Case Study: Flowback and Well Cleanup Services Eliminate NPT While Addressing Salt and Sand Returns, Marcellus Shale

Precise planning and execution help avoid unplanned well shut-ins

Challenge: Address heavy returns of salt and sand that were leading to well shut-ins during flowback operations in the Marcellus Shale.

Solution: Use Cameron high-performance flowback and well testing services.

Result: Avoided shut-in on three wells while preventing equipment damage.

Sand and salt returns led to well shut-ins during flowback

An operator in the Marcellus Shale in Appalachia, USA, was encountering heavy returns of salt and sand during well flowback and cleanup, forcing multiple well shut-ins. Cameron has extensive experience in flowback and well testing while minimizing NPT and maintaining equipment integrity. The operator approached Cameron for a solution.

Combination of experience and best practices optimized flowback operations

To ensure superior performance, Cameron tailors flowback and testing products and services to specific applications. The workforce management system matches technician skill sets to operator needs. Field technicians complete stringent HSE courses and training on all flowback and well testing equipment.

In addition, Cameron provides piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) for its equipment and systems at the wellsite. These diagrams show the relationship between each piece of equipment, facilitating development of flow diagrams and troubleshooting.

Operator avoided three well shut-ins

After installing flowback and testing equipment, Cameron personnel monitored it closely and emptied sand traps every 10 minutes when necessary, even during the night. The team also used the belly dump on test separators to prevent any fluid from carrying over into the flare scrubber. These quick responses saved three wells from being shut in. Since 2010, Cameron has performed multiple flowback jobs for this operator with zero spills.

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Flowback and Well Cleanup Services Eliminate NPT While Addressing Salt and Sand Returns
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“From the first call, Cameron was very professional in getting equipment ready and on location at such short notice. As for the rig-up of the flow-test equipment, it could not have been better. They understood the importance of getting the equipment on location rigged up and pressure tested in a safe and timely manner. I would like to also mention that even the Cameron supervisors were on location and helping with the rig-up, which I personally witnessed and was very impressed.”
Appalachia Operator

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