Case Study:

Barriers & Isolation

PrimePlug™ Successfully Retrieved From High Debris Well Environment

PrimePlug™, Smart Junk Catcher

PrimePlug successfully retrieved from a high debris environment in a North Sea well


  • 131 litres of debris on top of plug before retrieval 


A water injection well was being converted by the operator, to a cuttings reinjection (CRI) well and required a retrievable plug to be set downhole for verification of tubing integrity. From previous experience, the operator was expecting a large amount of debris (hard rust particles) to be deposited on top of the plug and was concerned about problems equalising and retrieving the plug after the verification testing.


The 7” PrimePlug™ and Junk Catcher assembly was chosen because of its debris management design features. These include patented lock/release and slip retraction systems which reduce the adverse effect of debris on the setting and retraction of the plug. The small outer diameter of the plug would aid its retrieval from within the high debris environment. A unique feature of the PrimePlug™ that was also important for this job, is its ability to allow simultaneous retrieval of both the Junk Catcher and the equalising sleeve. This provides immediate visual confirmation on surface that the plug has been equalised.


The assembly was deployed on E-Line and the plug set at 2,748 metres. The tubing and annulus were pressured up and were leak tested along with the plug and casing. The Junk Catcher was retrieved on Slickline using a 5” GS/DU pulling tool. The equalising sleeve was retrieved with the Junk Catcher, confirming that the plug had equalised. Five litres of debris, observed to be hard rust particles, were recovered from the junk catcher. On the next run to retrieve the plug, the 5” GS tool could not be latched onto the plug. Slickline bailers were then deployed to remove any debris that could be preventing the latch. After 131 litres of debris was recovered, it was possible to latch onto the plug and retrieve it to surface with only 400 lbs of overpull. The successful retrieval of the plug in such a high debris environment validated the debris management features of the PrimePlug™.

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