Weatherford installs 113 consecutive whipstocks with 100% single-trip execution

October 21, 2019

HOUSTON - Weatherford International announced a milestone of 113 consecutive cased hole whipstock jobs completed in a single trip. The installation success began with the first run in February 2018 and reached number 113 in October 2019. Weatherford accomplished this notable success exclusively in California, with zero nonproductive time. 

Flawless execution. “This is an industry-first achievement,” said Dean Bell, president of Well Construction for Weatherford.  “Our work in California involved six operators and exits from seven casing sizes. Weatherford crews logged a remarkable 3,577.5 working hours with an average mill time of 2.88 hr/run. There’s no doubt this unprecedented success was made possible by absolute operational adherence to process and procedures at every level, from the shop to the field.”

Weatherford RMN and RHN anchors set in vertical and horizontal wellbores and can be oriented for high-side and low-side casing-exit installations.
Weatherford RMN and RHN anchors set in vertical and horizontal wellbores and can be oriented for high-side and low-side casing-exit installations.

Decades of system development. A critical component of the whipstock installation success in California was Weatherford’s QuickCut casing-exit system, Fig. 1. Designed specifically to meet a variety of customer requirements, the system improves milling performance and penetration rate, as well as maintains gauge retention of the milling assembly. Coupled with the industry’s most competent people, QuickCut reduces rig time, achieves the objective in one-trip, and exceeds the performance of alternative systems.  

The QuickCut system enables operators to design an exit that exactly meets their well-specific conditions, whether plans necessitate short radius, extended reach drilling, or challenging completions installations. The system gives operators the ability to create a smooth transition from the parent wellbore into the lateral section.

The QuickCut casing-exit system can be applied to sidetrack and exiting through multiple casing strings, wellbore restrictions, and wells with high- and low-side exits. It can also be used to access bypassed or behind-pipe reserves and in horizontal and multilateral installations or wells with high-dogleg severity. The system offers the following technological advantages:   

  • Mechanical or hydraulic actuation enables complete well control while circulating, logging, or drilling. Hydraulic actuation removes the need for a false bottom to prevent costly bridge plug installations.
  • Exit any casing size or weight.
  • One size anchor catches multiple sizes and facilitates passage through restrictions.
  • Lead-mill technology provides full-gauge windows and ratholes with single-trip efficiency to reduce rig time and costs.
  • Lug technology protects the whipstock during cutout and accurately directs the lead mill into the casing wall.
  • Casing exits can be created independently of the hole inclination, which makes high- and low-side exits possible up through 9 5/8-in. casing.

Employee development. Weatherford’s learning and development programs are critical to the continued success of the different global product lines. These programs consist of soft-skills and technical training, a comprehensive competence assurance program and structured career paths:

“The Intervention Services (fishing and re-entry) training curriculum includes online computer-based training, classroom, and hands-on training, focusing primarily on the use of the operational control plan, technical work instructions (TWI), checklists and forms. It also includes soft-skill development of our field population,” according to Weatherford’s V.P. of Intervention Services, Chris Cutrer.

Weatherford’s Competence Assurance Program is a risk-based competence assessment process that assures our personnel have the capability to deliver our services as per operating standards. Following this methodology, the assessment program is structured in three components: 

  • Weatherford Core – minimum requirements for all personnel.
  • Product Line Core – minimum requirements for all personnel in the fishing and re-entry product line, consisting of core processes, basic processes, products, services or equipment.
  • Product Line Bolt-On – additional units for specialized equipment and job types within the fishing and re-entry product line.

Weatherford’s career paths are skills-based protocol, self-driven by employees, providing them a clear and structured way to advance their career.  Employees, managers, and human resources interact throughout the career levels progression assuring the employee have attained the necessary knowledge and skills required for next step promotion.

Customer value added. All these processes and procedures in place, together with a non-negotiable leadership commitment to develop our workforce, assures Weatherford personnel deliver high-quality products and services to our clients that reduce costs and mitigate NPT, while ensuring the safety of everyone involved in Weatherford operations. 

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