Your Well Intervention costs are high, the risk is real, and the process is entirely manual. Snubbing jack technology has not dramatically changed in the past 60 years, so how can you reduce your well intervention risks by 80% or more?

The risks in well intervention revolve around the manual nature of the hardware platform designed so long ago. Due to its process a Snubbing Jack is not easily automated, there is just too much risk. Operators manually perform repetitive tasks thousands of times per well, in fact each 30′ joint entering the wellbore requires 17 manual steps that an operator must perform in perfect order. Not to mention the stripping RAMs that are manually functioned when passing couplings through and equalizing pressure. The risk of striking the coupling against the RAM is real and left up to operator feel. Operators are standing right on top of the pressurized wellbore and many times that’s 3 or more people in harm’s way. The work floor is small, with rotating and pushing equipment that is a hazard.

So what is the solution to reduce the repetitive tasks, move personnel away from the line of fire, and increase speed and reliability?

What if you were able to remove the manual steps, and reduce the systems functional steps by 80% or more? Would that reduce the risk for your operators and your wells? What if the process could safely achieve speeds 2x of your current process? This actually sounds too good to be true, but let’s back this up with some data (hint, half of the time a snubbing jack is moving in the wrong direction to reset the travelling slips).

We’ll look at 1 process, injecting 1 joint, from coupling to coupling and making up the connection.

Let us first look at the snubbing jack process, we have identified 17 manual steps to run a joint into the wellbore. Snubbing jacks are limited by their stroke and by the unsupported length of the tubing as it is pushed into the wellbore. These steps look like this:

StepsSequential Task  String Moving or Not moving Distance String Traveled from 0 (ft.)
1Setting of stationary slips on stringNot moving0
2Un-setting of traveling slips from stringNot moving0
3Raising of traveling slips to 10 ftNot moving0
4Setting of traveling slips on stringNot moving0
Unsetting of stationary slips from stringNot moving0
5Lowering of traveling slips with stringMoving @ 1.5 FPS10
6Setting of stationary slips on stringNot moving10
7Un-setting of traveling slips from stringNot moving10
8Raising of traveling slips to 10 ftNot moving10
9Setting of traveling slips on stringNot moving10
10Unsetting of stationary slips from stringNot moving10
11Lowering of traveling slips with stringMoving @ 1.5 FPS20
12Setting of stationary slips on stringNot moving20
13Un-setting of traveling slips on stringNot moving20
14Raising of Traveling Slips to 10 ftNot moving20
15Setting of traveling slips on stringNot moving20
16Unsetting of stationary slips from stringNot moving20
17Lowering of traveling slips with stringMoving @ 1.5 FPS30
Time for sequence of tasks (seconds)42Total time (secs)42
18Stop movement of string at coupling position, setting of slipsStopping movement30
19Manual Stabbing of Upper Joint into StumpNot moving30
20Manual Swing of Tongs into Well CenterNot moving30
21Manual Latching of Tongs & Gripping of JointNot moving30
22Spinning of Joint to TorqueNot moving30
23Manual Unlatching of Tongs & Swing ClearNot moving30
24Unsetting of Slips & start moving stringStarting to move30
Time for sequence of tasks (seconds)17Total time (secs)59

This is a total of 24 Manual steps for each joint of pipe that enters the well.

You can see the manual steps in the animation of a snubbing jack below:

Let’s review the same process for the Jointed pipe injector, the operator will perform 1 step to inject the joint, they will hold the joystick and push it towards the “in hole” direction:

StepsSequential Task  String Moving or Not moving Distance String Traveled from 0 (ft.)
1Jointed Pipe Injector Continuously Moving Pipemoving @ 1.5 FPS30
Time for sequence of tasks (seconds)19.5Total time (secs)19.5
2Jointed Pipe Injector Continuously Moves Pipe slowing to make connectionSlow Speed of String from 1.5 FPS to 1.5 inches/sec30
3Tong gripping of Joint, Spinning & torquingMoving @ 1.5 in/sec30.5
4Tong Releasing Grip on JointMoving @ 1.5 in/sec31
5Jointed Pipe Injector Continuously Moving PipeIncrease Speed of String from 1.5 inches/sec to 1.5 FPS31
Time for sequence of tasks (seconds)10Total time (secs)29.5

Removing personnel from harm’s way & Automating Repetitive Tasks

It becomes very clear that removing the repetitive task on the operator results in a HUGE reduction in risk. Not only to the wellbore but to the operators standing within 10 feet of the pressurized well.

By removing 80% of the steps from each joint that runs into a well completion or well intervention via a snubbing jack the Jointed Pipe Injector reduces risk, increases speed, and increases efficiency. The JPI is able to do this because it never loses grip of the pipe and automates the injection of tubing into your pressurized wellbores.

Do you want to learn more about how the Jointed Pipe Injector can be integrated into your fleet? Reach out today, either call us at +1 (780) 955-2556 or email us at info@automatedrig.com

The following shows the JPI in action in a rig assist application (Are you interested in seeing the real deal? Reach out today for a live demo):

Examples of Snubbing Jacks from around the world

Jointed Pipe Injector