First Successful Rigless Conversion of Subsurface Safety Valves From Tubing Retrievable to Wireline Retrievable in Middle East

Al-yateem, Karam Sami (Saudi Aramco) | Hanbzazah, Shadi Mohammed (Saudi Aramco) | Alsyed, Samih Masarrat (Saudi Aramco) | Fouad, Alaa (Schlumberger Middle East SA) | Al Mahamed, Saleh M. (Saudi Aramco)


In the oil and gas industry, safety systems are put in place to prevent the release of hydrocarbons and protect assets against any undesirable events. This can be accomplished by installing protective measures that monitor the process components, and can also control the process in case of undesirable events. The Surface Controlled Subsurface Safety Valve (SCSSSV) is one major component, which is mainly installed in wells that are located offshore or close to populations and environmentally sensitive areas. These SCSSSV can be categorized into two types depending on the deployment/retrieval methodology. The first type is referred to as the Wire Line Retrievable Subsurface Safety Valve (WLRSSSV), which is installed and retrieved by rigless well intervention and installed inside the production tubing. The other type is the Tubing Retrievable Subsurface Safety Valve (TRSSSV) and these valves are part of the tubing completion.
Due to its numerous advantages, like full bore access, and not to retrieve the valve before any intervention, TRSSSV are gaining more popularity. Saudi Aramco uses these types of valves and most of the new completions are designed with TRSSSV. Unfortunately, as these types of valves are part of the completion, any failure to close these valves results in a disturbance in the safety system of the well, which will lead to performing an expensive workover, which is not only costly but the process means killing the well, and therefore inducing damage to the reservoir. This paper presents in detail the procedure applied to these inoperable TRSSSVs to regain the safety of the wells and put them back on production without the need to de-complete the well. The direct business impacts are restoring the well safety system, wells' productivity in addition to cost avoidance of (onshore and offshore) workover operation to replace the malfunctioning TRSSSVs. The paper will also cover common mitigation measures to mitigate TRSSSV failure and avoid their conversion.