Irretrievable bridge plug successfully recovered with Well Stroker®

JAL184348 Irretrievable bridge plug successfully recovered with Well Stroker
  • Well type Oil producer
  • Max. depth 3,250m
  • Max. temperature 116°C


During well intervention operation, as part of a campaign covering reservoir analysis and surveys, a client installed a 4-1/2” retrievable bridge plug above a set of downhole gauges. After completing the pressure build-up survey, the plug could not be retrieved on slickline, and coiled tubing attempts failed at retrieving or displacing the bridge plug.

The attempts did manage to equalize the plug but also damaged the plug’s fish neck. After 25 days of unsuccessful attempts with deferred and reduced production, the client reached out to Welltec® for a solution.

The client chose Welltec’s Well Stroker 314 to free the plug. Welltec’s tools were considered safer and more suitable than conventional solutions because of e-line’s simpler rig up and the benefits of applying pulling and pushing forces rather than impact forces.


Unable to secure a good hold of the plug on the first two runs with a 2” GS pulling tool, the client ran a blind box to determine if the plug was fully set. The Well Stroker successfully pushed the plug downhole, thereby confirming that the plug was no longer fully set.

The 2” GS pulling tool was then run for a third time and successfully latched the plug. Upon stroking up, the plug was pulled free and dragged up hole; however, the pulling tool slipped out of the fish neck, and attempts to latch the fish neck again were unsuccessful.

The shear pin in the pulling tool was still intact, confirming that the fish neck must be damaged. Personnel reviewed the situation: the plug had already been equalized and was now unset, so it was no longer critical to catch the plug at the releasing sleeve. The decision was made to recover the plug by latching it at an upper 2-1/2” internal GS profile.

A 2-1/2” GS pulling tool then successfully latched the plug. The Well Stroker stroked up and freed the plug. While pulling out of hole, the plug hung up in a tight spot in the tubing; the Well Stroker again freed the plug and pulled it through the tight spot. The plug was then successfully recovered to the surface.


Welltec’s e-line fishing solution restored access to the well, and the client returned the well to production. Within two days of the client’s request, the Well Stroker (including backup) and accessories were mobilized to the wellsite, where Welltec successfully dislodged the plug before pulling it out of the hole.

The whole operation took three days to successfully retrieve the plug whereas the alternative solutions were unsuccessful after nearly a month of multiple attempts. The Well Stroker’s ability to anchor and provide maximum pull directly at the plug was key to the success of this operation.