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Coiled Tubing in Ukraine: Focus on Complicacy of Operations

The engagement with coiled tubing technology and its proven efficiency led to the fact that in just a year — from 2017 to 2018 — the number of coiled tubing fleets in Ukraine almost doubled - from 13 to 25. Service companies significantly expanded the range of CT application. Besides well development operations, coiled tubing is indispensable when performing technologically more complex work. At the same time, Ukraine’s service market still experiences a shortage of coiled tubing fleets.

The most common jobs using CT is borehole bottom cleaning. Having gained sufficient experience in this type of work, service companies realized the functional and operational flexibility of coiled tubing and proceeded to the practical development of such works as cutting, installation of waterproof bridges, hydrosand-blast perforation of borehole.

For the BTF-K company, the next step in the application of the CT is geophysical work using a pipe with an integrated geophysical cable in wells with complex profiles. The company’s fleet accounts for two coiled tubing units. Assessing the prospects of technology, BTF-K CEO Valery Dovzhok notes that coiled tubing technology is almost indispensable under the existing old stock of wells that require continuous performance of various kinds of work to increase hydrocarbon production.

The most common operations using coiled tubing in the Region company include: the development of the well with nitrogen, acid treatments of formations, including in a gaseous environment under pressure, plugging and installation of cement bridges, fishing operations. According to CEO of the company Petr Katerynchuk, well development now, in most cases, is carried out with nitrogen, and not with the help of a compressor, as it was before, therefore the number of development operations will grow. Petr Katerinchuk also notes that “Most of the wells in Ukraine already have their own history of operation and are characterized by low reservoir pressure, therefore, it is promising to perform these jobs without killing”. In his opinion, companies already realize that acid treatments in a gaseous environment (without killing the well) are the optimal solution and this direction of coiled tubing will continue to evolve.

TAKROM UKRAINE LLC now has four coiled tubing fleets. The main operation of the company performs is the cleaning of proppant plugs, cleaning the wellbore, cleaning and drying the well. Among the new directions of the CT application is a multi-stage hydraulic fracturing followed by cutting of plugs.

The company also believes this technology to be promising. At the same time, they draw attention to a number of challenges that service companies in Ukraine have to face. First of all, it comes to the lack of access roads to the facilities. As a result, this leads to downtime and costly equipment repair.

The second problem that the customer faces directly is the difficulty of negotiating permits and compensation with farmers. As a result, it affected the work of the service company and leads to delays.

And the third problem, the solution of which has already been found in the company, but it is still relevant in the service market - timely nitrogen supplies. According to CEO of TAKROM UKRAINE LLC Mikhail Ustyannik, there are not so many companies that promptly supply nitrogen, moreover, large tanks are required to accumulate it in a timely manner.

Own fleet of coiled tubing units of Ukrnafta PJSC has 2 fleets in the Western and Eastern locations of the company. The number of operations being currently performed with the help of coiled tubing includes the development of wells after hydraulic fracturing, acid treatments, removal of asphalt, resin, and paraffin deposits using small-diameter screw downhole motors.

The company moves beyond. According to the director of the organization of technological services of Ukranafta PJSC Sergey Kuzub, in the future the company expects with the use of coiled tubing to perform hydrosand-blast perforation, geophysical jobs and the installation of cement bridges.

Ukrgazvydobuvannya JSC owns nine coiled tubing units. The main jobs that are performed with their help: washing sand and salt plugs, development, cutting. The company expects to perform hydrosand-blast perforation.

Regarding the prospects, Igor Mokhniy director at UGV-Sevice, notes that the existing positive results, best practices and statistics of production growth thanks to this technology suggest that the number of work performed will be increased. Igor Mokhniy agrees that the coiled tubing technology is now very much in demand as a whole for Ukraine.

Drilling company Horizonty also intends to develop new directions in the field of coiled tubing. In particular, it comes to the installation of cement bridges and sidetracking.

The number of the CT fleets owned by Production Association Belorusneft - 3. Service Oil operates two fleets in Ukraine. They are mainly used for flushing wells from proppant following hydraulic fracturing, post-development of wells, normalizing downhole and intensifying. The plans include perforation, phishing, 73 mm and 89 mm tubing cutting and installation of cement bridges, dealing with SDM (screw downhole motor).

According to Sergey Kravchenko, Service Oil LLC CEO, currently in Ukraine the shortage of the CT fleets is approximately eight units. In case of meeting the existing demand, part of the installations will be constantly involved in standard operations (flushing, normalization, development), some of them - in complex technological operations (installation of cement bridges, perforation, phishing).

Schlumberger Services Ukraine LLC now owns four coiled tubing fleets. According to Vladimir Rabochiy, country manager for Ukraine, 80% of operations that are performed on coiled tubing are quite simple, these are washing operations after proppant hydraulic fracturing. However, the range of jobs where coiled tubing can be used is quite extensive. Coiled tubing, for instance, allows for real-time tracking of operations for their subsequent adjustment, and this is also an additional complexity, but for now it is too early to talk about this in Ukraine. He also notes a tendency to complicate jobs performed with CT. According to him, the future of coiled tubing in Ukraine belongs to the expanding the range of application of coiled tubing technologies to perform operations that require more complex engineering solutions.

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