North Sea Success for Sondex Cutter Tool

An advanced downhole cutting tool has been used successfully to release a casing packer in the Otter Field, northeast of Shetland – one of the remotest oil developments in the North Sea.

The Downhole Electric Cutting Tool (DECT), developed by Sondex, a British oilfield technology company, was used by Aberdeen-based service company Westerton Ltd, on behalf of TOTAL E&P UK PLC. The operation to cut and release the hydraulic retrievable pump packer was conducted from the Stena Spey drilling rig at a depth of 1,978 meters and with a well deviation of 60 degrees.

DECT is an intelligent system that enables precise and controlled cutting action to part pipe without the use of dangerous chemicals and explosives – the traditional way of severing tubing below the surface.

"The successful deployment of this tool in such challenging conditions confirms our confidence in this technology," said Martin Perry, Chief Executive of Sondex. "We believe the worldwide market potential is considerable given the tool's ease of use and its clear safety and environmental advantages."

Robin Porter of Westerton Ltd said: "We were delighted to see how successfully DECT was able to tackle the problem in such a safe and environmentally-friendly way. The tool is unique in the way it allows the engineer to control and adjust the cutting operation. With this operation our window of opportunity was just three inches. DECT was positioned on depth and made the cut exactly where planned. This was an excellent result for all concerned."