Case Study:

Tractor Conveyance

Rigless fishing solution using e-line conveyed tractor

Utica Formation
PowerTrac 318 Select

Efficient rigless fishing operation completed with PowerTrac Select in long lateral well.

  • Innovative fishing solution using e-line conveyed tractor
  • Time and cost savings by using a lighter alternative to traditional coiled tubing or rig operations


A wireline gun string was unintentionally released at surface and dropped into the well requiring a fishing operation to be undertaken. Traditional coiled tubing or workover rig fishing operations would have required the rigging down of the wireline equipment followed by the rig up of coil or rig equipment. This would have been a costly exercise due to the time taken, with costs further compounded by the resulting delay it would have caused to the overall frac operation. Additionally, coiled tubing technical buckling limitations were of high concern due to the length of the lateral.


The client chose to utilize the proven PowerTrac Select tractor to perform the fishing operation. Standard 9/32” wireline cable was used with an overshot and grapple connected below the PowerTrac tractor. To maximise run in hole efficiency, frac pumps were utilized to pump down the fishing toolstring at 9000ft/hr. The top of the gun string fish was located at 17,950ft. The PowerTrac Select was then used firstly to push the fish to 18,248ft where a plug was tagged, and secondly to generate the required force to enable adequate grapple engagement. This was confirmed through multiple tagging sequences, before the toolstring and accompanying fish was retrieved using the wireline cable. 


The PowerTrac Select tractor fishing operation was highly successful, and was executed in less time than it would have taken just to rig up the required coiled tubing alternative. Furthermore, the client was able to retrieve the gun string and continue with their frac operation without taking any equipment offline or having to mobilize additional equipment to the wellsite.

Big thanks to Altus Intervention and Thru Tubing Solutions. We needed to fish a gun string and setting tool out of a horizontal well. 9,000’ TVD and 18,000’ MD. To save time, it was decided to pump the tractor and overshot down to the fish at 150 fpm vs tractoring at 30fpm. The successful operation prevented a frac rig down and workover rig up. Great job!

Andrew Sorg, Rice Energy