This Video of the Month is from a well in the Middle East. The operator utilized EV’s Optis™ HD Memory camera to inspect the flow tube and flapper valve condition of a surface-controlled safety valve. Earlier intervention work had resulted in the need to fish tools at the valve but now the functionality of the valve was in question. There was communication across the valve but not access through it.
EV’s HD memory camera was deployed on slickline and here we find the actuated flow tube shifting up and down properly while the camera is stationary. The operator prepped the well by pumping clear water and shutting the well in to allow a gas phase to build at this shallow depth from the surface. On the same camera run but one meter deeper is the flapper valve which should open as the flow tube is cycled. However, the flapper is jammed in a partly open position allowing fluid to pass by but not equipment.
The operator decided to mill through the flapper with a hydraulic workover unit and requested EV’s HD memory camera to check milling progress if there were issues. The flapper valve was successful milled through but a subsequent gauge run stacked out 32m below the valve. The camera was deployed to inspect the milled area of the safety valve and the cause of the deeper obstruction. The video shows a very clean milling job in the flapper area with no potential hazards to hang up tools. 32m deeper we find part of the milled flapper has fallen and is now stuck across the well bore. The operator elected to install a temporary safety valve and return the well to production and will attempt to recover the fish at a later date.