs. These hubs are held together by a
clamp containing two to four bolts.

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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Closing Unit The assembly of pumps, valves, lines,
accumulators and other items necessary to
open and close the blowout preventer
equipment.
Closing Ratio The ratio of the wellhead pressure to the
pressure required to close the blowout
preventer.
Control Panel, Remote A panel containing a series of controls that
will operate the valves on the control
manifold from a remote point.
Corrosion Inhibitor Any substance which slows or prevents the
chemical reactions of corrosion.
Cut Fluid Well control fluid which has been reduced
in density or unit weight as a result of
entrainment of less dense formation fluids or
air.
Cylinder A device which converts fluid or air power
into linear mechanical force and motion. It
consists of a movable element such as a piston
and piston rod, plunger rod, plunger or ram,
operating within a cylindrical chamber.
Degasser A vessel which utilises pressure reduction
and/ or inertia to separate entrained gases from
the liquid phases.
Discharge Check Valve The device located in the expelling line of a
pump (air or electric) which allows fluid to
flow out only and thereby prevents a back
flow of fluid into the pump.
Displacement The volume of steel in the tubulars and
devices inserted and/ or withdrawn from the
wellbore.
Drilling Spool A connection component with ends either
flanged or hubbed. It must have an internal
diameter at least equal to the bore of the
blowout preventer and can have smaller side
outlets for connecting auxiliary lines.
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Drill Stem Test (DST) A test conducted to determine production flow
rate and/ or formation pressure prior to
completing the well.
Element (Filter) The substance of porous nature which retains
foreign particles that pass through the containing
chamber to separate and clean the gas or liquid
flow.
Equivalent Circulating
Density (ECD) The sum of pressure exerted by hydrostatic head
of fluid, drilled solids, and friction pressure losses
in the annulus divided by depth of interest and
by 0.052, if ECD is to be expressed in pounds
per gallon (lbs/ gal).
Feed-in (Influx, Inflow) The flow of fluids from the formation into the
wellbore.
Filter A device whose function is the retention of
insoluble contaminants from a fluid.
Final Circulating Pressure The pressure required to circulate at the selected
kill rate adjusted for increase in kill fluid density
over the original fluid density; used from the
time kill fluid reaches the circulating point until
kill operations are completed or a change in
either kill fluid density, or kill rate, is effected.
Flow Meter A device which indicates either flow rate, total
flow, or a combination of both, that travels
through a conductor such as pipe or tubing.
Flow Rate The volume, mass, or weight of a fluid passing
through any conductor, such as pipe or tubing,
per unit of time.
Flow Target A bull plug or blind flange at the end of a T to
prevent erosion at a point where change in flow
direction occurs.
Fluid A substance that flows and yields to any force
tending to change its shape. Liquids and gases
are fluids.
Fluid Density The unit weight of fluid; e.g., pounds per gallon
(lbs/ gal).

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B-6
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Fluid Weight Recorder An instrument in the fluid system which
continuously measures fluid density.
Formation Breakdown An event occurring when bottomhole pressure is
of sufficient magnitude that the formation accepts
fluid from the hole.
Formation Competency
(Formation Integrity) The ability of the formation to withstand applied
pressure.
Formation Competency Test
(Formation Integrity Test) Application of pressure by superimposing a surface
pressure on a fluid column in order to determine
ability of a subsurface zone to withstand a certain
hydrostatic pressure.
Formation Integrity See Formation Competency.
Formation Integrity Test See Formation Competency Test.
Formation Pressure (Pore Pressure) Pressure exerted by fluids within the pores of the
formation (See Pore Pressure).
Flowline Sensor A device to monitor rate of fluid flow from the
annulus.
Fracture Gradient The pressure gradient (psi/ ft) at which the
formation accepts whole fluid from the wellbore.
Function The term given to the duty of operating a control
device.
Gas Buster A slang term to denote a mud gas separator.
Gate Valve A valve which employs a sliding gate to open or
close the flow passage. The valve may or may not
be full-opening.
Gauge An instrument for measuring fluid pressure that
usually registers the difference between atmospheric
pressure and the pressure of the fluid by indicating
the effect of such pressure on a measuring element
(as a column of liquid, a bourdon tube, a weighted
piston, a diaphragm, or other pressure-sensitive
devices).
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Gland The metal item which energises stuffing box
packing from force applied manually or
hydraulically.
Ground An electrical term meaning to connect to the
earth, or another large conducting body to serve
as earth, thus making a complete electrical
circuit. The conducting connection of a circuit
to the earth.
H2S An abbreviation for hydrogen sulphide.
Hard Close In To close in a well by closing a blowout preventer
with the choke and/ or choke line valve closed.
Hydrostatic Relating to the pressure fluids exert due to their
weight.
Hydrostatic Head The true vertical length of fluid column,
normally in feet.
Hydrostatic Pressure The pressure which exists at any point in the
wellbore due to the weight of the vertical
column of fluid above that point.
Inflow See Feed-in.
Influx See Feed-in.
Initial Circulating Pressure Pressure required to circulate initially at the
selected kill rate while holding back pressure at
the closed-in value; numerically equal to kill
rate circulating pressure plus closed-in pressure.
Inside Blowout Preventer A device that can be installed in the drill string
that acts as a check valve allowing drilling fluid
to be circulated down the string but prevents
back flow.
Inspection Port The plugged openings on the sides of the fluid
reservoir of a device which can be opened to
view the interior fluid level and return lines from
the relief, bleeder, control valves, and regulators.
Kick Intrusion of formation fluids into a wellbore
containing kill or drilling fluid.

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B-8
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Kill Fluid Density The unit weight e.g. pounds per gallon (lbs/ gal),
selected for the fluid to be used to contain formation
pressure.
Kill Line A high-pressure fluid line connecting the mud pump
and the wellhead. This line allows fluids to be pumped
into the well or annulus with the blowout preventer
closed to control a threatened blowout.
Kill Rate A predetermined fluid circulating rate, expressed in
fluid volume per unit time, which is to be used to kill
the well.
Kill Rate Circulating Pressure Pump pressure required to circulate kill rate volume.
Leak-off Test Application of pressure by superimposing a surface
pressure on a fluid column in order to determine the
pressure at which the exposed formation accepts whole
fluid.
Lost Circulation (Lost Returns) The loss of whole well control fluid to the wellbore.
Lost Returns See Lost Circulation.
Lubrication Alternately pumping a relatively small volume of fluid
into a closed wellbore system and waiting for the fluid
to fall toward the bottom of the well.
Lubricator The pressure containing tubulars mounted above the
Xmas tree for installing wireline or coiled tubing
toolstrings in live wellbores.
Manifold Header The piping system which serves to divide a flow
through several possible outlets.
Meter An instrument, operated by an electrical signal, that
indicates a measurement of pressure.
Micron A millionth of a metre or about 0.0004 inch. The
measuring unit of the porosity of filter elements.
Minimum Internal Yield Pressure The lowest pressure at which permanent deformation
will occur in metals.
Mud-gas Separator A vessel for removing free gas from the drilling/ kill
fluid returns.
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Needle Valve A shut-off two way valve that incorporates a needle
point to allow fine adjustments in flow.
Normal Pressure Formation pressure equal to the pressure exerted
by a vertical column of water with salinity normal
for the geographic area.
Opening Ratio The ration of the well pressure to the pressure
required to open the blowout preventer.
Overbalance The amount by which pressure exerted by the
hydrostatic head of fluid in the wellbore exceeds
formation pressure.
Overburden The pressure on a formation due to the weight of
the earth material above that formation. For
practical purposes this pressure can be estimated at
1 psi/ ft of depth.
Packing Rubber elements used in wireline stuffing boxes
to seal around slick wirelines.
Packoff or Stripper A device with an elastomer packing element that
depends on pressure below the packing to effect a
seal in the annulus. Used primarily to run or pull
pipe under low or moderate pressures. This device
is not dependable for service under high differential
pressures.
Pipe Rams Rams whose ends are contoured to seal around
pipe to close the annular space. Separate rams are
necessary for each size (outside diameter) pipe in
use.
Pit Volume Indicator A device installed in the drilling fluid tank to register
the fluid level in the tank.
Pit Volume Totaliser A device that combines all of the individual pit
volume indicators and registers the total fluid
volume in the various tanks.
Plug Valve A valve whose mechanism consists of a plug with a
hole through it on the same axis as the direction of
fluid flow. Turning the plug 180 degrees opens or
closes the valve. The valve may or may not be full-
opening.
Pore Pressure Pressure exerted by the fluids within the pore space
of a formation.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
B-10
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Potable A liquid that is suitable for drinking.
Pressure Gradient, Normal The normal pressure divided by true vertical depth.
Pressure Integrity Test (PIT) Application of pressure by superimposing a surface
pressure on a fluid column in order to determine
the pressure at which the well can withstand before
a well intervention. This test is less than formation
fracture pressure to prevent formation damage.
Pressure Transmitter Device which sends a pressure signal to be converted
and calibrated to register the equal pressure reading
on a gauge. The air output pressure in proportion
to the hydraulic input pressure.
Primary Well Control The primary well control system or device on the
well.
Pump (Air) A device that increases the pressure of a fluid or
raises it to a higher level by being compressed in a
chamber by a piston operated with an air pressure
motor.
Pump (Electric) A device that increases the pressure of a fluid and
moves it to a higher level using compression force
from a chamber and piston that is driven by an
electric motor.
Push-button/ Indicating Light The control valve operates with bulbs on the
electrical remote panel which change and indicate
the position of the control valves.
Ram The closing and sealing component on a blowout
preventer. One of three types - blind, pipe, or shear
- may be installed in several preventers, mounted
in a stack on top of the wellbore. Blind rams, when
closed, form a seal on a hole that has no drill pipe
in it; pipe rams, when closed, seal around the pipe;
shear rams cut through drillpipe and then form a
seal.
Recorder An device that records outputs of pressure,
temperature continually on a chart to provide
continuous reading.
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B-11
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Regulator A device that varies and controls the amount of
pressure of a liquid or gas that passes through its
chambers.
Replacement The process whereby a volume of fluid equal to
the volume of steel in tubulars and tools
withdrawn from the wellbore is returned to the
wellbore.
Reservoir The container for storage of a liquid. The
reservoir houses hydraulic fluid at atmospheric
pressure as the supply for fluid power.
Rupture Disc A device whose breaking strength (the point at
which it physically bursts) works to relieve
pressure in a system.
Safety Factor A margin added to a figure or value purely for
safety.
Shear Rams Blowout preventer rams with a built in cutting
edge that will shear tubulars that may be in the
hole.
Snubbing The process of installing pipe into a well where
the well pressure is greater than that of the weight
of pipe in the hole. It has also come to mean
any of the live well interventions carried out by
a hydraulic workover unit.
Soft Close In To close in a well by closing a blowout preventer
with the choke and choke line valve open, then
closing the choke while monitoring the casing
pressure gauge for maximum allowable casing
pressure.
Sour Gas Natural gas containing hydrogen sulphide.
Space Out Procedure conducted to position a
predetermined length of tubing/ drill pipe so that
no connection or tool joint is opposite a set of
preventer rams.
Space-Out Joint The joint of tubing/ drill pipe which is used to
hang off operations so that no tool joint is
opposite a set of preventer rams.

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B-12
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Squeezing Pumping fluid into a formation.
Stack The assembly of well control equipment including
preventers, spools, valves, and nipples connected
to the top of the casing head.
Stripper See Pack-Off.
Stripping The process of running pipe through a stripper with
or without pressure in the well.
Swabbing The lowering of the hydrostatic pressure in the
wellbore due to upward movement of tubulars and/
or tools.
Transducer The device located in the solenoid valve box which
is actuated by hydraulic pressure and converts the
force to an electrical signal for indication on a meter.
The electrical output signal is in proportion to the
hydraulic input pressure.
Tubing Safety Valve An essentially full-opening valve located on the
rig floor with threads to match the tubing in
use. This valve is used to close off the tubing to
prevent flow.
Tubulars Drill pipe, drill collars, tubing, and casing.
Underground Blowout An uncontrolled flow of formation fluids from a
sub-surface zone into a second subsurface zone.
Underbalance The amount by which formation pressure exceeds
pressure exerted by the hydrostatic head of fluid in
the wellbore.
Valve, Float A device that is positioned as either open or closed,
depending on the position of a lever connected to
a buoyant material sitting in the fluid to be
monitored.
Valve, Poppet The opening and closing device in a line of flow
which restricts flow by lowering a piston type
plunger into the valve passageway.
Valve, Relief A valve that opens at a present pressure to relieve
excessive pressures within a vessel or line whose
primary function is to limit system pressure.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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B-13
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Valve, Shut-off A valve which operates fully open or fully closed
to control the flow through a conduit.
Valve, Sub-Surface Safety A completion safety valve installed at a depth
below the surface according to various criteria.
Viscosity A measure of the internal friction or the
resistance of a fluid to flow.
Watt A unit of electromotive force.
Weight Cut The amount by which a drill or kill fluid density
is reduced by entrained formation fluids or air.
Wireline BOP (valve) Preventers installed on top of the well or drill
string as a precautionary measure while running
wirelines. The preventer packing will close
around the wireline.
Xmas Tree The head terminating a completion with a set
of valves to control well flow and well servicing
activities.

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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
C. PREVENTERS
C.1 ANNULAR PREVENTERS
C.2 RAM PREVENTERS
APPENDIX C
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C-1
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C. APPENDIX - PREVENTERS
C.1 ANNULAR PREVENTERS
C.1.1 Introduction
The annular preventer consists of a flexible reinforced element that can seal any size tubular.
The element is squeezed round the tubular by a piston of relatively large area. Because of this,
the operating pressure is relatively low (usually regulated between 0 and 1,500 psi as needed)
and so pipe can be stripped into the hole under pressure if necessary. Table C.1 shows some
recommended closing pressures.
If upset pipe has to be stripped through an annular, the rubber is forced out whenever a tool
joint passes through it. This in turn forces fluid from the closing side of the piston and so surge
chambers are needed to handle this flow. (See Figure C.1) shows a Hydril GK (surface type)
preventer.
The majority of annular preventers currently in use are manufactured by Hydril (Types MSP,
GK, GL, GX), Shaffer (Spherical) and Cameron (Type D), these are illustrated (See Figure
C.1, Figure C.2, Figure C.3 together with a summary of major operating features.
The following are the most important aspects of the operation of annular preventers:
• To obtain maximum sealing life, hydraulic closing pressures should conform to the
manufacturer’s recommendations for pressure testing and operational use of the preventers.
Excessive closing pressures, when coupled with wellbore pressure sealing effects, cause
high internal stresses in the element and reduce element life.
• Cavities should be flushed out and the element inspected following each well. Preventers
should be stripped and inspected annually. Seals should be replaced and all sealing surfaces
inspected.
• Cap seals should be replaced when changing elements.
• Tooling, especially mills and bits, should be run cautiously through BOPs to minimise
element damage. Elements of annular preventers do not, on occasions, retract fully.
• The type of elastomer (natural rubber, synthetic rubber, neoprene) used in the packing
element should be the most suitable for a particular wellhead environment; Figure C.1 and
Figure C.2
• Although most models and sizes of annular preventer will seal an open hole in an emergency
operation, it is not recommended, as such gross deformation of the elastomer causes cracking
and accelerated wear.
• Closing pressures should be regulated to the pressures specified by the manufacturers. This
information should be available at the rigsite.
When stripping, the closing pressure should be regulated to the minimum required for a
slight weeping of well fluid past the element. Closing pressures higher than this will increase
element wear. The pipe should be moved slowly, particularly as tool joints pass through the
element. The manufacturers also provide information regarding recommended closing pressures
during stripping operations. Surge vessels on the closing ports will help to smooth-out surge
pressures as tool joints pass through the element.

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C-2 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.1.2 Hydril ‘Gk’ Annular Preventer
a) 4
1
/
16
" 10,000, 15,000 and 20,000 psi WP
Operating Features:
1. Designed for stripping and snubbing operations.
2. The packing unit and the operating chambers are tested to rated working pressure.
3. The BOP body is tested to 11/ 2 times the rated working pressure.
4. Will close on open hole.
5. Has provision to measure piston travel to gauge element wear.
6. Is available with bolted top.
7. Sealing assistance is gained from the well pressure.
8. Meets the current (Revision of NACE) Standards for sulphide stress cracking.
Figure C.1- Hydril Annular Preventer - ‘GK’ 41/ 16" 10,000 15,000 & 20,000 psi WP
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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C-3
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
b) 7
1
/
16
" 15,000 psi WP
Operating Features:
1. Will close on open hole.
2. Sealing assistance is gained from the well pressure.
3. Meets the current revision of NACE Standards for sulphide stress cracking.
4. The head has a field replaceable wear plate which is bolted on.
5. Has provision to measure piston travel to gauge element wear.
If the annular packing element wears out during stripping or well killing operations, the
element can be changed without having to pull the pipe. After the pipe rams are closed and
locked below the annular preventer and both the hydraulic and well pressure below is bled
off, the cover of the preventer can be unbolted and the packing element lifted out with a
tugger or hoist line. With the element above the preventer, the damaged unit can be split and
removed from the pipe. A new element would be installed in reverse sequence of the above.
Figure C.2- Hydril Annular Preventer - ‘GK’ 71/ 6" 15,000 psi WP

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C-4 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.1.3 Hydril ‘Gl’ Annular Preventer
Figure C.3- Hydril Annular Preventer - Type ‘GL’
Operating Features:
1. Will close on open hole (but not recommended).
2. Some sealing assistance is gained from well pressure.
3. Bolted cover for easier element charge.
4. Primarily designed for subsea operations.
5. Has a provision to measure piston travel to gauge element wear.
6. Has a balancing chamber to offset hydrostatic pressure effect in subsea operations. The
chamber can be connected four ways to optimise operations for different effects:
• Minimise closing/ opening fluid volumes.
• Reduce closing pressure and times.
• Automatically compensate (counterbalance) for marine riser hydrostatic pressure effects
in deep water.
• Operate as a secondary closing chamber.
Ring Groove
Wear Plate
Latched Head
Packing Unit
Hydraulic Connection
Piston Bowl
Piston
Seal
Hydraulic Connection
Hydraulic Connection
Ring Groove
Seals
Seals
Seals
Seals
Seals
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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C-5
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure C.4- Hydrill ‘GL’ Annular Preventer Operation
Secondary Chamber
Connected To
Closing Chamber (S - C)
Subsea Hook-up For Water Depths
Over 800 Ft.
OPENING PRESSURE
CLOSING PRESSURE
Secondary Chamber
Connected To
Opening Chamber (S - O)
Standard Surface Hook-up Requires
Least Fluid So Gives A Faster Closing
Secondary Chamber
Connected To
Marine Riser (CB)
Subsea Hook-up For Water Depths
Up To 800 Ft.

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C-6 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.1.4 Cameron Annular Preventers
Figure C.5- Cameron 20,000 psi WP Annular Blowout Preventer
Operating Features:
1. Will close on open hole.
2. Vents isolate the hydraulic operating system from the well pressure.
3. Standard trim suitable for H2S service.
4. Operating chambers remain sealed during packer element change to prevent contamination.
5. The quick-release top latch reduces time to change packing element.
6. The packing element contains steel reinforcing inserts forming a continuous ring that gives
maximum support as they close inward.
PACKING
UNIT
PISTON
OPENING
CHAMBER
CLOSING
CHAMBER
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C-7
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure C.6- Cameron Annular Preventer - Type ‘D’
Operating Features:
1. Quick-release top latch for easier element change.
2. Most sizes use less closing fluid than Shaffer and Hydril annular preventers.
3. Overall height is less than Hydril and Shaffer annular preventers.
4. Weight of preventer is less than Hydril and Shaffer annular preventer in all sizes except for
11" 10,000 psi WP.
• Cameron’s Type D annular preventer requires 3,000 psi hydraulic closing pressure for
positive closure with no pipe in the preventer. This requires a bypass arrangement around
the 1,500 psi annular regulator on 3,000 psi closing units.

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C-8 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure C.7- Cameron 20,000 psi WP Annular Blowout Preventer Sealing Element
OPEN CLOSED ON PIPE CLOSED ON OPEN HOLE
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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C-9
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.1.5 Shaffer Annular Preventers
Figure C.8- Shaffer Annular Preventers
Operating Features:
1. Will close on open hole (but not recommended). As the contractor piston is raised by
hydraulic pressure, the rubber packing unit is squeezed inward to a sealing engagement
with anything suspended in the wellbore. Compression of the rubber throughout the
sealing area assured a seal-off against any shape.
2. Requires higher closing pressure in subsea applications. As the contractor piston is raised
by hydraulic pressure, the rubber packing unit is squeezed inward to a sealing engagement
with anything suspended in the wellbore. Compression of the rubber throughout the
sealing area assured a seal-off against any shape.
3. Some sealing assistance is gained from the well pressure.
4. No provision for measuring piston travel.
Hydril’s and Shaffer’s annular preventers are claimed to provide positive closure with
1,500psi closing unit pressure when the rubber elements are new.

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C-10 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Table C.1 - Typical Average Closing Pressure
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.1.6 Packing Element Selection
Only packing elements which are supplied by the manufacturer of the annular preventer
should be used. New or repaired units obtained from other service companies should not be
used since the preventer manufacturers cannot be held responsible for malfunction of their
equipment unless their elements are installed. See Table C.2.
Table C.3 - Annular Preventers - Gallons of Fluid Required to Operate on Open Hole
Table C.2 - Packing Unit Selection (from Hydril)
PACKING UNIT IDENTIFICATION OPERATING TEMP WELL FLUID
TYPE Colour Code RANGE COMPATIBILITY
Natural Rubber Black NR -30˚F – 225˚F Waterbase Fluid
Nitrile Rubber Red NBR Band 20˚F – 190˚F Oil base/
Oil Additive Fluid
Neoprene Rubber Green Band CR -30˚F – 170˚F Oil Base Fluid
SIZE AND HYDRIL NL SHAFFER
WORKING PRESSURE GK GL SPHERICAL
Inches psi Close Open Close Open Balancing Close Open
6
6
7
1
/
16
8
8
10
10
11
11
12
13
5
/
8
13
5
/
8
13
5
/
8
16
16
16
3
/
4
16
3
/
4
16
3
/
4
18
18
3
/
4
20
20
20
30
30
3,000
5,000
10,000
3.000
5,000
3,000
5,000
5,000
10,000
3,000
3,000
5,000
10,000
2,000
3,000
3,000
5,000
10,000
2,000
5,000
2,000
3,000
5,000
1,000
2,000
2.9
3.9
9.4
4.4
6.8
7.5
9.8
2 5 . 1
11 . 4
1 8 . 0
3 4 . 5
1 7 . 5
2 1 . 0
2 8 . 7
2 1 . 1
2.2
3.3
3.0
5.8
5.6
8.0
9.8
14.2
24.3
12.6
14.8
19.9
14.4
19.8
33.8
44.0
58.0
19.8
33.8
44.0
58.0
8.2
17.3
20.0
29.5
4.6
4.6
7.2
11.1
11.0
18.7
23.5
23.6
47.2
33.0
48.2
32.6
61.4
3.2
3.2
5.0
8.7
6.8
14.6
14.7
17.4
37.6
25.6
37.6
17.0
47.8

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C-12 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.2 RAM PREVENTERS
It is not possible to detail every type of ram preventer manufactured for all the applications for
which they are used including rig, snubbing, coiled tubing and wireline operations. The
following are only typical examples of those in use.
C.2.1 Cameron
The U II blowout preventer provides a BOP system (including CAMRAM elastomer sealing)
that meets the API 6A rating of 250˚F service. The U II includes an internally ported hydraulic
bonnet stud tensioning system, a short stroke bonnet, bore type bonnet seals, and the proven
advantages of the U BOP design.
• The introduction of the CAMRAM packer has set a new industry standard in meeting the
250˚F and withstand excursions to 300˚F Presently, the API standard excludes these critical
sealing elements from the rating, which covers only the metal components of the BOP
system.
• CAMRAN packers and top seals made with CAMLAST are available for high temperature
and high H2S service.
• The bonnets of the U II preventer are opened and closed hydraulically. The bonnet studs
are hydraulically stretched to the correct preload by pressure applied behind a piston which
acts on a load rod in the stud. The nut is tightened and pressure is released. Pressure is
supplied by an air-powered hydraulic pump via internal porting in each end of the BOP
body.
• The short stroke bonnet reduces the opening stroke by about 30%, reduces the overall
length of the preventer, and reduces the weight supported by the ram change pistons.
• The bore type bonnet seal fits into a seal counterbore in the body and has metal anti-
usion rings.
• The U II blowout preventer wedgelocks act directly on the operating piston tailrod. The
operating system can be interlocked using sequence caps to ensure that the wedgelock is
opened before pressure applied to open the preventer.
• A ram bearing pad can be attached to the bottom of each ram to reduce ram bore wear.
• All Cameron U II BOPs are manufactured to comply with NACE and all regulatory body
specifications.
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C.2.2 Double U II
Figure C.9 - Double UII BOP
Operating Features:
1. Application in both surface and Sub-Sea applications.
2. Well bore assist.
3. Accurate preload and fast make up for ram change.
4. Secondary seals on operating rod.
5. 250˚F of rating for H.P. wells.
6. Automatic locking device (self adjusting).

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C-14 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure C.10 - UII BOP Hydraulic Control System
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C-15
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.2.3 ‘SS’ Space Saver
Figure C.11 - Cameron Ram Preventer - Type ‘SS’ (Space Saver)
Operating Features:
• Low in vertical height.
• Ram position cannot be determined by external observation.
• Well pressure assists in maintaining rams closed.
• Has secondary operating rod seal.
• Rams can be changed and repaired in the field.

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C-16 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.2.4 Shaffer
On shaffer type LWS or SL rams, the locking device is actuated automatically whenever the
ram is closed. Called the Poslock, this system uses segments that move out radically from the
ram piston and lock into a groove in the circumference of the operating cylinder whenever
the ram is closed. When hydraulic closing pressure is applied, the complete piston assembly
moves inward and pushes the ram towards the wellbore. With the rams closed, the closing
pressure then forces a locking piston inside the main piston to move further inwards and force
out the segments. A spring holds the locking piston in this position so that the segments are
kept locked in the groove even if closing pressure is lost. When hydraulic opening pressure is
applied, the locking cone is forced outward. This allows the locking segments to retract back
into the main piston which is then free to move outwards and open the ram.
Figure C.12 - Poslock Adjustment
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
UltraLock is a versatile locking system. It provides a maintenance-free and adjustment-free
locking system that is compatible with any ram assembly that the blowout preventers can
accommodate. Once the UltraLock is installed, no further adjustments will be needed when
changing between Pipe Rams, Blind/ Shear or MULTI-RAM assemblies. BOPs that are
equipped with the UltraLock are automatically locked in the closed position each time the
BOPs are closed; no preset pressure ranges are needed. The BOPs remain locked in the closed
position, even if closing pressure is lost or removed. Hydraulic opening pressure is required to
re-open the preventer, and this opening pressure is supplied by the regular opening and closing
ports of the preventer. No additional hydraulic lines or functions are required for operations
of the locks. Stack frame modifications are not required because all operational components
are in the hydraulic operating cylinders. Existing BOPs with PosLock Cylinders can be upgraded
to the UltraLock.
Figure C.13 - Ultralock Locking System

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C-18 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.2.5 Hydril
Figure C.14 - Hydril Ram Preventer
Operating Features:
1. Available with manual or automatic locking systems.
2. Cylinder liner is field replaceable or repairable.
3. Secondary rod sealing action.
4. Rams can be changed and repaired in the field.
5. Additional room must be allowed for side door openings.
6. Sloped ram cavity is self-draining of mud and sand.
7. Rams are designed to permit drill pipe hang-off.
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.2.6 Ram Types
a) Shaffer Shear Ram
Shaffer Shear Rams shear pipe and seal the wellbore in one operation. They also function as
Blind or CSO (Complete Shut Off) Rams for normal operation. To ensure adequate shearing
force, a minimum of 14" pistons are required when operating Shaffer Shear Rams. The hydraulic
closing pressure for normal shearing is 3,000 psi or blind operation at 1,500 psi accumulator
pressure. When shearing pipe in a subsea BOP stack, 3,000 psi accumulator pressure is required.
When shearing, the lower blade passes below the sharp lower edge of the upper ram block
and shears the pipe. The lower section of cut pipe is accommodated in the space between the
lower blade and the upper holder. The upper section of cut pipe is accommodated in the
recess in the top of the lower ram block. Closing motion of the rams continues until the ram
block ends meet. Continued closing of the holder squeezes the semicircular seals upward into
the sealing contact with the seat in the BOP body and energises the horizontal seal. The
closing motion of the upper holder pushes the horizontal seal forward and downward on top
of the lower blade, resulting in a tight sealing contact. The horizontal seal has a moulded-in
support plate which holds it in place when the Rams are open.
The shaffer Shear Rams are also available for H2S service which meets the requirements of
NACE Standard MR-01-75. Shaffer Shear Rams are covered by U.S. Patent No. 3,736,982.
Figure C.15 - Shaffer Shear Rams

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C-20 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
C.2.7 Variable Rams
Figure C.16 - Variable Rams 5" - 27/ 8"
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C-21
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Table C.4 - Ram Preventer Opening and Close Ratios
CAMERON U SHAFFER ‘SL’ HYDRIL RAM
Size (in) WP (psi) Open Close Open Close Open Close
3, 000
5, 000
10,000
15,000
2, 000
3, 000
5, 000
10,000
2, 000
3, 000
5, 000
10,000
15,000
3, 000
5, 000
10,000
15,000
2, 000
3, 000
5, 000
10,000
10,000
15,000
2, 000
3, 000
5, 000
10,000
2, 000
3, 000
2.3
2.3
2.3
2.3
2.5
2.5
2.5
2.5
2.2
2.3
2.3
2.3
5.6
2.3
2.3
2.3
3.6
4.1
1.3
1.3
5.1
4.1
1.0
6.9
6.9
6.9
6.9
7.3
7.3
7.3
7.3
9.9
7.0
7.0
7.0
8.4
6.8
6.8
6.8
7.4
9.7
7.0
7.0
6.2
7.2
7.0
3.37
7.62
2.8
3.00
3.00
4.29
2.14
2.03
2.06
1.83
1.68
1.63
7.11
7.11
7.11
5 . 5 4
5 . 5 4
7.11
7.11
5 . 5 4
7.11
7.11
10.85
7.11
1.5
1.5
1.7
6.6
2.6
2.6
2.0
2.0
2.4
3.24
2.1
2.1
3.8
3.56
2.41
1.9
2.15
0.98
0.98
1.9
5.4
5.4
8.2
7.6
5.3
5.3
6.8
6.8
7.6
7.6
5.2
5.2
10.6
7.74
10.6
10.6
7.27
5.2
5.2
10.6
7
1
/
16
9
11
13
5
/
8
16
3
/
4
18
3
/
4
21
1
/
4
26
3
/4

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C-22 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Example Closing forces in relation to area:
1. When closing the well, the string is picked up say 20 ft off bottom. The annular preventer
is then closed and the fail-safes opened against a closed choke.
2. The tool joint is then spaced out for the correct pipe rams.
3. The string is stripped down until the tool joint is “hung off” on the rams. The correct
operating pressure to set on the manifold regulator is directly related to the well bore
pressure.
For example: Operating ratio 10:56:1. Working pressure of BOP stack 10,000psi.
This pressure does not include an allowance for friction losses so the minimum pressure
would be say 1000 psi : 1000 psi x 10.56 = 10560 lbs closing force.
Figure C.18 - Closing Forces in Relation to Area
RAM Shaft Area
Closing
Pressure
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Table C.5 - Ram Preventers - Fluid Required to Operate

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APPENDIX D
D. CHOKES
D.1 HP PRODUCTION CHOKES
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
D. APPENDIX - CHOKES
D.1 HP PRODUCTION CHOKES
K Choke Beans and Wrenches:
• Flared Orifice entrance reduces erosion on the entrance surface.
• Accuracy levels are maintained over extended periods of use.
• Choke beans save time and money because replacement intervals are extended.
Cameron K choke beans come in two styles, positive and combination. The positive bean has
a fixed orifice diameter. The combination bean has a fixed diameter and a throttling taper at
the entry. The combination bean is used with an adjustable choke needle to make incremental
changes to orifice sizes smaller than the fixed orifice.
The part numbers of the positive and combination beans are determined by desired orifice
size. K1 positive bean orifice sizes range from
4
/
64
" to
64
/
64
". K2 positive bean orifice sizes
range from
4
/
64
" to
128
/
64
". K3 positive bean orifice sizes range from
4
/
64
" to
192
/
64
".
K1 combination bean sizes range from
6
/
64
" to
64
/
64
". K2 combination bean sizes range form
6
/
64
" to
128
/
64
". K3 combination bean sizes range from
6
/
64
" to
192
/
64
".

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D-2
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure D.1 - Cameron Fixed Bean Choke System
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure D.2 - HP Production Chokes

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D-4
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure D.3 - ‘K3’ Choke

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APPENDIX E
E. WIRELINE SURFACE PRESSURE CONTROL EQUIPMENT
E.1 INTRODUCTION
E.2 WELLHEAD PRESSURE CONTROL EQUIPMENT
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E. APPENDIX- WIRELINE SURFACE PRESSURE CONTROLEQUIPMENT
E.1 INTRODUCTION
Wells in which Wireline Services are performed may contain a wide range of wellhead pressures
(WHP), for example from a few psi. up to several thousand psi. This pressure is normally due
to the natural pressure of the producing formation into which the well has been drilled.
Working in a pressurised well allows remedial or investigative work to be performed without
‘killing’ the well. Although killing the well is safer, it is a costly, time consuming exercise
requiring a rig and perhaps damaging the producing formation in the process.
Current Wellhead Pressure Equipment and practices allows a wire to be run in and out of the
well. Various wireline tools can be run and retrieved with a high degree of safety. Despite this,
wireline operations with pressure in the well require highly-qualified personnel and rigorous
operating and safety procedures since the safety/ control of the well is under their management.
E.2 WELLHEAD PRESSURE CONTROL EQUIPMENT
To enable the tools to be run into the well under pressure, the surface equipment shown
below is required. Each component on the following list is discussed in the next sections.
• Quick Unions
• Wellhead Adapter
• Pump-in Tee
• Wireline Valve (BOP)
• Lubricator - Bleed Off Valve
• Safety Check Union
• Stuffing Box
• Hydraulic Packing Nut
• Grease Injection Head
• Flow Tubes
• Grease Injection System
• Hay Pulley
• Weight Indicator
• Wireline Counter
• Wireline Clamps.
The relative positions of some of these components are shown in Figure E.1

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E-2 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure E.1 - Example of a Wireline Rig Up E.2.1 Quick Unions
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The connections used to assemble the Lubricator and related equipment are referred to as
Quick Unions; See Figure E.2. They are designed to be quickly and easily connected by hand.
The box end receives the pin end which carries an O-ring seal. The collar has an internal
Acme thread to match the external thread on the box end. This thread makes up quickly by
hand and should be kept clean. The O-ring forms the seal to contain the pressure and should
be thoroughly inspected for damage and replaced if necessary. A light film of oil or grease
helps in the make up of the union and prevents cutting of the O-ring.
Pipe wrenches, chain tongs or hammers should never be used to loosen the collar of the
union. If it cannot be turned by hand, all precautions must be taken to make sure that the well
pressure has been completely released.
CAUTION: IN GENERAL, UNIONS THAT CANNOT BE LOOSENED EASILY
INDICATE THAT HIGH PRESSURE MAY BE TRAPPED INSIDE. IF
THIS PRESSURE IS NOT BLED OFF FIRST, UNSCREWING THE
UNION COULD CAUSE A SUDDEN RELEASE OF PRESSURE,
PROJECTING EQUIPMENT PARTS AT LETHAL SPEEDS.
The collar of the union will make up by hand when the pin end (with the O-ring) has been
shouldered against the box end. When the collar bottoms out, it should be backed off
approximately one quarter turn to eliminate any possibility of it sticking due to friction when
the time comes to disconnect it.
Rocking the lubricator to ensure it is perfectly straight will assist in loosening the quick
union. In addition, ensure that tugger lines and hoists are properly placed to lift the lubricator
assembly directly over the wellhead.
Figure E.2 -Quick Union

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E.2.2 Wellhead Adapter (Tree Adapter)
All Wellhead Adapters are crossovers from the Xmas tree to the bottom connection of the
Wireline Valve or Riser. It is important to check that the correct type of threads with appropriate
pressure ratings are used on the top and bottom of the adapter.
Three types of Wellhead Adapter, See Figure E.3, are in common use:
• Quick Union to Quick Union
• API Flange to Quick Union
• Acme Thread to Quick Union.
Figure E.3 - Wellhead Adapters E.2.3 Pump-in Tee
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A Pump-In Tee; See Figure E.4, consists of three main parts:
• A Quick Union box end
• A Quick Union pin end
• A Chiksan/ Weco type connection.
The Pump-in Tee, when rigged up, is placed between the Wellhead adapter and the wireline
BOP. Therefore, Quick Union sizes and pressure ratings must be compatible with all surface
equipment.
Pump-in Tees may be required as part of a wireline rig-up. By connecting a kill-line to the
Chiksan/ Weco connection, the well can be killed in an emergency situation. This line can
also be used to pressure test or release pressure from the surface equipment.
NOTE: On somelocations, thepump-in teewill bepart of thewellhead adapter.
Figure E.4 - Pump-in Tee

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E.2.4 Wireline Valve (BOP)
a) Description
A Wireline Valve; See Figure E.5, must always be installed between the Wellhead/ Xmas tree
and Wireline Lubricator. This valve is a piece of safety equipment that can close around the
wireline and seal off the well below it. This enables the pressure to be bled off above it,
allowing work or repairs to be carried out on equipment above the valve without pulling the
wireline tools to surface. A positive seal is accomplished by means of rams which are manually
or hydraulically closed without causing damage to the wire.
Hydraulically actuated Wireline Valves are more commonly used because of the speed of
closing action and ease of operation. During an emergency, often the valve is not easily
accessible to allow fast manual operation and therefore remote actuation is preferred.
Single or dual ram valves are available in various sizes and in a full range of working pressure
ratings. Dual rams offer increased safety during slick line work and allow the injection of
grease to secure a seal on braided wireline. They are used particularly in gas wells, or wells
with a gas cap.
Wireline Valves are fitted with equalising valves that allow Lubricator and well pressure to
equalise prior to opening the rams when wireline operations are to be resumed. Without this,
if the valve rams were to be opened without first equalising, the pressure surge could blow the
toolstring or wire into the top of the Lubricator, causing damage or breakage.
WARNING: SINCE THEY ARE SUCH A VITAL COMPONENT CONTROLLING
THE SAFETY OF THE WELL, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WIRELINE
VALVES ARE REGULARLY PRESSURE AND FUNCTION TESTED.
TESTS SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT PRIOR TO TRANSPORT
OFFSHORE, BEFORE EACH NEW WIRELINE OPERATION AND
AFTER ANY REDRESS OR REPAIR OF THE VALVE.
b) Uses of Wireline Valves
• To enable well pressure to be isolated from the lubricator when leaks develop etc. without
cutting wire by closing the master valve.
• To permit assembly of a wireline cutter above the rams.
• To permit dropping of wireline cutter or cutter bar.
• To permit ‘stripping’ of wire through closed rams only when absolutely necessary.
A mechanical or hydraulic force is applied to close the rams to seal against well pressure. The
sealing elements are arranged so that the differential pressure across them forces them closed
and upwards, assisting in the sealing action.
Figure E.6 shows the ram configuration of a Wireline Valve. Blind rams close without wire
and will also close on 0.108 in. wire without damage. Both 3/ 16 in. and 7/ 32 in. rams have a
semi circular groove in each of the two ram faces to permit the ram to close and seal on 3/ 16
in. or 7/ 32 in. braided line.
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Figure E.5- Typical Wireline Valve (BOP)

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Figure E.6 - Wireline Valve Ram Configuration
NOTE: Ensurethat thecorrect guideis installed as an incorrect guidemay damageor cut thewire.
CAUTION: WIRELINE VALVES WILL HOLD PRESSURE FROM BELOW ONLY.
d) Equalising Valves
Permits equalisation of pressure from below the closed rams, after bleed off of the lubricator.
The equalising valve must be opened and closed prior to use.
A check should be made to ensure that the equalising assembly is not inverted and that the
retainer screw is towards the bottom of the valve; See Figure E.5.
When operating with stranded/ braided line, it is strongly recommended that a twin valve or
two single valves (one on top of the other), be installed and equipped with the appropriate
size moulded rams with the lower rams inverted to shut off from above. This enables grease
injection between the rams to block off the interstices of the braided line, preventing leakage
through the internal parts of the wire.
NOTE: If theBOP fails test, theequalisingvalveshould bechecked to confirmit is fully closed.
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E.2.5 Lubricators - Bleed Off Valve
The Lubricator is, in effect, a pressure vessel situated above the Xmas Tree, subject to the
wellhead shut-in pressure and also test pressures. For this reason, it should be regularly inspected
and tested in accordance with Statutory Regulations.
All Lubricator sections and accessories subject to pressure must be stainless steel banded; the
band should be appropriately stamped with the following data:- maximum working pressure,
test pressure, and date and rating of last hydrostatic test.
a) Description
A Lubricator allows wireline tools to enter or be removed from the well under pressure. It is
a tube of selected ID. and can be connected with other sections to the desired length by
means of Quick Unions; See Figure E.7.
The following factors govern the selection of Lubricators:
• Shut-in wellhead pressure
• Well fluid
• Wireline tool diameter
• Length of wireline tools.
The lowermost Lubricator section normally has one or more bleed off valves installed; a
pressure gauge can be connected to one of the valves to monitor pressure in the Lubricator. If
the Lubricator has no facility to install valves then a Bleed-off Sub, a short Lubricator section
with two valves fitted, should be connected between the Wireline Valve and Lubricator.
Quick Unions connect Lubricator sections together and to the Wireline Valve; these unions
have Acme type threads and seal by means of an O-ring, thereby requiring only tightening by
hand; See Figure E.8.
b) Construction
Lubricators for normal service (up to 5,000 psi.) can be made of carbon or manganese steel.
Over 5,000 psi., consideration should be given to sour service as quantities of H2S can be
absorbed into the steel of the Lubricator body and heat treatment becomes necessary.
All Lubricator sections must have full certification from the manufacturer or test house. A
standard colour code identifies different pressure ratings of lubricator.

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Figure E.8 - Lubricator Connectors
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A colour coding system is usually implemented. The colour coding system uses one or two
bands of colour to identify the service. For example in the Shell Expro system, the pressure
rating is identified by the base colour of the item (e.g. lubricator) or accessory and should
satisfy the following:
Table E.1 - Colour Coding and Pressure Rating of Pressure Control Equipment
The first band indicates if the service is Standard or Sour.
Standard service has no band.
Sour service has an orange band.
The second band indicates the temperature of the service.
Standard service (-30˚C to 250˚C) has no band.
Low temperature service (below -30˚C) has a blue band.
High temperature service (above 25˚C) has a purple band.
MAXIMUM WORKING PRESSURE COL OUR
(psi)
3,000 Red
5,000 Dark Green
10,000 White
15,000 Yellow

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E-12 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
E.2.6 Stuffing Box
The Stuffing Box; See Figure E.9, is a sealing device connected to the top of the Lubricator
sections and in conjunction with the lubricator is the primary pressure control on the well.
It allows the wireline to enter the well under pressure and also provides a seal should the
wireline break and be blown out of the packing. The Stuffing Box will cater for all sizes of
slickline but the size of the wire must be specified to ensure the correct packing rubbers are
installed.
If the wireline breaks in the well, the loss of weight on the wire at surface allows well pressure
to eject the wire from the well. To prevent well fluids leaking out the hole left by the wire, an
Internal Blow Out Preventer Plunger is forced up into the Stuffing Box by well pressure and
seals against the lower gland.
A packing nut and gland located at the top of the Stuffing Box can be adjusted to compress
the packing and seal on the wireline. Hydraulically controlled Packing Nuts are available to
ease operation should the packing require to be compressed during wireline operations. These
are controlled remotely by a hand pump and this avoids the need for manual adjustment of
the Packing Nut.
For slickline operations, the top sheave is normally an integral part of the Stuffing Box. This
reduces the rig up equipment required and the large 10 or 16 ins. sheaves can handle the
larger OD. wire with less fatigue and breakdown
.
Wireline sealing devices fulfil one of two functions:
• Pressure containment (sealing)
• High pressure containment on braided line.
For solid wirelines, only pressure containing Stuffing Boxes are utilised. The standard Stuffing
Box is available in 5,000 psi. and 10,000 psi. pressure ratings although higher pressure ratings
are now also available.
The essential function of the Wireline Stuffing Box is to ensure containment or sealing off
around solid wirelines, whether stationary or in motion, at the upper end of the Lubricator
during wireline operations. In addition, most Stuffing Boxes contain a BOP plunger which is
forced out of the packing section to seal off flow in the event of wireline breakage.
A swivel-mounted (360˚ free movement) sheave wheel and guard are fitted to the top half of
the Stuffing Box. The wheel is positioned so as to maintain the passage of the wire through
the centre of the packing rubbers.
The sheave guard on the Stuffing Box is designed to trap any wire which breaks on the
surface before it drops downhole.
The adjustment to the packing retainer nut at the top of the Lubricator is time consuming
and a Hydraulic Packing Nut; See Section E2. E.2.7, can be installed so that control can be
executed from the deck.
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure E.9 - Wireline Stuffing Box

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E.2.7 Hydraulic Packing Nut
The Hydraulic Packing Nut assembly, See Figure E.10, is designed for a standard Wireline
Stuffing Box to allow remote adjustment of the packing nut. This method is a safe and convenient
way of regulating the packing nut. Regulation is made from a ground position by means of a
hydraulic hand pump and hose assembly.
a) Benefits
The need for a person to climb the lubricator is eliminated.
The hand pump is positioned away from the nut itself, and therefore possible escaping well
fluid.
b) Operation
The Hydraulic Packing Nut Assembly includes a piston which has a permissible travel of 0.4
in. enclosed in a housing. The housing has a 1/ 4" NPT connection for a hydraulic hose.
The area above the piston is arranged so that when hydraulic pressure is applied to this area,
the piston is forced downward against the force of the spring. This downward action of the
piston is transmitted to the upper packing gland. This is designed to cause the Stuffing Box
packing to be squeezed around the wireline, sealing off well fluids within the Stuffing Box.
Figure E.10 - Hydraulic Packing Nut
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E.2.8 Grease Injection Head
To supply grease under pressure the following equipment is required to rig up the Grease
Injector Head:
• High pressure grease pump
• Grease reservoir
• Compressor
• Hoses
• Wiper box
• Grease injector head assembly
• Sheave
• Crane or drawworks.
The Grease Injection Head; See Figure E.11, is designed to effectively seal off stranded wirelines,
such as fishing and logging cables. The Grease Injection Head utilises grease or honey oil,
pumped under high pressure from a grease pump, into a very small annular space between the
outside of the wire and the inside of a tube covering it. The high pressure fluid provides two
sealing mechanisms:
• Since stranded lines have interstices between the strands and between layers which cannot
be packed off in a more direct, conventional manner, the sealing fluid fills these spaces, depriving
the well fluid of escape paths inside and around the wire.
• The sealing fluid in the small annular space is held at a higher pressure than that in the well,
forming a barrier to the flow of wellhead fluids and gases.
This results in the complete sealing and also lubrication of the wireline which reduces friction.
NOTE: When calculatingtheamount of stemrequired to overcomethewell pressure, a percentagemust
beadded to compensatefor friction.
The Grease Injection Control Head is composed of three flow tube sleeves, a flow tube sleeve
coupling, a quick union pin end, a flow hose and a line rubber and hydraulic packing nut
assembly at the upper end. The amount of flow tube sleeve used depends on the well pressure.
For 3/ 16" Braided Line:
3 flow tubes 0 - 4,000 psi.
4 flow tubes 4,000 - 6,000 psi.
5 or 6 flow tubes6,000 - 10,000 psi.
The flow tubes are close-fitting around the wireline and they, along with the flow tube
sleeves, form the main length of the grease head. This appreciable length affords sufficient
length to form an effective pressure barrier.
The flow tube sleeves are simplified body parts which hold the various other components
rigidly together and seal them. In addition, they are made of a very hard metal and the wire
predominantly bears on them, preventing wear on the other parts. The flow tube coupling
forms a junction for the flow tubes and also as the point of entry for the grease.

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Figure E.11 - Grease Injection Head
Grease Out
Grease In
Flow Tube
Flow Tube
Flow Tube
Quick Union
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The Hydraulic Packing Nut is a simple but efficient device which is remotely operated by a
hydraulic hand-pump assembly. The Hydraulic Packing Nut is actuated by pumping pressure
into the cylinder. When a complete seal is established, the pressure is maintained by closing
the valve at the hand pump assembly. The pressure may be relieved by opening the valve and
thus relaxing the seal. Thus, the piston in the packing nut is retracted by a strong spring when
the pressure is relieved from the piston.
The body has a port into which is assembled a flow hose to lead off any seepage that migrates
through the line and finds its way above the two flow tubes.
The optional differential pressure regulator valve, when used, controls the flow of grease to
the control head which is supplied by the grease supply system. In all cases, the grease is
delivered at a pressure of 350 psi. to 400 psi. greater than the wellhead pressure.
E.2.9 Flow Tubes
A range of flow tubes; See Figure E.12 are available with small increments of IDs so as to
provide an effective seal over the life of a wireline which reduces in size with usage.
The OD. of the line should be measured and the size of the tubes selected for the closest fit
(ID. of flow tubes should be 0.004 in. - 0.006 in. larger than OD. of wireline). Slip each tube
in turn over the wire and physically check that they do not grip the wire as this can lead to
‘bird caging’ of the outer strands when running in the well. This is an effect where the drag on
the outer strands gradually holds them back with regard to the inner strands so they become
loose and spring out from the cable like a bird’s cage until they jam at the packing nut. If the
packing nut is too tight it can also cause this same effect. (Alternatively, if the tubes are too big,
they will not create an effective barrier and too much grease will be wasted.)
Figure E.12 - Flow Tube Schematic

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E.2.10 Grease Injection System
The system is designed to deliver grease as demanded under continuous operation within the
parameters of a single pump unit.
There are two circuits on the unit for control/ drive air and grease and both are described
below:
a) Grease System
The system pump draws grease from the grease reservoir through the pump suction tube and
it is pumped to the outlet port which is split into two lines. One line delivers grease to the
control panel vent valve which allows the operator to vent grease pressure to atmosphere via
a short hose into an alternate grease reservoir which is not in use (this is normally permissible
as grease from this source should be clean; however, care should be taken to isolate grease from
airborne contamination). The other line is the grease supply line plumbed via a rotary valve to
hose storage reels and then to the appropriate grease head; See Figure E.12.
The grease return line via the hose reel, rotary valve, and system pressure gauge leads to a
system pressure control vent valve from which the vented grease flow rate is controlled. This
grease is plumbed (now at atmosphere pressure) through a short flexible hose to a waste
grease container and should not be re-used as this may be contaminated. Excessive grease
returns will indicate incorrectly sized flow tubes.
NOTE: If a 5/ 16" lineis used, thesupply pump must befitted with at least a 3/ 4" ID. hoseto ensure
adequatesupply to retain seal.
b) Pneumatics
The drive air enters the unit via a bulkhead quick connect to a pressure control valve which
is pilot controlled from the control panel and also acts as a stop/ start control. A separate supply
is plumbed to the control panel into a three way, two position valve. Position one is where the
supply is blocked with the reservoir vented to atmosphere, position two is where the supply
air is directed to the reservoir via the reservoir lid pressure controller; both allow the operator
an auto pre-set reservoir pressurisation or vent to atmosphere in one control valve.
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Figure E.13 - Grease Injection Rig Up

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WARNING: HIGH PRESSURE - Never allow any part of thehuman body to comein front of or
in direct contact with thegreaseoutlet. Accidental operation of thepump could causean
injection into theflesh. If injection occurs, medical aid must beimmediately obtained
froma physician.
WARNING: COMPONENT RUPTURE - This unit is capableof producinghigh fluid pressure
as stated on thepump model plate. To avoid component ruptureand possibleinjury, do
not exceed 75 cycles per minuteor operateat an air inlet pressuregreater than 150 psi.
(10 bar).
WARNING: SERVICING - Beforeservicing, cleaningor removingany component, always disconnect
or shut off thepower sourceand carefully relieveall fluid pressurefromthesystem.
E.2.11 Safety Check Union
This device can be included in braided/ stranded wireline Lubricator hook-ups just below the
Grease Injection Head. The wire is threaded through both these units and in the event that
the wire breaks and is blown out of the Grease Injection Head, the well pressure will
automatically shut off by the Safety Check Union. Shut-off is accomplished by the velocity of
the escaping well effluents causing a piston to lift a ball up against a ball seat; See Figure C.14.
Well pressure holds the ball against the seat. This device does in fact fulfil the same function as
the internal Wireline Valve in the solid wireline Stuffing Box. As with all Lubricator equipment,
this Safety Check Union is furnished with Quick Unions.
Figure E.14 - Safety Check Union

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APPENDIX F
F. COILED TUBING SURFACE WELL CONTROL
EQUIPMENT
F.1 INTRODUCTION
F.2 BARRIER PRINCIPLES
F.3 PRESSURE CONTROL EQUIPMENT
F.4 OPERATIONAL PLANNING AND SAFETY
F.5 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
F. APPENDIX - COILED TUBING SURFACE WELL CONTROL
EQUIPMENT
F.1 INTRODUCTION
When planning a Coiled Tubing operation, include a rough draft on well control requirements
for the particular application. One of the main reasons for this is that it may be a significant
factor regarding the amount of items required in the well equipment stack-up.
Both the well characteristics and the type of operation should be considered as they determine
the minimum size and type of well control devices that need to be employed to safely and
successfully conduct the programme.
In Coiled Tubing operations both internal and external pressure control must be assessed.
‘Internal’ refers to the inside of the coiled tubing and ‘External’ to the coiled tubing annulus.
The typical Well Control Stack is:
• Stripper
• BOP
• Riser
• Shear Seal
Starting from the top of the tree, many operators utilise a single shear/ seal device which is
flanged to the tree irrespective of well conditions and the operation to be carried out. This is
generally a tertiary barrier. Other operators only use a shear/ seal device when they deem it
applicable. The bore diameter and cutting capabilities of the shear/ seal will depend largely on
the type of toolstring.
On top of the Xmas tree or a shear/ seal, if used, is a crossover flange to quick union sectional
riser continuing to the operating level, i.e. rig floor or platform deck, with any additional stick
up height that is required.
The BOP is mounted directly on top of the riser using any crossovers which are required. The
BOP can be either be a conventional quad BOP, or the later style Comb BOP’s. Combi’s were
developed to be shorter and therefore have less stick up.
The stripper/ packer or stuffing box attaches to the top of the BOPs. This piece of equipment
is normally bolted to the underside of the injector head. A tandem stripper/ packer or even an
annular BOP can be installed between the standard stripper/ packer and the BOP for additional
safety particularly when the well conditions may cause premature stripper rubber wear.
Whichever combination of BOPs is selected in the stack-up for an operation, it should include
a closed barrier to allow safe stripper/ packer rubber replacement and a backup barrier.

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F-2 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
F.2 BARRIER PRINCIPLES
A combination of pressure control barriers are used in coiled tubing operations to provide
both internal pipe and external pipe pressure control.
For external pressure control the barriers during normal operations are stripper/ packers,
annular BOPs and BOP pipe rams. Strippers or annular BOPs are considered as primary
barriers and the BOPs as secondary barriers.
The internal barrier during normal operations are double BHA check valves. Both check
valves together are considered as the primary barrier and the BOP cutter rams secondary.
BOP shear/ seal rams or cutter gate valves are barriers on both sides and are considered tertiary
barriers.
F.3 PRESSURE CONTROL EQUIPMENT
F.3.1 Check valves
Check valves are installed in the coiled tubing BHA above the disconnect sub. They provide
primary inside pressure control.
The four most common types used are shown in Figure F.1, Figure F.2, Figure F.3, and Figure
F.4
F.3.2 Stripper/ Packer
The stripper/ packer is located at the top of the pressure control stack-up attached to the
injector head and is the primary pressure control barrier. It is constantly energised throughout
the coil tubing operation to effect a seal against the tubing; See Figure F.5, Figure F.6, Figure
F.7 and Figure F.8. As it is in constant use, on high pressure or gas wells, the elastomer sealing
element can wear out quite rapidly, hence the contingency requirement for a back-up stripper
or annular BOP.
An example of such a rig up is shown in Figure F.11. As stated above, this back-up unit would
only be brought into use if the first packing element failed. Used in conjunction with the
tubing rams in the BOPs, this provides an additional barrier and allows safer access to change
the worn elastomers in the first stripper.
In other circumstances the back-up stripper may be used to allow operations to continue
without having to repair the first stripper
Because of the increased height due to using tandem stripper/ packers, a new development
introduced is the radial stripper/ packer; 4. This reduces the stack up height by about half and
makes changing the elastomers a very simple task.
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.1 - Ball Check Valve
Figure F.2 - Dome Check Valve

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F-4 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.3- Flapper Check Valve
Figure F.4 - Removable Cartridge Flapper Valve
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.5 - Stripper/ Packer

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F-6 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.6 - Side Door Stripper/ Packer
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.7 - Tandem Sidedoor Stripper/ Packer

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F-8 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.8 - Radial Stripper/ Packer
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
F.3.3 BOPs
The BOP is the secondary barrier in pressure control. As a failsafe device, the BOP should
only be operated as a safety device and with careful consideration and not used for any other
use such as a means of “parking” the tubing while at depth.
A standard quad BOP is configured with four rams; See Figure F.9 and Figure F.10
From top to bottom:
•Blind Rams
Blind rams only seals on open hole when the elastomers on each ram meet and seal. If there
is pipe across the ram area the seal cannot be effected.
•Shear Rams
Shear rams have the ability to cut tubing. When using C/ T logging i.e. tubing with logging
cable through it, the shear rams must have the capability to cut both. There is no seal on this
function. Extreme caution should be taken when functioning any of the rams as accidental
functioning of the shear rams could potentially be very dangerous and at best causes a fishing
job.
•Slip Rams
The slip ram is designed to hold the full tubing weight, and it too has no sealing function. The
slip toolface can mark the tubing significantly and induce an area where premature cracking
can occur. Caution should be used when considering the use of these rams as the slip toolface
can significantly mark the tubing and induce an area where premature cracking can occur.
•Tubing Rams
Tubing rams are used to effect a seal against the tubing. Wellbore pressure aids in the sealing of
the ram when a differential is created, by bleeding off above. Both this ram and the blind ram
do not hold pressure from above.
A Combi BOP incorporates the functions of two upper and the two lower types of rams into
one unit and in so doing reduces rig up height and simplifies the controls system. However, it
would be necessary to alter the well control procedures accordingly.
A triple Comb is a model which has two combination slip/ tubing rams as well as the
combination shear/ blind rams. A triple Comb combined with two radial stripper/ packers
provides a shorter stack up than a conventional stack-up; See Figure F.11.

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F-10 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.9 - Quad BOP
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F-11
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.10 - EH34 Quad BOP

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F-12 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
F.3.4 Shear/ Seal
This device is usually a 6
1
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8
" bore Comb ram with single cut and seal rams; See Figure F.12.
This provides a single cut/ seal function for installation safety and is the tertiary barrier. In the
event of a platform emergency, a designated person is responsible for it’s closure but normally
the platform manager’s permission is sought time permitting.
To illustrate the main components of a typical hydraulic ram, a sectioned drawing of a shear/
seal actuator is illustrated; See Figure F.13.
Figure F.14 shows the height of a typical stack up arrangement using a dual Comb on the tree,
a triple Comb BOP, a quick union connector, a tandem and standard stripper/ packer.
Figure F.11 Pressure Control Stack Up
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F-13
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.12 - Shear/ Seal Single BOP

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F-14 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.13 - Shear/ Seal Actuator Assembly
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F-15
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure F.14- Pressure Control Stack Up

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F-16 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
F.4 OPERATIONAL PLANNING AND SAFETY
F.4.1 Introduction
Initially look at the different factors which control any Coiled Tubing operation. These factors
when combined in the right order, and planned properly, will see the completion of a successful
coiled tubing operation.
F.4.2 Operational Considerations
Gas Well
Gas wells cause undue wear to stripper rubbers and, hence, it may be necessary to provide an
additional stripper/ packer, to complement the standard package.
High Wellhead Pressure
Use of coiled tubing in high pressure situations, require a thorough check of certain aspects
pertaining to the well control equipment. For example, the pressure rating of the equipment,
back-up stripper/ packer or annulus preventer and the capability of the hydraulic system to,
either, shear or effect a proper seal around the tubing
Toolstring Length
The operation will dictate the length of the tool string which in turn may affect the rig up,
e.g. length of riser, pick up height of the injector and stick up height of well control equipment.
See Figure F
Toolstring Deployment Systems
Novel deployment systems have been developed for the deployment of extra long toolstrings
such as TCP type perforating guns. These systems provide barrier protection when the toolstring
is being made up and lubricated into the well. Such systems may require the assistance of a
wireline unit and crew.
F.4.3 Working Location
Type of Rig
A semi-submersible drilling or workover vessel requires the addition of a heavy duty lifting
frame installed between the block and the surface tree in which to support the injector and
BOPs.
Drilling rigs can usually accommodate the width of injectors quite easily but in certain
circumstances the “A” frame height can be restrictive.
Workover rigs tend to have smaller “V” doors than conventional drilling rigs, and dimensions
of this should be checked against the injector size available.
On land well operations where there is no means of holding back the injector against the pull
of the tubing from the reel, an adjustable stand is required to support the forces with the
ground.
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Rig Floor Equipment
There should be enough rig floor tuggers capable of pulling the injector into position for
stabbing onto the BOP with sufficient lifting capacity. There should be two for the injector
positioning, one to install the toolstring and one or more for man riding. The tie down points
must be designed and certified for the job.
Rig floor working space should not be restricted with unnecessary items of equipment or
tubulars in the derrick. The main access and emergency exit points should not be restricted.
Refer to Figure F.15
Figure F.15 - Radius of Safety

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F-18 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
F.4.4 Pressure Control Equipment Considerations
The style of stripper/ packer in relation to the operation requires consideration. On a
conventional stripper/ packer it may take over 45 minutes to change the elastomers with pipe
in the hole. To change the elastomers in a side door stripper/ packer, may take as little as 5
minutes.
A tandem stripper/ packer should be employed to serve as an additional well barrier in high
wellhead pressure situations. A tandem stripper/ packer it will add approximately 4 ft. to the
stick up height which needs to be considered.
BOPs are now available in several different configurations. The standard is a quad, i.e.; with
four separate ram functions. The trend now is to combine the rams to form Combi BOPs.
The most common configuration is the Triple Combi. This BOP combines the two top
functions and eliminates the need to pull pipe as is necessary after the shear on the quad.
The shear/ seal is a large single cut and seal device. This is normally flanged on top of the
wellhead and used only as a last resort. The shear/ seal usually is of a size equal to the wellbore,
and is capable of cutting the toolstring.
Control Hoses
On a semi-submersible the injector and the BOPs may be a considerable height above the
drillfloor. This must be considered with the position of the power pack and control house,
whereby extensions to the control hoses may be required.
Similarly on a platform, if the coiled tubing is to be run from the pipe deck to the skid deck,
the control hoses may again require extensions.
Support Stand
The standard type support stand is manually operated and requires constant monitoring in
live well situations. If the operation is performed with the well on production, and cold
liquids introduced through the coiled tubing this will cause the riser to contract, the support
stand may become trapped under the injector.
A hydraulic support type stand has built in relief valves to release the pressure should the riser
shrink.
Tie Back Points
The use of tie down points requires the need to have similar tie back points on the injector.
Under normal circumstances injectors are not fitted with this facility. If the frame is to be used
ensure that the attaching points are tested fit for the job.
Pre-Job Saftey Checks
• Have the BOPs been adequately pressure test?
• What is the maximum expected well pressure?
• Can the injector snub against this pressure without buckling the coiled tubing?
• Will the shear rams cut the coiled tubing against this pressure?
• Is a tandem stripper/ packer required?
• Is an extended tool, pressure deployed system required?
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F-19
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
F.5 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
All procedures are dependent on a combination of the position of the tool string in the well
bore, and the wellhead pressure.
F.5.1 Platform Shutdown
In the event of a platform shutdown the well must be made safe. To carry out this operation
does not require the full crew, and only one operator should remain to function the well
control equipment, as outlined below:
• Stop the Coiled Tubing
• Stop pumping fluids
• Close the tubing rams
• Close the slip rams
• Await further instructions
• A decision should be made to close the shear/ seal on top of the wellhead.
F.5.2 Stripper/ Packer Element Leak
The Stripper/ packer should be energised sufficiently with hydraulic pressure, so that it will
contain any well bore fluids, but not restrict the running of the coiled tubing.
Should the element start leaking and it cannot be energised to stem the leak, the following
should be implemented:
• Stop the coiled tubing
• Close the tubing rams
• Inform the company representative
• Form a remedial plan.
F.5.3 Leak Between the Top of the Tree and the Stripper/ Packer
In the above situation the following should be implemented:
• Stop the coiled tubing
• Inform the company representative
• Depending on the severity of the leak, a decision should be taken as to closing the shear seal.
F.5.4 Tubing Pinhole Leak
The tubing develops a leak at the surface.
In this situation the procedure is quite simple:
• Stop the coiled tubing.
• Inform the company representative.

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F-20 © Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
• Wait for the pressure in the tubing to bleed down.
• If the pressure drops and the check valves are holding.
• Pull out of the hole spooling the pinhole onto the reel.
F.5.5 Tubing Ruptures
The tubing ruptures as it comes over the gooseneck and separates. Initially this can be a
potentially hazardous, and serious situation. The seriousness is dependant on the tubings internal
pressure, the wellhead pressure, and the type of medium within the tubing:
• Stop the coiled tubing.
• Inform the company representative.
• Let the pressure in the tubing bleed down.
• If the pressure drops and the check valves are holding, pull rupture to deck level
and splice tubing.
• If it appears that the check valves are not holding, the shear seal should be closed
and the well secured.
• Prepare to fish coiled tubing.
F.5.6 Tubing Separates Downhole
The tubing separates downhole. In this situation the procedure becomes a little more
complicated, but less hazardous if handled correctly:
• Stop the coiled tubing.
• Establish approximately at what point the tubing parted.
• There is a need to consider the possibility of killing the well.
• Assuming the well is in a safe condition POOH slowly to a pre-determined depth.
• Start closing the swab valve counting the turns to establish when the coiled tubing is above
the tree.
• Once the end of the tubing is above the swab shut in the well using the upper and lower
master valves.
• Bleed down the riser and pull the end of the tubing to surface.
• Prepare to fish coiled tubing.

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APPENDIX G
G. HYDRAULIC WORKOVER / SNUBBING EQUIPMENT
AND HAZARDS
G.1 INTRODUCTION
G.2 BARRIER PRINCIPLES
G.3 PRESSURE CONTROL REQUIREMENTS
G4 SNUBBING EQUIPMENT
G.5 BOTTOMHOLE ASSEMBLIES
G.6 IDENTIFIED SNUBBING / HWO HAZARDS
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G-1
G. APPENDIX - HYDRAULIC WORKOVER/ SNUBBING
EQUIPMENT AND HAZARDS
G.1 INTRODUCTION
It is essential that prior to any snubbing/ HWO operation the safety issues are addressed.
Reference should be made to relevant sections of the appropriate Safety Manual.
At the safety meeting all aspects of the operation and detailed contingency plans should be
discussed. Snubbing/ HWO emergency procedures will form the basis of these contingency
plans. Of particular importance are the aspects of Well Control Procedures.
Under no circumstances should safety be compromised. Procedures should be observed, work
permits strictly adhered to, and equipment operated within designed parameters.
Aspects of well control must be included in the planning and equipment selection process.
Snubbing operations are performed on live wells and particular emphasis must be given to the
required well control competencies and equipment to be used for each individual application.
G.2 BARRIER PRINCIPLES
A combination of pressure control barriers are used in snubbing operations to provide both
internal pipe and external pipe pressure control similar to coiled tubing operations addressed
in Appendix F.
For external pressure control the barriers during normal operations are stripper rams, annular
BOPs and BOP pipe rams. The stripper rams or annular BOPs are considered as primary
barriers and the safety BOPs as secondary barriers.
Internal barriers during normal operations are double BHA check valves. The lowermost
check valve is considered the primary barrier with the upper being the secondary. An advantage
of snubbing over coiled tubing is that a wireline installed check valve can be run into the
BHA on failure of the other check valves and is the secondary barrier.
BOP shear/ seal rams are barriers on both sides and are considered tertiary barriers.
G.3 PRESSURE CONTROL REQUIREMENTS
Pressure control requirements for workover operations are covered API RP 53. These documents
do not, however, address snubbing operations.
The expertise within the industry is with a small group of specialised contractors, who posses
the required equipment and competence. However, it is incumbent upon the asset holder (or
his delegated representative) to ensure that all activities carried out on the asset (the well) are
conducted in a manner to provide for complete well control.

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G-2
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
G.4 SNUBBING EQUIPMENT
Most of the equipment used in snubbing operations consists of ram and annular type BOPs
and chokes which are already described in Appendix A.
A typical snubbing rig ups for various well pressures, pipe sizes are shown in Section 7. They
effectively consist of the equipment described in the following sections.
The configuration of a snubbing stack from top to bottom is generally:
• Stripper Bowl (Optional)
• Stripper Rams/ Annular BOPs
Used to seal around the pipe when snubbing. If using more than one pipe size there must be
a set of stripper rams for each pipe size. The rams are dressed with inserts to allow stripping
of the pipe.
• Safety Rams
Safety rams are essentially the same as stripper rams except they are used solely for safety.
Safety may also be situated below the blind and shear rams.
• Blind Rams
Blind rams are used to seal off the open hole. They seal when the elastomers on each ram
meet. They will not seal when there is pipe across them.
• Shear Rams
Shear rams have the ability to cut the pipe. There is no seal on this function. Extreme
caution should be taken when functioning any of the rams as accidental functioning of the
shear rams could potentially be very dangerous and at best causes a fishing job.
G.4.1 Stripper Bowls
Stripper bowls are pressure containment devices for use during low pressure pipe moving
operations, usually below 2,000psi. At these pressures, pipe running speed and efficiency can
be increased by using these devices for the primary annular seal rather than the normal
blowout preventers, since the airlock cycle operations are eliminated.
G.4.2 Stripper BOPs
For upset pipe two stripper pipe rams are used to effect a seal on the outside of the pipe. These
rams are operated by the unit operator from a control panel located in the basket. They are
regular ram type BOPs which are opened and closed in sequence to allow the upsets to pass
into the well.
The pressure trapped between the two stripper rams when the lower stripper ram is closed is
bled off through a choke in the bleed off line. To open the lower stripper ram after closing the
upper ram, pressure is equalised across the lower ram by the equalising loop.
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G-3
When more than one pipe size is being run, a set of stripper BOPs for each size must be
included in the rig up.
To repair a damage stripper ram, normally two safety pipe rams are closed on the pipe to
provide two barriers (in some areas of the world this convention is not recognised).
G.4.3 Annular BOPs
Tandem annular BOPs are normally used when running non upset pipe. One of the annulars
is contingency for damage to the first annular. There is a great advantage when using annulars
in that there is no requirement for a bleed off or equalising line and, therefore, running speed
are faster.
G.4.4 Safety BOPs
Safety BOPs are used for safety only. They are closed on the pipe to effect a seal when there is
either a leak downstream or when the stripper or annular rubbers need redressing. They differ
from the stripper rams in that they may be dressed primarily for sealing against the pipe rather
than stripping.
G.4.5 Shear/ Blind BOPs
A set of shear and blind rams are installed as a tertiary barrier. To prevent the pipe dropping
after severance, additional safeties are added below the shears.
G.4.6 Testing Requirements
After the snubbing unit is installed, the integrity of the wellhead and the well control equipment
must be established before operations commence. This is accomplished by a series of pressure
test procedures to sequentially:
• Test the tertiary pressure control system against a closed Xmas tree valve.
• Test the secondary control system against the tertiary system.
• Test the primary control system against the tertiary system.

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G-4
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure G.1 - Typical HWO/ Snubbing Layout
Tool Box
Spares
Fluid Storage
And
Processing
Mud Pump
Ground Based BOP
Control Units
Fuel
Power Unit
Stripper Bowl
Fill Line Drain Line
Equalise
Line
Bleed
Line
Choke
Line
Upper Kill
Line
Choke
System
Hoses
Tool House
Work
Basket
Gin
Pole
Stationary
Slips
Work
Window
Hanger Flange
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G-5
G.5 BOTTOMHOLE ASSEMBLIES
The configuration of BHAs with regard to check valve and back pressure valve location and
function is essential for safety at the start of running or the end of pulling a workstring:
• BPVs used must be as strong as the tubing and are located at the bottom of the string for
normal operations. However they may be placed higher if using gases for foam jetting or
nitrogen lifting, reducing the inventory of gas which may blow back if there is a failure in
the pumping equipment lines.
• When using abrasive fluids such as cement, it is advisable to install pump-out type valves in
the event of plugging or flow cutting. They are also used if reverse circulating is required.
• Standard* back pressure valve configurations are shown in Figure G.2. The configurations
in A and C are preferred. In B it must be closely checked to ensure the wireline plug can
beset in the nipple. A long end cap may hold up on the top back pressure valve and
prevent the lock mandrel from setting in the nipple. The non-standard configuration in D
may be too long to allow closing in the well when the nipple is at the top of the mast.
When using pump-out BPVs, the configuration in E should be used but the pump-out
ball for expending the BPVs must first be passed through the nipple to check clearance.
* Standard in this context means a practise which has become a “standard” within the service
companies who provide snubbing/ HWO services to the industry and is not an
institutionalised type standard.

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G-6
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
E is a special configuration when having to use a pump out check valve for
operational reasons. Due to the check valve being expendable by pumping down
a drop ball, another check valve cannot be installed above it. For this reason, primary
inside well control is only the single check valve. If expended, the secondary
system is a wireline check valve installed in the nipple by wireline.
Figure G.2 - BHA Configuration
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G-7
G.6 IDENTIFIED SNUBBING/ HWO HAZARDS
There are three main areas involving HWO activities where hazards are identified:
• HWO operation.
• Well control.
• Use of HWO auxiliary equipment.
Figure G.3 - Stripper Assembly

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G-8
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
APPLICATION IDENTIFIED HAZARDS CONTROL MECHANISM
A. HWO Operation 1. Power Pack Failure Pre-Emptive:
Engine Failure Conduct maintenance procedures and ensure engine is fully
serviced with oil and fuel.
Engine out of fuel Re-active:
Immediately set Heavy slips on pipe in the hole, (Snubber
stationery if in the light mode) close in pipe rams on tubing.
2. Hydraulic Failure Pre-Emptive:
Hydraulic hose bursting Conduct proper check on all hose connection valves and pumps.
Valve seizure Function test all Hydraulically moving parts.
Insufficient oil in Ensure sufficient Hydraulic oil is in the reservoir.
Hydraulic Reservoir
Re-active:
Make sure unit is secure prior to shutting down engine for repairs.
3. Slip Failure Pre-Emptive:
Tubing Sliding Through Slips Ensure correct pressures are maintained for opening and closure
of slips.
Ensure slip inserts are free from grease, pipe dope and scale
whilst RIH or POOH.
Re-active:
Close in all slips and secure with clamp prior to changing out worn
slip inserts.
4. Stripper BOP Failure Pre-Emptive:
Rams closing too slow Ensure correct preventer pump pressure is maintained for the rams
being used.
Valves sticking whilst Ensure equalise and bleed-off valves are functioning properly
opening or closing (as BOP will not open if pressure is trapped between rams).
Re-active:
Close in tubing rams below stripper BOP and manually lock in.
Bleed off pressure. Open rams and change out stripper inserts.
Ensure valves are greased properly with correct grease.
5. Jack Movement Pre-Emptive:
Slow movement of jack Ensure all jack pumps are at correct settings.
Ensure sufficient hydraulic oil is in reservoir.
Check munsen tyson valve is functioning properly.
Jack jumps when moving up Ensure counter balance valves are operational and free from grit.
or down
Re-active:
Secure tubing in well in heavy slips.
Check all settings for pumps, and that pumps are all functional.
Open travelling slips and check movement on jack without pipe.
Continued
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G-9
APPLICATION IDENTIFIED HAZARDS CONTROL MECHANISM
B. HWO Well 1. BPV Failure Pre-Emptive:
control
Gas or liquid flowing from Ensure back pressure valves are maintained properly.
top of tubing
Check springs ball and seats are not worn or corroded.
Ensure tool joints are made up to correct torque and seals are OK.
Pipe dope or scale falling on top of BPVs.
Tubing is rabbited and clear Re-active:
of debris
Tool joints are doped When running or pulling under pressure ensure TIW valves
properly are used at every joint whilst making up or breaking out tubing.
Renew springs and ball and seats.
If necessary, drop dart plug and pump into nipple.
C. Use of HWO 1. Auxiliary Equipment - Pre-Emptive:
Auxiliary Gin Pole, Counterbalance
Equipment Winch Tongs
Equipment Failure Ensure equipment is properly rigged up and maintained.
Check for defective or worn Follow correct rig up and running procedures.
tools and equipment
Slinging lifts Follow correct lifting and slinging procedures whilst rigging up
equipment.
Ensure correct hydraulic system pressures are being used.
Re-active:
At the first sign of any wear or tear, secure unit and shut down
power pack, if necessary and carry out repairs. All worn
guy wires and winch cables should be changed-out.
(These repairs should be done immediately.)

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APPENDIX H
H. EQUIPMENT SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
H.1 FLANGED END AND OUTLET CONNECTIONS
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H-1
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
H. APPENDIX - EQUIPMENT SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
H.1 FLANGED END AND OUTLET CONNECTIONS
H.1.1 General - Flange Types And Uses
Three types of end and outlet flanges are controlled by this specification:
• 6B, 6BX and segmented.
• 6B and 6BX flanges may be used as integral, blind or weld neck flanges.
Type 6B may also be used as threaded flanges. Some type 6BX blind flanges may also be used
as test flanges. Segmented flanges are used on dual, triple, and quadruple completion wells and
are integral with the equipment.
H.1.2 Design
a) Pressure Ratings and Size Ranges of Flange Types.
Type 6B, 6BX, and segmented flanges are designed for use in the combinations of nominal
size ranges and rated working pressure as shown in Table H.1.
b) Type 6B Flanges.
•General.
API Type 6B flanges are of the ring joint type and are not designed for make-up
face- to-face. The connection make-up bolting force reacts on the metallic ring gasket.
The Type 6B flanges shall be of the through-bolted or studded design.
•Dimensions
(1) Standard Dimensions.
Dimensions for Type 6B integral, threaded, and weld neck flangesshall conform to
Table H.2, Table H.3 and Table H.4
Dimension for Type 6B blind flanges shall conform to those referenced in Table H.1
Dimensions for ring grooves shall conform to Table H.5 and Table H.6
(2) Integral Flange Exceptions.
Type 6B flanges used as end connections on casing and tubing head connections
may have entrance bevels, counterbores or recesses to receive casing and tubing
hangers. The dimensions of such entrance bevels, counterbores, and recesses are not
covered by this specification and may exceed the B dimension of TableH.2 and
Table H.4(3)
(3) Threaded Flanges.
Threads shall conform to the requirementsof the manual.

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H-2
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
c) Weld Neck Flanges.
Bore Diameter and Wall Thickness. The bore diameter JL shall not exceed the values shown in
Table H.2, Table H.3 and Table H.4. The specified bore shall not result in a weld-end wall
thickness less than 87.5 percent of the nominal wall thickness of the pipe to which the flange
is to be attached.
Weld End Preparation. Dimensions for weld end preparation shall conform to Table H.2
Taper - When the thickness at the welding end is 3/ 32" or greater than that of the pipe, and
the additional thickness decreases the inside diameter, the flange shall be taper bored form the
weld and at a slope not exceeding 3 to 1.
NOTE: Dueto smaller maximumboredimensions, Type6B weld neck flanges arenot intended to be
welded to equipment in this specification. Their purposeis to bolt to another 6B flangeand
providea transition to bewelded to a pipe.
• Flange Face. Flange face may be flat or raised on the ring, joint side and shall be fully
machined. Flange back face may be fully machined or spot faced at the bolt holes. The
flange back face or spot faces shall be parallel to the front face within one degree and the
thickness after facing shall conform to the dimensions of Table H.2, Table H.3 and Table
H.4
• Gaskets. Type 6B flanges shall use Type R or Type RX Gaskets in accordance with
Section IH.1.3.
• Corrosion Resistant Ring Grooves. Type 6B flanges may be manufactured with corrosion
resistant overlays in the ring grooves. Prior to application of the overlay, preparation of the
ring grooves shall conform to the appropriate dimensions. Other weld preparations may
be employed where the strength of the overlay alloy equals or exceeds the strength of the
base materials.
• Ring Groove Surface. All 23˚ surface on ring grooves shall have a surface finish no
rougher than 63 RMS.
Table H.1 - Rated Working Pressure and Size Ranges of API Flanges
2,000 2
1
/16 thru 21
1
/
4
26
3
/
4
- -
3,000 2
1
/
16
thru 20
3
/
4
26
3
/
4
- -
5,000 2
1
/
16
thru 11 13
5
/
8
thru 211/4 1
3
/
8
thru 4
1
/
16
x 4
1
/
4
11
3
/
16
thru 4
1
/
16
x 4
1
/
4
10,000 - 11
3
/
16
thru 211/4 - -
15,000 - 11
3
/
16
thru 183/4 - -
20,000 - 11
3
/
16
thru 135/8 - -
RATED
WORKING
PRESSURE
Type 6B
Type 6BX Dual Triple or Quadruple
SEGMENTED
FLANGE SIZE RANGE
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H-3
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure H.1 - Type 6B Blind Flanges
Figure H.2- Weld End Preparation for Type 6B and 6BX Weld Neck Flanges

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H-4
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure H.3 - Type 6B Flanges
RING GROOVE MUST BE
CONCENTRIC WITH BORE
WITHIN 0.010 TOTAL
INDICATOR RUNOUT
BOLT HOLE CENTRELINE
LOCATED WITHIN 0.03
OF THEORETICAL BC AND
EQUAL SPACING
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H-5
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Table H.2- Basic Flange, Bolt and Hub and Bore Dimensions for
2000psi Rated Working Pressure
2
1
/
16
2.09 6.50 +0.06 0.12 4.25 1.31 1.00 3 . 3 1
2
9
/
16
2.59 7.50 +0.06 0.12 5.00 1.44 1.12 3 . 9 4
3
1
/
8
3.22 8.25 +0.06 0.12 5.75 1.56 1.25 4 . 6 2
4
1
/
16
4.28 10.75 +0.06 0.12 6.88 1.81 1.50 6 . 0 0
7
1
/
16
7.16 14.00 +0.12 0.25 9.50 2.19 1.88 8 . 7 5
9 9.03 16.50 +0.12 0.25 11.88 2.50 2.19 10.75
11 11.03 20.00 +0.12 0.25 14.00 2.81 2.50 13.50
13
5
/
8
13.66 22.00 +0.12 0.25 16.25 2.94 2.62 15.75
16
3
/
4
16.78 27.00 +0.12 0.25 20.00 3.31 3.00 19.50
21
1
/
4
21.28 32.00 +0.12 0.25 25.00 3.88 3.50 24.00
5.00 8
5
/
8
0.75 +0.06 4.50 23
5.88 8
3
/
4
0.88 +0.06 5.00 26
6.62 8
3
/
4
0.88 +0.06 5.25 31
8.50 8
7
/
8
1.00 +0.06 6.00 37
11.50 12 1 1.12 +0.06 7.00 45
13.75 12 1
1
/
8
1.25 +0.06 8.00 49
17.00 16 1
1
/
4
1.38 +0.06 8.75 53
19.25 20 1
1
/
4
1.38 +0.06 9.00 57
23.75 20 1
1
/
2
1.62 +0.09 10.25 65
28.50 24 1
5
/
8
1.75 +0.09 11.75 73
2
1
/
16
1.75 - 3.19 2.38 +0.09/-0.03 2.07
2
9
/
32
1.94 - 3.44 2.88 +0.09/-0.03 2.47
3
1
/
8
2.12 - 3.56 3.50 +0.09/-0.03 3.07
4
1
/
16
2.44 3.50 4.31 4.50 +0.09/-0.03 4.03
7
1
/
16
2.94 4.50 4.94 6.63 +0.16/-0.03 5.76
9 3.31 5.00 5.56 8.63 +0.16/-0.03 7.81
11 3.69 5.25 6.31 10.75 +0.16/-0.03 9.75
13
5
/
8
3.94 3.94 - - - -
16
3
/
4
4.50 4.50 - - - -
21
1
/
4
5.38 5.38
BASIC FLANGE DIMENSIONS
Nominal
Size &
Bore of
Flange
Max.
Bore
B
Outside
Diameter
of Flange
OD
Tolerance
OD
Max.
Chamfer
C
Diameter
of Raised
Face
K
Total
Thickness
of
Flange
T
Basic
Thickness
of
Flange
Q
Diameter
of
Hub
X
Diameter
of Bolt
Circle
BC
Number
of Bolts
Diameter
of Bolts
Diameter
of Bolt
Holes
Bolt Hole
Tolerance
Length of
Stud Bolt
L
SSS
Ring
number R
or RX
Nominal
Size and
Bore of
Flange
Hub Length
Threaded
Line Pipe
Flange
L
L
Hub
Length
Welding
Neck Line
Pipe
Flange
L
N
Neck
Diameter
Welding
Neck Line
Pipe
Flange
H
L
Tolerance
H
L
Maximum
Bore of
Welding
Neck
Flange
J
L
BOLTING DIMENSIONS
HIUB AND BORE DIMENSIONS
Hub Length
Threaded
Casing
Flange
L
C

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H-6
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Table H.3 - Basic Flange, Bolt and Hub and Bore Dimensions
for 3,000 psi. Rated Working Pressure
2
1
/
16
2.09 8.50 +0.06 0.12 4.88 1.81 1.50 4.12
2
9
/
16
2.59 9.62 +0.06 0.12 5.38 1.94 1.62 4.88
3
1
/
8
3.16 9.50 +0.06 0.12 6.12 1.81 1.50 5.00
4
1
/
16
4.09 11.50 +0.06 0.12 7.12 2.06 1.75 6.25
7
1
/
16
7.09 15.00 +0.12 0.25 9.50 2.50 2.19 9.25
9 9.03 18.50 +0.12 0.25 12.12 2.81 2.50 11.75
11 11.03 21.50 +0.12 0.25 14.25 3.06 2.75 14.50
13
5
/8 13.66 24.00 +0.12 0.25 16.50 3.44 3.12 16.50
16
3
/
4
16.78 27.75 +0.12 0.25 20.62 3.94 3.50 20.00
20
3
/
4
20.78 33.75 +0.12 0.25 25.50 4.75 4.25 24.50
6.50 8
7
/
8
1.00 +0.06 6.00 24
7.50 8 1 1.12 +0.06 6.50 27
7.50 8
7
/
8
1.00 +0.06 6.00 31
9.25 8 1
1
/
8
1.25 +0.06 7.00 37
12.50 12 1
1
/
8
1.25 +0.06 8.00 45
15.50 12 1
3
/
8
1.50 +0.06 9.00 49
18.50 16 1
3
/
8
1.50 +0.06 9.50 53
21.00 20 1
3
/
8
1.50 +0.06 10.25 57
24.25 20 1
5
/
8
1.75 +0.09 11.75 66
29.50 20 2 2.12 +0.09 14.50 74
2
1
/
16
2.56 - 2.56 4.31 2.38 +0.09/-0.03 1.94
2
9
/
16
2.81 - 2.81 4.44 2.88 +0.09/-0.03 2.32
31/
8
2.44 - 2.94 4.31 3.50 +0.09/-0.03 2.90
4
1
/
16
3.06 3.50 3.50 4.81 4.50 +0.09/-0.03 3.83
7
1
/
16
3.69 4.50 - 5.81 6.63 +0.16/-0.03 5.76
9 4.31 5.00 - 6.69 8.63 +0.16/-0.03 7.44
11 4.56 5.25 - 7.56 10.75 +0.16/-0.03 9.31
13
5
/
8
4.94 4.94 - - - - -
16
3
/
4
5.06 5.69 - - - - -
21
1
/
4
6.75 6.75 - - - - -
BASIC FLANGE DIMENSIONS
Nominal
Size and
Bore of
Flange
Max.
Bore
B
Outside
Diameter of
Flange
OD
Tolerance
OD
Max.
Chamfer
C
Diameter
of Raised
Face
K
Total
Thickness
of Flange
T
Raised
Thickness
of Flange
Q
Diameter
of Hub
X
BOLTING DIMENSIONS
Diameter of
Bolt Circle
BC
Number of
Bolts
Diameter of
Bolts
Diameter of
Bolt Holes
Bolt Hole
Tolerance
Length of
Stud Bolts
L
SSS
Ring
Number R or
RX
HUB AND BORE DIMENSIONS
Nominal
Size and
Bore of
Flange
Hub
Length
Threaded
Line Pipe
Flange
L
L
Hub
Length
Threaded
Casing
Flange
L
C
Hub
Length
Tubing
Flange
L
T
Hub
Length
Welding
Neck Line
Pipe Flange
L
N
Neck
Diameter
Welding
Neck Line
Pipe
Flange
H
L
Tolerance
H
L
Maximum
Bore of
Welding
Neck Flange
J
L
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OLTRAIN
I
N
G
C
E
N
T
R
E
H-7
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Table H.4 - Basic Flange and Bolt Dimensions
for 5,000 psi. Rated Working Pressure
2
1
/
16
2.09 8.50 +0.06 0.12 4.88 1.81 1.50 4.12
2
9
/
16
2.59 9.62 +0.06 0.12 5.38 1.94 1.62 4.88
3
1
/
8
3.22 10.50 +0.06 0.12 6.62 2.19 1.88 5.25
4
1
/
16
4.28 12.25 +0.06 0.12 7.62 2.44 2.12 6.38
7
1
/
16
7.16 15.50 +0.12 0.25 9.75 3.62 3.25 9.00
9 9.03 19.00 +0.12 0.25 12.50 4.06 3.62 11.50
11 11.03 23.00 +0.12 0.25 14.63 4.69 4.25 14.50
13
5
/
8
13.63 - - - - - - -
16
3
/
4
16.78 - - - - - - -
6.50 8
7
/
8
1.00 +0.06 6.00 24
7.50 8 1 1.12 +0.06 6.50 27
8.00 8 1
1
/
8
1.25 +0.06 7.25 35
9.50 8 1
1
/
4
1.38 +0.06 8.00 39
12.50 12 1
3
/
8
1.50 +0.06 10.75 46
15.50 12 1
5
/
8
1.75 +0.09 12.00 50
19.00 12 1
7
/
8
2.00 +0.09 13.75 54
- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
Nominal
Size &
Bore of
Flange
Maximum
Bore
Outside
Diameter
of Flange
Tolerance Maximum
Chamfer
Diameter
of Raised
Face
Total
Thickness
of Flange
Basic
Thickness
of Flange
Ring
NumberR
or RX
Diameter
of Bolt
Circle
Number
of Bolts
Diameter
of Bolts
Diameter
of Bolt
Holes
Bolt Hole
Tolerance
Length of
Stud
Bolts
L
sss
Ring
Number
R or RX
B OD
OD C K T
Q X
BC
BOLT DIMENSIONS
BASIC FLANGE DIMENSIONS

A
B
E
R
D
E
E
N
DRILLING
S
C
H
O
O
L
S

&
W
E
L
L
C
O
N
T
R
OLTRAIN
I
N
G
C
E
N
T
R
E
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
H-8
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
H.1.3 Ring Gaskets
General
The section covers Type R, RX, and BX ring gaskets for use in flanged connections. Types R
and RX Gaskets are interchangeable on 6B flanges. Only Type BX gaskets are to be used 6BX
flanges. Type RX and BX gaskets provide a pressure energised seal but are not interchangeable.
Design
• Dimensions. Ring gaskets shall conform to the dimensions and tolerances specified in
Figure H.6 and Figure H.7 and must be flat within 0.2% of ring outside diameter to a
maximum of 0.015 inches.
• R and RX Gaskets.
1. Surface Finish. All 23( surface on Type R and RX gaskets shall have a surface finish
no rougher than 63 RMS.
2. RX Pressure Passage Hole. Certain size RX gaskets shall have one pressure passage
hole drilled through their height as shown in Table H.6.
• BX Gaskets.
1. Surface Finish. All 23( surface on Type BX gaskets shall have a surface finish no
rougher than 32 RMS.
2. Pressure Passage Hole. Each BX gasket shall have one pressure passage hole drilled
through its height as shown in Figure H.8
• Re-use of Gaskets.
Ring gaskets have a limited amount of positive interference which assures
the gasket will be joined into sealing relationship in the flange grooves, these gaskets
shall not be reused.
Materials
• a. PSL 0. Gasket material for PSL 0 shall conform to appropriate standards.
• b. PSL 1-4. Gasket material for these levels shall conform to appropriate standards.
• c. Coating and Platings.
1. General. Coatings and platings are employed to aid seal engagement while minimising
galling and to extend shelf life. Coating and plating thicknesses shall be 0.0005 inch
maximum.
2. Metallic. Cadmium, zinc, copper and tin coatings or platings are acceptable for
service temperatures up to 250(F.
3. Non-metallic. Non-metallic coatings are acceptable if they do not interfere with the
sealing of the ring gasket.
Marking
Gasket shall be marked to conform to appropriate standard.
Storing and Shipping
Gaskets shall be stored and shipped in accordance with appropriate standards.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
A
B
E
R
D
E
E
N
DRILLING
S
C
H
O
O
L
S

&
W
E
L
L
C
O
N
T
R
OLTRAIN
I
N
G
C
E
N
T
R
E
H-9
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure H.4 - Type ‘R’ Ring Gaskets
A (WIDTH OF RING) +/ -0.008
B&H (HEIGHT OF RING) +/ -0.02
C (WIDTH OF FLAT ON OCTAGONAL RING) +/ -0.008
E (DEPTH OF GROOVE) +/ -0.02,-0
F (WIDTH OF GROOVE) +/ -0.008
P
(AVERAGE PITCH DIAMETER OF RING) +/ -0.007
(AVERAGE PITCH DIAMETER OF GROOVE) +/ -0.005
R
1
(RADIUS IN RINGS) +/ -0.02
R
2
(RADIUS IN GROOVE) +/ - MAX
23˚ (ANGLE) +/ - 1/ 2 DEG
TOLERANCES

A
B
E
R
D
E
E
N
DRILLING
S
C
H
O
O
L
S

&
W
E
L
L
C
O
N
T
R
OLTRAIN
I
N
G
C
E
N
T
R
E
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
H-10
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Table H.5 - Type ‘R’ Ring Gasket
R 20 2.688 0.313 0.56 0.50 0.206 0.06 0.25 0.344 0.03 0.16
R 23 3.250 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 24 3.750 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 26 4.000 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 27 4.250 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 31 4.875 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 35 5.375 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 37 5.875 0.438 0.59 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 39 6.375 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 41 7.125 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 44 7.625 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 45 8.313 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 46 8.313 0.500 0.75 0.69 0.341 0.06 0.38 0.521 0.06 0.13
R 47 9.000 0.750 1.00 0.94 0.485 0.06 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.16
R 49 10.625 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.09 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 50 10.625 0.625 0.88 0.81 0.413 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.16
R 53 12.750 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 54 12.750 0.625 0.88 0.81 0.413 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.16
R 57 15.000 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 63 16.500 1.000 1.31 1.25 0.681 0.06 0.62 1.063 0.09 0.22
R 65 18.500 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 66 18.500 0.625 0.88 0.81 0.413 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.16
R 69 21.000 0.438 0.69 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 70 21.000 0.750 1.00 0.94 0.485 0.06 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.19
R 73 23.000 0.500 0.75 0.69 0.341 0.06 0.38 0.531 0.06 0.13
R 74 23.000 0.750 1.00 0.94 0.485 0.06 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.19
R 82 2.250 0.438 - 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 84 2.500 0.438 - 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
R 85 3.125 0.500 - 0.69 0.341 0.06 0.38 0.531 0.06 0.13
R 86 3.563 0.625 - 0.81 0.413 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.16
R 87 3.938 0.625 - 0.81 0.413 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.16
R 88 4.875 0.750 - 0.94 0.485 0.06 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.19
R 89 4.500 0.750 - 0.94 0.485 0.06 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.19
R 90 6.125 0.875 - 1.06 0.583 0.06 0.56 0.906 0.06 0.19
R 91 10.25 01.250 - 1.50 0.879 0.09 0.69 1.313 0.09 0.16
R 99 9.250 0.438 - 0.63 0.305 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.19
Ring No. Pitch
Dia. of
Ring &
Groove
Width of
Ring
Height of
Ring
Oval
Height of
Ring
Octagonal
Width of
Flat of
Octagonal
Ring
Radius in
Octagonal
Ring
Depth of
Groove
Width of
Groove
Radius in
Groove
Approx.
Distance
between
made up
Flanges
P A B H C R
1
E F R
1
S
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
A
B
E
R
D
E
E
N
DRILLING
S
C
H
O
O
L
S

&
W
E
L
L
C
O
N
T
R
OLTRAIN
I
N
G
C
E
N
T
R
E
H-11
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure H.5 - API Type RX Pressure Energised Ring Gaskets
NOTE: Thepressurepassageholeillustrated in theRX Ringcross section in rings RX-82 through
RX-91 only. Centrelineof holeshall belocated at mid point of dimension C. Holediameter
shall be0.06 inches for rings RX-82 through RX-85, 0.9 inches for rings RX-86 and RX-
87, and 0.12 inches for rings RX-88 through RX-91.
A (WIDTH OF RING) +/ -0.008
C (WIDTH OF FLAT) +/ -0.006 - 0.000
E (DEPTH OF GROOVE) +/ -0.02,-0
F (WIDTH OF GROOVE) +/ -0.008
H˚ (HEIGHT OF RING) +/ -0.008 - 0.000
R1 (RADIUS IN RINGS) +/ -0.02
R2 (RADIUS IN GROOVE) +/ - MAX
23˚ (ANGLE) +/ - 1/ 2 DEG
* A PLUS TOLERANCE OF 0.008 INS FOR WIDTH A AND HEIGHT H IS PERMITTED
PROVIDED THE VARIATION IN WIDTH OR HEIGHT OF ANY RING DOES NOT
EXCEED 0.004 INS THROUGHOUT ITS ENTIRE CIRCUMFERENCE

A
B
E
R
D
E
E
N
DRILLING
S
C
H
O
O
L
S

&
W
E
L
L
C
O
N
T
R
OLTRAIN
I
N
G
C
E
N
T
R
E
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
H-12
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Table H.6 - API Type ‘RX’ Pressure Energised Ring Gaskets
P O D A C D H R E F R S
RX 20 2.688 3.000 0.344 0.182 0.125 0.750 0.06 0.25 0.344 0.03 0.38
RX 23 3.250 3.672 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 24 3.750 4.172 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 25 - 4.313 0.344 0.182 0.125 0.750 0.06 0.25 0.344 0.03 -
RX 26 4.000 4.406 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 27 4.250 4.656 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 31 4.875 5.297 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 35 5.875 5.797 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 37 5.875 6.297 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 39 6.375 6.797 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 41 7.125 7.547 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 44 7.625 8.047 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 45 8.313 8.734 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 46 8.313 8.750 0.531 0.263 0.188 1.125 0.06 0.38 0.531 0.06 0.47
RX 47 9.000 9.656 0.781 0.407 0.271 1.625 0.09 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.91
RX 49 10.625 11.047 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 50 10.625 11.156 0.656 0.335 0.208 1.250 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.47
RX 53 12.750 13.172 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 54 12.750 13.281 0.656 0.335 0.208 1.250 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.47
RX 57 15.000 15.422 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 63 16.500 17.391 1.063 0.582 0.333 2.000 0.09 0.63 1.063 0.09 0.84
RX 65 18.500 18.922 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 66 18.500 19.031 0.656 0.335 0.208 1.250 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.47
RX 69 21.000 21.422 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 70 21.000 21.656 0.781 0.407 0.271 1.625 0.09 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.72
RX 73 23.000 23.469 0.531 0.263 0.208 1.250 0.06 0.38 0.531 0.06 0.59
RX 74 23.000 23.656 0.781 0.407 0.271 1.625 0.09 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.72
RX 82 2.250 2.672 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 84 2.500 2.922 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 85 3.125 3.547 0.531 0.263 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.38 0.531 0.06 0.38
RX 86 3.563 4.078 0.594 0.335 0.188 1.125 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.38
RX 87 3.938 4.453 0.594 0.335 0.188 1.125 0.06 0.44 0.656 0.06 0.38
RX 88 4.875 5.484 0.688 0.407 0.208 1.250 0.06 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.38
RX 89 4.500 5.109 0.719 0.407 0.208 1.250 0.06 0.50 0.781 0.06 0.38
RX 90 6.125 6.875 0.781 0.479 0.292 1.750 0.09 0.56 0.906 0.06 0.72
RX 91 10.250 11.297 1.388 0.780 0.297 1.781 0.09 0.69 1.313 0.09 0.75
RX 99 9.250 9.672 0.469 0.254 0.167 1.000 0.06 0.31 0.469 0.03 0.47
RX 201 - 2.026 0.226 0.126 0.057 0.445 0.02** 0.16 0.219 0.03 -
RX 205 - 2.453 0.219 0.120 0.072* 0.437 0.02** 0.16 0.219 0.02 -
RX 210 - 3.844 0.375 0.213 0.125* 0.750 0.03** 0.25 0.375 0.03 -
RX 215 - 5.547 0.469 0.210 0.167* 1.000 0.06** 0.31 0.469 0.03 -
* Tolerance on these dimensions is +0 -0.015 ** Tolerance on these dimensions is +0.02 -0
Ring
No.
Pitch
Dia. of
Ring &
Groove
Outside
Dia. of
Ring
Width of
Ring
Width of
Flat
Height of
Outside
Bevel
Height
of Ring
Radius
in Ring
Depth of
Groove
Width of
Groove
Radius
in
Groove
Approx.
Distance
between
made up
Flanges
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
A
B
E
R
D
E
E
N
DRILLING
S
C
H
O
O
L
S

&
W
E
L
L
C
O
N
T
R
OLTRAIN
I
N
G
C
E
N
T
R
E
H-13
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
Figure H.6 - API Type BX Pressure Energised Ring Gaskets
NOTE: Radius ‘R’ shall be8-12% of thegasket height ‘H’.
A (WIDTH OF RING) +/ -0.008
C (WIDTH OF FLAT) +/ -0.06-0.000
D (DEPTH SIZE) NONE
E (DEPTH OF GROOVE) +/ -0.02,-0
F (WIDTH OF GROOVE) +/ -0.008
G (OD OF GROOVE) +/ -0.004 - 0.
H˚ (HEIGHT OF RING) +/ -0.008-0.000
R1 (RADIUS IN RINGS) +/ -0.02
R2 (RADIUS IN GROOVE) SEE NOTE
23˚ (ANGLE) +/ - 1/ 4 DEG
* A PLUS TOLERANCE OF 0.008 INS FOR WIDTH A AND HEIGHT H IS
PERMITTED PROVIDED THE VARIATION IN WIDTH OR HEIGHT OF ANY
RING DOES NOT EXCEED 0.004 INS THROUGHOUT ITS ENTIRE
CIRCUMFERENCE

A
B
E
R
D
E
E
N
DRILLING
S
C
H
O
O
L
S

&
W
E
L
L
C
O
N
T
R
OLTRAIN
I
N
G
C
E
N
T
R
E
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
H-14
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
B
X

1
5
0
B
X

1
5
1
B
X

1
5
2
B
X

1
5
3
B
X

1
5
4
B
X

1
5
5
B
X

1
5
6
B
X

1
5
7
B
X

1
5
8
B
X

1
5
9
B
X

1
6
0
B
X

1
6
1
B
X

1
6
2
B
X

1
6
3
B
X

1
6
4
B
X

1
6
5
B
X

1
6
6
B
X

1
6
7
B
X

1
6
8
B
X

1
6
9
B
X

1
7
0
B
X

1
7
1
B
X

1
7
2
1
1
1
/
1
6
1
1
1
3
/
1
6
2
1
/
1
6
2
9
/
1
6
3
1
/
1
6
4
1
/
1
6
7
1
/
1
6
9 1
1
1
3
5
/
8
1
3
5
/
8
1
6
5
/
8
1
6
5
/
8
1
8
3
/
4
1
8
3
/
4
2
1
1
/
4
2
1
1
/
4
2
6
3
/
4
2
6
3
/
4
5
1
/
8
9 1
1
1
3
5
/
8
2
.
8
4
2
3
.
0
0
8
3
.
3
3
4
3
.
9
7
4
4
.
6
0
0
5
.
8
2
5
9
.
3
6
7
1
1
.
5
9
3
1
3
.
8
6
0
1
6
.
8
0
0
1
5
.
8
5
0
1
9
.
3
4
7
1
8
.
7
2
0
2
1
.
8
9
6
2
2
.
4
6
3
2
4
.
5
9
5
2
5
.
1
9
8
2
9
.
6
9
6
3
0
.
1
9
8
6
.
8
3
1
8
.
5
8
4
1
0
.
5
2
9
1
3
.
1
1
3
0
.
3
6
6
0
.
3
7
9
0
.
4
0
3
0
.
4
4
8
0
.
4
4
8
0
.
5
6
0
0
.
7
3
3
0
.
8
2
6
0
.
9
1
1
1
.
0
1
2
0
.
9
3
8
1
.
1
0
5
0
.
5
6
0
1
.
1
8
5
1
.
1
8
5
1
.
2
6
1
1
.
2
6
1
1
.
4
1
2
1
.
4
1
2
0
.
6
2
4
0
.
5
6
0
0
.
5
6
0
0
.
5
6
0
0
.
3
6
6
0
.
3
7
9
0
.
4
0
3
0
.
4
4
8
0
.
4
4
8
0
.
5
6
0
0
.
7
3
3
0
.
8
2
6
0
.
9
1
1
1
.
0
1
2
0
.
5
4
1
0
.
6
3
8
0
.
5
6
0
0
.
6
8
4
0
.
9
6
8
0
.
7
2
8
1
.
0
2
9
0
.
5
1
6
0
.
6
3
2
0
.
5
0
9
0
.
5
6
0
0
.
5
6
0
0
.
5
6
0
2
.
7
9
0
2
.
9
5
4
3
.
2
7
7
3
.
9
1
0
4
.
5
3
1
5
.
7
4
6
9
.
2
6
3
1
1
.
4
7
6
1
3
.
7
3
1
1
6
.
6
5
7
1
5
.
7
1
7
1
9
.
1
9
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IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL
APPENDIX I
I. HYDRATES FORMATION & PREVENTION
I.1 FORMATION OF HYDRATES
I.2 HYDRATE PREDICTION
I.3 HYDRATE PREVENTION
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
I. APPENDIX - HYDRATE FORMATION & PREVENTION
I.1 FORMATION OF HYDRATES
Hydrates will only form if there is free water present in a system.
Hydrates are crystalline water structures filled with small molecules. In oil / gas systems they
will occur when light hydrocarbons (or carbon dioxide) are mixed with water at the correct
temperature and pressure conditions.
A very open, cage-like structure of water molecules is the backbone of hydrates. This structure
which bears some resemblance to a steel lattice in a building can theoretically be formed in
ice, liquid water, and water vapour. In practice however, hydrates are only formed in the
presence of liquid water. The crystal framework is very weak and collapses soon if not supported
by molecules filling the cavities in the structures.
Methane, Ethane, CO2 and H2S are the most suitable molecules to fill cavities. Propane and
Isobutane can only fill the larger cavities. Normal butane and heavier Hydrocarbons are too
big and tend to inhibit hydrate formation.
Tests indicate that Hydrate formation is comparable with normal crystallisation. ‘Undercooling’
is possible, but the slightest movement within and undercooled mixture, or the presence of a
few crystallisation nuclei will cause a massive reaction. Once the crystallisation has started,
hydrates may block a flowline completely within seconds.
The formation of hydrates is governed by the crude composition, water composition,
temperature and pressure. In most cases the crude composition cannot be changed. Hydrates
can be dissolved / prevented by a temperature increase or a pressure decrease. A chemical
hydrate inhibition can be performed by changing the composition of the water.
Under the correct conditions of temperature and pressure, hydrates will form spontaneously.
At high pressures, hydrates may form at relatively high temperatures; e.g. at 2900 psi they can
begin to form at about 77˚ F .
Hydrates do not require a pressure drop to form. However, the refrigeration effect from a
small pressure drop, such as a stuffing box leak, may be sufficient to produce optimum pressure
and temperature conditions for hydrate formation.
Hydrates can form under flowing or static conditions. The first indication of them forming in
the tubing or annular flow string is a drop in flowing wellhead pressure followed by an
initially slow then progressively rapid drop in wellhead flowing temperature.
During well operations, the greatest danger posed by hydrates is the plugging of the tubing
string downhole. The biggest risk area for this occurring is on offshore installations from the
seabed upwards where temperatures are generally the lowest.
A hydrate plug in the tubing string under flowing or static conditions results in; being unable
to run or pull wireline tools, unable to squeeze or circulate the well dead, and unable to flow
the well to remove the hydrates. Also, hydrates may prevent vital equipment, such as the
Downhole Safety Valve from functioning correctly. Thus a downhole hydrate plug gives rise
to a potentially dangerous situation and must be avoided at all costs.
It is also hazardous when it forms in surface pressure control equipment preventing operation
of valves, etc or plugging lubricators or risers. The latter may fool an operator into believing
that the pressure has been bled off when may be trapped behind the plug.

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I-2
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
I.2 HYDRATE PREDICTION
Hydrate pressure / temperature formation conditions can be predicted for natural gas (Figure
I.1). Hydrate prevention is normally accomplished by the injection of methanol or glycol
downhole or at the Xmas Tree. The quantity of glycol or methanol required to suppress
hydrates depends on pressure, temperature, water cut and flowrate.
For the prevention of hydrates caused by the introduction of water whilst pressure testing for
wireline entry, 60% glycol will have to be added to the water for use as a hydrate suppresser
(See Table I.1, on freezing points of water/ glycol mixes).
Table I.1 - Freezing Points Of Mono-Ethylene Glycol/ Water Mixes
After the glycol/ water has been thoroughly mixed, no separation of the solution will occur.
The glycol/ water solution can therefore be left in the pump unit for the duration of the
programme without the solution deteriorating. Mono-ethylene glycol may be mixed with
fresh water or sea water without any adverse effect, although sea water id preferred as it in
itself is less likely to cause a hydrate than fresh water.
NOTE: Incorrect mixes will significantly reducethelevel of protection.
Although methanol is a moreeffectivehydrateinhibitor than Glycol, it is not, however a first
choicefor injection at thewirelinelubricator or flowhead duringwell operations as it dissolves
sealinggreases and may causeloss of seal in greasehead. Also injectingglycol without any form
of atomisation may result in theglycol adheringto thewall of thetubing/ lubricator, and will
not effectively absorb freewater beinglifted through gas by thewireline.
Glycol / Water Freezing Point SG
(% v/v) (deg C)
100/0 -7 1.115
90/10 -28 1.109
80/20 -43 1.101
70/30 -60 1.091
60/40 -60 1.079
50/50 -44 1.068
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
The purpose of this chart is to determine the temperature below which hydrates will form
when sufficient liquid water is present.
Example : with 0.7 specific gravity gas at 1000 psia, hydrates may be expected at 64˚F at
200 psia. This would be 44˚F.
Figure I.1 - Temperatures at Which Gas Hydrates Will Freeze
100
90
60
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35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85
TEMPERATURE ˚F
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TEMPERATURE AT WHICH
GAS HYDRATES WILL FREEZE
( From KAZT )

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I-4
© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
I.3 HYDRATE PREVENTION
Present techniques for prevention of hydrates are mainly geared to a live well with a gas cap
in the tubing. This allows methanol introduced at the Xmas Tree to gravitate down to the
hydrate level, and therefore act directly on top of a hydrate, should it occur.
Consideration must be given to a perforated well which has not yet been “cleaned up” as gas
will migrate throughout the tubing during the completion of perforation activities.
To minimise the risk of hydrate formation in the well bore and surface equipment, the following
action points must be taken:-
• 1. The fluids used for well operations should be incapable of supporting a hydrate. For
example, water free base oil, diesel or water glycol mixes may be selected.
• 2. Prior to opening a well flow, methanol injection must be started at maximum rate and
continued until the flowline temperature is high enough to prevent hydrate formation
at that FTHP (see Fig I.2)
• 3. Use only a 60/ 40 mono-ethylene/ sea water mix when pressure testing
• 4. Inject glycol at the grease injection head during wireline operations.
Continually inject methanol at the Xmas Tree during all well operations.
Curing Hydrates
The main guidance for removal of a hydrate plug is to reduce the pressure or increase the
temperature, or use methanol, or any combination of these.
WARNING:- IT IS HAZARDOUS TO BLEED DOWN PRESSURE ON ONLY ONE
SIDE OF A HYDRATE PLUG IN ANY PIPEWORK.
NOTE:- Therisk is that if pressureis bled down fromonesideof a hydrateit will begin to dissolve. As
it dissolves, differential pressurecan act upon onesideof theplugand may causeit to be
dislodged at considerablevelocity. Bleedingdown can beeffectivein dissolvinga hydrate, but it
is not recommended as a routinepractice. However, oncea full column of fluid (preferably
methanol) has been established abovethehydrateplugthen bleedingdown thepressureabove
to destroy thehydratecan beconsidered. Thefull column of liquid will act as a cushion and
prevent thedissolved plugachievinghigh velocities caused by thedifferential pressureacross it.
Curing a hydrate problem in particular sections of the system has been accomplished by the
following measures:-
(1) Plug in at the surface:-
Close in the well and depressurise the line, or apply steam or hot water externally.
(2) Hydrate at the stuffing box during wireline operations:-
Close BOP’s and bleed down the lubricator
(3) Hydrate in the tubing:-
Continue injecting methanol at maximum rate taking note of the THP at all times as
this could begin to rise with the fluid injection.
IWCF WELL INTERVENTION PRESSURE CONTROL •
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© Aberdeen Drilling Schools 2001
If during injection of methanol no increase in THP is observed (this will indicate that the
tubing is not completely blocked) then begin to bleed down the tubing taking careful note of
the volume and type of returns.
If during injection of methanol an increase in THP is observed (this will indicate that the
tubing is blocked) then only bleed down the THP to point below bubble point so as to create
a gas cap above the hydrate. Methanol injected will then stand a better chance of reaching the
hydrate.