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Probe to extend I-Wheel™ range with conveyance tool for slim open hole applications

Field-proven conveyance optimization technology continues to improve safety and efficiency of downhole tool deployment

I-Wheel for slim open hole applications

With the rise in deviated and extended reach wells, demand for effective conveyance applications continues. In response, Probe is launching a new I-Wheel with a 5.3 inch outside diameter for slim open hole applications that pose deployment problems due to friction produced by the low flow area surrounding the tool, causing conveyancing tools to stick. The tool will be field-trialled this summer. It will offer a reliable, cost-effective way to deploy logging instruments in restricted diameter environments, solving an expensive and challenging problem.

Now more than ever, wireline engineers must be able to deploy - and retrieve - downhole tools to carry out operations ranging from logging and sampling in open hole, to running logging tools, perforating guns, or plugs and packers in cased hole. Complicating matters, these tools must often reach target depths of over 20,000 ft.

The good news is that conveyancing technology continues to evolve, providing greater efficiencies, while reducing risks and costs. When Probe contributed to reducing the requirement for expensive coiled tubing and tractors in many wireline operations in 2009, it was a game-changer. That was the year that Probe introduced the I-Wheel™ range of wireline conveyance optimization tools.

Today, most major wireline service companies and independents have used this system to deploy tools to target depth, particularly in deviated wells. Hundreds of runs have been executed for applications in deepwater, offshore, onshore, remote fields and HPHT environments. It has been used in the Middle East, Far East, West Africa, Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, and the UK-Norwegian North Sea.

Saving millions

To illustrate, a leading service company began using this technology to deploy instruments on wireline in deviated, openhole wellbores in 2009. Since then, it has completed many wireline runs of up to 75° deviation in the North Sea alone. One of its customers required fluid sampling in wells that typically feature a 68° deviation, making traditional fluid sampling - typically deployed on pipe - untenable. By using conveyance optimization technology, this company saved its customer two days of costly rig time. Currently, this company estimates that it has saved its customers over USD$30 million in pipe-conveyed logging runs.

Reduced friction facilitates greater target depths

The I-Wheel uses low-friction ballistic grade bearings that reduce toolstring drag along the borehole wall, allowing the toolstring to reach increased depths, reducing the need for - or improving the efficiency of - standard conveyancing methods that demand coiled tubing, tractors or tubing to convey logging devices or perforating strings. Available in many sizes for cased hole and open hole, it has multiple applications. Because both “in line” or “over-body” configurations are available, I-Wheels ensure toolstring length is kept at its shortest where “rig up” height can be a major factor in wellbore access. With its rugged, ballistic grade design, it’s safe to deploy in all wellbore environments, and can be run repeatedly before requiring maintenance or replacement.

These capabilities, when combined with the tool standoff provided by the I-Wheel design, minimize the risk of differential sticking, increasing operational efficiency and reliability. It can be used in virtually any well trajectory, under conditions that otherwise make conveyance by wireline impossible. For example, a customer used it to deploy perforating string with 200 ft perforating guns to an 84° deviation. This reduced tool drag friction by more than 60%.

“I-Wheel hubs are interchangeable and are quickly adapted to different size wheels,” said Federico Casavantes, CEO of Probe. “When preparing to convey instruments in different diameter wellbores, only the wheels need to be changed, not the entire assembly, which is typical of other conveyancing systems. Our solution is highly adaptable and efficient.”

To learn more about I-Wheel wireline conveyance optimization tools, visit

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