Snubbing is a technique to install or remove tubular from a well, while the well remains pressurised, also known as a ‘live well’. Snubbing is used when it is not possible, or not desired, to kill a well (dead well). Killing a well means depressurise the well by pumping a heave fluid or mud inside the well. The advantage of Snubbing is that work can be performed without killing the well thus eliminating reservoir formation impairment or costly stimulation operations. Before starting a snubbing operation, dedicated engineering is required; the operation and contingencies must be in place to ensure that operations on live wells can be performed safely.
Snubbing is performed with a Hydraulic Workover unit.
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Characteristic for Snubbing is the stage where the weight of the tubular is less then the upward acting forces caused by well pressure and buoyancy. This so called “pipe light” stage introduces a number technical challenges like buckling of tubular and push forces instead of pull forces. Once the weight of the tubular equals the upward acting force created by the well pressure and buoyancy, the balance point has been reached. “Pipe heavy” refers to the stage where the weight of the tubular is larger then the upward acting forces. During the entire Snubbing operation, well pressure shall be controlled and sufficient barriers shall be in place to avoid uncontrolled pressure release. Want to know more?