The paper presents the results of an exceptional workover operation never known before in the world oil industry practice – pulling back of an expandable solid casing, known as an expandable profile liner, after eleven years of operation. To pull back the expandable profile liner, the latest in-house development was employed – a cutter-catcher that can be used in 168-mm or 146-mm casing strings. The tubing-conveyed cutting tool cuts the 5-mm thick expandable profile liner from bottom upwards, which is then pulled out of hole. The pulling-back operation is done in one trip. The cutter-catcher can also be used to retrieve a 3-mm thick steel casing patch (VNIIKRneft development) and other types of steel casing patches. The paper discusses the procedure in detail. The purposes of the work were to get insight into the expandable profile liner performance after a continuous operation in hole, to assess potential damages that might have been caused by installation operations, to analyze the effect of harsh downhole conditions on reliability and mechanical integrity of the profile liner, and to evaluate the probability of the expandable profile liner retrieval in case of necessity.
It was found that the welded connections of the expandable profile liner had successfully borne all hydraulic and mechanical loads associated with its installation and expanding and had not corroded during the 11-years period of operation. The material used for manufacturing of expandable profile liners confirmed, thus, its high reliability and stability to corrosion, the same as all sealing elements, packers with the welded rubber installed on the upper and bottom ends of the expandable profile liner, and bituminous mastic applied on the surface of profiled pipes.
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