The Importance of Well Intervention in Offshore Oil and Gas Operations

Well Intervention in Offshore Oil and Gas Operations

Well, intervention is an essential process for offshore oil and gas operations. The technology allows operators to conduct maintenance and repairs on subsea wells that are deep underwater.

The market for this service is divided into several categories based on the services offered. These include logging & bottom hole survey, tubing/packer failure & repair, stimulation, and remedial cementing.

Well Testing

In the past, the cost of subsea well intervention has inhibited such activities, but in today’s economic climate, they are more viable. Light interventions can be carried out while the well is still live and usually involve adjusting things such as valves; heavy intervention operations require the well to be shut down. Both can be executed from light/medium intervention vessels or, for heavier tasks, snubbing and workover drilling rigs.

Many operators want to extend the life of their mature assets and maximize recovery rates. However, they face budget constraints, often prohibitive rig day rates, and a need for internal capability and understanding to conduct regular SWI campaigns. This presents a major opportunity for dedicated vessel owners/service providers and rig companies to leverage this downturn to build long-term capacity and expertise and better position themselves for the return of oil prices. 

Well Stimulation

During oil and gas production, well-stimulation is required to maintain a consistent flow of gas or oil through the production line. Well, stimulation aims to remove any organic or inorganic blockages that may inhibit the flow of hydrocarbons from the reservoir.

Typically, this involves fracturing the rock using a high-pressure fluid with chemicals and sand to help reopen closed fractures. This method is also known as fracking.

However, this can be a complex operation and requires the expertise of professionals with specialized knowledge and experience in the field. This includes completion, reservoir, drilling, engineering engineers, field supervisors, production supervisors, and engineering technicians.

Well Completion

Well-completion is a complex task, and ensuring that the well-completion design satisfies multiple objectives is important. It must ensure health, safety, and environmental (HSE) compliance, control the flow of reservoir fluids, and provide a cost-effective solution to achieve field recovery goals.

Once the well is complete, it may need further stimulation to reach its intended production rate. This involves injecting chemicals to eat away skin damage and increase fluid-rock contact, which can then help improve the flow of reservoir fluids.

The market trend is for rigless well intervention, providing safe, reliable, and fast access to the wellhead for light and heavy intervention due to the need for timely and cost-effective solutions. The multipurpose service vessels (MPSVs) and subsea technology companies are aligning to develop these technologies, which allow operators to reduce costs by significantly reducing operating expenditures on conventional rigs while still enabling them to produce wells safely.

Well Maintenance

Well, maintenance activities are critical to the subsea oil and gas industry. This includes repairing or replacing downhole valves, pumping chemicals into the well, installing or removing retrievable valves by wireline, and other modification work in subsea wells. The growth of this market is fueled by increased drilling and completion activity. However, the recent COVID-19 outbreak and volatile oil prices are restraining this market.

A vessel with a dedicated riser package for good intervention is the optimal solution for operators who want to save on costs and time by reducing the need for offshore rigs. This type of vessel has a flexible equipment structure and can be adapted for different scenarios based on the requirements of the job at hand.

A well is a hole in the ground, which may produce oil, natural gas, or both of those gases mixed, or water or saltwater. It also has a wellhead with production-control equipment and a Christmas tree at the bottom, which is where the coiled tubing or wireline is attached.