Slot Cutter Enables a 70% Increase in Productivity Index | Schlumberger
Case Study
Gulf of Mexico, Offshore

Using a slot cutter tool—a new, alternative solution to conventional explosive tubing punchers or other mechanical punchers—an operator increased the flow area by removing the bottleneck from the slot area to perform stimulation treatments, quickly restoring well productivity due to sanding issues in offshore GOM. As a result, the operator saved 9 rig days from its intervention plan compared with the previously deployed mechanical puncher and netted a 70% increase in productivity index.

Products Used

Slot Cutter Enables a 70% Increase in Productivity Index, Completes Job ~60% Faster than Previous Mechanical Puncher

Powered intervention service on wireline cuts 275 slots in tubing in three runs to resolve production issues arising from clogged completions, saving 9 rig days

Restore well production from asphaltene and fines migration

Sanding problems in the operator’s gravelpack completions affected productivity in mature wells in deepwater Gulf of Mexico—a common challenge for operators in the region that impacts the entire field lifespan. Due to asphaltenes and fines migration, the sand screen did not function optimally, restricting production. The operator sought a solution to cut as many openings in the production tubing as possible to effectively stimulate and restore well productivity.

Develop a fit-for-purpose, reliable solution that maximizes slot cuts while optimizing cutting efficiency

The operator engaged with Schlumberger, and in 9 months, a custom solution was developed, qualified, and deployed by leveraging the ReSOLVE iX extreme-performance instrumented wireline intervention service to enable a slot cutting solution. To do this, a scissor opening assembly was developed using a rotatable cutting blade on one arm and a fixed anchor to provide the necessary stability on the other. During initial testing, six slots were simultaneously cut along the production tubing using six stacked tractor drives. Conventional tools, however, are only equipped with one blade to cut each slot separately. At the end of this development phase, the operator witnessed a comprehensive system integration test (SIT) to validate the technology.

ReSOLVE iX service slot cutter
The ReSOLVE iX service slot cutter was custom designed to the operator’s objectives.
ReSOLVE iX slot cutter
The ReSOLVE iX service slot cutter configuration is extremely versatile, enabling the combination of up to eight slot cutter sections, up to eight cuts per station, and multiple stations per run with a wireline footprint.

The 31/2-in-OD, 9.2-lbm/ft3 tubing was built with 25Cr material, which is significantly more challenging to cut than carbon steel. Because of the slot cutter’s versatility, seven drive sections were conveyed, providing seven cutting sections and multiple cuts along the BHA to minimize the number of runs. The phasing (90° orientation) between cutter assemblies also provided a high distribution of cuts across the perimeter of the tubing to enable a more effective stimulation treatment. As a result, only three runs were required to cut 275 slots precisely spaced across 130 ft, optimizing cutting efficiency.

The ReSOLVE iX service instrumentation and real-time surface readout enabled cutting precision and quality control. The job planning addressed all key risks such as debris management, slot positioning confirmation, vertical slot distribution, tight restrictions, and HSE risks. Additionally, a remote team of technical experts was able to provide continuous monitoring support for the field crew and shore-based customers due to the real-time transmission of downhole performance data supplied by the tool throughout the operation.

Save rig days and ensure production flow

The entire operation was completed in less than 5 days compared with the previous standard of 14 days using an alternative mechanical puncher, saving the operator 9 rig days and reducing CO2 emissions. The flow area, distribution of cuts, and degree of perforation created by the slot cutter helped the operator net a 70% increase in productivity index, with the area from an additional 275 slots in the tubing dramatically reducing production flow resistance. As a result, the operator changed its entire field intervention strategy, optimizing opex investment.

Products Used

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