American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 87

SpecialReport: Tubulars Technology
Services is taking coiled tubing into
longer laterals, reports Dan Bohannon,
the company's senior vice president of
sales and marketing. "We have been in
several 12,000-foot laterals, which are
near the edge of the envelope, and we
are doing design work for a 15,000-foot
job," he states.
Bohannon attributes the company's
success in long laterals partly to a proprietary string design. "The limitation on
how far coiled tubing can go in a horizontal
well often is the string itself," he says.
"Push too hard, and the string will buckle
rather than move forward. We use a
thicker, heavier wall in the part of the
string that will be in the horizontal section
so we can snub, or push harder on it, and
get it farther into the lateral.
"The lateral's shape can have a big impact on coiled tubing's ability to reach the
end," Bohannon cautions. "Minor trajectory
changes and tortuosity can create issues
for coiled tubing, so in many instances,
we work with the customer while it is
planning the lateral to make sure it will be
able to accommodate the CT string."
Employee Competency
Sound designs must be backed by
well-maintained equipment and capable
people, Bohannon continues. He points
out that the coiled tubing industry is developing employee competency and equipment certification standards designed to
increase well site safety and assure customers the crews that arrive on site can
perform the job efficiently.
"Cudd's goal is to lead the industry
into the competency training phase we
see coming," Bohannon comments. "We
have employees on the boards of the
American Petroleum Institute, Intervention
& Coiled Tubing Association, International
Association of Drilling Contractors, and
other organizations that are creating standards, and we are complying with those
standards before they become official."
Bohannon reports that several major
operators have asked Cudd about its employee competency and equipment certification programs. "We make sure we
can answer questions quickly and thoroughly," he says. "For example, we implemented a blowout preventer maintenance program, and are ready at any time
to show the traceability of our equipment
and when it last has gone through the 30, 60-, 90- and 180-day, and three- and
five-year testing protocols that are becoming the industry standard.

"Minilaterals"
"Coiled tubing has tremendous potential to help revive old wells," Bohannon
says. "In old basins, we think we are
going to be able to go back into vertical
wells and drill short laterals to increase
reservoir exposure. In the jobs we have
done so far, we have seen 10-20 percent
production increases, but we do not yet
know how long those increases will last."
For "minilateral" drilling to become
widespread, Bohannon says a few challenges will need to be overcome. "The
drilling equipment works well, but many
mature basins have exposure to multiple
benches that we are going to have to
figure out how to isolate," he describes.
"We have bet that we can do that and
gotten ourselves involved because we see
increasing exposure to good reservoirs
in old wells as the next big step for coiled
tubing."
To allow the coiled tubing to navigate
through wells with multiple laterals, which
are increasingly common, Bohannon reports Cudd has a downhole guidance system that shows the CT's orientation. "In
the past, in a multilateral well, the only
way to tell which lateral the coiled tubing
was in was to go to the end of the lateral
and look at the measured depth," he says.
"With the guidance system, we know
what direction we are headed from the
start.
"In testing the system, we went down
a water injection well in Kansas and connected it to five others," he relates. "This

increased injectivity dramatically, so we
think it may be a good way to improve
production from old waterfloods. The
system is flexible enough that the applications are going to be limited only by
what can be cost effective."
Removing Frac Plugs
Thru Tubing Solutions spends most
of its time drilling out composite bridge
plugs, according to Houston and Broussard, La., District Manager Cody Trebing.
He says that with stage counts and lateral
lengths trending upward, accomplishing
that goal has meant building tougher bottom-hole assemblies.
"Many wells in the Marcellus have
more than 75 bridge plugs," Trebing
notes. "To remove them safely and efficiently, we need a BHA that will last
long enough for us to complete the job in
one trip."
Toward that end, the company has designed stronger motor bearing packs.
"Our engineers prioritized durability over
cost in order to deliver a bearing pack
robust enough to last at least 200 hours,"
Trebing relates. "It can endure extremely
long laterals where the job will take four
or five days."
For particularly demanding applications, Trebing recommends TTS's allmetal motor. "Because the stator is made
of metal rather than elastomer, the motor
works in higher temperatures, and resists
chemicals and debris," he says. "It is
used in specialty applications where we

With reliable equipment and well-trained employees, Cudd Energy Services has completed several coiled tubing operations in 12,000-foot laterals. The company adds that it
is working on a 15,000-foot job.

SEPTEMBER 2016 87



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Contents
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover3
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