Optimizing Coiled Tubing Extended Reach Operations with Real Time Simulations

Larrondo, Adrian (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Ranieri, Juan Pablo Nicolás (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Marozzini, Diego Alejandro (Baker Hughes, a GE Company)


With the objective of increasing productivity and achieving an economically sustainable development of the non-conventional reservoirs in Argentina, the oil and gas (O&G) energy companies are focused on drilling horizontal wells with lateral extensions between 2500 m (8,200 ft) to 3000 m (9,840 ft) in length. In order to produce commercial volumes of hydrocarbons, it is mandatory to fracture-stimulate multiple zones. The "plug and perf" method continues to be the most common completion technique in the field. Once the stimulation is completed, a coiled tubing (CT) milling operation is undertaken to remove the frac plugs. Critical to achieving a successful operation is reaching total depth (TD) in the well with the coiled tubing. The precise determination of the operational coefficient of friction (CoF) between the coiled tubing string and the production casing, could be the difference between failure and success, affecting both the technical and economical results of the project. The goal of this paper is to share the lessons learned after more than forty extended reach operations and the experience earned on the utilization of real time simulations to define both, the tensile load exerted for an extended reach tool and the coefficient of friction found during coiled tubing operations. Also demonstrate, by analyzing real life applications, how the implementation of this technology and new working methodology, allows to anticipate deviations with respect to the "normal" values of friction, achieve a better understanding of the influence of solids in the completion to the coefficient of friction and obtain a more efficient use of the metal-metal lubricant utilized during the milling operations.