Offshore wells are designed and built to withstand years of constant hard work, bu t they can’t last forever. Over time, their performance degrades and production levels drop. As machinery ages, it even faces an increased risk of mechanical failure that can lead to catastrophic downtime. Well intervention actively changes the geometry of the well so it can continue to be productive. Here’s what you need to know before deciding between offshore well intervention companies.
Subsea vs. Other Well Work
When choosing a partner to perform maintenance or other work on your well, you have to understand that subsea intervention is more complex than other types. There are more obstacles that require a higher level of planning ahead of time. That means you need to work with a company that has proven experience with the intricacies involved.
Subsea work is most commonly based out of mobile offshore drilling units and light-to-medium vessels, allowing workers to get around as nimbly as possible. While subsea intervention is the most expensive type of well work, it is also the most expansive and can provide your company with the best return in the long run.
Light vs. Heavy Intervention
Depending on the state of your wells, you will be looking at two levels of service. PRT Offshore recommends getting a full evaluation of the work necessary before performing interventions.
In a light intervention, the well remains live due to pressure containment at the surface, allowing workers to investigate the situation before making any significant changes. Light service may involve using coiled tubing, slickline or wireline.
Should heavy equipment need service or replacement, the intervention company will calculate its action to minimize downtime. A workover means taking off the wellhead and removing pressure gates, so a rig is necessary when replacing the wellhead. Full workovers are only recommended when the well needs hard-to-reach parts like pumps or tubing. In some cases, heavy well work closes the primary production zone and makes it possible for the well to draw from a different zone.
Intervention and Maintenance
Well intervention is generally a last resort to preserve a well that would otherwise become useless. However, a combination of regular maintenance and light intervention will extend the life of a well and maximize the time your company can use it before needing a heavy intervention. If you’re looking for a well intervention company, consider setting up a maintenance plan with them to save money in the long run.