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Setting a critical well barrier in tubing with damaged nipple profiles


Peak Solution:

4 ½-in SIM retrievable bridge plug and SIM running tool


Independent oil company, North West Shelf, Australia

Well Type:

4 ½-in oil producer (57 degree deviation, 220 degF)

The Challenge: 

During plug and kill operations prior to a well workover, contingency steps were taken after several attempts to set a deep set plug failed. The customer decided that a slickline-set, nippleless-type plug was required to provide the critical well barrier. It was suspected that the nipple profiles had been damaged by sand production and wire tracking from multiple slickline runs through the nipple profiles.


The following key requirements and concerns were highlighted by the customer:

  • Debris expected after well kill and circulation
  • High pick-up weights expected
  • Small setting window – adequate depth control required
  • Preference to utilize the onsite slickline crew
  • e-line setting option required as a back-up to slickline if excessive pick-up weights were encountered


  • SIM retrievable bridge plug drift simulation carried out
  • Correlated against nipple profile and set 4 ½-in SIM retrievable bridge plug and prong
  • SIM retrievable bridge plug successfully tested and remained in the well for approximately seven days
  • Bailing operations performed – significant amount of debris recovered
  • SIM retrievable bridge plug recovered on first attempt using SIM running tool

Value to Customer:

  • Contingency Option 1 successful
  • All operations performed safely and efficiently
  • SIM retrievable bridge plug successfully retrieved in high-debris environment
  • The customer mitigated the potential risks and expense of the operation by opting for a 100% mechanical solution
  • Short term rental option preferred by the customer avoiding further unnecessary expenditure
  • Workover operations progressed and were completed successfully


Product Codes: 351, 350