Success for Red Spider's Hydraulic Red on Paladin's Montrose Platform

Red Spider Technology's Hydraulic Red equalization device has successfully completed an operation on Paladin Resources' Montrose platform in the UK North Sea, allowing a well to be brought on stream in the face of a challenging recovery situation.

A problem encountered during the running-in phase of a new completion, meant a communication path between the tubing and annulus had been introduced. The Hydraulic RED was mobilized to enable the operation to continue.

Helix RDS (HRDS), who are the Montrose well operators, sourced a straddle assembly to set across the communication path, but the through bore of the straddle meant that no wireline plug or retrievable bridge plug could be installed and then retrieved through the straddle assembly.

Red Spider was contacted at this stage and the decision was made to utilize a Hydraulic RED device below a conventional wireline set lock. The straddle was then set across the communication path. Tubing pressure was applied to first hydraulically set the production packer and then to perform various tubing integrity tests.

Andy Skinner, Red Spider's Business Development Manager, said: "The Hydraulic RED device allows the operator to perform unlimited pressure tests up to 10,000psi but can be opened in minutes remotely from the surface when required. The applied pressure application window typically takes place between 2000psi and 2500psi. Once opened, the flow area through the tool exceeds the anchoring device making it possible to produce through an open tool without intervention to retrieve. This operation for Paladin is another example of the value that Red Spider delivers to its clients; in this case saving rig time and enabling production to be brought on stream quickly."

All tests were successfully completed and the Hydraulic RED was remotely opened from the surface in 8 minutes. Finally the TCP (tubing-conveyed perforating) guns at the bottom of the completion were hydraulically fired remotely from the surface. Without the need for further intervention the well was brought on stream, with production passing through the open Hydraulic RED and the straddle assembly.

Being able to leave the plug downhole meant that downtime was a matter of hours and a potentially high cost and high risk fishing/milling operation was averted.

Phil Stratford, HRDS Drilling Superintendent said: The Hydraulic RED allowed us to solve a tricky down-hole problem with minimum cost impact, and bring a new well on stream without delay. Red Spider was able to respond well to our short notice requirements, and the product performed exactly as specified."