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Major operator achieves record-breaking one-hour recovery from stuck pipe

A major Middle East operator has recovered from stuck pipe by severing its drill string in just one hour, Churchill Drilling Tools announced. It’s the third time this year that the company’s dart-activated HyPR HoleSaver technology has been successfully deployed in the Middle East. 

To recover from a previous stuck-pipe incident in the same well, the UAE-based operator contracted high energy source cutting services. However, the additional equipment, personnel and logistics cost two days of rig time. So, when the operator became “differentially stuck” in the same well at 12,785 ft on 28 May due to heavy losses, the team was ready with the HyPR HoleSaver to sever, plug and abandon the section much more quickly. The system requires no additional topside equipment or personnel. 

To provide the optimum circulation parameters, the operator first activated Churchill’s DAV MX CircSub, which had been placed beneath the HyPR sub in the drillstring. The HyPR HoleSaver dart was subsequently dropped and pumped to redirect the flow of mud creating a high velocity stream of fluid, using the existing mud system, to erode and sever the string.

The operator witnessed the expected drop in circulating pressure over a period of 45 min of pumping at 520 gal/min. Satisfied that enough progress had been made, applying torque and overpull parted the string with ease. On previous HyPR severs, operators have cut through around 90% of the HyPR sub’s full strength inner connection before applying torque to twist-off, generally taking two to three hours. However, on this occasion the operator applied torque much earlier to save the extra time. In total, the process took just an hour, a record for Churchill, and widely thought to be the industry’s quickest planned severance from stuck pipe. The operator subsequently plugged and abandoned the section and moved operations to another well.

Working in partnership with the operator, the Churchill team optimized the tools’ configuration and supported the client to get out of hole quickly and safely. The drilling manager was pleased with the performance of both the DAV MX CircSub and the HyPR HoleSaver. 

“The ability to recover safely from a stuck-pipe event in just an hour, as our UAE-based clients proved last month, is a landmark achievement for the sector,” Nicholas Kjaer, General Manager of Churchill’s operations in the Middle East and Asia, said.

“As the industry leaders across downhole circulation, demand for our HyPR HoleSaver technology continues to increase as operators recognize the significant savings it delivers.”

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