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GDC registers success in ongoing coiled tubing exercise

A team of Geothermal Development Company (GDC) Drilling Operations Engineers successfully carried out air-lifting operations using a Coiled Tubing (CT) unit on Wednesday 21st October, 2020.

A coil tubing equipment at work in Menengai.

For the past month, the team has been working on Menengai Well Eight (MW-08) which is the pilot well for Coiled Tubing operations. Airlifting was done successfully to the top of the liner at 840metres and final tripping out of the coil tubing. The team is planning to move to the next well, on advice from the Geothermal Resource Management (GRM) experts.

“We work very closely with the GRM department; they will guide us on the next well. We will then move the Coiled Tubing machine and continue with the exercise”, Eng. Fred Keny one of the drilling experts working on the Project.

This is how we do it… Drilling Engineer Fred Keny engages the team during a coiled tubing exercise in Menengai Geothermal project

The main objective of the Coil Tubing (CT) unit is to unload the cooler water column in the cased part of the geothermal well by airlifting so that the well can discharge from the bottom aquifers, explained Eng. Keny. “The duration of the exercise depends on the geothermal well characteristics, which include water level, percentage pumping submergence, air-volume, and pressure requirements,” he added.

The operationalization process involved servicing the CT equipment including the compressor, injectors, and blowout preventer (BOP), wellhead assembly, profiling, and finally the tripping in of the coiled tubing for airlifting from the initial water level of three hundred (300) metres.

GDC has three (3) coil tubing units, one of which is being used for airlifting at the Menengai Well Eight (MW-08). Coil tubing applications include directional drilling operations, hydraulic fracturing, well completions, scale removal, and other applications that involve pumping fluids at high temperatures and high pressures.

With the success of the airlifting operations at MW08, the plan is to move to other wells that have been cited for airlifting. It also opens consultancy opportunities for the Company in airlifting, scale removal, unloading wells with Nitrogen, and directional drilling.

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