Wireline Tractor Designed for Open Hole Operations

Statoil and Maritime Well Service have recently signed a technology agreement for development of a new wireline tractor for use in oil and gas wells without wall casing. Statoil aims to save between NOK 2 and 2.5 million for every well operation of this nature through use of the new technology.

Since 1996, Maritime Well Service has been Statoil's main supplier of tractor and wireline services, and in 2003 alone, Statoil reduced operating costs for well intervention by approximately NOK 500 million by using wireline tractors as an alternative to other well intervention methods.

The existing wireline tractor technology from Maritime Well Service uses hydraulically driven wheels to provide propulsion, and is mainly used for conveyance of tools in horizontal wells for acquisition of production data, and for plug setting and perforating operations.

The new tractor will be for use in open hole wells, which are wells without wall casing or lining. To operate wireline tractor in open hole wells, a new type of propulsion mechanism based on chain tracks will be developed. The project has commenced and the initial tests of the prototype have been successful. The technology agreement between Statoil and Maritime Well Service has set a target for this technology to be available for operation in the 3rd quarter of 2005. "We can see a considerable market potential for open hole tractor services, both nationally and internationally", says Ole Petter Thomesen, President of Maritime Well Service.

"Statoil expects increased use of tractors to be a cost effective alternative compared to current method of pipe conveyed logging in highly deviated wells. The advantages resulting from using the tractor technology is reduced operating times, improved operational safety, better quality on measured data, and that casing/liner can be installed sooner thus leaving the reservoir formation exposed for a shorter time. The goal is to achieve cost savings of approximately NOK 2 - 2.5 million per well operation", says Stephen Stragiotti, Statoil's Advisor for Cable and Tractor

Technology in the Well Intervention Department.

Maritime Well Service's existing wireline tractor is marked under the brand PowerTrac Advance. (TM)