Case Study:

Precision Access & Recovery

Critical Drillpipe Cutting Operation in Highly Deviated Well

PowerTrac 318, DECT002


During drilling of an 8 ½’’ horizontal hole section, the drill string became stuck at a bit depth of 5123 meters. After several unsuccessful attempts to free the drill string by activating the drilling jar, Altus Intervention was requested to provide a solution for cutting the drill pipe. The client wanted to make the cut as close as possible to the BHA to minimize the fish left in hole, cutting within the section of 5 1/2’’ heavy weight drill pipe (HWDP). This meant cutting pipe with an ID of 4’’ and wall thickness of 0.75’’ at 92-degree deviation. With the pipe stuck so deep and within the horizontal section of the well, mobilization of a solution was highly time critical to prevent the situation worsening.


The proposed solution was to utilize a PowerTrac 318 tractor to convey a Downhole Electric Cutting Tool (DECT002). In addition to providing a controlled precision cut, this cutting technology would also preclude the requirement for any explosives or chemicals for the operation. Furthermore, Altus Intervention already had this cutting and conveyance equipment package on stand by for another job and so were able to mobilise the required technology to the wellsite in minimal time.


The PowerTrac 318 and DECT002 tool string was rigged up and run in hole. Tractoring was required for a distance of 1548 metres to get the cutter to the selected cutting depth. Once on depth, the 5 1/2’’ HWDP was cut successfully within 5 minutes, and the toolstring pulled out of hole. This entire e-line operation was completed in under 12 hours. With the toolstring out of the hole the drill string was then freed and retrieved from the well and a sidetrack operation executed.