Fishing with Well Tractor® returns well to critical path operations

JUSPA145261 Fishing with Well Tractor® returns well to critical path operations
  • BHT 180°F
  • Inclination 91°
  • Producing Dry Shale Gas


During the completion of a North American, unconventional gas well on the East Coast, the unexpected loss of a wireline adapter kit mandrel for one of the frac plugs downhole brought the operation to an unplanned halt. According to the client, five stages of the well had been fractured prior to the mishap but they needed to retrieve the mandrel prior to continuing.

E-line operations provided a faster, more controllable method of recovery than drill pipe or coiled tubing. Working with Welltec® on this Fishing Service, it was agreed to run a 3rd party magnet as the BHA below a 318 Well Tractor in order to recover the mandrel.


Pre-job modeling of this wellbore design indicated that the mandrel should be located at approximately 16,800 ft, roughly 5,000 ft past the kickoff point. One of the considerations to overcome in the risk assessment was that since the well had been in the process of completion, it was possible that the Well Tractor and BHA would have to navigate through frac sand that could be present once past the kickoff point.

Additionally, performing the fishing operation using a tractor provided the lowest risk of unintentionally pushing the mandrel through the uppermost frac plug. Surface testing with the magnet aided in establishing a reliable speed for pulling out of the hole without losing the mandrel.

On the stroke of midnight, the tool string was run into the hole until held up by friction. Then the Well Tractor was activated, tractoring steadily onwards for almost 5,000 ft to the lost wireline adapter kit mandrel. Once latched, the tool was pulled out of the hole at only 45 ft/min in order to ensure that the mandrel was safely returned to surface on the first run.

At surface the well was secured, the lubricator secured and the tool lowered revealing the recovered mandrel. A short while later, the crew was rigged down and off location in order for the well to return to critical path operations; finishing the completion.


Applying thorough pre-job planning and risk assessment, Welltec was able to apply its portfolio of technology to successfully recover the lost frac mandrel on the first run in the hole, tractoring ~ 5,000 ft to reach it.

The use of this e-line Fishing Solution enabled the client to return to completing his well faster than attempting to utilize coil tubing or a workover rig to fish the lost mandrel.