Wireline Tool Recovery and Junk Removal Equipment for Drilling and Workover

In order to fish for wireline tools out of the hole, we must use different equipment than would be used for pipe recovery. Common wireline tool issues center around the cable being tangled or wadded in the hole, as well as the fact that attempts at fishing can pull the wireline out of the rope socket or part, further complicating tool retrieval.

Which Part is Stuck? Cable or Tools

As soon as a wireline assembly becomes stuck, the operator will need to determine whether the problem is in the cable or the tool. Usually, one would apply normal logging tension on the cable and allow it to sit for a few minutes. During this time, four things should be recorded:

  • Current depth of the tool
  • Type and size of the cable
  • Surface tension of the cable just prior to becoming stuck
  • Cable-head’s weakpoint rating.

The cable will be marked at the rotary table, and a T-bar clamp will also be securely fitted to the cable just above the table. Should the cable break, then the clamp holds on to the cable end at the surface, so that the whole cable does not fall down the hole and cause additional blockage. The operator will then need to apply 1000 lbf of tension on the cable, and make a note of the distance that the cable mark moves at the rotary table. This figure shows the stretch produced in the elastic cable. It is then possible to estimate the length of free cable, using a stretch chart or from prior knowledge of the cable’s stretch coefficient. Should the length of free cable be the same as the current logging depth, then the problem does not lie with the cable; rather, the tool is stuck, and not the cable. If the length of free cable is less than current logging depth, then the cable is stuck at some higher point in the hole.

If it is the tool which is stuck, and not the cable, then pulling on the cable will cause one of three results. The tool may come free, the weakpoint can break and the tool will remain in the hole but the cable can be removed, or the cable will break at the point of maximum tension. Continue reading