Case Study:

Tractor Conveyance

PrecisionCollector Cleans Three Mile Lateral

Bakken Shale, North Dakota, US Onshore
PrecisionCollector, PowerTrac Select

precisioncollector Cleans A three-mile lateral at depths of 26,000 ft


  • Efficient and effective wellbore cleanout
  • Alternative to coiled tubing and rig operations
  • Significant cost savings for the client


Altus Intervention were chosen to execute an unconventional shale cleanout and perforating operation across a three-mile lateral at depths of 26,420 ft.  The development well was a Bakken Shale target located in North Dakota, USA. The operator was having difficulty achieving communication to initiate the toe stage of the lateral as the well was full of debris consisting of cement stringers and excess pipe dope.  A clean out was required prior to perforating on wireline. Traditional coiled tubing operations were not applicable due to buckling limitations.

There had been several attempts to perform the cleanout with competitor e-line solutions but the clean out reach was limited to 25,336 ft, leaving more than 1,000 ft of reserves untapped. Due to a tight frac program, time was not available to revert to rig operations. 


The operator decided to employ Altus Intervention's PrecisionCollector powered by the proven PowerTrac tractor. The objective was to clean the wellbore to the toe stage at 26,420 ft and perforate the well for subsequent fracturing operations.

The PrecisionCollector was used to clean a small amount of debris from 11,520-11,820 ft which was left over from previous runs.  The cleanout technology was then switched off and tractored to 24,215 ft where the PrecisionCollector was re-engaged and continued to clean the wellbore until the collection chambers were full at 25,875 ft.  Due to time constraints with the frac program, the client elected to not make a subsequent run to clean the well to 26,420 ft.

PowerTrac Select, which enables the conveyance and positioning technology to switch between high speed to high pull force while in hole, was utilized on the second run to deploy perforating guns at a total depth of 25,890 ft. The guns were conveyed at high speed to a total depth of 25,480 ft before requiring the PowerTrac Select tool to be switched into high pull-force mode while tractoring.  Overall, PowerTrac Select averaged 2,400 ft/hr.


The combination of PrecisionCollector and PowerTrac Select succeeded in reaching, cleaning, and perforating this extreme lateral in North Dakota where heavier, costlier methods were not applicable and competitor technology failed. The PrecisionCollector provided the clean out by retrieving several gallons of debris across the last 2,000 ft of the lateral.  PowerTrac Select successfully conveyed the perforating string through the entire extent of the lateral in an efficient manner by maintaining high speeds until higher force was commanded in real time.

Altus Intervention’s PowerTrac Select and PrecisionCollector technologies outperformed previous alternative methods and attempts. The result for the operator was saving crucial time by completing the operation successfully and providing significant cost savings over traditional rig operations.