On The Wire. What to do when things go wrong. Five common wellsite problems and how to solve them

On The Wire The Quarterly Newsletter of Elmar Issue 18 | Quarter 2 2015 MAIN FEATURE What to do when things go wrong Five common wellsite problems...
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On The Wire

The Quarterly Newsletter of Elmar Issue 18 | Quarter 2 2015


What to do when things go wrong

Five common wellsite problems and how to solve them

ASEP · Elmar · DynaWinch · Artex TM





Big things from small packages – Elmar’s Gin Pole Mast Elmar’s engineers have designed a simple, new, lightweight, low cost slickline mast for efficient and heliportable operations on offshore platforms with limited deck space and crane capacity. Weighing in at only 600kg, the mast is designed to carry a simple WPCE string in one package, at a total weight of 1200kg. The selfsupporting mast column manually erects whilst the column is in the horizontal position, and is then brought into the operating position using a hydraulic ram. The maximum column loading is 2,000kg – a very impressive load for such a small and simple package.


A gin pole gyn, derived from ed g a three-leg e ic ev d lifting

Inlaying advances at Elmar With the oil and gas industry continuously developing and exploring increasingly pressurized and corrosive environments, high quality inlaying capabilities are becoming ever more necessary. Inlaying is a specialist process applied to the bore of wireline BOPs which are expected to be exposed to the most corrosive environments, and usually takes many weeks due to the complexity of the process and the scarcity of qualified third party facilities. During the process the BOP is heated to 600 degrees C° to relieve stresses within the BOP body. Elmar has now created an in house inlay process, to eliminate the need to rely on external contractors for this critical process. The process requires the surface of the base material to be melted before introducing the inlay material to the molten weld pool, in the form of a heated wire. This is then adhered to the parent material as the weld pool cools, after which a post-weld heat treatment is performed to reduce and redistribute the residual stresses in the material introduced by welding. This helps to maintain the mechanical properties of the base material. Meeting the required standard and specification for this type of welding is a complex and costly process. However, Elmar felt it essential to invest the necessary time and money into the equipment and training needed to bring the process in-house, to ensure it is providing the best possible service for clients. Offering it as an in-house service means we can provide our customers with quicker reaction times for their production demands.


Elmar operates internationally in Europe, Americas, Far East, Middle East and CIS. Here is a snap shot of some of our manufacturing operations and staff from across these locations.




1. Steve Moir and Ian Sutherland visit OFISSA in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Pictured with their Nigerian Mobile Police (MOPOL) escorts. 2. Graham Henderson from Aberdeen will drive 5,000 km across Europe in the Barcelona Bangers car rally as part of his bachelor party to raise £3,000 for Cancer Research UK. 3. Elmar’s Middle East team in front of a pressure test container. From left to right - Musthafa, Aji, Jomon, Jamsheer, Kannan and Shaju. 4. Inside view of the TruckLine C 5786. 5. Elmar Houston employees successfully complete their 3 month module assembly training. From left to right - Tony Grande, James K. Mitschke, Juan Lujan, Kenneth R. Seagraves, Graham Smith, Andrew Evans.


6. Klaas Van Loopik, Hydraulic Mechanic based in the Netherlands, working on a new unit.

9. Aberdeen shipped another subsea umbilical reeler after a successful collaboration with a major global customer.

7. Elmar Netherlands launched a successful stock build program last year. The program offers Elmar customers a wide range of products including this TruckLine C 5786, which is one of the largest orders that Elmar Netherlands has received.

10. Drew Jeske, PCE Production Manager and Roger Brooks, PCE Lead discussing the lifting equipment on a 6.38” 15K QEC Wireline Valve (BOP) for a client in Louisiana. This is the biggest BOP Elmar has ever Manufactured in Houston.

8. A Wireline Valve (BOP) Recertified in Indonesia. The SAS team started on-site OEM recertification in February 2015. Carrying out the recertification in Indonesia instead of Singapore mitigates the risk of the equipment getting refused entry into the country due to custom regulations.











Tools recovered to the surface have been pulled into the stuffing box or grease head and the wire has been inadvertently broken.

-- The ball check valve will have prevented a hydrocarbon leak through the stuffing box. -- If a tool catcher has been used, then the tools will be hanging from it. -- If no catcher was used, but a tool trap was used, then the tools will be sitting on it. -- If neither a catcher or trap was used, then the tools are now in the well. -- In any case, considerable non productive time will result. Solution: -- Make the well safe by closing the appropriate barriers. -- If the tools are in the catcher or on the trap, then bleed off the pressure in the PCE string, retrieve the tools and build a new rope socket. -- If the tools are in the well, then a fishing job will be required to retrieve the tools.


Air supply to the hydraulic or grease injection control panels has failed during electric line operations.

-- If the control module is not being monitored, then the loss of air pressure will result in the failure of grease injection and the subsequent emission of hydrocarbons.

Elmar BOP/DHSV Control Unit

Hydrates forming in the stuffing box or grease head.

-- This is a well control issue. -- The tools may be stuck, causing NPT. Solution: -- If no chemical injection sub is used and hydrates have formed, then normally methanol would be injected at some point in the WPCE string. -- As an alternative, a nearby well can be crossflowed to increase surface temperatures.

Five common wellsite problems with wireline PCE and how to solve them

Elmar Portable Glycol Injection/Pressure Test Unit


Braided line has developed a broken strand and has caused a bird’s nest at the grease head, meaning that the tools cannot be brought to surface.

Related equipment: -- The Elmar Piranha Tool Catcher and Ball Check Valve allows the fishing neck to be held securely on recovery to surface, preventing a costly fishing job. -- The Elmar Quickload Slickline Stuffing Box features a innovative combined ball check valve and blowout plug. Note: Shallow depth alarms on the winch, tool catchers, tool traps, wrap counters, correct procedures and even Z charts are all there to prevent this scenario.


-- The tools need to be retrieved safely from the well with minimised non productive time (NPT), whilst maintaining full well control. Elmar Piranha Tool Catcher

Solution: -- Stop movement of the cable immediately and apply the winch brake. -- Close the pack off / stuffing box using the hand pump (supplied as standard on Elmar control modules). -- Should the stuffing box fail, as a backup, the wireline rams can be closed using accumulator pressure or manual hand pumps and locked in place using manual handles -- Re-establish air supply. Related equipment: -- The Elmar BOP/DHSV control unit (L-690267V01) features an air horn to warn of low air supply pressure. -- Elmar produces a BOP control module (L-6901051974) which is designed with reference to API 16D and therefore carries a large accumulator volume. -- The Elmar series of diesel driven BOP and grease control units do not require an air supply.

Solution: -- Close the wireline valve and inject grease between the rams to establish an inflow tested barrier. -- Bleed lubricators, lift the lubricators and clamp the cable above the wireline valve. -- Repair the bird’s nest, or if this is not possible, cut the cable as high as possible below the bird’s nest, shorten the WPCE rig up height in order to back feed through the grease head, and follow recommended procedures for recovery of cable. -- Recommence operations (if the cable was not cut) or pull tools out of well. Related equipment: Variable Length Lubricator and cable cutter sub. -- The Elmar Variable Length Lubricator can be used to create a work window to work on the cable without moving the entire WPCE string, which is necessary with a single lift setup if stripping cable is to be avoided or if the cable is jammed in the grease head. -- The Elmar cable cutter can be used to cut the cable at the highest possible point below the grease head.

Related equipment: Elmar Chemical Injection Sub & Elmar Portable Glycol Injection/ Pressure test unit. -- The continuous injection of glycol reduces the risk of a hydrate being formed. -- The chemical injection sub is used directly below the grease head or stuffing box. NOTE: Prevention is better than cure. Prolonged injection of methanol will damage elastomer seals. -- Useful facts regarding hydrates: oo Hydrates can form in gas, gas condensate and crude oil systems. oo 1 cubic ft of hydrates can contain 180 static cubic feet of gas. oo Hydrate blockages can occur very rapidly; transient operations such as start up, shut down and blow down are very susceptible to hydrate blockages.


TRAINING This article provides advice of a general nature, however detailed operational procedures should be governed by the exact circumstances, operating company and service company guidelines, and well control policies. What appears in this article is merely a summary. Elmar training courses involve theoretical classes, practical sessions and competency evaluation. For more information contact your local Elmar representative.

Animation used for Elmar training

During a wireline intervention operation, an unplanned well control situation makes it critical to close the well, cut the cable and make the well safe and secure. Solution: -- If a dedicated shear valve is not being used there are many different scenarios that could be adopted in a well control situation. Below are just two examples: oo Close the wireline valve shear/seal rams. Note: elastomer seals may degrade upon exposure to well fluids. oo Close the master valve and swab valve on the Christmas tree and the DHSV. (N.B. these valves may not be designed to cut cable, and may not seal afterwards). Related equipment: Wireline shear and seal valve. -- Shears all cable sizes up to microcoil by either hydraulic or manual actuation. -- Seals in same movement as shear with no loss of well control. -- Available with key metal to metal seals. -- Compact design fits through offshore hatches . -- Cut and seal takes only a few seconds due to the low hydraulic volume, and can be repeated without redress.

Wireline Shear and Seal Valve



Elmar WPCE Service & Recertification Levels

New cost effective servicing for WPCE

Elmar Level 1


Elmar continuously strives to provide its customers with cost and time saving offerings, whilst maintaining its high quality of service levels.

END RESULTS • Pressure tested to working pressure • Function tested at atmospheric pressure

In line with this, Elmar’s After Sales division recently recognised an opportunity to offer an alternative to the complete refurbishment of all the equipment carried out as part of the current Elmar Level 3 – a five year major service. Elmar will now offer our customers a Level 3 OEM recertification with an optional level of refurbishment. The recertification delivered is identical between the two types of Level 3 however the cost effective new level offers the ‘as new’ refurbishment component (on control modules and frames) as an option. Elmar’s customer focused advances within the After Sales department have further continued with the formation of a dedicated After Sales Support Team for Europe/Africa. The group is based in its UK facility, providing customers with first line support for products manufactured in its UK and Netherlands plants, 24/7, through a carefully selected team of technical and operational experts. Within the same region our process for providing customers with spare parts has been improved by coordinating all requests centrally, enabling efficient use of stock levels across multiple locations to minimise delivery times. For more information please contact Keith Thomson, Global After Sales Manager [email protected]

Elmar Level 2

OEM ANNUAL SERVICE END RESULTS • Pressure tested to test pressure • Function tested at working pressure • Lifting certificate

Elmar Level 3

Elmar Level 3




• MPI Inspected • OEM dimensionally checked • OEM replacement parts • Pressure tested to test pressure • Function tested to working pressure • OEM Certificate of Conformity • 3rd party certificate of pressure tests & inspection • Lifting certificate

• MPI Inspected • OEM dimensionally checked • OEM replacement parts • Pressure tested to test pressure • Function tested to working pressure • OEM Certificate of Conformity • 3rd party certificate of pressure tests & inspection • Lifting certificate • All equipment completely refurbished to 'as new' condition

Elmar announces new after sales appointment Elmar has appointed Keith Thomson as Global After Sales Manager, based in Elmar’s Aberdeen office. Keith brings more than 20 years of wireline operations experience to this role, and will be responsible for maintaining the high standard of customer support and coordinating the expansion of after sales activities across Elmar’s 14 international bases. Andrew Douglas, Sales and Marketing Director at Elmar said: “Keith’s extensive knowledge of wireline intervention and industry management experience make him an excellent addition to the team.

I am delighted to join Elmar at an exciting time. The company has a longstanding history of driving excellence in innovation and customer support which I am proud to now be a part of. Keith Thomson Global After Sales Manager


Singapore & Dubai Our Singapore and Dubai After Sales teams have launched a pressure control recertification project for a major client to provide recertification on-site in Indonesia and India. Completing multiple recertification projects in this way eliminates the shipping time which is usually involved in recertifications, and provides an opportunity to offer training to our clients’ employees. We also supply our mobile pressure test containers to clients for their own servicing work. Our sales and production team in Singapore have been doing an excellent job of fulfilling clients’ requirements for high quality certified flanges for subsea wellheads. From left to right - Vengatesan Krishnakumar (WHE Production Coordinator), Kasmad Bin Abdul Ghani (Production Planner), Mariappan Ramasubbu (Manufacturing Manager), Latifah Binte Abdullah (Technical Sales Leader), Mohamad Fazlan Bin Anang (Assembly Leader), Atta Rajaram Venkatesan (Machine Shop Supervisor), Woo Eng Hong (Machinist), Eng Soo Ken (Senior QC Inspector).

Europe, Africa and CIS In the Netherlands we carried out a complete offshore unit refurbishment for a very high specification winch unit. The unit was upgraded from direct hydraulic to electric-over-hydraulic control, with all hydraulics removed from the cabin, resulting in a silent operator room with more accurate winch control possibilities. Three Smart Monitors show the unit’s performance, run data and the status of pressure control equipment, and all systems comply with ATEX CAT II and NORSOK directives. We have also continued with our winch stock program with units such as FlyLine, SlimLine, UniSplit B and LandLine D available at very short delivery times. In Aberdeen we shipped another subsea umbilical reeler after a successful collaboration with a major global customer. The overhauled unit is now equipped with Elmar’s latest options and winch controls. All systems comply with ATEX CAT II and NORSOK directives.





The Elmar Canada Edmonton, Alberta recertification facility is now fully up and running. This facility will meet all the needs of our clients for all the Alberta IRP and Elmar certifications of PCE. The facility is equipped with a certified pressure containment facility that is rated to 22,500psi. Tyler Barbeau, After Sales Manager, with over 10 years of PCE experience, is on hand and ready to help. Despite the slowdown having hit Canada and North America hard as a whole, in the last couple of months Elmar recently delivered four new units to a major client in the US and two within Canada.

Our Houston after sales team has been busy as well - they rebuilt a wireline truck which had been very badly damaged after tipping onto a concrete freeway divider. Belly boxes and some walls were replaced, whilst major chassis components were salvaged and fitted onto a new chassis. The truck was reassembled, tested and delivered to a delighted client who had saved a considerable amount compared to purchasing a brand new unit.

The wireline truck that was badly damaged after tipping onto a concrete freeway divider

Two new trucks have been delivered to a client in Canada



Name: Willie Murdoch Job Title: Pressure Control Equipment Product Trainer Location: Aberdeen Description of your typical work day: My day is normally split between teaching theory of wireline pressure control in the classroom, and in the shop area teaching the “hands on” practical with the actual equipment. Career highlights: I worked as an “expat” in Europe, Africa, and many other places around the world which has given me insight into how things operate in the oilfield globally, as opposed to just in the US which has been a great eye opener.

Best bit about your job: I know it sounds a little cliché, but I find it very rewarding teaching pressure control to students new to the oil and gas industry, as well as veteran workers. There are certain times when you can see a new student reach an understanding, or a student with years of experience suddenly realise he or she has been using something wrongly or unsafely. That makes you feel good. What is your dream holiday? Anywhere with warm sun, cool waves, and tasty beverages! What is your favourite hobby? I like to play the guitar and have been for most of my life, although if you heard me play you probably wouldn’t believe it!

Description of your typical work day: My typical work day sees me train customers across Elmar’s 14 international locations. Each course typically takes place over 4-5 days, splitting the training into classroom theory and discussions in the morning, followed by hands-on practical work in the afternoon. On the last day, we perform a full rig-up with Pressure Control equipment using a crane, allowing us to simulate a real-life scenario, and show the students how to deal with a variety of problems that can occur during well operations. Career highlights: Working on the world’s first and only 30K WPCE. Best bit about your job: The endless opportunities for world-wide travel. I regularly visit Elmar’s international offices to conduct training, which typically sees me board a plane to the Middle East, Russia and Europe.

Name: James Nelson Job Title: Pressure Control Equipment Product Trainer

What is your dream holiday? I am happy to travel anywhere warm that my wife, Doreen, wants to visit.

Location: Houston

What is your favourite hobby? I have owned a motorcycle on and off since the age of 16. My favourite touring route on my bike is the beautiful West Coast of Scotland.

Regional Sales, Rental & Service Locations:

Manufacturing Locations: Elmar - UK T +44 1224 740261 [email protected]

Elmar - UAE T +971 4 810 0100 [email protected]

Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia T +966 3 887 9270 [email protected]

Perth, Australia T +61 8 9456 0999 [email protected]

Elmar - Netherlands T +31 184 608 700 [email protected]

Elmar - Singapore T +65 6546 0928 [email protected]

Edmonton T +1 780 955 2898 [email protected]

Louisiana, USA T +1 337 839 0024 ext 201

Elmar - USA T +1 713 983 9281 [email protected]

Elmar - Canada (DynaWinch Products) Tel: +1 403 319 2333 E-mail: [email protected]

Elmar - USA (Artex Products) T +1 979 836 5533 [email protected]

Stavanger, Norway T +47 51 81 81 81 [email protected]

Representative Offices: Beijing, China T +86 10 8485 1973

Moscow, Russia T +7 495 287 2691

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